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3Com’s managed switch goes in a wall

Feb 19, 20042 mins

* 3Com’s latest managed switch mounts inside a wall

3Com last month shipped the latest in a line of Ethernet switches that puts a small wiring closet in your wall.

3Com says its IntelliJack (formerly Network Jack) switches fit into standard wall cutouts, so that you could convert a single-port wall outlet into four switched Ethernet ports without running new cables, which can be expensive.

The latest model is the IntelliJack Switch NJ220, which has security and management capabilities and is intended for offices running VoIP, so you can plug in your IP-enabled phone along with your computer.

The security capabilities include support for the IEEE 802.1X standard for logging into a network. The switch can filter access based on MAC address.

For management, IEEE 802.1p traffic prioritization, IEEE 802.1Q virtual LANs and SNMP are supported. Plus, the switch has a “location mapping feature,” which helps IT managers find the physical location of a port for troubleshooting.

To make IP telephony more feasible, the 3Com switch adheres to the 802.3af standard for power over Ethernet. This way, one cable can be used to plug IP phones into the wall, just as with traditional phones. It also makes network-based surveillance cameras easier to deploy.

3Com first introduced switches that could be mounted in a wall back in 2001, and the NJ220 is the fourth in the company’s line. 3Com points out that it’s harder to disconnect or steal these switches than it would be with a standard, freestanding switch.

The switch lists for $219.