Best Network Switches

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 15, 2018
Any IT professional knows the importance of having a stable, high performance network. One of the key components of such is a network switch. If you are looking for a high-quality network switch, read on for our reviews of five of the best network switches available. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Ports
LEDs
Housing
Extras
Dimensions
Warranty
 
PROS

All ports here support PoE (Power-over-Ethernet) function - it allows one cable to be used for both data transmission and power supply, thus reducing the cost of purchasing and laying cables for network equipment.

CONS

LED indicators shine too bright, which can be a little annoying.

OUR VERDICT

If you are looking for an advanced switch for connecting IP camera security systems, VoIP phones, wireless access points and other similar devices - make a choice in favor of this model. By purchasing it, you get not only a switch, but also a POE-injector.

detailed parameters
Ports

8 (10/100/1000 Mbps)

LEDs

Power, Link/Activity

Housing

Metal

Extras

Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) support, energy-efficient technology, screw slots for wall-mounting, non-skid feet, Kensington lock

Dimensions

6.2 x 4 x 1.1 inches

Warranty

3 years

PROS

LED indicators are located on the front panel, while the ports themselves are on the reverse side. This solution allows you to carefully hide the cables, while the indicators will be clearly visible, to monitor the status of the switch.

CONS

Some users note that the device is very hot.

OUR VERDICT

Linksys network devices are popular among beginners, as they are very easy to connect and initialize. Experienced users will also be able to leverage their expertise to configure this model for use as an element of a complex network.

detailed parameters
Ports

8 (10/100/1000 Mbps)

LEDs

Power, Link/Activity

Housing

Metal

Extras

Energy-efficient technology, Mounting bracket included for wall-mounting, non-skid feet

Dimensions

6 x 3.3 x 1 inches

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The case here is made of strong and high-quality steel which features multiple ventilation holes, so that the possibility of the device overheating will not cause problems. The No-Fan design guarantees silent operation.

CONS

By default, the switch has the same IP as most routers: there may be compatibility problems.

OUR VERDICT

This inexpensive model is perfect for owners of large dwellings, which have a lot of network devices in the house. Even if you actively use several gadgets at the same time - you still get a stable and high-speed connection.

detailed parameters
Ports

8 (10/100/1000 Mbps)

LEDs

Power, Link/Activity

Housing

Metal

Extras

Green energy-efficient technology, screw slots for wall-mounting, non-skid feet, Kensington lock

Dimensions

6.2 x 4 x 1 inches

Warranty

Limited lifetime

PROS

The design provides a grounding bar with a fixing screw, which makes it possible to reliably protect equipment from damage caused by a thunderstorm - an important point in terms of safety.

CONS

The maximum transfer speed is 100 Mbps.

OUR VERDICT

This compact 5-port switch from Netgear is designed for use with devices that are equipped with 10/100 Mbps network cards. It remains an optimal option for small houses and offices with several computers.

detailed parameters
Ports

5 (10/100 Mbps)

LEDs

Power, Link/Activity

Housing

Metal

Extras

Mounting bracket included for wall-mounting, non-skid feet

Dimensions

3.7 x 4.1 x 1.1 inches

Warranty

Limited lifetime

PROS

Improved green energy-efficient technology helps significantly reduce energy consumption, because the switch automatically selects the power mode, depending on the status of the connection and the length of the connected cable.

CONS

The glossy plastic housing is susceptible to scratches.

OUR VERDICT

If you already have a productive router in your house, but all LAN ports are busy - we recommend that you purchase this model: it will add 4 more Gigabit ports to your network, necessary for high-speed data transfer.

detailed parameters
Ports

5 (10/100/1000 Mbps)

LEDs

Power, Link/Activity

Housing

Plastic

Extras

Green energy-efficient technology, non-skid feet

Dimensions

5.5 x 3.5 x 0.9 inches

Warranty

Limited lifetime

NETGEAR GS308-100PAS

8 Port Switch With PoE

When it comes to finding networking equipment that is geared towards the home or small office, there are a few brand names that are well known. One of the most well-known of these is Netgear, a company that has long made high-quality networking equipment. This long tradition continues with the NETGEAR GS308-100PAS 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged Switch, a great 8 port Ethernet switch that is perfectly placed and priced for the home and small office market.

This high-quality 8 port switch includes a number of features that really make it stand out from the competition. Chief among these is the support for PoE (Power over Ethernet) for all 8 auto sensing ports. This means that devices that are meant to work with PoE will be perfectly at home operating while connected to this switch. Other great features are the complete plug and play nature of the switch, meaning that no configuration is necessary to connect it to your network. All 8 ports include bright LED lights for indicating network traffic, allowing for easy monitoring of the device. All of these features packed into a sturdy metal case mean that this fast Ethernet switch should be a workhorse in your home or small office for years.

Review of NETGEAR GS308-100PAS 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged Switch, Sturdy Metal

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Linksys SE3008

Linksys High Quality Switch

Linksys is a brand that has been well known to many computer and network technicians for years. They have long been a leader in home and small office network equipment, and this reputation continues to the present day. The Linksys SE3008 8-Port Metallic Gigabit Switch is another high-quality product from them, providing an 8 port switch that has numerous features that place it above the competition.

