Tag: network switch

What Is Aruba Instant On? APs & Network Switches for Small Business

What is Aruba Instant On?

Aruba Instant On Wireless Access Points and Instant On Network Switches are network devices designed to help small businesses deploy fast, secure, & reliable wireless connectivity in just a few minutes. Put another way, administrators can manage Instant On networks from anywhere with ease and trust that the latest security intelligence protects their networks around the clock.

Aruba Instant On takes advantage of Smart Mesh Wi-Fi to provide reliable wireless performance with built-in router functionality. On top of that, check out these other attractive benefits of Instant On:

  • Multi-Site Management allowing administrators to easily secure and maintain multiple networks under one platform
  • Site Inventory features that make it easy to see all the switches, access points, and other devices on your network at a glance
  • Application Visibility and Control to ensure bandwidth is always routed to your most important services
  • Easy Guest Access to connect customers and visitors
  • Enterprise-Grade WiFi that smoothly hands off connected devices between access points

How Does Aruba Instant On Work?

An Aruba Instant On AP acts as a network router as well. In short, this means plugging in directly to the Internet right out of the box allows network setup to begin immediately.

Aruba Instant On devices require no licenses, subscriptions, renewals, or prepaid contracts. In other words, Instant On APs and network switches include all needed software and services, right out of the box.



How Do I Set Up Aruba Instant On?

Deploying and configuring an Instant On AP or Switch is as easy as downloading the Instant On smartphone app. The mobile app provides guided setup and plug-n-play deployment. So no experts required.

Need to set up wireless access in an especially tricky location like an outdoor stadium or campus? The Aruba Instant On AP17 includes a ruggedized chassis that withstands the wear and tear of an outdoor deployment.

How to Manage Instant On

Remember that mobile app for network set up? Use the same Instant On application to remotely manage, monitor, and edit network settings from anywhere, any time. Prefer working on the big screen? The web-based  portal.arubainstanton.com shares all the same great features as the Instant On app, but on a browser.

From the app or web portal, you’ll be able to restrict resource allocation to stop bandwidth hogs, block unwanted clients, and easily create separate networks for guests and employees.

Are Aruba Appliances Expensive?

Surely something with this many positives must have a big drawback, right? Well, it’s not going to be the price-point. Instant On access points are competitively priced to meet the needs of lean budgets and small offices.

For instance, small offices can join in the WiFi 6 revolution at the modest price-point of $220 MSRP for the Instant On AP22.

3 Best Network Switches for Business 2020

3 Best Network Switches for Business 2020

The best network switches make life easier for an IT team. Though network security can be maddeningly complicated, network switches ease the complexity. By connecting multiple devices across your network, switches allow secure data sharing over multiple appliances and endpoints.

Powerful centralized management lets administrators deep dive into network issues, deploy unified policies, and manage hundreds of sites through a single dashboard. Network switches are a bridge between devices, using MAC addresses to forward data through layer 2. In sum, they play a vital role in modern Local Area Network (LAN) deployments.

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What is a Network Switch?

secure network switch integrates all the devices on your network, allowing for seamless sharing and data transfer between them. This can include everything from firewalls and wireless access points to VoIP phones, printers, servers, and more. Further, these devices can be monitored and controlled through a centralized management platform, allowing admins to quickly and easily shift resources across the network to safeguard productivity for business-critical applications and services.

SonicWall Sonic Switch

Network switches are integral parts of a complex network, providing a wired or virtual connection to desktop computers, IoT devices, and more. For starters, every switch includes a set number of Ethernet ports which support a varying number of connected devices. On top of that, you can “stack” switches in a series, allowing your business to scale up and connect larger numbers of devices and users to the LAN.

What to Look for in a Network Switch

Network switches can be complicated, but they are necessary for seamless end-to-end network security and performance. Before deciding which network switch is best for any business, consider a few questions:

  • How many users are operating on the network? This user count includes all Internet-connected devices
  • How will the switch receive power? Power-over-Ethernet options make certain switches more appealing for complex deployments
  • What is the business’ Internet speed and how much is used? Multi-gigabit switches will help in utilizing the full ISP speeds

For more considerations to take into account, check out Buying a Network Switch: 5 Things to Consider.

Top 3 Network Switches in 2020


Cisco Meraki MS Series

Key Features:

  • Superior network transparency with granular visibility at the app & hostname level
  • Zero-touch provisioning allows for rapid deployment across the network
  • Packet capture & other remote diagnostic tools help troubleshoot network errors

What Makes Cisco Meraki MS Series Switches One of the Best Network Switches in 2020?

