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The iDevices HomeKit Wall Switch fixes one of the crucial issue with many smart homes. Not only does it fix a glaring issue, it comes with enough bells and whistles to make it the best HomeKit wall switch on the market.

HomeKit makes it effortless to control your home. From lights, locks, fans, speakers, and much more. All HomeKit devices play well with one another, so no matter the product you get, you know it will be compatible with your smart home.

The problem with a HomeKit home

The most popular thing for smart home adopters is lights. They are something basic that everyone uses. The problem is, most people use systems like Lutron or Philips Hue. They (for the most part) cannot be controlled by switches in your house. While those systems are great, it makes it more difficult for you to control your lights without using your devices or Siri. That means you must always have a device present.

Obviously, that isn’t ideal for you 100% of the time, or your guests.

Yes, those manufacturers do produce their own switches, which may or not be HomeKit capable. They are still quite expensive, limited in their functions, and can only control their products.

Even if you did opt to use something like the Hue dimmer switch, that would leave your existing wall switches useless. If you turn them off, your smart lights will no longer function. It’s for that reason I see many smart homes with tape over their wall switches.

The solution

To solve this, it seems pretty straightforward. You need to effectively take your wall switches, and turn them into HomeKit devices that can control any other HomeKit gear in your house.

Clearly, that is what the iDevices wall switch aims to do.

What is it?

The iDevices Wall Switch is a replacement receptacle for your existing switches. This is not like the majority of smart outlets on the market that plug in to the wall. You actually have to do some wiring, which immediately can scare people off.

The device itself is a little on the large size, making it a bit of a tight fit if you have an overly crowded electrical box. Unfortunately, that isn’t something you may be aware of until you take your existing switch out.

Installation

The installation of the iDevices switch is fairly easy to do. If you consider yourself fairly handy. You don’t have to do anything different than any other light switch, so it’s a pretty straightforward job that many people can tackle themselves. If you are nervous, it is never a bad idea to have a professional come out and handle it for you. Remember, always turn off the break before doing any electrical work!

Why is it better?

There are several HomeKit switches on the market. So what sets the iDevices one apart? There are many unique aspects to it. To start, the LED nightlight in the center of the switch is also HomeKit capable. That means you easily change the color and brightness to customize it. They also paid attention to design. If you have this mounted in your wall, how do you access the HomeKit code printed on the side? Easy. They have a pull out tab on the top that also has the code, so you can easily access it at any time.

It is also WiFi-connected instead of just Bluetooth. That means you don’t have to be in proximity, or have a HomeKit hub nearby to make it work. The WiFi also allows it to work with other digital assistants like Amazon Alexa.

One of the biggest selling points, is that it also works in multi-switch setups. For instance, say you have a hallway light. You have one switch on one end of the hallway, and another switch at the other. You need a three-pole switch to make that happen, and a four-pole switch if you have another switch involved. Many other HomeKit switches will not work in that situation, but the iDevices one does. That is a big deal for those in larger homes.

Automation

The automation aspect is really where HomeKit shines. There are a few common scenarios that work well with a HomeKit switch. Here are a couple that I personally utilized these switches for.

Hallway

In the hallway, we have a switch downstairs, and upstairs. The lights are odd bulbs that I can’t replace with Hue. Most other HomeKit switches won’t work because it is a three-pole setup. What I did was replace a switch with the HomeKit one. Now I can control them from my phone, and schedule them. What was more useful though, was the addition of a motion sensor. We covered the Eve motion sensor in the past, and it worked well for this.

Now, when we come down the stairs, at night, the hallway lights come on. It’s fantastic because I can signify only certain hours, and turn non-HomeKit lights into schedulable, automated, smart lights.

Living Room

In my living room, we’ve got lots going on. Again, lights plugged into HomeKit outlets, like the one from iDevices, as well as track lights up above. I also have an exterior door, right into the living room we use frequently.

In this situation, I used the geofencing feature of HomeKit to automatically turn the lights on when I arrive, and turn off when the last person leaves. Similar to the bedroom, it also allows me to tie them all together, regardless of how they are connected, and even put them on a motion sensor.

