Best managed & unmanaged network switches [2020 Guide]

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
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Managed & unmanaged network switch

Switches come in two forms: managed and unmanaged. The first category may allow you to control the settings and protocols of everyone connected to that particular network switch.

Unmanaged switches allow a more hands-off approach, since you don’t need to input any information at all, and everyone connected will just be treated to the standard settings set by the switch.

Note: Deals are subject to change. Keep in mind that the price tag often varies. We recommend going on the vendor’s website to check the price. Some of the products may be out of stock by the time you’ve made your purchasing decision. So, hurry up and hit the buy button.

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Top deals on managed & unmanaged network switches

TP-Link TL-SG105E

TP-Link TL-SG105ETL-SG105E is a managed network switch that offers network monitoring for users to observe traffic behavior. Thanks to its web-based user interface and management utility, it also offers a variety of useful features, including network monitoring, traffic prioritization, and enhanced QoS.

Additionally, the hard metal casing makes it impervious to damage and looks elegant as well.

Pros:

  • 5 Gigabit ports provide instant large file transfers
  • 15K Jumbo frame improves the performance of large data transfers
  • Effective network monitoring via Port Mirroring, Loop Prevention, and Cable Diagnostics
  • Abundant VLAN features improve network security via traffic segmentation
  • IGMP Snooping optimizes multicast applications
  • Port and tag-based QoS enable smooth latency-sensitive traffic

Cons:

  • Not VLAN functional

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Netgear GS316

Netgear GS316The Netgear GS316 is a managed switch that offers a stable Internet connection to everyone using it, even if all 16 ports are used at once.

What makes it so neat is that it is great for use in larger organizations thanks to the many ports, the low noise output and the fact that no installation is required in order to use it.

Pros:

  • 16 Gigabit ports
  • Simple set up with no software to install or configuration needed
  • Supports a desktop or wall mount placement
  • The fanless design means zero added noise wherever its located
  • Covered by an industry-leading 3-year limited hardware warranty
  • Designed to optimize power usage lowering its cost to operate
  • Most models are compliant with IEEE802.3az Energy Efficient Ethernet mode

Cons:

  • Bad customer support in case of issues with the product

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Cisco SG 300-20 SRW2016-K9-NA

Cisco SG 300-20 SRW2016-K9-NAIf you need to provide 20 people with a high-quality and stable Internet connection, then you need to make use of the Cisco SG 300-20 SRW2016-K9-NA.

Not only does it feature plenty of ports to use, but the construction makes it very durable, and you also don’t need any installation process to use it at all.

Pros:

  • 20 Gigabit ports
  • Simple set up with no software to install or configuration needed
  • Simple to manage

Cons:

  • Bad customer support in case of issues with the product

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TP-Link TL-SF1005D

D-Link DGS-108The TP-Link TL-SF1005D is an unmanaged network switch that will pretty much take care of all your networking needs from the moment you plug Ethernet cables in it.

No installation is required, and it can provide a high-speed connection without making any noise, making it good for office environments where everyone needs to focus.

Pros:

  • Easy setup with no configuration or no software needed
  • Connectivity to your router or modem for additional wired connections
  • 5 10/100 Mbps Gigabit auto-negotiation RJ45 ports greatly expand network capacity
  • Fanless quiet design, desktop design
  • 802.3x flow control provides reliable data transfer
  • Supports Auto MDI/MDIX, eliminating the need for crossover cables

Cons:

  • Issues with the 5GHz antenna

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D-Link DGS-108

D-Link DGS-108The DGS-108 Switch is a great way for SOHO and small and medium businesses to benefit from the increased bandwidth of Gigabit Ethernet.

Not only does it provide eight Gigabit ports for easy expansion of your network, but it also brings a quick way to upgrade your network to Gigabit connectivity.

Pros:

  • Eight (8) 10/100/1000 Mbps Ports
  • Inexpensive Gigabit Ethernet solution for SOHO, small and medium businesses
  • Supports IEEE 802.1p QoS traffic prioritization
  • Built to last: rugged metal housing, fanless

Cons:

  • Quality control issues

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Closing thoughts on managed and unmanaged network switches

In the end, choosing between a managed and an unmanaged network switch simply boils down to how experienced your network administrator is, and just how much time you think is worth setting up everyone’s protocols.

While the managed routers do give you a more custom feel for each person’s connectivity, the unmanaged ones can free up time, money and effort.