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When Should I Use Unmanaged Switches?

Updated on Dec 29, 2021
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Unmanaged switches are often considered insecure and unintelligent network equipment. Is that true? Why are unmanaged switches still used? When should I use it? Read the following content to know the answers.

Biggest Concern with Using Unmanaged Switches

Security problems might be the biggest concern when we use unmanaged switches, because they don't need any configurations and they can't monitor network activity or performance. But in fact, unmanaged switches have basic security features such as a lockable port cover that ensures basic security and helps avoid any type of direct tampering on the device.

Why Should I Use an Unmanaged Switch?

Now that unmanaged switches lack the advanced security functions that managed switches features, are there any advantages to having unmanaged switches? Here list some benefits of using unmanaged switches.

Low Cost

When it comes to cost, unmanaged switches have an absolute advantage. You can see that the price of unmanaged switches is much lower than that of managed switches. This price usually depends on how many ports you need the switch to have. For many machine builders and OEMs, the cost is the primary factor to consider. So, many industrial places like factories and workshops use these cost-efficient unmanaged switches.

Easy Maintenance

"Unmanaged" means that the switch does not require pre-configuration to do. It helps to make setting up local networks easier, allowing you to connect multiple devices together without needing a complex configuration. Unmanaged switches do not request any professional configurations and regular maintenance (that's why we also call them dumb switches).

Plug and Play

Plug and play, no other operations are required. The installation of an unmanaged switch is usually just connecting the Cat5 or Cat6 Ethernet cable and inserting one or more new network devices. No configurations needed, even people who don’t know anything about network settings can use it.

Unmanaged Switch for Different Uses

All things considered, we can draw the conclusion that unmanaged switches are suitable for those applications where low cost and simple installation and maintenance are more emphasized.

Home & Small Business Use

Unmanaged switches adopt a compact design, most of which have various mounting methods, such as desktop or wall-mount and rackmount, saving your space and effort. And with the plug-and-play design, you can use it without needing professionals to configure and maintain the switch.

Some people are worried that the network speed could be an issue. Is the network speed of unmanaged switches slow? Actually, most unmanaged switches in the market now support 100M or even 1G speed, that's totally enough for home or small business network use. You can also choose an unmanaged switch with PoE standards to supply power for your devices like laptops and TVs.

unmanaged switches for home

The cost of unmanaged switches is much lower than managed ones. For homes and small businesses with limited budgets, this might be the greatest advantage.

Industrial Use

Unmanaged switches have become an important network device for industrial applications. Aside from having a lower price, they are best suited for applications with limited networking resources because they are easy to deploy. They can be used in manufacturing, machining, oil & gas, and mining etc. Unmanaged switches are an economical and simple approach to achieving the expansion function of network ports, especially for applications where labor and time lack.


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