Bedroom

In the bedroom, we have a ceiling mounted light. The switch controls that ceiling light, as well as one of the outlets. The issues we had was that the Hue lights would not reach here reliably from where our hub was located downstairs. We also had more than one light to plug into the wall that wasn’t controlled by the switch. Lastly, we weren’t able to turn them on and off from bed. Just the one on the bedside table, but that was actually controlled by the wall switch. So if we turned it off by hand, the switch would no longer control it, or if the switch was off, it wouldn’t turn on at all.

To handle this, I installed the iDevices wall switch, and set up a few simple rules. First, when the switch is turned on, also turn on the HomeKit outlet with our extra lamp. When it turns off, do it in reverse. Now with one button press, everything is synced up together. Or I can use Siri from bed, and control just the switch, just the outlet, etc.

A fun other trick too, was to have my lights automatically come on in the mornings to help me get up for work.

iOS 11 additionally improves things, because there are timers. So when I turn the light on from the switch, it automatically turns off in thirty minutes.

Night light

Though many smart switches have integrated a nightlight, the iDevices wall switch is the only one with a smart nightlight. The miniature LED positioned in the center of the switch can not only change color, but can be completely scheduled and automated. It actually shows up in HomeKit apps as a separate device. This has several practical uses.

In a bathroom, you can have an iDevices wall switch, and a motion sensor. During the day, when you walk in, the motion sensor tells the switch to turn the lights on. Doing the night however, the motion sensor tells the switch to instead turn the nightlight brightness up to 100% and a warm white, then when you leave go back down to a dim blue glow.

In the bedroom, use it as bedtime alarm for your kids. Red light means they must stay in bed, and green means they are allowed to get out. You can schedule it to go along with their bedtimes, and even have separate schedules for weekends.

For me, I use it to determine how late I’m running for work in the morning. It is easier for me to see a color rather than grabbing my phone and turning it on to see how much time I have left before I need to get up. With the nightlight, I have it change from green, t0 yellow, to orange, and then to red on workdays based on the time. With red meaning “Get out of bed now!”

Pros and cons

Pros

Nightlight is HomeKit capable

HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Home support

Match your home design with any faceplate

Easy access to HomeKit home

3 and 4 pole support

iOS 11 makes it even better with new controls

Wi-Fi is more reliable than Bluetooth

Clean, simple design

Cheaper for rooms with many lights

Cons

Must provide your own faceplate

More expensive than other options

Wrap Up

I feel like light switches aren’t the most exciting thing. If you are to have a HomeKit home, they can not only be affordable, but necessary. Many rooms have several lights that are more expensive to replace than a single switch, and other lights can’t be replaced at all.

If you don’t use Alexa, Google Home, the nightlight, or three or four-pole setups, you most likely don’t need to splurge on the iDevices wall switch, and may be better suited for the Eve. However if any of those apply to you, then the iDevices offering is the best choice you can make.

You can buy the iDevices Wall Switch for $99.

You're reading Idevices Homekit Wall Switch Review

Acer Aspire Switch 10 Review

Our Verdict

Although the Acer Aspire Switch 10 is very affordable, it’s another hybrid which is neither great at being a laptop nor a tablet. It’s both bulky and fiddly. We like the IPS screen and the multi-mode ability thanks to the magnetic hinge (minus the top heaviness). However, the keyboard and trackpad are lacklustre and there really nothing to get excited about in terms of specs and performance. We’re yet to be convinced by a hybrid.

At its New York launch event earlier this year, Acer announced its new hybrid tablet and laptop with Windows 8. Here’s our full Acer Aspire Switch 10 review. Read: The 25 best tablets of 2014.

The Switch 10 comes pre-installed with Windows 8.1 and can be picked up for £289 – a little more than the Toshiba Encore. Acer will be taking on the Lenovo Yoga and other hybrids like the Asus Transformer range and Samsung Ativ Q.

It’s certainly affordable but that doesn’t mean it’s a good deal. Read our Acer Aspire Switch 10 to find out what this hybrid has to offer.

Acer Aspire Switch 10 review: Design and build

Like  Lenovo’s Yoga devices, the Switch 10 can transform between four different modes: laptop, tablet, tent and display. It does this with what Acer calls its ‘Snap Hinge’ which, with the help of magnets, clips the tablet to the keyboard dock. It does so fairly easily although quite aggressively – the two are unlikely to separate unless you want them to.

