A network switch is a great way to expand the capacity for ethernet connections on your router’s network. Do you need to connect a lot of devices to your router and prefer using ethernet connections? Then, the number of ethernet ports on your router might not be enough for your needs. And, you must consider setting up a network switch in such situations.
But, how do you add a network switch to your network? In case you are wondering, the procedure might slightly differ depending on the type of network switch you are using. Here, we will take a look at how to setup a network switch in each case.
Steps to Set Up a Managed Network Switch
Managed network switches allow you to modify your network settings. In other words, you can customise the factory settings they come with. And that, offers you more control over the network than unmanaged network switches provide you.
Have you bought a managed network switch for your router? Then, proceed with the following steps to set it up:
Disconnect the Router and Modem from Power
Are your router and modem powered on? If yes, then you must turn them off first before you proceed with a network switch setup. Not only that, but you must also unplug them from the wall socket before proceeding. Only then should you move on to the next step of the setup.
Connect the Router and Network Switch
Connect the router to the modem first if you have not done so already. This will enable an internet connection on your router. Then, you must connect the network switch to your router using an ethernet cable. So, get a new cable if you do not already have a spare one available.
Since it is a managed network switch, you can configure it as mentioned earlier. So, you must proceed with that next, once you are done.
Configure the Network Switch
A network switch configuration works pretty much the same way as a router configuration. You must access its interface to make the necessary changes to it. And, you can do that using your web browser with the following steps:
Enter the Default IP Address in the Browser
You must find the default gateway for your network switch to access its login page. And, you can usually find that on a label pasted on the device. You can also check for it on the service manual of the product. Enter the default IP address in the search box to visit the login page for your network switch.
Use the Default Admin Credentials to Log In
Since you are logging in for the first time, you must use the default credentials. You can set a custom username and password for your network switch later on.
If you do not know the default credentials, you can find them the way you found the default gateway. Enter them in their respective fields to open your network switch’s interface on your browser.
Personalise the Settings
You can view all the details of your network switch on the interface. And, you can make a wide range of changes to its default settings. So, make sure to optimise your network switch for your usage needs.
How to Set Up an Unmanaged Network Switch?
An unmanaged network switch, as opposed to a managed one, does not have a complex setup. It does not allow you to make any changes to its factory settings. So, you must use them as they come. Many people use unmanaged network switches as they have some advantages as well.
In the case of an unmanaged switch, you only need to connect the device to your router. You can then connect devices to it and start using the network.
Here is how you must proceed:
Connect the Router to the Network Switch
The procedure for connecting the router and network switch is the same in all cases. It works the same way for managed and unmanaged network switches. So, unplug the router and modem from power.
Then, connect the network switch to the router with the latter connected to the modem. As in the case of managed network switches, you must do this using an ethernet cable. Power on the router, modem and network switch once you are done.
Connect Devices to the Network Switch
You should arrange for extra ethernet cables to connect your computers to the network switch. Then, connect one end of the cables to the computers and the other end to the network switch ports. Make sure the connected devices can access the internet once you are done.
Managed & Unmanaged Network Switch: Which One Should You Choose?
Many people might wonder whether they should go for a managed or unmanaged network switch. In such cases, you must consider what each type offers you.
Here are some important considerations you must make for chasing one of them:
The performance is probably the most important aspect you must consider in a network switch. Do you want to transfer large amounts of data quickly? Then, you must go for a managed switch. Otherwise, an unmanaged switch should be enough for your needs.
Do you want customisable security for your data? Then, you must go for managed network switches as they offer multiple security options. An unmanaged network switch, on the other hand, has a fixed set of security features. So, a managed network switch might be a better option in many cases.
You may or may not have to grow your network further in the future. And, a manageable network switch would be a better option if you have to do so. After all, they are configurable and can adjust better to changes.
Other Ways to Extend your Network
Network switches are only one of the ways to expand your router’s network. As we have seen, it is useful when you prefer using ethernet connections. But, what if you want to use a WiFi network? In such cases, you must consider setting up access points and range extenders.