There are various types and categories of network switches to address different use cases. These are all:

Manage switches

Managed switches, most commonly used in commercial and enterprise settings, provide IT experts with greater capacity and functionality. To configure a managed switch, use a command-line interface. They enable simple network management protocol proxies to provide information for troubleshooting network issues.

Administrators can also use them to create virtual LANs, dividing the local network into smaller parts. Due to the additional functionality of managed switches, managed switches are much more expensive than unmanaged switches.

Unmanaged switch

The most basic network switches are unmanaged switches, which have fixed configurations. Unmanaged switches only extend the Ethernet connection of the local area network, allowing for additional internet connections to local devices. Unmanaged switches use device MAC addresses to transmit data back and forth. They are usually plug and play, which means that users have almost no alternatives to choose from.

These switches can have default configurations in terms of quality of service, but they cannot be modified. Unmanaged switches are relatively inexpensive, but their poor performance makes them unsuitable for many enterprise applications.

Power on the POE switch

The PoE function can now be used on some network switches, making the installation of IoT devices and other devices faster, simpler, and more secure. PoE is a method of providing DC power to low-power devices through LAN wires. Low power devices connected to network switches with PoE functionality will no longer require power. It is impossible to hide the connection, which avoids the need for additional power sockets and makes the installation appear efficient. Switches with PoE functionality are also safer because of their low power output and intelligent management.

Local area network switch

A local area network switch, or LAN switch, is typically used to connect to the location of a company's internal LAN. It is also known as an Ethernet switch or data switch. Effectively allocating bandwidth can prevent data packets from overlapping when propagating in the network. Before directing the sent packet to the intended destination, the LAN switch sends it first. These switches alleviate network congestion or bottlenecks by only sending data packets to the expected recipients.

Intelligent switch

When a managed switch has characteristics that exceed unmanaged switches but are smaller than traditional managed switches, it is called a smart switch or smart switch. Therefore, they are more advanced than unmanaged switches, but cheaper than fully controllable switches.

Other alternative solutions, such as VLANs, may not provide the functionality of fully controlled switches. However, due to their lower cost, they may be suitable for small networks with limited budgets and fewer functional requirements.