Industrial vs Commercial Networking: The Difference

Posted by Travis Gaerke on

The world of networking greatly expanded since its origin. Since the beginning, local area networks (LANs) required Ethernet switches to share forms of Internet Protocol (IP). Now, instead of exclusive use in commercial and residential networks, Ethernet switches can also apply to an industrial setting. To learn more about the difference between industrial vs commercial networking, continue reading.

Operating Temperature

Unlike commercial ethernet switches created to operate in mild, temperature-controlled environments, industrial ethernet switches are designed for more-extreme conditions. While commercial networking can work in standard room temperatures that range from 50 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, industrial networking can thrive in extreme temperatures that may range from -40 to over 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

Outer Case Strength

Commercial ethernet switches were created to exist in data centers where they aren’t exposed to harsh conditions. Industrial ethernet switches, on the other hand, were designed to withstand harsh environments that may have intense vibrations, shocks, or electrical noise. Industrial ethernet switches have a much stronger outer case strength than their commercial counterparts.

Single Point of Failure

A single point of failure, or SPOF, refers to a part of a system integral to its function. If this part fails, then the entire system won’t work, which makes systems with SPOFs more unreliable. To decrease the possibility of a single point of failure, industrial ethernet switches are designed so that they don’t include a fan or any other moving parts. Doing so makes them more durable than commercial ethernet switches.


A commercial ethernet switches’ lifespan generally lasts just 1.5 to 3 years. Contrarily, industrial switches have a much longer overall lifecycle that may exceed 10 years. This long lifespan helps minimize downtime costs, which can lead to substantial savings in industrial environments.

Ingress protection

Industrial networking has a much higher ingress protection (IP) rating than commercial networking. Ingress protection refers to an electrical enclosure’s sealing effectiveness to prevent the intrusion of foreign bodies and moisture. Industrial ethernet switches have more resistance to the intrusion of dirt, dust, and tools which would prevent commercial switches from working properly. This enhanced protection allows industrial networks to function in harsher environments.

If you want to invest in an industrial Ethernet switch, Antaira offers multiple unmanaged and managed Ethernet switches to choose from. For more information regarding our products, contact us today.


Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →