How to Choose Between Layer 2 and Layer 3 Management Switches

California, U.S.A., August 2019 – Ethernet Direct Corporation, a professional and primary provider of industrial networking and communication solutions share some guidelines on how to choose between Layer 2 and Layer 3 managed network switches.

Today’s industrial networks require high-performance plant networks, for example, those requiring high-speed redundancy in order to enable the seamless integration of automation networks with existing office networks. But how do we choose the right switch layer for your application?

Difference Between Layer 2 and Layer 3 Switches

Layer 2 is a broadcast Media Access Control (MAC) level network, while Layer 3 is a segmented routing over internet protocol (IP) network. To make an analogy, a house address is always the same, like a MAC address; while an IP address can change, like the addressee at the house.

  • Layer 3 switches are designed to handle routing performance on large networks.
  • Layer 2 switches work well when there is low to medium traffic in VLANs.
  • In practical terms, if your network runs on a Layer 2 domain, Layer 2 switch is enough.
  • If you need inter-VLAN capabilities, then you will need a Layer 3 switch.

Some Benefits of a Layer 3 Switch

  • Support routing between virtual LANs.
  • Simplify security management.
  • Reduce broadcast traffic volumes.
  • Ease the configuration process for VLANs

Questions Check-list to Know if You Need a Layer 3 Switch

  • Do you have VLANs in your network?
  • Do individual departments need separate broadcast domains for security and performance?
  • Do you have subnets connected through a router?
  • Does your network have more than 250 devices connected to the same VLAN?

Ethernet Direct offers a complete Product Portfolio of Layer 2 Plus (Advanced Layer 2 or some refer to as Lite Layer 3) and Layer 3 Industrial Managed switches to cater any industrial network requirements. We guarantee specifications by providing true robust devices built to last for mission critical applications. Ethernet Direct offers ultra-fast network redundancy within milliseconds recovery time and advanced technologies such as IEEE 1588 PTP v2, ITU-T G.8032 /ERPS, RADIUS, TACACS+, HTTP/HTTPS, SSL, SSH v2, IEEE 802.3z Energy Efficient Ethernet, LLDP, IPv6, VLAN Q-in-Q and more.

To know more about the Ethernet Direct Layer 2 and Layer 3 Managed Switches, please feel free to contact us at