With an increase in connectivity, the demand for Ethernet switch seems to grow tremendously and the need for high-speed internet only fuels the necessity for a networking device that will enhance versatility and efficiency. But before I get into much detail, it is imperative to know that each Ethernet network switch is designed for a specific purpose. The networking demands for the average user vary compared to an avid gamer or an office worker. All these are factors that ultimately affect the choice you make on a new Ethernet switch. With that said, here’s a summary of the best ethernet switch currently available for your networking needs.
I. NETGEAR GS724Tv4 24-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch
Over the years Netgear has emerged as a global network company that aims to build quality and reliable networking devices. That has not changed even with the introduction of the Netgear GS724T ProSafe switch. The network switch was explicitly designed to cater for SMB customers in need of high networking performance, robust network management, and SB-oriented features.
This Gigabit Ethernet switch is the ideal pick, especially for commercial use. It comes equipped with a switching capacity of 48 GB/s and 28 10/100/1000 Mbs ports and an additional two SFP 100/1000 ports. If your small business requires smooth running, then the Netgear ProSafe GS724T is a cost-effective network switch that will guarantee service and quality in the long run. This kind of Ethernet switch is beneficial for small organizations looking to use the switch for applications such as video conferencing, system security or VoIP. And the most significant gain is probably the lifetime guarantee and a year of technical support any Netgear customer receives with the purchase of this Ethernet switch. To top it all off, Netgear ProSafe GS724T requires no fan for overheating as it is common in other networking switches.
- Web-based configuration and
- Monitors interface on MacOS High Sierra
- Fanless design, very suitable for an office environment
- Supports RADIUS authentication
- Takes some time to get the time sync to work (via SNTP)
- The built-in logging facilities are pretty sparse and don’t have much room in their buffers
II. TP-Link 24-Port Gigabit Ethernet Network Switch
If you plan a high end, smart, and affordable switch, then the TL-SG1024DE is the device for you. Typically, TP-link is renowned for its excellent networking devices, and this is yet to change as we see in this network switch. First, the TP-Link Easy Smart switch comes with 24 auto-sensing ports with a 1000Mbps transfer rate and 48 Gbps switching capacity as the maximum bandwidth for the network. Not to mention it supports N-way Auto-Negotiation, Storing and forwarding capabilities.
Furthermore, TP-Link ensures speed consistency and minimal latency with a 4Mb buffer memory, 36 Mbps of packet forwarding and 10KB of a jumbo frame. Apart from the VLAN, QoS and IEEE 802.3x flow, the TL-SG1024 also allows durability and low power consumption making it more energy-efficient. Anyone in an office or large workgroups can entrust this device to ensure speedy ports, secure architecture, and better network management. Additionally, TP-Link offers a 5-year warranty to provide quality service delivery for a device that many consider being cheap and more effective.
With its economical price, excellent speed, and ease of installation, the TP-Link Gigabit Ethernet Switch is the perfect match for any home user.
- Can be mounted on the wall and very durable
- Has a special feature for cable checking
- Economical price
- Installation is easy
- Superb speed
- Resists heat
- Very good for home use
- Sometimes has sleep mode issues
- Sometimes has issues with compatibility
- Updating firmware can trigger issues sometimes
III. Cisco SG200-26 Gigabit Smart Ethernet Switch
Arguably one of the most efficient gigabit Ethernet switch, the Cisco SG200-26 offers a smart and durable option for networking enthusiasts all over the industry. The switch comes tooled with 24-ports, 1000Mbps as speed and additional mini-GBIC connections to reduce downtime and improve functionality. With such speeds, this network switch can easily support high-bandwidth business applications with ease. Furthermore, the boost in the transfer rate is the prime choice for those in excessive data usage, for example, 4k gaming or business applications. The switching speed of 39 Mbps and a packet forwarding rate of 52 makes the device facilitate the performance of virtual business applications with ease. And the best part is the compatibility prowess of the switch. You can forget the compatibility barriers you experience as the SG200-26 is designed to cater for professionals planning to manage their network with little knowledge.
