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Question Are Switches Basically Plug n Play?

Caveman

Platinum Member
Nov 18, 1999
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I'm pretty sure the switch in my system that feeds the house is non functional. I tried to unplug/plug to reset and no dice... Every connection in the house that's tied to the switch is non functional, so I have to assume a bad switch. Is there any other thing I should do before buying a new switch?

Also, can anyone recommend a good, simple, 16 port reliable gigabit ethernet switch??
 

In2Photos

Senior member
Mar 21, 2007
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If the switch is an unmanaged switch then it usually is just plug and play. Managed switches tend to be more expensive. Common choice for a 16 port switch is Netgear.
 

Caveman

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Nov 18, 1999
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Is switching brands or something going to be an issue or will it just pull the old one out, hook the new one up and PRESTO! we're back in business?
 

SamirD

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If it was working before and isn't now (no link lights), then the switch might be bad. But if you are still getting link lights, the switch may be fine. Another point even if the switch is bad is that a lot of switches have lifetime warranties so you can get a new one for free.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
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Sep 28, 2005
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Is switching brands or something going to be an issue or will it just pull the old one out, hook the new one up and PRESTO! we're back in business?
Depends if its managed or not.
But under most cases, it should work presto out of the box.

Even most managed ones will default out of the box with all ports on VLAN1 and work as a dummy switch until you set it up, if you ever need to set it up past being a dummy switch.
There are a few exceptions, but im sure your not going to be looking at $600+ switch.
 

mv2devnull

Golden Member
Apr 13, 2010
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Every connection in the house that's tied to the switch is non functional, so I have to assume a bad switch.
On typical home router acts as DHCP server that provides network configuration to devices.

Since you probably have Router---Switch---Devices
either the switch or the connection between router and switch being broken leads to the devices without proper configuration and route to the router.
If it was working before and isn't now (no link lights), then the switch might be bad. But if you are still getting link lights, the switch may be fine.
If some connected ports lack link lights, then those ports or cable to them is suspect.

If switch has no power (light) at all and has external power supply, then that power supply is a primary suspect.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
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Don't really recommend TRENDnet... ive had a lot of there stuff fail.

My first pick for dummy switches would always be netgear:

followed very closely second by Zyxel.

and don't even look at Tplink... i put them at the bottom of the chain in networking gear.

But again listen to what mv2devnull wrote.
Makes sure your router is not the issue, as if it is, and its not passing out IP address though DHCP, then it would make it look like the switch is dead when infact it could be the router.
 

JackMDS

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 25, 1999
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Don't really recommend TRENDnet... ive had a lot of there stuff fail.
Prosumer Tech turned into a Bizarre industry that based on “Personalty Disorder” features.

When you buy Computer/Laptop, Video Cards from a brand name you know what is the major chipset inside.

When you buy Network related hardware, in almost all cases it either very hard to find what in, and many times it is impossible unless you buy and open the case of the hardware.

There are Not many manufacturers of Core chipset Networking hardware. As an example there is only 6-8 manufacturer of Wireless core chipset. All the hundreds of manufacturers that use Wireless in their hardware use one of them. The chipset comes with OEM Drivers/Software. The more capable manufacturers have programmers that change the software it to look as their Brand name thing. Very few improve a little the software, others at best just change the facade.

Years ago, I use to buy Switches, Wireless cards and other Network hardware (from Netgear, Linksys and some others) and they were OK. Then many of these product were not so good to begin with. Well, to make more money they change some of the product to less expensive and so good chipset while keeping the product box looking the same with a similar product name.

There is a Wireless entity that most of us used to stay away from, so they bought Linksys from Cisco, and thus change stranding in the Networking community.

During the last years I started to buy Trendnet switches. I have close to 20 of them, some are installed in relatively harsh weather condition. All of them chugging 24/7 and I never had a failure.

So ... if you ask me...

Jack Did you ever experience failing of Netgear switch? My answer is yes

Jack Did you ever experiences failing of TrendNet switch? My answer is No

Is this means that This Month TrendNet is Better than Netgear, or vice verso. I really do not have a definite answer.


:cool:



 

MtnMan

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2004
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A managed or unmanaged switch is plug-n-play, as a basic switch. Out of the box, plug it in, connect devices, and it will forward traffic.

If you are running VLAN, VLAN trunking, setting up port security, etc., then you need a managed switch.
 

Caveman

Platinum Member
Nov 18, 1999
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Well, while I love tinkering with PC gear, I'm the least knowledgeable about Networking. Of the 16 ports, 11 outputs on one side and one incoming off my router at the other end of the 11 (with 4 spaces ) in between. I took the input and switched it over one port and the switch was functional again (all 11 drops in the hose started working). This made me wonder, are all 16 ports ins/outs and it doesn't matter where I put the single input? In other words can I put the input right in the middle and 6 drops on one side and 5 on the other?

