An Introduction to Buying Network Switches on eBay

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An Introduction to Buying Network Switches on eBay

Setting up a network can be extremely confusing if it is something new. The types of routers, switches, and hubs are sometimes very difficult to choose between when setting up the home or office network. It is important to understand the many parts of a network before choosing the type of connections that are to be needed. Once chosen, shopping for a network component can be as easy as typing in keywords at the popular auction website, eBay.

One of the most important parts of a network is the switch. Although often used in place of the term "router" or "hub", it is slightly different. A switch is considered a hub or router with better programming. It can be set to make certain network decisions, which hubs and routers cannot. In order to purchase the right switch for a network, there are a few things that need to be known. The size and specifications of the network, the role of the switch, and the network configuration must be known.

The Size and Specifications of the Network

Knowing exactly the size of network that is needed makes the decision to purchase a specific switch much easier. Most of the switches available are eight- to 10-port switches that allow eight to 10 devices to be connected at once. As the network technology becomes more advanced, the amount of connections increases. Also, the need for those connections to be intelligent connections becomes more necessary.

Not only does a switch generally have more port connections than a hub or router, it also maximises the use of those ports. Since a switch has intelligent programming, it can help route traffic to and from different connections. This helps to increase the efficiency of the network by allowing certain connections to have a higher priority than others. The larger, more advance networks need this kind of control where a smaller network may not.

Regardless of the size of the network, a switch can be a cost effective way to control how a large network accesses the Internet or company VPN. It can also help a smaller network regulate access to the Internet or to network devices by using onboard firmware and firewalls. These aspects of a switch make it a versatile option for keeping a variety of network sizes safe and functioning correctly.

Once the size and specifications of the network are decided upon, a buyer can begin searching for the correct type of switch on eBay. This can be done by simply searching for a network switch or by searching for a specific amount of ports while using the search term "switch". Taking a look at the listings on eBay can help a buyer decide on which direction they wish to take their network.

What Role Does a Switch Play in the Network?

Due to its overall versatile nature, a switch can play a few different roles in a network environment. Each of these roles differ slightly and can be modified for a more efficient network. The size of the network does play a big part in how a switch is used.

Switch Function

Use

Hub

Connects various devices without the use of a firewall

Router

Connects networked devices to a modem or VPN

Bridge

Expands the network to include more devices

Primary firewall and router

Houses first firmware firewall

Directs priority traffic to select devices

Since a switch can serve different functions in a home or office network, a buyer may want to include these functions while shopping for a switch on eBay. If the primary function of a switch is to prioritise network traffic, then a buyer may want to search eBay for a programmable switch. If the switch is just going to bridge between the network and other devices, then including the word "bridge" in the search terms is helpful. Make sure that each of these terms and their meanings are understood before making a purchase. Most switches can behave like other network components, while others have their own unique properties.

Network Configuration

Most modern networks are a combination of wireless and wired devices. Some people choose a wired network believing it to be more secure. In this wired network, a switch can control individual access to each of the components through the use of firewall programming. Many switches have the firmware to carry out simple tasks, such as prioritising access to an Internet connection or to a printer.

This is not to say that there are not other wireless switches, but they are rarer and usually more expensive. Each of the different brands of switch usually have their own brand of firewall. Although more and more switches are being converted for wireless use, normally a switch is used for wired networks for network safety reasons. Switches also are programmable to suit specific network configurations. When programming them for a specific network configuration, make sure that all of the desired network components are compatible. It may be possible to connect a variety of different types of network equipment to one switch without having a compatibility issue through a switch. Some switches are designed to handle different network protocols at the same time.

While searching for a switch, knowing which protocols need to be programmed is very important. Many switches have preprogrammed protocols, while others have protocols that can be changed once the switch is connected. This can be done by changing settings on the switch itself, or by a program loaded on the server that is accessing the switch.

Finding Network Switches on eBay

In order to locate a network switch on eBay, a buyer simply has to type the search terms or keywords for the switch that they want to find into the search box. Then, they can click search or hit enter. This populates a list that contains all of the entries matching the key terms. Each of these listings is an individual switch. If the search result is too broad, then add key terms to narrow the results down, or if the search is too narrow, simply remove key terms to make the results broader.

After the list populates, read through them to find one that fits the network's needs. By clicking on the individual link, a buyer can view a more detailed description of the switch. It is important to take time to read this description to make sure that all of the needed specifications are present and the switch suits the network's needs. Using eBay, it is possible to compare a variety of different switches to find the perfect fit for a specific network. Since there is a wide variety of different sellers on eBay, a buyer has a broad choice of switches and companies selling them. Once the detailed listing is populated, a buyer can both contact the seller and view the terms of the sale.

Buying a Network Switch on eBay

When you find a switch that suits your needs, it is time to purchase it. Before making the actual purchase, there are a few things of which you should note. On the main description page, the seller's shipping and return policies are listed. This tells you what to expect when purchasing from this particular seller. It also has the seller's feedback rating and access to the seller's individual feedback. This is valuable information that you should read very carefully when you are making the decision to purchase a switch from a specific seller.

The online auction website, eBay, also has a ranking system for their top sellers. Each of these sellers has exceptional feedback, as well as an excellent record with eBay in general. The top seller rating is only given to sellers who have proven themselves to be trustworthy. Feedback on eBay can help you to make an informed purchasing decision on all fronts. It can also help you to judge when and where you are going to encounter a specific problem with a seller.

Conclusion

In order to purchase a perfect switch for your network on eBay, there are a few things to keep in mind. The size of your network and the purpose of the switch is extremely important. Knowing this is can help a buyer make the choice as to which type of switch and the size of a switch that should be purchased. Most buyers also need to know exactly which firmware the switch requires in order to help the network run. Many of the modern switches contain built in and programmable firewalls and other programs that help with routing traffic.

Once the switch is decided upon, searching for it on eBay is as simple as typing in the key search terms and clicking the search button. This is a great way to find new and used switches and browse through all of the options for a specific network. The wide selection gives a buyer the opportunity to make sure they are purchasing the correct one without having to visit multiple shops.

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