What is a managed switch?
Managed switches give you greater security and more features and flexibility, because you can configure them to custom-fit your network. With this greater control, you can better protect your network and improve the quality of service for those who access the network.
How does a network switch work as compared to a hub?
In the most basic networks, devices are connected with hubs. But there's a limit to the amount of bandwidth users can share on a hub-based network. The more devices are added to the network, the longer it takes data to reach its destination. A switch avoids these and other limitations of hub networks.
Network devices can be separated by the layer they operate on, defined by the OSI model. The OSI model conceptualizes networks separating protocols by layers. Control is typically passed from one layer to the next. Some layers include:
Aggregation, or distribution switches: These switches are placed within an optional middle layer. Edge switches connect into these and they can send traffic from switch to switch or send it up to core switches.
Core switches: These network switches comprise the backbone of the network, connecting either aggregation or edge switches, connecting user or device edge networks to data center networks and, typically, connecting enterprise LANs to the routers that connect them to the internet.
If a frame is forwarded to a MAC address unknown to the switch infrastructure, it is flooded to all ports in the switching domain. Broadcast and multicast frames are also flooded. This is known as BUM flooding -- broadcast, unknown unicast, and multicast flooding. This capability makes a switch a Layer 2 or data-link layer device in the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) communications model.
How does a network switch work as compared to a router?
Switches allow different devices on a network to communicate. Routers allow different networks to communicate.