My conclusion off the aforementioned is that I had a blown port.

Still looking to get a new switch - sounds like Netgear or TrendNet are the ones to consider. So... But... Since 2GB internet is coming to my neighborhood, I'll go with a faster that 1 GB switch. Are there 2GB versions or do they just jump to 10GB versions.

Thanks to the person that gave me the link for a recommended 1GB version which I may still opt for. I figure if the 16 port 1GB NEtgear switch I'm using is starting to get flakey, I want a replacement ready to go.
 

Hans Gruber

Golden Member
Dec 23, 2006
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Don't really recommend TRENDnet... ive had a lot of there stuff fail.

My first pick for dummy switches would always be netgear:

followed very closely second by Zyxel.

and don't even look at Tplink... i put them at the bottom of the chain in networking gear.

But again listen to what mv2devnull wrote.
Makes sure your router is not the issue, as if it is, and its not passing out IP address though DHCP, then it would make it look like the switch is dead when infact it could be the router.
I have an 8-port Netgear metal box unmanaged switch and a TP-Link 8-port unmanaged switch. Both work perfectly. The TP-Link has a lifetime warranty and the Netgear has a 3 year warranty. The consensus is that TP-Link is the best 8-port unmanaged switch on the market. Look around forums, amazon reviews and other places. My opinion is that if you can get either switch between $15-$18, who cares which is better. I like Netgear, years ago they were awful but made huge strides in performance and reliability in the last 5 or 6 years.

I have a TP-Link Mesh network that is bullet proof. It never drops, it always reconnects within seconds if the internet goes down. It has a green light indicating when everything is up and running. I have had mostly TP-Link powerline kits and one netgear powerline kit. All worked very well.

I seem to be the only person who suggests using a stand alone gigabit unmanaged switch in lieu of the built in switch on wireless routers.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
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Sep 28, 2005
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Are there 2GB versions or do they just jump to 10GB versions.
yeah there are, but its pretty pricey atm.
2.5gbe switchs are at point where vendors are like:
"lets charge enterprise level prices for consumer grade.. oh i mean, we'll call it enthusiast class switch".

I could only find one from trendnet but i am sure dlink/netgear also makes one too.
2.5gbe is still new, and hence its classed as enthusiast class, which makes it as pricey as enterprise stuff.
 
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Caveman

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So... Concept question: Does a switch only have a port or 2 dedicated to input or are all ports I/O. Can I use more than one port as an input? Or is there only one poprt (any port) that can be designated as the input making the rest (by definition) the outputs?
 

killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
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So... Concept question: Does a switch only have a port or 2 dedicated to input or are all ports I/O. Can I use more than one port as an input? Or is there only one poprt (any port) that can be designated as the input making the rest (by definition) the outputs?
doesnt matter, some might have a higher speed for the input tho
 

ch33zw1z

Lifer
Nov 4, 2004
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So... Concept question: Does a switch only have a port or 2 dedicated to input or are all ports I/O. Can I use more than one port as an input? Or is there only one poprt (any port) that can be designated as the input making the rest (by definition) the outputs?
Some switches may have a dedicated uplink port, but it's been a while since I've seen a dumb switch like that. However, don't run two links between the same switches, or you end up with problems.
 
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mv2devnull

Golden Member
Apr 13, 2010
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Some switches may have a dedicated uplink port, but it's been a while since I've seen a dumb switch like that.
I remember 100Mbps switches that had a physical selector for one port so that port could be connected to "upstream" switch without a crossover cable. 1Gbps did add auto MDI/MDIX that made crossover cabling unnecessary. https://community.fs.com/blog/mdi-vs-mdix-and-auto-mdimdix-basis.html

Switches do not have "input" and "output"; every port is both in and out.

"Edge" switch could have, for example, 1Gbps ports for devices and 10Gbps (fiber) port for connecting to "backbone" switch. They are still all "in and out" ports.
 
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ch33zw1z

Lifer
Nov 4, 2004
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I remember 100Mbps switches that had a physical selector for one port so that port could be connected to "upstream" switch without a crossover cable. 1Gbps did add auto MDI/MDIX that made crossover cabling unnecessary. https://community.fs.com/blog/mdi-vs-mdix-and-auto-mdimdix-basis.html

Switches do not have "input" and "output"; every port is both in and out.

"Edge" switch could have, for example, 1Gbps ports for devices and 10Gbps (fiber) port for connecting to "backbone" switch. They are still all "in and out" ports.
I remember one that had a mdi/mdix button on it too, so you did or didn't have to use a crossover cable
 
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mv2devnull

Golden Member
Apr 13, 2010
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Since 2GB internet is coming to my neighborhood, I'll go with a faster that 1 GB switch.
Yes, no, maybe.
PC --1-- switch --2-- router --3-- ISP --4-- INET
If you want your PC to talk with a server in Internet at 2Gbps, then every part of the path (end to end) must support it.
Neighborhood is link #3 and it requires that also your router can handle the higher speed.
If you want link #2 to be at least 2Gbps, then switch and router need faster than 1Gbps ports.
If you want your PC (and other devices) to have a faster link, then they too (and corresponding ports on the switch) need upgrade.
The #4 is most likely the bottleneck and the one you cannot affect.

