Top 8 Ethernet Switches

Cisco Ethernet SwitchesAruba SwitchesMikroTik Routers and SwitchesMeraki MS SwitchesUbiquiti UniFi SwitchesJuniper EX Series Ethernet SwitchesArista Networks PlatformNETGEAR Switches
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    The solution is extremely stable. It is a scalable solution, and we have more than 35 customers who use it.
  2. leader badge
    Aruba's SameNet platform allows for a seamless transition from the data center to access switches, unlike Cisco, which has different operating systems for each.
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    Ethernet Switches
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  4. leader badge
    The deployment process of MikroTik routers and switches is very convenient since it is not command-driven and comes with a graphical user interface, making it much easier to operate.
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    The solution is scalable and can accommodate as many devices as needed.The most beneficial features of Meraki MS Switches are the visibility and convenience they provide.
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    It offers very good control. The access point in Ubiquiti UniFi Switches is very good.
  7. It is a scalable solution. I like the VLAN capabilities, and the Junos interface is easy to use.
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  9. They support open standard features.The most valuable aspect of Arista Networks products is their ease of configuration, especially when compared to Cisco products. When we implement advanced features for data centers such as BGP EVPN and VXLAN, Arista's configuration process is similar to that of Cisco's process, but at the same time it is simply much easier, clearer, and more understandable.
  10. Netgear switches are highly reliable. We haven't done anything particularly sophisticated with them. The solution is stable.

Advice From The Community

Read answers to top Ethernet Switches questions. 706,775 professionals have gotten help from our community of experts.
Rony_Sklar - PeerSpot reviewer
Community Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees

Hi peers,

What sort of network would benefit from switch stacking? Are there any drawbacks to taking this approach? 

What would be an alternative to stack switches?

Ender Kefoglu - PeerSpot reviewer
Ender KefogluThere are two ways of connecting multiple switches together: a) Cascade: You… more »
4 Answers
Eric Biller - PeerSpot reviewer
Eric Biller
Network Systems Administrator at County Of Summit Board Of DD
Hello,  We are redoing Wi-Fi and the related Ethernet switches to support it. We're moving from Cisco environment and considering Aruba 515, w/CX6400 Cisco Meraki or possibly an on-prem Wi-Fi controller, Arista Mojo, or Extreme Networks ExtremeCloud IQ. Any suggestions? 
Read More »
Aws Al-Dabbagh - PeerSpot reviewer
Aws Al-DabbaghI suggest Aruba. We've considered the same upgrade (APs + Switches) and I've… more »
5 Answers
Mesfin Workneh - PeerSpot reviewer
Mesfin Workneh
User at Ministry of Finance


Until now, I have been using a Cisco Catalyst 2960 switch. But now I'm considering changing it to a D-Link one. 

Would you recommend me doing this change? If so, why?

Thank you!

Luis Apodaca - PeerSpot reviewer
Luis ApodacaHello Mesfin It depends on the real scenario, the cisco 2960 is a very good… more »
5 Answers
Stephen Larcara - PeerSpot reviewer
Stephen Larcara
Sr. Toll Systems Engineer at a consultancy with 10,001+ employees
I am trying to determine if we need to specify and justify the cost for FM200 fire suppression. Client has about 24 sites each with a computer equipment room containing anywhere from 3 to 5 racks with 3-4 Dell and HP servers, CIsco network switches, patch panels, UPS and batteries. Many of these...
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Richard Artes - PeerSpot reviewer
Richard ArtesNo, i've been working it IT for 20 years and never seen a fire in a server room… more »
9 Answers
Sandeep Pandit - PeerSpot reviewer
Sandeep Pandit
Heading IT at Hero steels Ltd

Hi community,

What are your recommended Layer 2 and Layer 3 switches (apart from the Cisco ones)? My main consideration is performance.


Cesar Reza - PeerSpot reviewer
Cesar RezaIt depends on your budget, but here is a list: -Extreme -Ruckus -Aruba… more »
10 Answers
Rony_Sklar - PeerSpot reviewer
Community Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees

What are port forwarding and port triggering typically used for?

Michael  J. Carter - PeerSpot reviewer
Michael J. CarterPort forwarding alone requires your main computer to have greater security… more »
2 Answers
Rony_Sklar - PeerSpot reviewer
Community Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Managed switches allow a much higher degree of control over one's network. However, they are obviously more expensive and need a professional who understands how to configure them. What criteria need to be considered when a business is deciding between managed versus unmanaged switches, and what ...
Read More »
reviewer1122879 - PeerSpot reviewer
reviewer1122879Who has the best skillset on hand today in the future to manage the devices… more »
4 Answers

