I have 3 Linksys managed switches plus 2 more managed switches which are not linksys. My question is what is the best way to link them up? Currently I have each switch connected to one another via a port on each switch. I believe but I may be wrong that all the traffic is being routed via that port. So I want to know the best way to link everything together.
thanks for your reply. No, we don't need vlan's small company, with 2 floors. I'm not that experienced with switch connectivity and I'm just looking for the best possible way to connect everything to the network without causing bandwidth issues.
I would start with a simple, single path setup. One core switch (unless you take the router). Connect all the other switches from there, i.e. any LAN packet crosses at most 3 switches.
If you find a bottleneck on some switch-switch connection either create a LAG group and connect two ports on both switches.
Continue from there. This gives you the best insight on what traffic patterns you have and what you need. If you simply connect everything with everything it will still work but you don't really know how your traffic flows in your network which is valuable information for the future.
Regarding special ports: In general, no. There are no special ports.
All ports are the same. Some switches have shared ports, though, e.g. some managed Linksys switches have GBIC ports for gigabit fiber connections. Those ports are usually shared with the wired ethernet ports which are closest. "Shared" means you can either have a GBIC module connected or use the wired port but you cannot use both at the same time. The manual of your switches should clearly say which ports are this way if any.
But the wired ethernet ports are usually all the same.