This great 8 port Ethernet switch provides full-duplex IEEE 802.3x flow control and half-duplex backpressure, meaning that all network activity on the switch is properly maintained and making intelligent use of the switch's capabilities, preventing packet congestion, which can drag down a network's performance. All ports support auto MDI/MDI-X cable detection, which means that devices can easily connect to the switch without needing prior configuration. The QoS packet scheduling optimizes network traffic and prioritizes audio and video streaming, which ensures that all media streams will be smooth and not affected by network performance. The metallic case of this switch also provides it with high durability, meaning it should last for years. With such a great name behind this network switch, this model is one that shouldn't be passed over.

Review of Linksys SE3008 8-Port Metallic Gigabit Switch

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

TP-LINK TL-SG108

Sturdy Network Switch

TP-LINK is a newer name in the home networking equipment market, but they have quickly become well known and highly regarded for providing high-quality products at an affordable price. The TP-LINK TL-SG108 8 Port Gigabit Ethernet Network Switch is yet another product that continues in this line. This 8 port Gigabit Ethernet switch provides Gigabit (1000Mbps) speeds on all 8 ports, ensuring that all connected devices are able to take full advantage of the high network bandwidth.

This switch has a number of features that make it a great value. It fully supports plug and play operation, with no configuration necessary. Just connect it to your router, connect the various devices through Ethernet, and it should be ready to go. The IEEE 802.3x flow control is supported by this model, providing highly reliable data transfer over the network. The 802.1p and DSCP QoS packet scheduling helps to optimize network traffic, especially for latency-sensitive data such as audio and video streaming. The power saving features of this device are also top notch, meaning that the switch can be left on for long periods of time without worry of it wrecking havoc on your electric bill. All of the great features of this device combined with the low price means that anyone looking for a high-quality switch on a budget should give this model a try.

Review of TP-LINK TL-SG108 8 Port Gigabit Ethernet Network Switch, Sturdy Metal w/Shielded Ports

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

NETGEAR FS105NA

5 Port Budget Switch

Some of us who need a network switch only have a couple of systems or devices that require connectivity. In cases like this, a budget 5 port switch is a great product to have. The NETGEAR FS105NA 5-Port Fast Ethernet Unmanaged Switch is one such switch that is perfect for those who have a small home or office and only need to connect a couple of computers. Having only 5 ports doesn't mean this switch is lacking in features, though. In fact, far from it. This 10/100Mbps switch has a small and silent form factor, meaning it can be quite easily hidden out of the way, being virtually unnoticeable. The plug and play connectivity provides an easy way to set it up and to connect the devices, without requiring any kind of configuration.

Although this home network switch does not support Gigabit Ethernet, it makes full use of the 100Mbps Ethernet speed, providing fast network speed and responsiveness that is sure to be fully capable of handing demanding network traffic. The high build quality of this switch also makes it almost impervious to damage of any kind, with it retaining a high degree of durability. This small 5 port Ethernet switch is the perfect solution for those who want a cheap, high-quality network switch for their home.

Review of NETGEAR FS105NA 5-Port Fast Ethernet Unmanaged Switch

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

TP-LINK TL-SG1005D

Lightweight 5 Port Switch

Network switches aren't all meant to handle the demands of an office. Many of the smaller and more affordable network switches are made for those who have simple demands for a switch, and the TP-LINK TL-SG1005D 5-Port Unmanaged Gigabit Desktop Switch is no exception. Featuring 5 Ethernet ports, this switch includes a splitter for allowing easy connection to a model or router, which makes it perfect for those who just want to add a few more Ethernet ports to their home network.

Although this simple model is very affordable, it doesn't lack for features. The full Gigabit Ethernet capability of the switch allows for high network traffic running at full speed, so network congestion shouldn't ever be a problem. The IEEE 802.3x flow control also provides highly reliable data transfer, meaning that the network won't be filled up with improperly routed packets. The power savings capabilities also mean that it can run continuously with almost no effect on your total electricity usage. The limited lifetime warranty of the device also means that you don't have to worry about hardware failures causing trouble with your home network. Anyone looking for a small, lightweight network switch with an extremely affordable price will be quite happy with this model.

Review of TP-LINK TL-SG1005D 5-Port Unmanaged Gigabit Desktop Switch

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

What Is a Network Switch?

Network switches are devices that are used for allowing multiple computers or networking devices to simultaneously function on a computer network. They are complex devices in comparison to network hubs, which were the devices that were often commonly used for the same purposes before switches became more widespread.

A network switch works by keeping an internal table of different devices that are connected to it, and then distributing network packets to the correct device. This is much more efficient than a network hub, which simply broadcasts network packets to all devices simultaneously. Due to the difference in operation, network switches are much more reliable and provide much more efficient network performance than a network hub.

A network switch is often seen as a necessity in a home or office where there are multiple computers connected to a wired network. As many desktop computers and workstations do not include wireless networking by default, this makes a network switch a necessity. They also have much better network performance and stability than a wireless network, so they are mainstays in situations where both network performance and stability are critical.

If you have multiple devices that you need to connect to your new network switch, take a look at our reviews of the best Ethernet cables for your network.

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Publish Date: 2018-08-15 13:13:05