Ethernet Switches Articles

Ariel Lindenfeld - PeerSpot reviewer
Ariel Lindenfeld
Director of Community at PeerSpot
We’re launching an annual User’s Choice Award to showcase the most popular B2B enterprise technology products and we want your vote! If there’s a technology solution that’s really impressed you, here’s an opportunity to recognize that. It’s easy: go to the PeerSpot voting site, complete the brie...
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Evgeny Belenky - PeerSpot reviewer
Evgeny Belenky
PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Hi peers, We're happy to share our new bi-weekly Community Spotlight with you. Here you'll find recent contributions by PeerSpot community members: questions, articles and trending discussions. Trending See what your peers are discussing at the moment! What to choose: an endpoint antiviru...
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Evgeny Belenky - PeerSpot reviewer
Evgeny Belenky
PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Hi peers, This is our new Community Spotlight that includes recent contributions (questions, articles and discussions) by the PeerSpot community members. Trending Is RPA beneficial for a healthcare organization? With the increasing risk of cyber attacks in the west, due to the war in Ukra...
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Evgeny Belenky - PeerSpot reviewer
Evgeny Belenky
PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Hi community members, Here is our new Community Spotlight for YOU. We publish it to help you catch up on recent contributions by community members. Do you find it useful? Please comment below! Trending Top HCI in 2022 What are the main differences between XDR and SIEM? Articles Top ...
Read More »
Netanya Carmi - PeerSpot reviewer
Netanya Carmi
Content Manager at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Ethernet switches connect computers and laptops to a local area network (LAN). Organizations can connect several switches to boost the ethernet’s capacity. We asked PeerSpot users what they consider to be most valuable when looking for an ethernet switch. Some of the answers included: comp...
Read More »

Ethernet Switches Topics

How does an Ethernet switch work?

Ethernet switches ensure data packages arrive at their intended destination by connecting devices on a network. Regular network switches include ports up to 28 devices, while corporate Ethernet switches can offer 128 connections.

Network hubs use switches to expand the bandwidth capacity users can share on the network. Large networks may include a number of switches connecting several groups of computer systems together. To build a business network, you need switches to bridge between devices. The switches connect to a router, which enables an Internet connection for the devices.

Some of the activities Ethernet switches can do include:

  • Receiving packets: The switch works at the data level. Connected devices create data packets that are housed in an Ethernet frame. Frames are sequences of information that Ethernet networks move between computers. Typically, a frame includes the source address - the origin of the frame - and the destination address, where the data should go.
  • Processing identifying data: When the switch receives the frame, it reads the identifying information (such as origin and destination) and decides which ports to use so that the data will reach its destination.
  • Sending packets: Once the switch decodes where to forward the packet, it sends it to the destination device. The destination device then receives and decodes the packet.

Ethernet switches provide flexibility for non-wireless networks by connecting a large number of devices to a network. This enables network administrators to monitor traffic and to manage user access. It also allows for communication between devices.

What's the difference between an Ethernet splitter and a switch?

Ethernet splitting is when you split an Ethernet cable into several cables. A splitter is a small plug device with three Ethernet ports, two on one side and one on the other. While they are cheap and this seems like a simple solution, they “divide” the data throughput, reducing it with each split. This will likely affect the performance of your connected devices. A maximum of two devices can be connected per cable.

Ethernet switches are a better option for anything bigger than a home network. You use one port to connect the switch to the router via Ethernet, and then you connect the devices to the remaining ports, like a hub. Even better, the switch decodes the data received, learns where it has to go, and sends it through the right port. Since the switch enables the sending and receiving of data at the same time between devices, it results in a faster network.

Do Ethernet switches reduce speed?

Usually, the opposite is true. Ethernet switches connect different devices to the network and between themselves, enabling them to send and receive data at the same time. This increases the response speed.

There can be cases, however, where you may risk slowing your network. For instance, if the group of machines communicates mostly with each other, there shouldn’t be any problems with performance. But if 100% of the traffic goes to another switch, your uplink speed can be significantly reduced.

Features of Ethernet Switches

When choosing an Ethernet switch, you should look for these must-have features:

  • Speed: Speed requirements are growing exponentially. Switches are available in several configurations: Fast Ethernet (10/100 Mbps), Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000 Mbps), Ten Gigabit (10/100/1000/10,000Mbps).
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE): This feature enables the switch to transmit power and data through the Ethernet cable at the same time. Thus, you don’t need a separate power supply or cable, which reduces costs.
  • Stackable switches: Scalability needs make this feature very important for business networks when there is a need for connecting multiple devices. Stackable switch technology simplifies the availability of the network by treating all switches as single logical devices.

In addition to basic features like receiving, inspecting, and sending packets through the right port, some Ethernet switches also include some of these popular additional features:

  • Storing and forwarding switches: The Ethernet switch reads the data packet incoming through a port. The switch then checks the frame for errors and lets it pass only if it is error-free.
  • Port mirroring: This feature provides a copy of the data from one of the ports of a switch to another port. You can configure the mirrored and mirror port of the switch.
  • Auto-sensing: The switch automatically identifies the transmission rate of a signal.
  • Auto-negotiation: This allows devices to negotiate and agree upon a transmission rate before the first data transmission.
Benefits of Ethernet Switches

Ethernet switches help organizations maximize the efficiency of the available cable. Here are some of the benefits of adding Ethernet switches:

  1. Reliable connectivity - Switched Ethernet (aka managed switches) helps reduce network downtime by reducing latency. Additionally, since managed switches can be customized, organizations can diversify the cable route or add more switches in order to maximize reliability.

  1. Enhanced security - Data breaches are becoming more and more prevalent, so keeping your network secure is critical. Managed Ethernet switches control the information going through a network. This allows only the necessary information to pass through, after verifying that it is coming from a trusted device.

  1. Scalability - Switches are easy to scale up, and therefore are an attractive solution for organizations that are growing quickly. Ethernet switches allow for private switching over public networks so they can adjust to future growth.

  1. Application agnostic - Most managed Ethernet switches are application agnostic. This means organizations can integrate the applications needed to run their business, such as cloud-based services, file sharing, or bookkeeping.

Buyer's Guide
Ethernet Switches
May 2023
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco, Aruba Networks, MikroTik and others in Ethernet Switches. Updated: May 2023.
706,775 professionals have used our research since 2012.