Network switches are essential components in digital networks and are used to control network traffic and reduce congestion. Numerous models are available all of which offer a wide range of features. Network switches need to be configured to work correctly, although certain switches have self-configuration capabilities.
The configuration and status of network switches can be ascertained by connecting a PC to the switch's console port or through a web viewer. Unfortunately, this is a relatively tedious process that can require commands via hyper terminal, putty, or other complex methods. A faster, more efficient way to assess network switch capabilities and view switch configuration is to use a specialized digital network tester.
Switch Capabilities and Configuration
All switches perform the same basic function of managing traffic to and from a group of internet-capable devices identified by their specific IP and MAC addresses. Additionally, some switches, known as managed switches, offer a host of features not available on simple unmanaged switches. Also, switches may have different link speed capabilities and incorporate the ability for Power over the Ethernet (POE) to power remote devices.
In order to function properly, the switch configuration must be correct. This includes the switch IP address and subnet as well as setting a default gateway to direct traffic addressed to unknown IP addresses. Additionally, the time needs to be set to facilitate troubleshooting. Continue reading