What is Manual Switch?
Any manually operated (nonelectronic) switch used for switching between network devices. Manual switches are cheaper than powered electronic switches and are available in a variety of configurations for different uses. They generally have rotary switches on the front and connectors on the back. The connectors can be DB9, DB15, RJ-11, RJ-45, or other connectors such as V.35, BNC, or Centronics. Examples of manual switches include the following:
Stand-alone manual switches: These are generally small boxes with a rotary switch on the front and a set of connectors on the back. They can be used for switching connections between printers, monitors, keyboards, and other devices.
Rack-mounted manual switches: These are standard 19-inch-wide rack-mounted boxes, typically with a number of rotary switches on the front and connectors on the back. These are used more rarely and essentially combine a number of stand-alone switches into a single rack-mounted box.
Many-to-one switches: These allow several users to share one device or allow one user to access different devices. For example, a user can use a many-to-one switch to manually switch between a color laser printer and a black-and-white printer. Or an administrator can manually switch a server from a primary 10BaseT Ethernet network to a secondary network. These switches are typically either two-to-one or four-to-one switches.
X switches: These allow several users to share several devices in different configurations. These switches are typically two-to-two switches.
Dual switches: These allow you to switch two connectors at once.
Graphic M-4. Two manual switch configurations: with a many-to-one switch and with an X switch.
Manual switches are often used in high-security environments in which a user can access a device only by physically switching to it. Some manual switches include key locks that control access.