Feeling it hard to find the best managed switch for small businesses due to the immense variety available in the market! There is a very important role played by a managed switch, especially if you are doing some kind of business. You need to stay extra cautious while selecting this unit because your entire network will depend on it. The presence of this equipment will allow you to connect a variety of devices to the network and helps in manipulating them correctly.
Every brand out there claims to be better than the other one, but the reality is very different. There are many features that need to address in the unit before finally shopping for it. Overlooking these things can hurt your things dearly in the long run. However, a common issue most people have is inadequate information about the selection process.
In this post, we are going to solve the needs of buyers by providing them the top models along with the necessary information to make things easier. Check out the complete for making sure nothing gets skipped from your mind.
What are the different types of network switches?
If you are looking for managed switches for the first time, there is a complete chance you don’t know about its various versions. One must be aware of the different kinds of switches available to shop in the market. Here, you can find immense types of switches that might be confusing for few people. Let’s have a look at the different types of network switches that you can use for businesses.
Fixed Configuration Switches
It is one of the most affordable options available and looks extremely appealing for small businesses. They are non-scalable switches due to which it doesn’t cost much to the system and considered adequate for such companies.
A smart switch is made for businesses that demand extra control and customization on their network. These are fixed-configuration switches having top-class features, impressive segmentation, and brilliant security. Large companies generally use them, but the small businesses looking for minimal infrastructure can also go for them.
An unmanaged switch is an extended variation of a fixed configuration that can be installed very quickly. It offers basic connectivity and doesn’t demand any sort of configuration. Although it is the most commonly used in homes, there won’t be an issue while using them in a small business. You should only think about using these switches if the demands are quite small.
This one is the switch about which we have talked in this post with proper explanation. TP-Link and Netgear are the most common brands involved in the manufacturing and selling of these switches. They are known for offering exceptional control and can be customized according to the network. Additionally, it gives impressive flexibility and scalability that is very useful for small as well as large companies.
A modular switch is an exceptional switch that is created for completing the changing requirements of the company. They come with specific settings that allow them to work for a variety of applications to match adapting needs of businesses. It can be adjusted for network analysis, firewalls, and many more as per the requirement.
We believe now you can understand that managed switches are the most suitable option to choose for small businesses. It has all the features that are needed for running such types of companies.
What are the top 10 best managed switches for small businesses?
We should talk about the foremost thing first for which you have arrived on this platform. Our team has made the necessary research and testing to create a list of the top 10 best managed switches for small businesses that can be bought this year. Let’s have a look at all these switches and buy the one you find most appropriate.
1. TP-Link 24 Port Fast Ethernet Switch (editor’s choice)
The product we want to place on this list is this superbly designed Ethernet switch that is known for offering terrific bandwidth. It is equipped with 24 ports that can provide power up to 30W in each port. There are 4 additional Gigabit ports for giving adequate bandwidth to the network. We will say this unit is a terrific option for segmenting a business network along with prioritizing the traffic perfectly.
On top of that, this managed switch can be very helpful for adding solid intelligence to the network that an unmanaged switch can’t offer. The availability of a limited lifetime warranty and 24X7 tech supports from the company ensures you get complete peace of mind. There are plenty of modes available in this model ranging from WEB to CLI for better functioning.
There is a dual firmware image provided to the managed switch for boosting reliability and uptime. This unit supports a solid set of L2 features for better network maintenance. Overall, we will say you will find every feature required for maintaining a network for small-scale businesses.
- Equipped with incredible enterprise-level management
- Compatible with all types of wireless access points
- Make the networking secure
- Give a boost to up-time & reliability
- Only 4-gigabit ports might not be enough for large businesses
- A little bit expensive to buy
2. TP-Link 24 Port Gigabit PoE Switch (runners up)
The second option we want to recommend to the buyers is another option from the TP-Link brand. It is a classic 24 port gigabit switch offering limited lifetime protection and impressive static routing. This unit has an L2+ feature that assists in routing the internal traffic for making the network efficient. It is a smart-managed switch having both WEB and CLI managed nodes for better management.
A small business won’t have to worry in terms of network speed after installation of this switch. The price of this model may be a little bit costly, but the solid performance will ensure that you don’t feel much about the price. You will also find radius authentication ability in this switch that ensures highly robust security strategies.
It is a highly flexible and powerful unit that works comfortably for deploying wireless access points and surveillance cameras. You will be succeeded in expanding the network in a completely flexible way with the presence of this switch. It also has the ability to serve the needs for many years to come.
