Most small office network start with a PC, router and ADSL modem, but when small single user network grows into a larger multiuser network, your Wi-Fi router can run out of free Ethernet ports to connect various PC’s, networkable printers, small business server and other essential hardware. An Ethernet switch is a simple box that sits between your router and your networked device to control traffic flow across your network, the device come in two basic types, unmanaged and managed, with the former, you merely plug in your device and get back to work, but manage switches provide advanced features that prioritize data, link port for improved performance and enforce security policies on your network.
An appealing middle ground for small business is a manageable switch like Linksys SLM2008, which offers some of the robust trunk and data prioritization of a managed switch in a compact package with a web based control interface that novices can manage easily. The SLM2008 measures just over 5 inches wide by 5 inches deep, setting up the basic features via the web base interface take only minutes, but there are enough advanced security and data routing options to satisfy nearly any small business need, midrange small business switches like this one can be the perfect choice for small office with robust VoIP and video conferencing demands.
Managed and manageable switches often duplicate or surpass the port forwarding and port linking features of conventional Wi-Fi routers; you may have to disable the corresponding features in your routers to avoid conflicts.