Cisco Meraki MS Switches are purpose-built for intuitive management and ease-of-use. Cisco Meraki network switches do not require a Command-Line Interface to manage ports or change configurations. As a result, network administrators get access to a centralized management platform with granular visibility and control by just plugging it in. On top of that, a simple dashboard helps admins sort through information and  track events with a detailed change and event log.

Cisco Meraki switches allow “virtual stacking.” In other words, switch port configuration changes can be made on the dashboard without the need to install and deploy additional on-premise switches. Therefore, you can start on-prem, then build up into the cloud!


Fortinet FortiSwitch network switchs

Fortinet FortiSwitch

Key Features:

  • Centralized access management from FortiGate firewall interface
  • Stack up to 300 switches per FortiGate
  • Great for converged environments with VoIP, data, & wireless traffic on a single network

What Makes FortiSwitch One of the Best Network Switches in 2020?

FortiSwitch secure access network switches integrate into Fortinet’s wider Security Fabric. That is to say, it ties together all Fortinet-family products on your network into a real-time threat response system managed directly through a FortiGate firewall. As a result, the single-pane-of-glass dashboard provides control over users and devices regardless of how they’re connected to your network.

Fortinet network switches support wire-speed switching protocols in addition to Store & Forward mode. On top of that, the FortiSwitch appliance is ideal for a SD-Branch deployment, further enabling businesses of any size to enjoy the benefits of digital transformation.


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SonicWall Switch (SWS)

Key Features:

  • Easy-to-manage network segmentation & compliance auditing
  • Ability to roll out devices across the network quickly & securely
  • Prioritize network traffic for superb Quality of Service for business-critical apps

What Makes SonicWall Switch One of the Best Network Switches in 2020?

When paired with a firewall, SonicWall Switches deliver end-to-end security that simplifies management and network troubleshooting. This tightly-knit security posture eliminates blind spots and gaps. In turn, it helps network administrators locate and eliminate weak points in their security infrastructure.

SonicWall Switches are flexible, high-performance networking appliances that provide high port density and Power-over-Ethernet capabilities. Additionally, they offer multi-gigabit performance at prices affordable even for small businesses.


But wait, there’s more…

Looking for the best protection for your small business?

Give us a call at 866-957-2975 to find the perfect fit!

Shopping for email security, endpoint, wireless access, or ransomware protection? Then you should check these out, too:

How to Choose a Cisco Meraki MS Switch for your Small Business

Shopping for Cisco Meraki MS Switches

Cisco Meraki MS Network Switches provide Layer 2 switching that unifies devices. Meraki switches fit best in small businesses, branch offices, distributed enterprises, campuses, and other complex deployment settings. These gigabit switches include SFP+ uplinks on all models. At the high end, Meraki switches reach up to 800 Gbps of switching capacity.  In other words, a Cisco Meraki MS Switch is an ideal fit for a wide range of situations.

Managed through a simple single-pane-of-glass interface, Cisco Meraki MS switches excel in the cloud. Extend greater visibility and control across the network. Because of these features, admins can easily track:

  • User activity
  • Security events
  • Configuration changes

Cisco Meraki MS Switches are stackable. So SMBs can easily add future switches to meet business growth – perfect for scalability.

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Cisco Meraki MS Switch MS120-48

Why Cisco Meraki MS Switches?

Network switches connect all the devices your business uses. Whether they be VoIP phones, wireless APs, firewalls, SMA devices, or others, a switch acts at the central hub of traffic routing. Cisco Meraki MS Switches intelligently link devices across your network. As a result, admins can take control with:

  • Role-based administration
  • Fully cloud-based management
  • Remote diagnostics tools
  • Packet capture
  • Automated downtime email alerts

Cisco Meraki MS switches let small businesses take advantage of enterprise-grade features without paying enterprise prices. In addition to traditional Ethernet features, MS switches include:

  • MAC Whitelists & MAC Authentication Bypass (MAB)
  • Dynamic ARP Inspection
  • VLAN configuration settings for individual ports
  • Traffic monitoring through port mirroring

And there’s more: deploying a Cisco Meraki MS switch is simple. Plug it in. That’s it.

With auto-provisioning, SMBs that lack IT talent can quickly deploy across multiple sites. That is to say, no messing around with command lines. No complex setup needed. Zero-touch deployment makes Meraki switches a plug-and-play experience.

Choosing a Cisco Meraki MS Switch

Finding a network switch can be a challenge if you’re not familiar with important tech specs and features. So here are a few key features to keep an eye out for:

Power Configuration

Cisco Meraki MS switches include a single power supply, with additional power supply units sold separately. Power supply configurations are hot-swappable, so you can say goodbye to downtime.

