Differences Between Managed and Unmanaged Switch

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Whenever a network design is created, one of the major parts to be taken into consideration is the network switch. It is a hardware component that enables networking by linking all devices through a LAN which is also known as Local Area Network. The main feature of any switch is the redirection and data forwarding to the precise location. 

For fulfilling the necessities of your IT opportunities, a network switch helps you in a great manner. There are different kinds of switches which can be availed in various sizes. The different switches support different port numbers. The highest number of a switch can have is 48. Are you confused between the unmanaged switch and a managed switch? Read this article till the end to find out all the differences between these two network switches

Comparative study between a Managed Switch and Unmanaged Switch 

In this article, you are going to find a detailed study of all the comparisons of these two switches based on every criterion. So, start reading the article here: 

Facilities offered 

  • Unmanaged Switch– It provides rapid execution of commands you input and also enables devices to instantly plug and play into the devices you have connected. 
  • Managed Switch– A managed switch is known to provide you with better controlling power. 

Features of an Unmanaged Switch:

The major features of an Unmanaged switch are as follows: 

  1. An Unmanaged switch provides users the capability to build up, manage, and control your LAN.
  2. It lets the users have a better command over their LAN.
  3. It comes up with several added features by which the users can control the network traffic.

Features of a Matched Switch:

Following are the main features of a managed switch: 

  1. A managed switch may support any VLAN network.
  2. With the help of a managed switch, the users can have access to port mirroring.
  3. It lets the users restrict the rate of their network bandwidth.
  4. The most important feature of a managed switch is that it supports the protocol of Spanning Tree because of which it can fix the unnecessary link between the switches without any visible loops. 


In terms of its functionality, the Unmanaged switch has an unmatched advantage which is that it offers instant plug and play options with any network. It doesn’t need any other thing for setting up and has integral QOS features that ensure the smooth functioning of this switch.

Whereas, a managed switch helps in the arrangement of channels according to the user’s preferences. It also assures that the users get access to the best service when it is needed the most.


Now we are going to compare the two switches based on how safe they are to be used. Unmanaged switches are known for their basic safety features. They make sure that the user is not vulnerable to any kind of loopholes related to the safety of the systems with which they are working. It is also assured that there is no direct interference on the device or the system.

In terms of security, the major benefit provided by a managed switch is that it has controlling capabilities, commanding the networks to stop it from functioning when there is any kind of threats. They ensure safeguarding the data accurately with proper plans for controlling and management. 


This is the next criteria on which we will compare these two switches. One can avail of an Unmanaged switch somewhere in between $50 to nearly $100. The price of these switches depends largely upon the number of ports that the switch must-have.

However, the managed switch is priced higher than the unmanaged switch. The users can have to pay almost $1500 to $2800 for a single port.

There are few more factors which influence the cost of these switches such as command control, safety, and configuration service offered by the switch.

Which is faster? The managed switch or Unmanaged switch 

When the switches are put to use in reality, it can be seen that the managed switch displays a better presentation in comparison to an unmanaged switch. Some aspects make the managed switch deserve a higher ranking than an unmanaged switch. They are as follows: 

  • Rate of data transmission as throughout (advancing rate) 
  • Speed of the backplane 

One major way in which the users may find the managed switch to be different from the unmanaged switch is the control. While a managed switch enables the users to adjust every part of the switch according to their desired setting. This enables users to build up a better network and control it more precisely. It even offers better control over the data traveling ways through the network and lets the users decide who can have access to the network. 


Which one of the two is better to use? 

If you are not able to choose between a managed switch and an unmanaged switch, you must know that their betterment depends on several factors. However, if we talk about it normally, the managed switches provide a link of high-speed and also offer the required capacity to monitor the high traffic and extreme work pressure. Additionally, managed switches also aid in preventing any case regarding the failure of the network. They also provide better safety in the small, medium as well as large business firms. Thus, keeping these benefits in mind, it can be recommended that the use of a managed switch can be far better than using an unmanaged switch. 

This article dealt with a detailed comparison between a managed switch and an unmanaged switch and we tried to put the comparison according to every possible criterion including cost, safety, properties, etc. We hope our article helps you in a better understanding of the features of both the commodities so that you can come to a proper conclusion. However, in terms of performance managed switches top the list and can be highly recommended to be used if you want a better functioning of your network switch.



What are the important features of an unmanaged switch?

The main features of an unmanaged switch include the following:

  • It provides users the capability to manage, build up, and control your Local Area Network.
  • It allows users to have better control over their LAN.
  • It includes many additional features that help in controlling the network traffic.

Are managed switches faster than unmanaged switches? 

The answer is no. To be exact, there is no difference in speed between unmanaged and managed switches. However, it should be noted that a managed switch is capable of a better overall performance. This in return improves the speed in the long run.

What are the major features of a managed switch?

The major features of a managed switch include:

  • It may support any VLAN network.
  • It helps users to gain access to port mirroring.
  • It allows users to limit the rate of their network bandwidth.
  • It supports the Spanning Tree protocol and therefore, it can fix unnecessary links between switches without any visible loops. 

Can a managed switch act as a router?

Even though you can use a managed switch in place of a router, it is not recommended for many reasons. One of the major reasons is security concerns.