smmm

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Aug 14, 2019
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Hello,

I recently purchased a used Dell PowerConnect 6248 switch for use in LAN parties with my friends (I'm aware it's quite overkill), but I have absolutely zero experience with managed switches or anything network related. I am motivated to learn more about operating and configuring this switch, but I wanted to know if there was anything to be careful about security-wise when changing things on it. Are there any settings or configurations that when mishandled could pose a security risk to my home network?

Thanks!
 
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Not really a security risk. A switch is pretty dumb it and it really has no ability to say allow someone outside your house access. Now you can make quite a mess if you get too ambitious configuring things. About the worst thing I could see is if you turned on the dhcp server function which would then give out ip addresses when it should only be your router doing that. Now if you try to use fancy stuff like port bonding and set it up wrong you could loop your network.

Most these switches if you were to factory reset it run as a simple layer 2 switch with all the ports on the same vlan. This is pretty much what a unmanaged switch would look like.

Just be careful about playing around, you can always fix everything with a factory reset. In general if you do not know why you need a managed switch then you do not actually need any of the features. The other features have very little use in a home network other than maybe to play with.
 
Not really a security risk. A switch is pretty dumb it and it really has no ability to say allow someone outside your house access. Now you can make quite a mess if you get too ambitious configuring things. About the worst thing I could see is if you turned on the dhcp server function which would then give out ip addresses when it should only be your router doing that. Now if you try to use fancy stuff like port bonding and set it up wrong you could loop your network.

Most these switches if you were to factory reset it run as a simple layer 2 switch with all the ports on the same vlan. This is pretty much what a unmanaged switch would look like.

Just be careful about playing around, you can always fix everything with a factory reset. In general if you do not know why you need a managed switch then you do not actually need any of the features. The other features have very little use in a home network other than maybe to play with.
 

smmm

Prominent
Aug 14, 2019
163
6
595
1
Not really a security risk. A switch is pretty dumb it and it really has no ability to say allow someone outside your house access. Now you can make quite a mess if you get too ambitious configuring things. About the worst thing I could see is if you turned on the dhcp server function which would then give out ip addresses when it should only be your router doing that. Now if you try to use fancy stuff like port bonding and set it up wrong you could loop your network.

Most these switches if you were to factory reset it run as a simple layer 2 switch with all the ports on the same vlan. This is pretty much what a unmanaged switch would look like.

Just be careful about playing around, you can always fix everything with a factory reset. In general if you do not know why you need a managed switch then you do not actually need any of the features. The other features have very little use in a home network other than maybe to play with.
Thanks for the great information! I'll keep it in mind. Like you mentioned, I am definitely in the "do not know why you need a managed switch then you do not need the features" category, so I think I'll leave it default for the time being.
 

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