A switch is used in a wired network to connect Ethernet cables from a number of devices together. The switch allows each device to talk to the others. Switches aren't used in networks with only wireless connections, since network devices such as routers and adapters communicate directly with one another, with nothing in between.
Types of switches:
1.) Unmanaged switch
2.) Managed switch
3.) Smart switch
4.) Enterprise managed network
Unmanaged switch : It is the cheapest switch. It is typically used in small offices or business. These network switches perform the function of managing the data flow between a shared printer and multiple computers. The switch's benefits over a hub are full bandwidth to each port, rather than smashing all the data over all the ports like a hub,and dealing with collisions.
Managed switch : It has a user interface or software that allows users to modify the setting of the switch. This type of network switch requires a knowledgeable user to adjust the settings as needed. A managed switch can tell you about excessive usage on certain ports.
It can be used to limit the number of IP addresses that one port can service.
Smart switch : It is the middle product offering between a managed and unmanaged switch. The user interface is web based and set with the most popular default settings adjustment to one setting result in an automatic adjustment. Smart Switches are designed for growing networks (50-200 nodes).
Enterprise managed network : This switch has a wide range of adjustable settings to allow use within a large company or organization. These types of network switches are usually managed by network specialists and are constantly managed due to the size and complexity of the network.