This is the device’s main selling point and it works well, but the hinge doesn’t fold all the way round like the Lenovo Yoga though, so don’t try that unless you want to risk breaking it. Instead you have to spin the tablet around 180 before folding it back down onto the keyboard, leaving it upright in display mode (below) or standing the device in tent mode.

We have discovered an unfortunate design flaw in the Switch 10. If you push the screen away from you in laptop mode the device eventually falls over due to the weight of the main tablet section. This perhaps won’t occur if you buy the keyboard dock with a hard drive but we can’t say for sure.

The keyboard dock doesn’t have a battery to charge the tablet like some hybrids but does come with an optional 500GB hard drive. It has a USB port on the right hand side as standard which is handy for plugging in a mouse or an external hard drive – the main tablet doesn’t have one.

As is all too common, the keyboard and trackpad are nothing special; the former makes for pretty fiddly typing due to miniature size keys and the latter was quite sporadic during our time with the Switch 10. It also requires a deep press for mouse buttons.  

Overall, the Aspire Switch 10 feels a bit chunky but sturdy at the same time. The tablet alone is 8.9mm which isn’t bad but at around 1.2kg when the device is docked to the keyboard is pretty heavy for a 10in laptop.

The build quality of the keyboard dock is distinctly cheap and plastic but things are better when it comes to the tablet. It feels solid and although it also uses a certain amount of plastic, the brushed metal rear cover is a nice touch for a device as affordable as this.

Check out: The 13 best laptops: What’s the best laptop you can buy in 2014?

Acer Aspire Switch 10 review: Hardware and performance

As you can gather from the name, the Aspire Switch 10 has a 10.1in screen which has good viewing angles thanks to its IPS panel. The touchscreen display is bright and colours pop nicely. It uses a 1366 x 768 resolution which is about right for the price. Read: Acer Iconia Tab 7 hands-on review: Budget Android tablet has 3G data and phone calls.

Although the screen is one of the best features of the Switch 10, we found the adaptive brightness unpredictable and annoying so switched it off. We also feel that Acer could have fitted in larger screen due to those fat bezels – 11.6in would fit by our measurements.

Not only would this make watching video and web browser much more enjoyable, it would make Windows 8.1 easier to interact with. Luckily, the touchscreen is nice and responsive but it’s not always easy to accurately hit where you’re aiming. On the software front, there’s fair amount of added bloatware – mainly Acer’s own but also other items like eBay. You can easily uninstall anything you don’t wish to keep hold of.

Inside is an Intel Atom Z3745 (Bay Trail T) 1.33GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. Performance is reasonable and you’ll be able to do regular day-to-day tasks like web browsing and word processor on the Switch 10 but don’t expect the device to cope with anything remotely strenuous.  

We measure the Switch 10’s performance with PCMark 7 and got a result of just 2486 points – somewhat disappointing for a quad-core x86 processor. Our graphics benchmarks using Stalker: Call of Pripyat yielded a poor result averaging 10fps over four different tests.

On the battery life side of things we measured 6 hours 15 minutes in our looped-video rundown test – playing an HD quality film over Wi-Fi with the screen set to a comfortable 120 cd/ms brightness. A reasonable result which means the device should get you through a day of varied use.

There’s a choice of 32- or 64GB of internal storage and our 32GB review sample has only 10GB free out-of-the-box so it might be worthwhile investing in the higher capacity model or the keyboard dock with a built-in drive. Alternatively, there’s a microSDXC card slot on the side of the tablet so you have a few options here.

Alongside the microSD card slot are a couple of handy ports. There’s a microUSB port (not for charging) and a Micro HDMI port. These make it easy to connect other devices to the Switch 10, or hook the device itself to a larger display.   

Acer includes a 2Mp front facing camera for video calls and it’s refreshing to see front facing stereo speakers which are mounted below the display.

