Ethernet switches are divided into managed and unmanaged switches
, the first group being those that are managed, whereas unmanaged switches are unmanaged. The difference between managed and unmanaged switches is that managed switches are more complex and flexible and provide better network control and configuration.
A switch provides better control and management of the network with the data frames passing through it. With a managed switch, each port of the switch can be adjusted to any setting and the network can be monitored and configured in many ways. It also provides greater control over how data is transmitted on the network and who has access to it. Managed switches typically support Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), which can be used to monitor the status of the switches and individual switch ports. In addition, monitoring provides statistics on traffic throughput, network errors, and port status.