Switching Capacity

Switching capacity refers to the total amount of data that a network switch can handle. Vendors measure this in Gbps. If you’re getting a gig or more from your ISP, then you’ll want a network switch that can handle that traffic volume without losing the speed you paid for.


The whole point of a network switch is to act as a central hub. That means you’ll want a lot of ports and types of interfaces to meet the needs of your setup. Cisco Meraki MS switches come in:

  • 8-port
  • 16-port
  • 24-port
  • 48-port


Network switch uplinks are important for stacking. To clarify, uplinks allow two similar devices to directly connect. Whereas devices once required a crossover cable to “talk” back and forth, an uplink port allows your MS appliance to internally route communication between devices.


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Still Have Questions about Network Switches?

To sum up, Cisco Meraki MS switches are great for SMBs and branches to centralize all their devices. Firewalls.com provides plain-language product knowledge to our customers. This ensures you make a wise security investment. Next, check out our other network switch tools to see if a Cisco Meraki switch is right for you.

Read our article Five Things to Consider Before Buying a Network Switch

Watch our Video Buyers Guide for Network Switches

SonicWall Switch: A New Networking Must-Have

Introducing the SonicWall Switch

From the smallest of small businesses to the largest of enterprises, networks are getting bigger. As a network admin, you can no longer count on a simple setup to handle the capacity of today. The number of IoT devices continues to grow exponentially, and BYOD is a workplace norm as well. How do you get a handle on all these devices and keep your network secure? Enter the new SonicWall Switch. A SonicWall Switch enhances control over your network, makes management a breeze, and integrates seamlessly with your existing SonicWall firewall. Plus, with seven models, you’ll have no problem finding the right secure switch for your network needs.

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Control, management, & integration

With all the aforementioned devices, plus guest networks and other scenarios, control is key. A SonicWall Switch gives you all the standard features you’d expect from a switch, and more. It allows you to segment traffic to give the right level of access to the right people/devices. Manage your ports to keep your network secure. Create a VLAN (virtual local area network) to apply settings beyond one physical office. And to get extra granular, configure static routes.

All this control is great, you’re probably thinking, but how do I manage it? You manage your SonicWall Switch with your SonicWall next generation firewall through the Capture Security Center. It’s a single-pane-of-glass that lets you monitor and configure your network from one console. By adding a SonicWall Switch to a network with SonicWave wireless access points & a SonicWall firewall, you’ll have an integrated solution with visibility, management, unified threat detection, and analytics all in one place. It’s easy enough to deploy and manage for a layperson but with plenty of opportunity for a networking nerd to sink their teeth into. The bottom line: you get end to endpoint security & networking from one company. This makes a SonicWall Switch an ideal fit for Software-Defined Branch (SD-Branch) settings.

SonicWall Switch Models

Every network has different needs, so the SonicWall Switch series has a variety of sizing options to choose from – seven in fact. Considering power over ethernet? There are PoE and Full-PoE variants. If you don’t need it, non-PoE options are available as well. Port options are aplenty too, with 8, 24, and 48 available. No matter your choice, you get a network switch with a compact form factor designed for energy efficiency. Let’s take a closer look at the options by model number:

SonicWall SWS12-8

  • Appliance Only MSRP: $250
  • Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Ports: 8
  • SFP/SFP+ Ports: 2 SFP
  • PoE Support: Non-PoE

SonicWall SWS12-8POE

  • Appliance Only MSRP: $375
  • Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Ports: 8
  • SFP/SFP+ Ports: 2 SFP
  • PoE Support: PoE

SonicWall SWS12-10FPOE

  • Appliance Only MSRP: $450
  • Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Ports: 10
  • SFP/SFP+ Ports: 2 SFP
  • PoE Support: Full-PoE

SonicWall SWS14-24

  • Appliance Only MSRP: $550
  • Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Ports: 24
  • SFP/SFP+ Ports: 4 SFP+
  • PoE Support: Non-PoE

SonicWall SWS14-24FPOE

  • Appliance Only MSRP: $1050
  • Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Ports: 24
  • SFP/SFP+ Ports: 4 SFP+
  • PoE Support: Full-PoE

SonicWall SWS14-48

  • Appliance Only MSRP: $1025
  • Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Ports: 48
  • SFP/SFP+ Ports: 4 SFP+
  • PoE Support: Non-PoE

SonicWall SWS14-48FPOE

  • Appliance Only MSRP: $1995
  • Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Ports: 48
  • SFP/SFP+ Ports: 4 SFP+
  • PoE Support: Full-PoE

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Looking for more?

