In a world where we are constantly connected, we look to convenience, and it’s very easy to forget that this kind of convenience didn’t exist 15-20 years ago in the same capacity as it does today.
Almost all homes with internet connectivity have a wireless router to expand their connectivity for this type of convenience, but what happens when you have too many devices connected to your wireless router? The purpose of a network router is to exchange data back and forth via wireless signals, which is communicated to your DSL or Cable (or other) modem. With more and more devices connected wirelessly, you’ll find that your connection bogs down and you notice lag during your browsing and streaming. What can you do about it?
There are many different ways to configure a home (or business) network, but today we want to expand on the addition of a network switch to your setup. You may be a bit confused if you’re not well-versed in networking, so let’s expand on this.
What is a network switch? A network switch comes in two types, unmanaged and managed. They come in different configurations, with the number of ports ranging from 4 to many. You can get them in either plastic casing or a more robust metal casing, and they can be daisy-chained to scale, such as for a medium-to-large sized office setting. The purpose of a switch is to direct data to and from different devices and with the addition of internet connectivity, will allow those devices to connect to the internet. Think of it as an air traffic controller for your data.
So how will this help? By connecting some of your devices such as a desktop computer, media box, network hard drive, printer or anything that is internet connectivity-capable and has a network port on it, you reduce the stress put onto your home (or business) router. This frees up bandwidth from your wireless signal. The fewer cars on a highway traveling to and from destinations, the easier the flow of that traffic becomes.
Most home users would be fine with an unmanaged switch, meaning a switch that does not prioritize any of the devices connected to it over others. They are known as a plug ‘n play type of device, in which you connect your network cables to it and go. With a managed switch, however, they are slightly more complex to setup, but in doing so, you can prioritize some devices over others in terms of importance. It gives you that added flexibility if you want it. Nice to have options.
To conclude, if you want your home (or office) network to run as efficiently as possible, consider adding a network switch. There are how-to’s all over the internet, or you could seek the help of a trusted I/T service provider like I.T. First Aid. There you have it, a solution to a problem you may not have known had an answer.