- Perfect for audio & video applications
- Give highly robust security strategies
- Equipped with a solid set of management features
- Storm control ability for better servicing
- Expensive option to buy
- Description could have been better
3. TP-Link Gigabit Managed Switch (best budget-friendly pick)
We always look for the products that fit in the budget of buyers adequately and this one is definitely created with such a viewing. It is a terrific 5 port gigabit switch that comes with lifetime protection despite being available at an affordable price. All the ports of this switch are properly shielded for better support. The manufacturer has crafted it in 15k jumbo construction for boosting the large data transfers.
There are lots of excellent VLAN features added to the unit for improving the security of the network using traffic segmentation. It is equipped with IGMP snooping for optimizing the different multicast applications. Furthermore, the latency becomes smoother with the availability of port & tag-based QoS for sure.
It is delivered with solid 24/7 tech support for ensuring that you feel comfortable while shopping for the unit. In addition to the office network, this switch is capable to work effectively for home offices without causing any trouble. Enjoy a superior network with this best managed switch. There are very few complaints you will find in this brilliantly designed unit.
- Super easy to use due to play n plug construction
- Give impressive security with VLAN functioning
- Crafted in a very durable mounting design
- Sold at a very low price
- Not for a network with a large number of devices
- Electricity consumption is high
4. Netgear 16-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch GS116E (best under $100)
If you are looking for a switch falls in the mid-price range, then we will suggest shopping the GS116E from the Netgear Company. It is an impressive 16-port unit delivered with a great variety of mounting options. It let the users support both wall and desktop placement adequately. The biggest plus point of this switch is its three-year limited hardware warranty that makes sure you don’t have to worry about manufacturing defects.
This energy-efficient device is capable to optimize the power use that directly reduces the operational cost. The manufacturer tests the unit carefully for ensuring quality and performance at the same time. The availability of this unit will ensure you don’t have to spend too much money on boosting the network speed adequately.
It can be installed directly without any requirement of configuration making this unit more than perfect for small businesses. The company has designed it in such a way that the complete operation stays quieter all the time. Give a stable speed to your network infrastructure with this quality managed switch.
- Extremely super-quiet operation
- Easy to use
- Backed by three years warranty
- Available for shopping at quite an decent price
- Heat sinks not seated properly in few models
- Pretty average design
5. TP-Link 8 Port Gigabit Switch (best 8 port managed switch)
This one is created for individuals looking to shop an 8 port managed switch for their business. It is a properly maintained unit having durable metal construction and dual mounting design. You are going to love this product thanks to its compatibility with IGMP, QoS, LAG, and Vlan among others. Not even a single person can question the position of this best-managed switch for small businesses in this post in any manner.
Despite being an affordable option, the company crafted it in a 15K jumbo frame for boosting the performance while transferring large data. It monitors the network effectively using cable diagnostics, port mirroring, and loop prevention. Other benefits that you can enjoy with this unit are a limited lifetime warranty and solid customer support.
It is a pro-level switch that you can connect with the network with minimum work. The majority of buyers are quite happy with its use and have only provided positive reviews regarding this excellent product. It will be pretty hard to find a flaw in this product considering its price in the market.
- Give a fluent online experience
- Highly sturdy metal casing
- Boosts effective management
- Optimize traffic precisely
- Session timeout setting takes time to understand
- Very average construction
6. Netgear 24-Port Gigabit Ethernet Pro Switch (best for secure configuration)
The next option we want to mention here is this exceptionally designed pro managed switch giving a solid set of benefits to the network. The thing that made it part of this list is its advanced configuration and refined control. The company has designed it pretty brilliantly for allowing the users to set the model in a variety of manners. The availability of pro safe lifetime protection let the users stay free from worries during the purchase.
The representatives of Netgear are available 24X7 for helping the buyers in case of any issue. Its energy efficiency is almost impossible to find in a managed switch available at this price range. It is a powerful model equipped with easy to use interface due to which refined control gets guaranteed. The set-up process gets completed in a matter of seconds allowing you to boost the network speed quite quickly.
On top of that, we know that everyone wants their business to not get disturbed by any sort of noise. That’s why the company has made this model fanless that results in minimizing the noises. In simple words, we will say it is a top-notch managed switch that can be very helpful for giving a solid boost to network speed.
