If you’ve ever read anything about the history of D-Link you would know that our first products were related to the connecting of devices to a network (thus our company slogan “Building Networks for People). From Ethernet adapters to small network hubs to switches to consumer and SMB routers, D-Link has consistently been involved with the hardware of building networks. Our product line has progressed from the first Ethernet adapter for the PC in 1987 to the full line of switches we offer today.

Let’s take a closer look at our switch line. I don’t pretend to be an engineer or network wizard of any kind so this will be the “switch discussion for dummies version”. We currently have 3 basic categories of switches, unmanaged (plug it in and use it), Smart switches (some management capabilities), and fully managed (complete layer 2 and layer 3 functionality). At each switch level we have both fast Ethernet and Gigabit switches available.

Unmanaged Switches

Unmanaged switches are great to have if you simply need more ports to connect more stuff. D-Link Unmanaged Switches are designed for cost effectiveness and are ideal for smaller networking needs. (Yea, that line was directly lifted/plagiarized from our website – Hey! We have good information there!). For the home or small office solution we have 5, 8, 16, & 24 port options. We also have Power over Ethernet (PoE) options on select models.

Smart Switches

Within the Smart-switch category D-Link has 3 levels of Smart-switch types: EasySmart, WebSmart, and SmartPro, all with an easy to navigate GUI (Graphical User Interface).

EasySmart Switches

The Easy-Smart switch consists of a simple installation and tools to prioritize, limit, and protect network traffic designed specifically for customers requiring simple network management. The EasySmart switch is affordable and a great introduction to a managed network with 5, 8, 16, & 24 port options (also with Power over Ethernet (PoE) options on select models).

WebSmart Switches

The WebSmart switch comes with more manageability options, combo or dedicated SFP ports for fiber connectivity and Power over Ethernet on select models. The D-Link Web-Smart switch is a great way to control your network from a simplified GUI platform. 8, 16, 24, & 48 port options are available (also with Power over Ethernet (PoE) options on select models).

SmartPro Switches

The SmartPro switch has even greater scalability, including the ability to stack switches and manage them from a single location – up to six units or 288 Gigabit ports can be configured in a physical stack. Virtual stacking – is supported by both the DGS-1500 Series and the DGS-1510 Series. The SmartPro switches also support static routing along with an even greater level of networking and management features. 16, 24, & 48 port options are available and the 1510 series having 10Gb SFP+ ports also (Power over Ethernet (PoE) options on select models).

Much of what I have listed here is similar if not the same information that can be found on our main D-Link product website, but I believe that having it all in one post may make it easier to differentiate between the different product lines and it is also easier to go to one small spot to get a quick overview of the differences between the various levels of switches.

For the next column I’ll take a look at our fully managed line of switches.