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I'm a bit confused with the whole managed switch setup. I understand from a friend that if I want to use a managed as an unmanaged switch, I just need to use it directly out of the box without any configuration.

However, if the switch itself has a default IP to allow for configuration, does that mean that there is a possibility of an IP conflict on network? Would that mean I would need to configure a proper IP address for it which matches the network and does not collide with anyone else?

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A managed switch (pretty much) defaults to the behavior of an unmanaged switch, so if you don't configure anything there won't be much of a difference (some managed switches default to activated spanning-tree protocol, for instance).

However, since the management function include numerous attack vectors you should at the very least secure access to them - configure a good password for web, telnet, SSH and whatever consoles there are.

The switch's default IP address might conflict with your existing network, yes. It might also use DHCP for a dynamic address - see the manual for details.

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  • Thanks for the information. So based on this, I should use a non-conflicting IP range even if I use it as unmanaged.
    – amsga
    Sep 4 '19 at 7:52
  • If I could clarify one more thing, does it matter if I give it an IP from outside the network range? Like 172.16.0.1 for a network using 192.168.0.0/24?
    – amsga
    Sep 4 '19 at 9:22
  • Of course, you can configure an IP address outside your normal network. Of course, your network devices won't be able to access the management functions but you don't want that anyway.
    – Zac67
    Sep 4 '19 at 9:25
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    ... one caveat: I know at least one vendor whose even lowest class of managed switches already run spanning-tree for their default VLAN (untagged on all of the ports). This leads to some side effects (as in: port shutdown) when they are used as desktop or meeting room tabletop switches and uplinked against managed switches with proper configuration of edge ports (porfast, bpduguard). So if you want to use a managed switch as equivalent of unmanaged in a larger environmet with managed switches, be sure to get spanning-tree right (as in: configure it properly, or turn it off). Sep 4 '19 at 12:52

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