- Highly secure setup
- Equipped with SNMP Management system
- Saves energy during operation
- Create minimum noise
- Time sync isn’t easier to understand
- Sparse logging facilities
7. Netgear 24-Port Gigabit Ethernet Smart Managed Switch (best for advanced security features)
We know there are lots of people who look for models that offer highly advanced security features to protect the business. However, you need to understand that every managed switch available out doesn’t have such features. This model from the Netgear Company comes with brilliant advanced security features for protecting the business brilliantly.
There are 24 Gigabit ports in this switch that are more than enough for an average business. The price is also pretty affordable and doesn’t cost much to the buyers. Another thing that is going to like about this switch is lower electricity consumption that will directly assist in lowering the operational cost.
If we talk about the durability, then it will be very hard to beat this managed switch. The reason is the use of top-quality material that makes sure the switch lasts for years not months. Configuring this switch doesn’t demand any advanced skills due to its easy to understand GUI interface. Investing in this high-quality switch will help you in making the network speed well.
- Whisper-quiet operation
- Super easy to configure
- Extremely durable build
- Monitor network securely
- VLAN configuration demands a little bit of knowledge
- Documentation needs improvement for sure
8. Netgear 8-Port Gigabit Smart Managed Switch (best under $100)
Another model we want to recommend the buyers for connecting multiple devices in a business network is this perfectly crafted managed switch. It is a solid product that can work for setting gaming systems, servers, or even computers with the LAN. Additionally, you won’t have any difficulty to boost the speed of devices like DVRs and HDTVs that can be very useful for individuals in security camera businesses.
While testing this unit, we find that the manufacturer has specially designed it for tackling the needs of small industries. No matter, you talk about its quiet operation or the energy-saving mode, everything will help you to make the business profitable. The management software is available in the unit equipped with easy to understand GUI interface to make jobs easier for the users. All these features are backed by wonderful replacement and lifetime limited hardware guarantee making it a complete product to buy.
Without any doubt, it is the best switch having multiple mounting options to add extra convenience. You can think about either placing the unit on the wall or place it on the desktop whatever suits your needs adequately. Buy this nicely designed unit available to shop at a decent price range.
- Secure network effectively
- Equipped with different mounting options
- Backed by pro-safe lifetime protection
- Can be shopped at affordable price
- Not capable to measure the actual power
- Upgrading firmware is very difficult
9. Linksys Business LGS318 (best 16 port managed switch)
There is no way that we can miss this incredibly designed managed switch that is equipped with 16-gigabit ports. It is a solid unit that has provided incredible performance and reliability during the testing process. Our team found it pretty amazing thanks to the easy configuration and management that allows even a beginner to set this product conveniently. \
It is equipped with highly advanced network security that everyone wishes to have for their business. Finding a managed switch with 16 ports isn’t a difficult task, but this one is highly impressive and capable to serve the needs for many years to come. The availability of IPv6 support makes things better for the network without compromising in terms of online threats.
You won’t have to compromise in terms of security, speed, and management in any manner. There are lots of amazing QoS features in the unit that prioritize the system with amazing possibilities. Furthermore, the network can operate with the highest efficiency due to IGMP snooping. That’s not all, it comes with Spanning Tree Protocol and Storm Control that can boost the network brilliantly.
- Give advanced network support
- Easy to configure & manage
- Give highly proven performance
- Energy-efficient device
- The user interface is a little bit sloppy
- Demand firmware upgrade often
10. Cisco SG350-10 Managed Switch (best for technical network)
The list will end with this impressively managed switch from the Cisco brand whose technical capabilities can’t be tested. It is wonderful equipment delivered to the customers with a limited lifetime warranty and technical support to fix software issues during the warranty period. It is easy to use unit having compatibility with zero-touch deployment, auto smart ports, and auto-discovery. You will find its web-based authentication exceptional enough to set the unit according to the business needs.
There will be endless possibilities provided by this excellent switch for serving your needs brilliantly. It is a simple switch having solid network management tools for a quick set-up process. Furthermore, this switch is very flexible having customizable switching and routing for making the network better.
Its integrated security makes sure your network stays away from all types of breaches along with proper protection to privacy. Investing in this best managed switch is going to give you greater returns for sure. We are happy with the performance of this unit and happily recommend it to the buyers.
- Equipped with an integrated security system
- Highly customized switching
- Address technical needs adequately
- Simple to use management system
- Port mirroring features is below average
- Few complaints about missing accessories
How to set up a managed switch?
There are certain steps that need to be followed carefully while setting up a managed switch. It varies a little bit from one to another but normally stays the same in general. Have a look at all these steps so you can follow them carefully:
The first thing you have to do is logging into the interface of the switch. It can be done by going into the managed page where all these things can be done. Information about log in is also provided on the manual of the switch you buy.
