How to Choose the Right Ethernet Switch

Posted by Travis Gaerke on

Choosing the right Ethernet switch for your application is essential to ensuring the proper functionality of your network. When determining what Ethernet switch to purchase, there are many different factors to consider—from data transfer speeds to future proofing your network. To learn how to choose the right industrial Ethernet switch for your application, continue reading.

Managed or Unmanaged

The first aspect to consider when choosing an Ethernet switch for your network is whether you should purchase a managed or unmanaged switch. An unmanaged Ethernet switch has a fixed configuration, which is far more limited than managed Ethernet switches. As such, they are ideal for small networks that require only basic functions. If you have a larger network that requires more advanced features, a managed Ethernet switch is likely necessary. Managed Ethernet switches can be configured to prioritize LAN traffic and provide a variety of advanced features such as redundancy, port mirroring, virtual LAN, and quality of service.

Data Speeds

Choosing an industrial Ethernet switch that can transmit the amount and type of data required for your application is essential. As such, it is important to determine what data speed is required of your application when choosing an Ethernet switch. For small file transfers, networks of 100 Mbps is typically suitable, while larger files such as video transfers may require networks of 1,000 Mbps or 10Gb/s. For extremely large data that must travel long distances between different devices, you may need to consider fiber optic transfer technology for your network.

Environmental Requirements

Industrial Ethernet switches often must operate in extreme environments. To choose a switch that will work effectively for your application, it is essential to match your switch’s environmental specifications with your facility’s current automation equipment. When purchasing an industrial Ethernet switch, you should consider the temperature and moisture specifications as well as shock, noise, and vibration immunity.

Number of Ports Your Switch Needs

The number of ports on your industrial Ethernet switch will determine how many devices can be connected to it. As such, it is essential to choose a switch that has an ample number of ports to accommodate your devices and allow for potential future growth. Ethernet switches typically can accommodate anywhere between 2 to 64 ports. To choose the right Ethernet switch for you, determine how many devices will need to be connected to your switch and if this number will likely change in a relatively short amount of time.

When you’re ready to purchase an Ethernet switch that is suited to your application, Antaira Technologies can help. As a leading manufacturer of innovative industrial communications technology, we offer a wide variety of managed and unmanaged industrial switch Ethernet options with a variety of advanced capabilities. For more information regarding our products, contact us today.

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