If you’re in the market for a new switch, or just looking to upgrade an older network, here’s a few reasons why EasySmart Switches might be for you.

1. Security

Unmanaged switches are great for expanding ports in a home or a simple small office, but for a SMB supporting many services or departments,it is critical to keep your data separated from each other to reduce risk.  VLANs can be used to logically divide the switch into virtual LANs which allow you to control which ports may communicate with each other. For example, when a client first asks who is at “this” IP address, he is able to flood all the ports on the switch to find out who has that IP. With VLAN, you can restrict the communication so the client can only talk the ports in which you know he is allowed.

2. Quality of Service

The Router/Gateway is the primary driver of QoS when communicating to the internet but to have a truly end to end QoS solution, you have to implement this on the switch as well. This is especially important in high traffic environments where services like video conferencing need to have a higher priority over web or FTP traffic. One use case is if you have a video conferencing set top box in a meeting room with additional ports for data. With an EasySmart switch, you can raise the priority on the port connected to the set top box over the other data ports while also separating the services using VLAN.

3. Video Streaming

QoS plays an important role here but there’s another technology that helps reduce the traffic overall on the switch, IGMP Snooping. In layman’s terms, the switch will listen to the video client and only allow requested video streams to pass through. Imagine a set top box set that has channels 1-99 which is currently set to Ch.1 . Without IGMP Snooping, the switch could be forwarding the streams of all 99 channels, quickly exhausting the switch’s total bandwidth.  With IGMP Snooping, the switch will only allow Ch.1 while blocking the rest of the channel streams, preserving precious bandwidth.

4. Power over Ethernet

PoE gives you the flexibility to power devices where traditional power sources are not available, saving you time, money and the need to hire a certified electrician. With IP Surveillance becoming more prevalent to protect your business against theft, vandalism or any PoE-Logo other illegal activities, having the ability to deploy cameras anywhere you can get a CAT5E cable to is extremely useful. With EasySmart switches, you can also turn power on/off through the Web GUI, eliminating the need for a truck roll or someone onsite power cycle the device directly. If you need to deploy an Outdoor Dome Camera on the outer wall of the office building to monitor the employee entrance and parking lot, getting traditional AC power to that area by running new power lines will be costly and time consuming. PoE can deliver the power over the CAT5E cable and serve as the data connection to your NVR or local network. If the camera ever fails or stops working, you can easily power cycle the device through the Web GUI of the switch rather than having a maintenance worker get on a ladder and power cycle the device directly.

5. PCI Compliance

EasySmart switches can help you comply with PCI Guidelines using a combination of the features above. Specifically, if you have devices that process credit card information, i.e. credit card readers, then it is extremely important to separate this traffic from your local network so that it can only communicate with the router/gateway to reach the credit service provider. For example, you have a credit card reader, a PC and a printer at the front desk connected to a 5-port unmanaged switch which is then connected back to your router/gateway. In this configuration, all three devices can technically communicate with each other. But with an EasySmart switch in conjunction with a VLAN-aware router like our DSR series VPN Routers, you can use VLANs to keep the credit card reader traffic separate from the PC and printer. In the event that your PC gets compromised with a virus or malware, it cannot further compromise your credit card reader through switch communication.

For more information on D-Link’s line of Smart Switches, click here.