How to Buy Wireless Network Switches

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How to Buy Wireless Network Switches

People who have multiple computers, tablets, and other wireless devices in their homes or offices use network switches. These devices allow computers to communicate with each other as well as connect with the Internet. Wireless network switches give people the freedom to move around the building without having to worry about wires getting in the way. Several types of network switches are available and these devices meet a variety of needs. Shoppers who have no experience with networking, may have trouble deciding which wireless network switches to buy. With a bit of research, the process can be simplified.

Before buying a wireless network switch, shoppers should first understand what these devices are and what they do. From there, shoppers should take the time to evaluate the differences between each type of wireless network switch, determine their capabilities, and then read reviews and get recommendations. eBay allows users to compare different devices and find the best deals possible.

Define Wireless Network Switches

A network switch is used to manage wireless networks in a home or a business. The network switch connects multiple computers to the same network so that they can all communicate with each other, without the use of cables or wires. After the initial setup, the signals are transmitted wirelessly through the antenna on the network switch. A network switch is similar to a router, which functions to connect multiple computers to the Internet. The network switch differs in that it allows printers, computers, tablets, and other wireless devices to communicate with each other as well as the Internet, assuming the network switch is also connected to a modem.

Learn How Wireless Network Switches Operate

Network switches operate by allowing more devices to connect to a network than a router or a hub. These switches also give the user more control over access and bandwidth usage. This means that certain devices can be governed to have less access than others. Because of how sophisticated the routing is on a wireless network switch is, it operates a bit slower than a wireless router. In order to fully understand how wireless network switches operate, shoppers must learn about the different types of switches, their ranges, and also know what cables are required to make the switch operate correctly.

Types of Network Switches

A few types of network switches exist to manage different networks. The three main types of network switches offer different levels of control and management. Because of the varying levels of control and functionality available, a user needs to consider what type of network switch is right for his or her home or office. The main types of switches as well as their functions are listed in the table below.

Type of Switch

Function

Fully Managed

Software for configuring settings included; offers greatest level of network control; users can configure settings from the computer or remotely as needed

Partially Managed

Also known as a Smart network switch; has a few adjustable settings; when one setting is configured, device automatically adjusts other settings as needed; easier for average people to use than fully-managed switches

Unmanaged

Cheapest and most common type of network switch; users do not adjust the settings; used in small offices and homes to manage flow of data between devices

As seen in the chart above, the types of wireless network switches range in terms of controllability, from completely customisable to fully automated. When shopping for a wireless network switch, shoppers should be sure to take their own abilities into consideration. Fully-customisable options often require the assistance of a technician to help make the adjustments. People who do not have the staff to manage this device or do not wish to hire someone to set up these configurations should consider one of the other two options, as they are easier to use.

Range

The range of a wireless network switch varies depending on its type, quality, and power. The range can also be affected by the number of walls or objects in the path of the switch and the device it is trying to communicate with. Average wireless network switches have a range of 30 to 60 metres, unobstructed. This range is cut significantly when walls and furniture sit in the transmission path. The signal of a wireless network switch can be boosted with the addition of antennas. Likewise, some network switches include two antennas for better range. Before selecting a network switch, it is important for shoppers to consider the size of the building where the switch must operate and how far apart the devices need to be.

Necessary Cables

Just because it is called a wireless network switch does not mean that no wires are needed. It simply means that wires are not required for the devices to communicate with each other. When shopping for a wireless network switch, it is important for shoppers to make sure that a power cord and Ethernet cable(s) are included. The wireless switch must be plugged into the outlet in order to operate. Wireless network switches have ports for multiple Ethernet cable connections. For initial configuration, a cable is needed to connect the switch to a computer. Once it is set up, the cable becomes redundant. Ethernet cables are needed for printers and other non-wireless devices to operate on the same network.

Select a Brand

Multiple brands are available to choose from when buying a wireless network switch. Among brands, shoppers may notice a wide range of prices and features. Before making a selection, it is important to determine which device is going to perform the best and meet the user's needs. This is done by reading reviews and getting recommendations.

Read Reviews

When new electronic devices are released, several publications and websites test the products and write reviews on how well the product performed. This is often done in the case of wireless network switches, and these reviews help shoppers determine which device is worth the investment and which ones did not perform well. Shoppers who are unfamiliar with brands should take the time to learn about each one to determine which brands have solid reputations. Likewise, reviews help shoppers determine which models are the best, since not all models under the same brand are guaranteed to offer the same level of quality and performance. The top brands for wireless network switches include HP and Cisco.

Get Recommendations

People who are still having trouble making a decision even after evaluating devices and reading reviews, should ask for recommendations. Friends, family, and co-workers who have experience with wireless network switches may be able to offer some assistance. Likewise, eBay forums are full of people who can help shoppers determine which wireless switches may best suit their needs. The forums are filled with both buyers and sellers who are knowledgeable in all fields.

Compare the Wireless Network Switches Available

Once a shopper has made the decision as to which network switches he or she is interested in, it is time to start looking for the devices either in stores, online, or from private sellers. Before making a final decision, it is important for shoppers to evaluate the price and condition of the models they are interested in.

Price

Wireless network switches cover a wide range of price points. Shoppers need to establish a budget before making a selection. While an expensive model may be considered the best of the best, it might be more powerful or too sophisticated for a person's needs. Additionally, shoppers should compare prices from different stores or vendors to ensure that they are getting the best value for money.

Condition

When shopping for wireless network switches online or from private sellers, it is important for shoppers to evaluate the condition of the device. Many of these devices are in used condition. While many of them are still in working condition, it never hurts to be sure. If the product cannot be tested, then the exterior should be examined for wear and tear. There should be minimal signs of this since this device is installed and then left alone while in use. Shoppers should communicate with the seller and ask about the network switch's functionality. Shoppers should also ensure that all included parts are present and accounted for. If a power cord is not included, then shoppers should be sure that they can procure one before deciding to make the purchase.

How to Buy Wireless Network Switches on eBay

If you are looking for the largest selection and the best deals on wireless network switches, then eBay is the place to go. There are thousands of listings on the site, and with sales ending and new items being listed, the inventory is always changing. Shoppers are sure to find what they are looking for on eBay. In order to locate these deals, you must be aware of all of the search features and know how to navigate the eBay site.

Searching for Wireless Network Switches

Use the basic search feature to perform your initial search. If you do not have a particular item in mind, then use a general search to return a larger number of listings. If you do have something specific in mind, then use more specific keywords to describe the item, therefore narrowing the search results. Once these results are returned, select the type, brand, condition, price, and more to narrow the selections even further. If you do not find what you are looking for in the main eBay marketplace, then be sure to check various eBay stores. These eBay stores may have what you are looking for.

Conclusion

The days of needing multiple wires to connect devices to each other are over. With wireless technology, the devices can communicate with each other through wireless signals. A wireless network switch is needed to transmit data from one device to another. This can be from a computer to a printer or a tablet to a modem. With one convenient device, the wires can be eliminated and people have the freedom to move around the building while staying connected. Many types of wireless network switches are available so that there are devices that meet the needs of homes, small business, and large offices alike. People who are unfamiliar with these devices or computer networking may have trouble making a decision as to which device to purchase.

By learning about wireless network switches, the different types available, and their capabilities, shoppers can easily determine which network switches are best for their purposes. No matter what a user's needs are, he or she is bound to find a large selection in a wide range of prices on eBay.

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