Or do you actually have:
--- router --- modem === ISP ---
which has yet more components to consider.
 

Caveman

Platinum Member
Nov 18, 1999
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I remember 100Mbps switches that had a physical selector for one port so that port could be connected to "upstream" switch without a crossover cable. 1Gbps did add auto MDI/MDIX that made crossover cabling unnecessary. https://community.fs.com/blog/mdi-vs-mdix-and-auto-mdimdix-basis.html

Switches do not have "input" and "output"; every port is both in and out.

"Edge" switch could have, for example, 1Gbps ports for devices and 10Gbps (fiber) port for connecting to "backbone" switch. They are still all "in and out" ports.
Ok, very helpful. So, in theory, I could take a 16 port switch and pump 15 different router inputs to it and have a single output? I'd always just assumed the only way it could be used was with 1 or 2 designated "input ports" with 14-15 outputs... Neato.


Do tell! Is that the Comcast "Pro" Gigabit (Metro-E under a consumer branding), or something else entirely? Is it FIOS or Frontier?
Believe it or not, Comcrap, ATT and Google are all in my neighborhood offering 2 GB fiber... For over 2 years now, I've been paying $42/mo for 1GB via ATT. As far as ISP service life is good.

Yes, no, maybe.
PC --1-- switch --2-- router --3-- ISP --4-- INET
If you want your PC to talk with a server in Internet at 2Gbps, then every part of the path (end to end) must support it.
Neighborhood is link #3 and it requires that also your router can handle the higher speed.
If you want link #2 to be at least 2Gbps, then switch and router need faster than 1Gbps ports.
If you want your PC (and other devices) to have a faster link, then they too (and corresponding ports on the switch) need upgrade.
The #4 is most likely the bottleneck and the one you cannot affect.

Or do you actually have:
--- router --- modem === ISP ---
which has yet more components to consider.
Fiber line comes into the house at whatever speed I purchase. Current choice is 1GB or 2 GB. Main line goes to a Modem that feeds a router. The Router Feeds a switch that feeds a bunch of hardware drops in the house with Cat 5e cable. Assumption is that I would upgrade everything to be "2GB capable"... I was worried that the Cat 5E line in my house (built 2007) wouldn't be fast enough, but I saw the following article and was tickled:

 

MtnMan

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2004
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I remember 100Mbps switches that had a physical selector for one port so that port could be connected to "upstream" switch without a crossover cable. 1Gbps did add auto MDI/MDIX that made crossover cabling unnecessary. https://community.fs.com/blog/mdi-vs-mdix-and-auto-mdimdix-basis.html

Switches do not have "input" and "output"; every port is both in and out.

"Edge" switch could have, for example, 1Gbps ports for devices and 10Gbps (fiber) port for connecting to "backbone" switch. They are still all "in and out" ports.
A 100Mb switch, or any Ethernet device should have Auto MDIX. The MDI/MDIX switch or button was needed on 10Mb devices, so switches could be daisy-chained. Of course there were some low end 100Mb stuff that lacked Auto MDIX.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
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Sep 28, 2005
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TBH.... 2GB WAN probably isn't worth it to you.
Not unless your doing pretty large hosting / FTP server / Remote backups.
Also you will need to get new gear across everything.
Its not just because you have 2gb WAN you automatically get on it.
Your modem will most likely need to be replaced.
Your network cards unless your on the new Z470 / X570 / B550 (the last 2 can vary) will all need to get upgraded.
Then there is the switch. Consumer end, unless your rolling from scratch with all new gear which has it built in, IMO its not really worth it at the level your probably sitting at.
 

mv2devnull

Golden Member
Apr 13, 2010
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A 100Mb switch, or any Ethernet device should have Auto MDIX. The MDI/MDIX switch or button was needed on 10Mb devices, so switches could be daisy-chained. Of course there were some low end 100Mb stuff that lacked Auto MDIX.
The patent for Auto MDIX was published 2001. I remember devices older than that. (They had "lifetime warranty" ... and died.)
 

SamirD

Golden Member
Jun 12, 2019
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yeah there are, but its pretty pricey atm.
2.5gbe switchs are at point where vendors are like:
"lets charge enterprise level prices for consumer grade.. oh i mean, we'll call it enthusiast class switch".
lol! They should have just added some LEDS and called them 'gamer class' switches and sold a ton more, haha.

Seriously, it scares me when there are routers at Best Buy that are $200+ and my use enterprise Watchguard M300 was less than that and with a longer warranty. :oops:
 

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