Check out our SonicWall Switch Series feature review video for more information about these new networking appliances:

As you can see, choices are plentiful, so it’s likely you can find a SonicWall Switch to fit your needs – and at a reasonable price. Add on 24×7 SonicWall Support to any of these models to get technical help, updates, & advance hardware replacement. Shop now to find the SonicWall Switch that’s right for you!


Network Switches: A Video Buyer’s Guide

A Network Switch Shopper’s Companion

Shopping in the business networking space can be a daunting task, with a variety of devices to buy, features available, performance metrics used, and brands to choose from. Network switches are no exception, with common questions including:

  • What is a network switch?
  • Why would I need one?
  • How do I pick the right one for my network?
  • What is the meaning of life? (that’s probably a question for another post)

A few months back we gave you 5 things to consider when buying a network switch. Now, we’re offering a video to take another deep dive into the world of network switches. In our new video buyer’s guide, we go over answers to some of these common questions and give you a primer on the switch-related offerings of a couple of top brands: Fortinet and Ruckus. We also spotlight the switch configuration and management services offered by our in-house network experts. Give it a quick watch here to learn more about network switches:

Ready to Shop?

Now that you’re armed with the most powerful weapon of all – information – check out our selection of network switches. To make shopping on our website easy, you can filter your selections by brand, number of ports, speed, managed vs. unmanaged, and of course price.


Still have questions about network switches? Give us a call and you’ll be talking to an expert who can walk you through the process of optimizing your network’s performance and security.


Buying a Network Switch: 5 Things to Consider

Why Do I Need a Network Switch?

Whether you have a small business or enterprise organization, your network needs to keep several users reliably and securely connected around the clock. No matter how fast your ISP hooks you up, you’ll need appropriate equipment to spread the high-speed love. Enter the network switch, an oft-overlooked but vitally important piece of the networking puzzle. How do you decide which network switch is right for you? Let’s countdown some factors to consider in relation to your network needs.

1 User count

It all starts with the number of users you need to connect. Remember, a user isn’t just a person on a computer – users include other connected devices as well, like printers (you’ll probably have at least a couple of those), VoIP phones (your business likely will need to communicate with others verbally from time to time), surveillance cameras (just in case), firewalls (a network security must), and wireless access points (those APs have to get their internet connections from somewhere). Generally speaking, a higher number of users requires more ports and faster transfer speeds.

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2 Power

Remember those access points? In many cases, you’ll be placing your APs in locations that make traditional power outlets hard to reach. Fortunately, many APs (as well as VoIP phones, firewalls, and other devices) can get their electricity through Power over Ethernet, aka PoE. This means they can stay connected and receive power using only an Ethernet cord. Look for a network switch with Ethernet ports that support the PoE needs of your network.

3 Speed

Network switches don’t create speed, but the wrong switch could slow your network down significantly. If you’re transferring a lot of data, you’ll want to make sure you have ports that can handle your need for speed. Look for 10/100/1000, aka Gigabit ethernet (GbE), ports. These ports will automatically sense and use the fastest speed shared by the sending and receiving devices. For less heavy duty scenarios, a switch with 10/100 ports may suffice (those are speeds of 10 or 100 Mbps), but most modern switches support GbE ports.

4 Managed vs Unmanaged

This one’s a pretty easy choice. If you’re looking at a switch to connect the key pieces of your organizational network, you’ll want a managed switch. What’s the difference between managed and unmanaged? An unmanaged switch is often called “plug-and-play,” and while that sounds convenient, it means there is no ability to configure an unmanaged network switch because it lacks a “brain.” A managed switch gives you the ability to manually configure, monitor, and manage the devices on your network.

Configuring a network switch allows you to better optimize network performance and security – keeping sensitive data siloed and enabling only active ports to minimize your attack surface. It just so happens our security experts at Firewalls.com can work with you to get that configuration just right and keep it that way – actively managing your switch for you, no matter the brand. Unmanaged switches can be useful in lower-stakes network setups or as a supplement – like adding connections in a conference room.

Learn about Switch Configuration


5 Value

Just like an unmanaged switch, this is a no-brainer to consider when shopping for a switch (or any significant purchase). At Firewalls.com, you can find value that fits your network, whether you need 12 or 48 port. We offer network switches including the Ruckus ICX SeriesFortinet FortiSwitch Series, and the Cisco Meraki MS Series to help you get your network running smoothly. Visit our Network Switch page and use the filters on the left-hand side of the page to find the network switch that best fits your demands.

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