Specs Acer Aspire Switch 10: Specs

Windows 8.1 32-bit Edition

Intel Atom Z3745 1.33GHz quad-core

32GB Flash storage

2GB LPDDR3 SDRAM

10.1in – IPS LED backlight Touchscreen, 1366×768, 16:9

Intel HD Graphics

2 Megapixel webcam

Stereo speakers, microphone

802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0

2-cell lithium polymer

Micro-HDMI Headphone/microphone combo jack Micro-USB 2.0

Full-size USB (keyboard dock)

microSD card reader

262x177x8.9mm

1117g

Logitech Pop Home Switch Review

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The Pop Home Switch costs $60 for a starter pack, which includes two Switches and a bridge to link them. Additional Pop Switches cost $39. Logitech

Logitech’s programmable Pop Home Switches let you string together and execute common smart home commands—like turning on and off lights, locking doors, and playing music—with the press of a button. There’s no need to ask a virtual assistant or even take your smartphone out of your pocket.

Testing

The Pop starter kit comes with two Home Switches, two pieces of mounting tape, and a small wireless bridge. Each button has a replaceable battery that Logitech claims will last around five years with normal daily use.

Setup requires only a few minutes: Plug the bridge into an open outlet, download the iOS or Android Pop app, and enter your wireless network credentials. The app will scan your Wi-Fi network for other compatible connected devices. In our case it found the Sonos speakers, Logitech Hub with Harmony Ultimate universal remote, and Hue lights throughout the house.

To assign tasks to each button you use the app’s drag-and-drop interface. Each button can handle up to three different functions via a single press, a double press, or a long press. To create these commands, you drag individual devices (e.g. Living room Sonos Playbar) to a corresponding press type.

Beyond their basic functionality, the Pop Home Switches are also compatible with IFTTT, a common, automation-focused web tool and standalone app that lets you string together other conditional “recipes” using a vast list of web services and smart devices. It opens up a wider range of functions available at a simple button. If you own a Logitech Harmony smart remote and Hub, you’ll have access in the Pop app to the activities you’ve created their as well.

We experimented with dozens of commands over the course of a week, from simple on/off lighting Pops to more complex multi-device IFTTT recipes. Some of our favorites: A movie-watching Pop that dimmed our Hue living room lights, turned on the TV to the Blu-ray input, turned off all the other Hue lights in the house, and set our Nest thermostat to 70 degrees. A late-night insomnia Pop recipe that turned off the bedroom lights and started playing Max Richter’s 8-hour “Sleep” album on our Play:1 speaker, also proved useful.

The bridge that connects the Switches to a smart home system plugs into an electrical outlet. Logitech

Observations

Logitech’s Pop Home Switches are easy to set up, beyond simple to use, and they work in conjunction with a number of popular smart home devices and platforms, from August smart locks to Belkin WeMo smart plugs. Throughout the week we spent testing them, the buttons worked flawlessly.

There are some minor annoyances, however. You’re forced to label buttons by location when you set them up in the Pop app, but Logitech doesn’t provide any visual means to distinguish between the two white buttons in the real world. (Send stickers!) If you don’t stick them in separate rooms, this can cause confusion.Add-on Switches do come in different colors, which eliminates this problem. Also disappointing is the fact that, as far as music is concerned, Pop Home Switches only work with Sonos systems at the moment.

Conclusion

The issues we had with the Pop Home Switches were ultimately minor. And, as home automation gets increasingly complicated, it’s refreshing to have a simple, straightforward way to string together common tasks and control them all with a single button. This is especially true now that seemingly every Internet of Things device relies on a smartphone or tablet for control. Voice interfaces may be the future of smart homes, but until they become more reliable and easier to use, we’ll happily keep pressing our buttons.

Details

Price: $60 for setup pack with two Switches and a bridge.

Works With:

Smart lights: Philips Hue, Insteon, LIFX, Lutron

Connected music: Sonos

Smart platforms: SmartThings, Belkin WeMo, Lutron, IFTTT

Harmony remotes: Harmony Pro, Harmony Elite, Harmony Companion, Harmony Hub, and other hub-based Harmony remotes

Official site

Review: The Logitech Circle View Doorbell Features Great Hardware Only Limited By Homekit

When I started looking at smart video doorbells for my new home, one specific feature I was looking for was HomeKit support, but as it turned out at the time (merely 3 months ago), there was none. So like everybody else, I settled for a Ring doorbell, which has worked reliably for me. Installation was simple. Set up was a breeze, and daily use was just as frictionless as you would expect from a doorbell.

