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Managed and unmanaged switches

I recently got a quote for installing a network in a new building. What is the difference between managed and unmanaged switches? I have very little administrative background and as a result, I'm concerned about the administration of such equipment. Thanks for any input.

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I don't believe there are any unmanaged switches being sold. There were however, unmanaged hubs. An unmanaged hub just forwarded frames to the next active port in the loop without the ability to bypass problematic ports.

My advice is to not buy anything that is unmanaged - even if you don't know what the "management" refers to.

Marc Farley

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This was first published in January 2002

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