If we need flexibility to react to an increase in the components of a network, we are looking for the help of a switch, which will allow us to interconnect all the components through Ethernet cables.
In this way, we can achieve a network that can separate traffic with confidential information and adapt it according to the designed architecture. In addition, the work carried out by the switch should not be confused with that of the router or with a hub, although they have similar aspects
In this post we will teach you what a WiFi switch is, as well as all the aspects and benefits that exist when we lean towards the incorporation of this device.
What is a WiFi Switch and what is this device for?
Many people are confused between a router and a switchAlthough it is true that they have similar functions and their physical appearance is also, but there are important tasks that this device performs. To delve a little more about what a switch is, we will first have to distinguish these two technological equipment.
The router is the device that is responsible for carrying and bringing the required information between the components of a wireless network through radio frequencies. You get the Internet signal through the modem.
Instead, the switch is the team in charge of connecting the different devices that can access the network through a cable. In turn, it is connected to the router so that it can transmit the Internet signal for all those work points that are connected to it.
A hierarchical network is formed in which the different nodes depend on this device. That is the function of the switch is to connect different devices to the network in a wired way.
In this way it is possible to minimize interference in data transmission, thus generating an increase in connection quality. Therefore, a printer, a computer and any device can have an access to the Internet or any other data that can be transmitted between them.
What aspects should you take into account before choosing a good Switch for our network?
There are different kinds of switch that we can find in the market, each of them are characterized by different numbers of ports as well as by the capacity they have to transmit the connection in a fast way.
When we do not have specific requirements, we can choose according to the following parameters:
Number of ports, the most common switches are those that come between 5 and 8 ports, so if they do meet the expectations we have they will walk very well. Keep in mind that one of those ports will be used to connect to the routerTherefore, when we talk about a 5-port switch, we can only use 4 of them.
Existence of Gigabit Ethernet portIn this way we guarantee a very good speed so that the devices can be connected when we have fiber optics. If we need a lower speed, which is not at all recommended at present, we can connect it with a 10/100 router, which will considerably limit the connection.
It must have the possibility of being configurable, since the models exist “Closed”.
For slightly more complex cases, the switch has to allow the architecture of the networks to be hierarchical but also extensible and not to oppose the different firewalls that the network may have.
What are the benefits of using a device as an access point to our switched network?
When we add a switch to our network, we can obtain the benefits mentioned below:
- Generates greater bandwidth for those devices that can access Internet browsing, since it is not divided as with other kinds of technological equipment.
- Performance improvement, as well also security that exist between the connections by causing them to be merged.
- Increase the speed of data output between the interconnection of the different components of the network.
- The waiting time is much less when using one of these kits.
- We can get a greater reach when we can configure the switch.
What characteristics should the equipment that we use as a switch have?
As with all things computing, not all the equipment that we can use may be suitable for our needs.
According to this, we will analyze what are the characteristics that a switch should have:
- Must be compatible with configuration methods that exist in the network architecture. In addition, it must also be programmed so that it can connect without conflicts with the router.
- Have to allow network separation for those that transmit confidential data, so that the rest of the other networks cannot access them.
- A little related to the previous topic is that, must allow VLAN implementation, to be able to separate networks.
- A very important issue required of a good swicth is that It must allow the improvement of the perimeter security of the network through physical protection or any other method.
- Must consent greater reliability that approves us having a network availability that generates an optimization of resources.
Steps to mount a switch in our WiFi network to serve more computers
As we have talked about previously, there are different kinds of switches, some for domestic use and others much more complicated that will depend on the architecture of the network.
Configuring a switch with 5 to 8 ports for domestic use does not require great technical knowledge, since the switch is considered in the network as “transparent” because it does not have an IP address assigned by the router.
In the following paragraphs we will show you the steps we need to be able to mount a switch in our WiFi network. They are:
The first step we are going to take is to connect our computer with an Ethernet cable to the router. PFor this, we choose the appropriate port and insert the connector into it.
In the same way we will do it with our router.
Switches, like many devices, work with a voltage between 210 to 230 volts, therefore, we can connect it directly to the electrical installation of our home without any type of transformer.
That is, in this step what we will do is connect it to the electrical power of the house.
Incorporation of devices
It is time to build our mesh or star network, for this we will have to connect each of the computers with the router.
These devices can be computers, printers, televisions and any other that we need to be on our network.
The same does not happen when we need a switch a little more specialized where it is already you will need an IP address of it and also other characteristics.
In this case, a professional or much more advanced technological knowledge will be needed to perform this task.
How to configure an access point in our local network?
In order to convert a device into an access point, through which there will be heavy traffic and then distribute it to the different components of the network, steps must be taken so that the configuration does not generate conflicts.
That is, generate an access point, means creating the gateway that a network will have to access the Internet in a compatible way between different nodes.
In order to configure we will follow this guide:
- We enter the router configuration, through our browser we write in the address bar “192.168.1.1”.
- Next, we dump the data from user and password.
- We go to the left part of the configuration panel. For this case we will use a brand router “Tp link”. It is necessary to clarify that, according to the brands, some names of the commands change, but not the configuration itself.
- We’re going to “WiFi Settings”.
- We write in SSID the same one that the router has and the one that will have the access point.
- In “Password” We will do exactly the same as in SSID, we will put the same for the new gateway and the router.
- We will do the same steps to “Security” Y “Encryption”.
- In “Channel”, we will have to be careful at this point because it is the one that will differentiate the entire configuration. We will write different ones for the router and the gateway.
- We choose “To accept”.
Can installing a switch cause my internet speed to drop or is it just a myth?
Many people believe that by using the switch what it does is interconnect devices to form a network and at the same time divides the bandwidth between the different components to which it connects, just like a hub.
This is not the case, as long as there is a Gigabit Ethernet port connected to a router with a fiber optic connection, for example.
If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will also be of great help to more members of the community. Thank you! 😉