Once you have completed the log in process, there is a need to tap on the “Routing option” followed by VLAN and VLAN Static Routing Wizard. It might be with a different name depending on the model you have shopped. Here, you have to add important information that will be mentioned in the next step.
After entering the routing wizard system, it will ask you to enter certain details like VLAN ID, network mask, and IP address. Broadcast Domain is represented by VLAN ID that can be found by right click on NIC and selecting properties. Here, you will find the VLAN ID in the advanced tab. An IP address can be checked on the properties of the network along with the network mask.
Now, you have to choose the ports required to be added to the VLAN. The ports having traffic more than one VLANS are marked as tagged (T) while the ones that are connected to end devices are marked as untagged (U).
After completing the fourth step, you have to tap on the apply option. If you are prompting with the Global IP routing mode window, there will be a need to click on the “OK” option. Repeat these steps if there is a need to create more VLANs.
What are the benefits of a managed switch for a business?
There is a considerable amount of advantages offered by the managed switches for businesses that we don’t realize unless installed. Brief information about the potential benefits is provided below:
An unmanaged switch always has security risks in the form of online viruses and similar threats. However, the presence of a managed switch will make sure unauthorized access gets prevented due to port security.
Arguably, this one is the most impressive feature in a managed switch. It gives the power to protect the business network during connection failure by giving an alternative solution for traffic. It is something that lacks in the unmanaged switches.
A managed witch prioritizes the LAN traffic that results in giving consistent performances for important functions in a network. Further, machine malfunction can also be avoided due to this.
Segmenting Network Traffic
The traffic of the network can be wonderfully segmented by installing a managed switch. It will give great assistance in reducing the unnecessary traffic in the main areas.
How we have selected the best managed switch for small business? Buying Guide
There are lots of characteristics everyone needs to address before selecting a managed switch, especially if it is a business network. Don’t worry, you don’t have to call a technician for making the choice as our team has mentioned those factors in detail below:
The foremost thing you have to address in a managed switch is its speed. It will determine whether you require a 10/100, gigabit, or 10 G switch. Gigabit versions are known for providing better scalability, whereas the 10/100 switches are considered a cost-effective one.
No matter, which type of switch you choose, go for the one that provides a little bit of additional bandwidth.
The number of ports needed in a network depends on the number of devices you have. It is very easy to determine the number of ports as all you need to do is checking the devices.
We suggest going with the models having at least two extra ports than the requirement by keeping the future in mind.
The next thing you have to check in the managed switch is the form factor carefully. Well, it depends greatly on the personal preferences of the buyer instead of the requirement. If you want to save space, then it is ideal to either for a wall-mountable or a desktop version.
On the other hand, a rackmount managed switch is the smart choice to make if you want to integrate it into an existing server room.
The model you choose should have the required set of features for sure. Generally, they vary from one model to another so it is better to stay careful. Our team has tried to mention the ones that can fulfill the business needs adequately.
All the common features like traffic management, access controls, troubleshooting, etc. are tested carefully before adding to this list.
FAQs- Best Managed Switch for Small Business
1. Is managed switch useful for a business network?
Installing a managed switch will let you manage and configure the LAN settings quite exceptionally. It will prioritize the different channels and even assists in developing new virtual networks.
2. Is managed switch worthy of buying?
Managed switches are a perfect option to connect a variety of devices in a single network that can even include wireless access points and IP cameras. It will perform all these things without affecting the performance of the network. It can turn out to be very useful for a business network.
3. Do I need a managed switch for my business?
If you have lots of devices in your system, then you can think about installing a managed switch for boosting the network device. Configuring networks become very easier with a managed switch, even if there are tons of devices in the system.
4. Which one to choose- a managed or an unmanaged switch for business?
Well, it depends on what kinds of needs you have. If you follow the advice of our experts, we will suggest using a managed switch due to its better control. The performance and security of a managed switch are much better when compared with an unmanaged switch.
5. How many switches can be connected together?
Increasing the number of switches in a single network can result in chaos. The expert advice is never connecting more than three managed switches on the single network for getting the desired results.
These are the most terrific options that we believe are capable to deal with the technical needs adequately. We suggest you should choose the best managed switch for small business that suits the budget and requirements properly. During the testing phase, our team finds that these models offer the proper connectivity and performance for giving a solid experience.
If you still have any query regarding managed switches, please write about it to us or mention it in the comment section.