Do I Need a Managed PoE Switch to Set up a Home or Business Network?

Using a managed PoE switch can be a great way to get the most out of your network. A managed PoE switch gives you more control over your network by allowing you to configure settings and create different rules. This type of switch can come in handy if you want to optimize your network for specific applications or prioritize certain devices.

What Is a Managed PoE Switch?

A Managed PoE switch allows network administrators to use a graphic user interface or command line to manage and configure local area network settings. A managed PoE switch is designed for simple and straightforward configuration of network devices as well as monitoring common network tasks. Compared with an unmanaged switch, a managed switch offers enhanced features that make troubleshooting, monitoring and controlling the performance of the local area network more streamlined and efficient. The added features can help professional network administrators maintain the integrity of their local area networks efficiently without any major setbacks.

Features of Managed Switches for Your Business Network

Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) Snooping

IGMP Snooping is a method of reducing unnecessary multicast traffic. It works by controlling the multicast traffic on a managed switch and filtering the traffic downstream.

Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs)

In order to reduce unnecessary traffic, network administrators can group devices together with Virtual Local Area Networks. Virtual Local Area Networks allow for additional security measures to be applied to network communications, and some have the ability to improve management capacity.

Quality of Service (QoS)

The Quality of Service (QoS) feature on a managed PoE switch allows you to prioritize different types of network traffic, and manage the available bandwidth in your network. It does this by giving devices with more packets of data more bandwidth. A typical use for this is prioritizing traffic between two devices that frequently exchange data.

Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)

Managed PoE Switches are available with a suite of management tools and features. One of those is the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), which will allow network managers to monitor network performance and the health of their network. One great use for SNMP is to notice any potential problems and address them before they have an adverse impact on your network.


The idea of redundancy is to provide a backup network option if a device or traffic routing fails. The backup devices are used to quickly switch over to the redundant side of the switch if the main site fails. Redundancy is a way to safeguard your network by providing an alternate data path in case a connection or cables fail. Managed switches use Spanning Tree Protocol or STP to provide redundant paths in the network. This prevents loops that are created by multiple active paths between switches and allow one active path at a time. With STP, there is a lesser chance of downtime and redundancy also proves more profitable for a business.

The goal is to save what you were doing when the failure occurred, then quickly get things up and running again. Redundancy is also useful for making copies of the configuration files for a switch. Businesses that cannot afford downtime would make an extra configuration backup so that when one of their switches dies, they are able to quickly set it up without starting from scratch.

Port Mirroring

Managed switches have a useful feature called port mirroring, which helps diagnose network problems. When you configure port mirroring, copies of traffic are sent to a single port on the same switch. This allows you to use a network analyzer and diagnosis and fix problems without disrupting the network, reducing downtime.

Spanning Tree Protocol (STP)

Spanning Tree Protocol is a way to reduce loops on a network. A loop occurs when there are multiple paths on the network and packets can keep looping around, causing some devices to come to a grinding halt. Spanning Tree Protocol is important for large enterprise networks, but it’s not as big of a concern for home networks.

Security Access

Managed switches are a great way to add security features to your network. First, features like 802.1X Port-Based Network Access Control (PNAC) and PoE (Power over Ethernet) port control provide you with the capability to control which devices can gain access and where they can access the network point it connects to. For instance, most switches come with management software, which allows you to define each port as “static” or “dynamic”——static ports let you specify a unique and fixed MAC address, so you only allow one address to connect freely; dynamic ports offer more flexibility by allowing multiple devices while ensuring that each device uses a temporary MAC address so as not to conflict with any other addresses in the network.

Remote Access Management

Managed switches give you control over your LAN and any traffic flowing through it. They also provide advanced features to help you control the data flow. Managed switches have all of the features of an unmanaged switch and come with the added benefit of being able to configure, monitor, and manage your network from the outside. This ensures that only the appropriate people have access, and it allows you to control the data flow more.

Port Aggregation

Port aggregation is a way to combine multiple Ethernet links together, making them act as a single logical link. The benefit of being able to combine ports comes from being able to assign more data across a dedicated connection resulting in an overall increase in performance. Port aggregation also provides redundancy; if one link fails, the remaining ports in the channel continue to communicate uninterrupted until a faulty link can be replaced.

When and Where to Use a Managed Switch?

If you want to have more control over your network at home, it’s ideal to choose a managed PoE switch. It makes the best choice of all for homeowners——especially if you’re looking for a product that offers privacy security from malicious third parties.

Managed PoE network switches are made for businesses that need to manage the flow of data and information. Managed PoE switches also enable users to access more control over the traffic compared to unmanaged switches; allowing them to remotely monitor and troubleshoot their system’s external links and internal connections.

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