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Network Switch Buying Guide

Connect Multiple Devices to a Network and Route Data to Designated Devices

What is a network switch and what does it do?

NSUG24C2 ethernet switch

Are there different types of network switches?

There are two main types of network switches, unmanaged and managed. The essential difference is the capability to configure the operation of a managed switch to customize and optimize network traffic for specific applications.

Unmanaged Switches

Managed Switches

Where do you place network switches?

Network switches are usually placed on a desk or table, mounted on a wall, or mounted in a rack. Eaton offers unmanaged desktop switches (with metal or plastic housing) and both unmanaged and managed rack-mount switches with metal housing and a built-in PDU (Gigabit Ethernet Switch PDU Combos).

What is a Gigabit Ethernet Switch PDU Combo?

Eaton offers an exclusive line of unmanaged and managed Gigabit Ethernet switches that have a built-in network-grade PDU. These Gigabit Ethernet Switch PDU Combos mount in just 1U of rack space, making them suitable for wall-mount rack cabinets and other compact installations. The units have up to 24 Gigabit Ethernet ports and up to 12 NEMA 5-15R outlets with options for SFP uplink ports and Power over Ethernet (PoE). The PDU outlets on the managed switch units have Isobar® surge protection.

1U gigabit ethernet switch pdu combo

Factors to Consider

Does your application require a managed switch?

If your application involves controlling network traffic, you will need the features of a managed switch. The following are some examples of tasks that require a managed switch:

  • Controlling access between departments within your LAN
  • Running many bandwidth-intensive applications simultaneously
  • Giving important data greater priority in your LAN
  • Improving the performance of a busy network
  • Implementing VoIP, wireless LANs or other advanced services

How many devices do you need to connect to your network?

Make sure you select a switch with enough Gigabit (10/100/1000 Mbps) Ethernet ports for the devices you want to connect to your network. If you think you'll add more devices in the future, choose a switch that will give your network room to grow.

how many devices do you need to connect to your network

Do you need to connect multiple network switches?

If you plan to connect multiple network switches, look for models with SFP uplink ports (also known as Mini-GBIC ports). SFP uplink ports are connection points for SFP (small form-factor pluggable) modules that allow the switch to uplink to other switches using optical fiber cabling.

connect multiple network switches

Do you need the capability to power devices?

Power over Ethernet (PoE) uses existing network cables to power connected devices, such as VoIP phones, wireless access points and surveillance cameras. If you need this functionality, look for a switch with Gigabit Ethernet ports that support PoE. Make sure the power per port (in watts) and the total power budget of the PoE ports meet the needs of your electronic devices.

capability to power devices

Eaton Network Switches

NG8 network switch Unmanaged Switches NSU-G24 network switch Unmanaged Switches
with Built-In PDU
NSU-G24-D2 network switch Managed Switches
with Built-In PDU
Gigabit (10/100/1000 Mbps) Ethernet Ports 5, 8, 16, 24 16 or 24 16 or 24
SFP/Mini-GBIC ports for optical network uplink to additional switches
PoE capability
RJ45 console port and command line interface (CLI)
Automatic MDI/MDIX crossover detection to eliminate need for crossover cables
Store-and-forward switching
MAC address table
Support for jumbo frames
Support for quality of service (QoS) to prioritize traffic
Support for virtual LANs (VLANs) to isolate traffic between groups
Support for spanning tree protocol (STP) to provide path redundancy
Web-based graphical user interface (GUI) for built-in management software
Built-in 120V PDU
Built-in 120V PDU with Isobar® surge protection
Desktop models (metal or plastic housing)
1U rack-mount models (metal housing)
External or internal power supply Depends on model Internal Internal
Meet IEEE standard 802.3az for energy-efficient Ethernet

All Models in this Product Family have this feature
Some Models in this Product Family have this feature

Need help with your purchase?
We're always available to help with questions, including product selection, sizing, installation and product customization. Call us at +1 773-869-1776 or email