Managed Media Converter vs. Unmanaged Media Converters: Whta’s the difference?

Time : May. 22, 2023    View : 72

Media converters are an essential tool for network administrators, allowing them to extend the reach of their networks by converting signals between different types of media. There are two main types of media converters: managed and unmanaged.

media converter

What is a Media Converter?

A media converter is a device that connects different types of media, such as copper and fiber optic cables, or wireless and wired networks. Media converters are used to extend the reach of a network, by converting signals between different types of media. For example, a media converter can connect a copper-based Ethernet network to a fiber optic cable network. Media converters are essential tools for network administrators, as they allow them to extend the reach of their networks and connect devices that would otherwise be incompatible.


Unmanaged Media Converter

Unmanaged media converters are the simplest and most basic type of media converter. They are plug-and-play devices that require no configuration or management. You simply plug in the cables and the device takes care of the rest.


Unmanaged media converters are ideal for small networks or for situations where you need to quickly and easily extend your network without any advanced features. They are also generally less expensive than managed media converters.


Managed Media Converter

Managed media converters, on the other hand, offer advanced features and configuration options. They are typically used in larger networks where administrators need more control and visibility into the network.


Managed media converters allow administrators to configure and monitor the devices remotely, using a variety of management protocols such as SNMP, Telnet, or web-based interfaces. They also offer advanced features such as VLAN taggingQoS, and link fault pass-through. These features give administrators greater control over their networks and allow them to troubleshoot issues more effectively.


Managed media converters are typically more expensive than unmanaged ones, but they offer greater flexibility and control, making them ideal for larger and more complex networks.


Which One is Right for Your Network?

So, which type of media converter is right for your network? The answer depends on your specific needs and requirements.


An unmanaged media converter may be sufficient if you have a small network or need a quick and easy solution to extend your network. However, if you have a larger network or require more advanced features and control, a managed media converter may be a better choice.


It’s also important to consider the long-term cost and scalability of your solution. While unmanaged media converters may be less expensive upfront, they may not be as scalable or flexible as managed media converters, which can be a more cost-effective solution in the long run.



In summary, managed and unmanaged media converters offer different features and benefits for network administrators. Unmanaged media converters are simple, plug-and-play devices that require no configuration or management, while managed media converters offer advanced features and configuration options for larger and more complex networks.


When choosing a media converter, it’s important to consider your specific needs and requirements, as well as the long-term cost and scalability of your solution. By understanding the differences between managed and unmanaged media converters, you can make an informed decision and choose the right solution for your network.