Does it make sense to deploy a managed switch in a home office? The answer is a definite YES. Until recently, managed switches were the domain of large businesses and their IT departments. However, with the introduction of “smart”, or web-managed switches, and with the recent reductions in prices, managed switches are definitely finding their way into small and medium-size businesses, and most recently also into home offices. You will find here two great advantages of having a smart switch or a managed switch replace your unmanaged smart switches in your home network. The advantages are: Cleaner VoIP lines, and setting up VLANs, or Virtual Local Area Networks.
Cleaner VoIP phone lines
You may have all the bandwidth you need on your home network for VoIP phone conversations but that is not enough. Have you noticed delays when talking on your VoIP phone with your customers? Have you tested that out? Or, have you had to redial a line because the connection was dropped? This could be signs of large network packet delays and increased latencies. Such events could be rare and could be hard to diagnose because they depend on a variety of factors, most unpredictable being other network traffic. But clearly, I have found a great improvement in my VoIP call quality when I replaced my unmanaged switch with a managed network switch. If you are having issues with your VoIP calls, you should give a managed network switch a try.
Setting up VLANs
VLAN stands for Virtual Local Area Network. Virtual LAN is the ability of a smart switch to act as two or more separate switches, basically. You determine which ports are connected together in LAN One, and which other ports connect to LAN Two, etc. Most managed smart switches allow you to set up at least two types of VLANs. The first type is a Guest LAN. Based on authentication with the managed smart switch, the new network participant is automatically assigned into a Guest LAN or another appropriate home office network LAN. Guest LAN usually has no access to our home office network and computers or any data on our network, but it is allowed internet access. That way, when we have a visitor in our office, they can be set up with an internet access connection without the danger of them accessing our sensitive business information.