But then Logitech introduced the Circle View Doorbell in December of 2023, the first device of its kind to support HomeKit, thus playing nice with all the Apple devices in my house and pocket.

So I reached out to the folks at Logitech who sent me a Circle View Doorbell after giving me a short briefing on the product. In this review, I’ll share my impressions of this smart video doorbell. But a bit of warning: this review will be heavily tinted by my experience with Ring, which I see as the standard in the category, or the device to beat, if you will.

Installation and initial setup

Installation was a bit more tedious than the Ring. Where I just had to connect a couple wires to the Ring doorbell, The Circle View required a bit more work. Specifically, the installation of a chime kit on your physical chime added work to an otherwise simple installation.

And because the Circle View needed more power than the Ring, I also had to change the doorbell transformer in my house. This is not necessarily hard to do, but it adds friction to the experience. It also adds cost!

Logitech has a great website walking you through the installation process, but the fact that it needs a website to begin with tells you a lot about it. In contrast, installing and setting up my Ring was done in minutes by following 3-step instructions from a pamphlet that was in the box.

Once installed, the set up was painless. It is done entirely in the Home app and takes just a few seconds.

Beautiful hardware

The look and feel of the Logitech Circle View Doorbell is absolutely top notch. It is simple, elegant and has a great feel to it, something I cannot say about the Ring which always looked and felt cheap to me.

I’d argue that the hardware itself is actually the best thing about the Circle View Doorbell. 

A lit up circle indicates your visitors where to press but the entire bottom half of the device can actually be pressed to ring the bell. At night, you have the option of enabling a night light which shines a surprisingly large amount of light to your doorstep. This can be turned off and on in the Home app.

All in all, this is a beautiful piece of hardware. Unlike the Ring which I find quite repulsive to look at, this one has a simple and modern design in a small footprint.

But HomeKit ruins it all

If the Logitech Circle View Doorbell shines with its hardware, it quickly falls behind Ring in the software department, and this is no way Logitech’s fault. By choosing to make a HomeKit-enabled doorbell, they had to rely entirely on what Apple’s Home app can offer to handle all the smarts.

There aren’t many things that you ask from a video doorbell. You want it to stream/record videos of activity happening at your doorstep, and you want to be notified about those activities. While the streaming/recording of activity has been flawless, my main gripe is with how HomeKit doesn’t allow for much customizations of notifications.

This quickly became apparent when I started being inundated by motion notifications. That was because my kids were playing by the font door. My phone was literally notifying me every few seconds that there was activity at the door. No big deal, I thought. Ring allows you to snooze/silence these notifications for a set amount of time right from the notification itself, so surely HomeKit has a similar feature. Wrong! Your only option is to set a schedule or to disable motion notifications entirely. While I didn’t want to, I chose to disable notifications altogether for motion activity detection. A huge bummer if you ask me, because this is one of the best features of smart video doorbells.

Worse than not being able to tweak my notification settings, I would often get notifications several seconds after activity was detected or after someone ran the doorbell. In one instance, the delivery guy rang the doorbell while I wasn’t home. By the time I received the notification and opened it to talk to him, the guy was already gone. This happened a few times, enough to infuriate me. I was told by the fine folks at Logitech that I should try to restart my hub (the Apple TV or HomePod used as the central brain for it all) or the doorbell itself. It didn’t change anything.

The straw that broke the camel back was when I stopped received notifications altogether!

This actually happened yesterday as I was starting to type this article and realized I hadn’t received a notification in days, which is impossible since I knew my son had rang the doorbell so he could talk to me while I was at my office (I know, weird, but it’s a quick way for him to plead to me when his mom says he cannot watch TV). 

So I ran a few tests, disabled and re-enabled notifications, but still nothing. Eventually I got the motion activity notifications to come back but no notification for when someone would ring the doorbell. After rebooting to the doorbell, these doorbell notifications came back temporarily, but 10 minutes later, they were gone once again.

That was enough for me. I grabbed a screwdriver, removed the beautiful Logitech Circle View Doorbell, and reinstalled the ugly Ring. And believe me, I cursed through it all!

I put all the blame on HomeKit

In case I wasn’t clear before, all these downsides have absolutely nothing to do with the Circle View Doorbell. The device itself is absolutely flawless but it’s held back by HomeKit itself, and there is apparently nothing Logitech can do about it.

