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What is the difference between a managed and an unmanaged switch?

What is the difference between a managed and an unmanaged switch?

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Managed switches have more capability than unmanaged switches. They generally offer SNMP for monitoring the status of connections, STP and other advanced features like QOS, VLAN, etc. These features may vary between manufacturers and models. Managed switches are also quite a bit more expensive. Setting them up may take a little longer as compared to unmanaged one, which is generally plug-and-play. Managed switches have remotely accessible consoles (CLI or Web interface) and allow things such as turning ports on or off.

This was first published in April 2005

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