Notifications are the one feature that a video doorbell must get right. Not only HomeKit didn’t get it right to begin with, but it also made it unreliable, begging me to wonder: what’s the point of using this if I can’t rely on it?

I don’t expect any progress to be made until iOS 15, because like most of Apple products and services, it all happens on an annual cycle, with little to no improvements in between. 

Until then, I will be using Ring.

Pros and cons of using a HomeKit doorbell

Pros:

Plays nice with all your Apple products

Uses people from your Photos app for facial recognition

Stores videos on iCloud but doesn’t count against your iCloud storage plan

Announces who’s at the door on your HomePod and Apple TV when facial recognition is enabled

Can create automations using the Home or Shortcuts app

If you live in an Apple household like I do, these are really appealing features.

Cons:

Cannot customize notification sound

Cannot differentiate motion activity notifications from doorbell notifications

Cannot snooze (ie temporarily silence) notifications

Unreliable notifications

The Logitech Circle View Doorbell is available from Logitech’s website, and starts at $199. You can get it professionally installed for an additional $100.

How To Switch Off Nintendo Switch?

Like on every electronic device, it’s a good idea to shut down your Nintendo Switch after an extended session.

Shutting the console off rewards it with a much-needed rest. It allows the console to cool off, erase some of its temporary files, and clean up its cache. 

Powering off the Nintendo Switch is relatively easy. Here’re the detailed steps:

Find the power button at the top-right of the handheld console. It’s next to the volume buttons.

A menu will pop up. Select “Power Options” on the new menu. You would see the same menu if you use the Nintendo Switch on the dock or in its handheld or tablet mode.

Go to “Turn Off” and press the controller’s “A” button to select it. You can tap the option if your Switch is not on the dock. 

Like so, you can turn the Switch off completely. 

The process above may yield various errors if your console is glitchy. For example, it may not bring the power menu. 

If this is the case, and you can’t turn the console off, there’s a secondary way to switch off Nintendo Switch:

Press and hold the console’s power button for 12 seconds. It will force a shutdown, but it won’t damage the console.

You can also use this method if the console crashes or freezes. 

If the method doesn’t work, or if you’re experiencing constant issues, you should factory reset the Nintendo Switch.

How to Put the Nintendo Switch on Sleep Mode?

The Sleep Mode puts the console on standby. It shuts down most of its functions, which allows the console to rest. It will also suspend whatever game you’re playing or whatever you’re doing.

So, when you go back to the console, it will resume whatever you were doing fairly quickly.

However, the Sleep Mode won’t erase potential bugs or glitches or clean the console’s temporary cache.

Similarly, the Nintendo Switch on Sleep Mod can charge the controllers. In comparison, if you plug the controllers into a completely turned-off Nintendo Switch, the peripherals won’t charge.

That said, here’re the instructions:

Another way to reach Sleep Mode is like so:

Select “Sleep Mode” from the Home menu. The option is on the far right and has a power icon.

Lastly, to wake up the console, you must press the power button or the Home button again. The console should go right back to its previous task, unless something is wrong with the Nintendo Switch.

When Should You Turn Off Nintendo Switch?

You should turn off the console every day before you go to sleep or after you finish playing.

Turning the hardware off allows it to rest. Its internal components cool off and stop the spinning and the grind. Moreover, it resets some system configurations to put all of its software back in working order.

Additionally, the software takes care of minor glitches and bugs created as you play. These glitches are made by constantly loading and going in and out of games. They also generate due to heat throttling the speed and performance of the hardware pieces.

When you shut it down, it’s also a good idea to disconnect the Nintendo Switch. That means disconnecting the dock from the TV or disconnecting the screen to the power outlet. 

A total disconnection will protect the console against power surges. Additionally, it will allow it to clean up potential minor glitches and bugs. 

Lastly, turning the console off regularly will protect its battery life and allow it to charge faster. Speaking of which, you should follow these general rules: 

Turn the Nintendo Switch off when the battery is depleted or nearly depleted

Tun the Nintendo Switch off when you finish playing for the day. 

Charge it to its fullest before you play again

If you’re not charging or using the console, keep it off, with the cables unplugged. 

Put it on Rest Mode if you’re going to play again soon, and the battery is okay.

Cisco Switch Configuration Basic Commands

Accessing the Switch

The first step in configuring a Cisco switch is to access the switch’s command-line interface (CLI). This can be done through a console cable or through a Telnet or SSH connection. To access the switch through the console, connect a console cable to the switch and a computer’s serial port. Then, open a terminal emulator software such as HyperTerminal on the computer and set the baud rate to 9600. Press Enter and the switch’s login prompt will appear.

To access the switch through Telnet or SSH, use the command “telnet [switch IP address]” or “ssh [switch IP address]” on the computer’s command prompt. The switch’s login prompt will then appear.

Entering Configuration Mode

Once logged in, the switch will be in user mode. To enter configuration mode, use the command “enable” to enter privileged mode and then “configure terminal” to enter configuration mode. The prompt will change to “switch(config)#” indicating that the switch is now in configuration mode.

Setting the Hostname

The hostname is the name assigned to the switch and is used to identify the switch in the network. To set the hostname, use the command “hostname [hostname]” in configuration mode. For example, to set the hostname to “switch1”, the command would be “hostname switch1”.

Setting the IP Address and Default Gateway

The IP address and default gateway are used to communicate with other devices on the network. To set the IP address and default gateway, use the command “interface [interface number]” to enter interface configuration mode. Then, use the command “ip address [IP address] [subnet mask]” to set the IP address and “ip default-gateway [default gateway]” to set the default gateway. For example, to set the IP address to 192.168.1.1 and the subnet mask to 255.255.255.0, the command would be “ip address 192.168.1.1 255.255.255.0”. To set the default gateway to 192.168.1.254, the command would be “ip default-gateway 192.168.1.254”.

Enabling and Disabling Interfaces

To enable or disable an interface, use the command “interface [interface number]” to enter interface configuration mode. Then, use the command “shutdown” to disable the interface or “no shutdown” to enable the interface. For example, to disable interface Fa0/1, the command would be “interface Fa0/1” followed by “shutdown”. To enable the interface, the command would be “interface Fa0/1” followed by “no shutdown”.

Setting the VLAN

VLANs are used to segment a network into smaller logical networks. To set the VLAN, use the command “vlan [VLAN number]” to enter VLAN configuration mode. Then, use the command “name [VLAN name]” to set the VLAN name. For example, to set VLAN 10 with the name “sales”, the command would be “vlan 10” followed by “name sales”.

Configuring Port Security

Port security is used to restrict access to a switch port by limiting the number of MAC addresses that can be learned on the port. To configure port security, use the command “interface [interface number]” to enter interface configuration mode. Then, use the command “switchport port-security” to enable port security on the interface. To set the maximum number of MAC addresses that can be learned on the port, use the command “switchport port-security maximum [number of addresses]”. For example, to enable port security on interface Fa0/1 and set the maximum number of MAC addresses to 2, the commands would be “interface Fa0/1” followed by “switchport port-security” and “switchport port-security maximum 2”.

Enabling Spanning Tree Protocol (STP)

STP is used to prevent loops in the network by electing a root bridge and blocking certain ports. To enable STP, use the command “spanning-tree vlan [VLAN number] root primary” in configuration mode. This will set the switch as the primary root bridge for the specified VLAN. To set a specific interface as the root port, use the command “spanning-tree vlan [VLAN number] interface [interface number] root primary”. For example, to enable STP on VLAN 10 and set interface Fa0/1 as the root port, the commands would be “spanning-tree vlan 10 root primary” and “spanning-tree vlan 10 interface Fa0/1 root primary”.

Saving Configuration Changes

Once all of the desired changes have been made, it is important to save the configuration to the switch’s non-volatile memory (NVRAM). This can be done by using the command “copy running-config startup-config” in configuration mode. This command will save the current configuration to the switch’s NVRAM so that it will be used when the switch is rebooted.

Conclusion

These are just a few of the basic commands that are commonly used when configuring Cisco switches. With a solid understanding of these commands and a little practice, configuring a Cisco switch can become a simple task. However, it is important to remember that each network is unique and may require additional configuration commands to meet the specific needs of the network. Always refer to the Cisco documentation for additional information and troubleshooting tips.

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