On the other hand, the Cisco combines QoS, IPV6, and layer three static routing to help the administration control and monitor the entire network through web-based tools. The user interface further provides mass deployment capabilities to make it an all-around solution. To top it all off, the Cisco SGD200 incorporate the use of IEEE 802 port security around the network. The occurrence of network breaches is no longer there.
- It’s economical
- Has lots of features
- Furnished with VLAN mirroring
- Does not need any configuration For it to be installed
- Performance is top-notch
- Does not have access to SSH
- Does not have a console port
- Some of the ports are not POE
IV. D-Link 16-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch
Any mention of networking companies without D-Link renders the list useless. A breed from this company is the D-Link 16-port Gigabit Switch. For starters, the device’s transfer rate stands at a maximum of 1000Mb/s. Additionally, the transfer of data is capable even on intranet or internet networks. On the other hand, the DGS1016A has a switching capacity of 32 GB/s. This is considerable power with regards to the amount of data the bridging hub can transport per unit time.
Furthermore, if you plan to conserve energy during networking, a right way is using this machine. While it powers down ports with no link, it can also detect the attached cable lengths and enhance the power utilization to fit the network structure. As a result, you get to spare energy while improving the network performance.
Therefore, it is evident that the DGS1016A will improve your network workflows while keeping the system on track. The ease of set-up and the high functionality make this device the ideal choice for home users in search of an excellent product for their money.
- Conserves energy
- Easy to set-up
- High functionality
- Good for home users
- Can carry multiple devices
- Does not make noise
- Not so durable
- Can sometimes get hot and stop working
- Lots of port cases are dead
V. TREND net 16-Port Unmanaged Gigabit Network Switch
Another product from the trustful brand of TRENDnet, this switch aims to change the networking system of both organizations as well as homes. One way the TRENDnet gigabit network switch plans to do this is through its 16-ports. With 16 autos MDI/MDI-X supported ports, this switch support some networking devices through a single platform. In return, the user has more control whereas the users enjoy improved network connectivity. Additionally, the TEG-S16DG has an inbuilt power efficient chipset and advanced embedded technologies that facilitate the switch’s power efficiency. The switch can transmit data worth 32Gbs at a rate of 2000mbps, to ensure fast and efficient transfer and collaboration of information. The high transfer speed offers the comprehensive network free from downtime, and network glitches. Furthermore, the switch is embedded with GREENnet technology. The GREENnet technology with an integrated management mechanism that guarantees glitch-free data transmission and management of the network resources. Such a switch is especially suitable for medium networks. The massive transfer rate, data management technology, and GREENnet power would top any networker’s list.
- Very fast
- Does not make noise
- Power-efficiency is high
- Good for medium-sized networks.
- Ultrafast Data Transformation
- The price is a bit high
- Does not have rack mounting brackets
- Not good for small scale use
Basics of Network Switches
Whereas it is wise to know the best devices on the market, it is imperative that you have a little bit of knowledge on how this network switches genuinely work. For starters, a network switch or switching hub is a high-speed computer device that allows receiving, processing and forwarding of data to multiple devices on a local area network. It’s a device computer users can use to connect to each other or the internet. The switch plays an essential role in most local area networks (LAN), especially enterprise networks of medium to large corporations.
However, if you bear the burden of making the purchase decision for a network switch, you should expect different types of network switches to choose the best that fits. Depending on the number of devices and number of network users, there are different types of switches made available.
If your network is always experiencing expansion, then a modular switch is a sure winner. As the name suggests, this switch allows one to add expansion modules onto the switches to enhance their expansion capabilities. With such switches, the flexibility is at its peak, and you can expand your network whenever you feel like it. Still, before rushing to get one, it is imperative to know that modular switches are far more complex and expensive compared to fixed switches.
Fixed Configuration Switches
The use of fixed-configuration switches means there are only a set number of ports. Typically, these switches are not expandable and can be broken down into unmanaged, partially-managed and fully managed switches.
Probably the most common network switches in use at homes and small businesses, unmanaged switches cannot be modified or managed by anyone on the system. For those who don’t have the time to configure or manage the network then these switch is the best option for you. However, significantly large organizations are in no place to use such a networking switch.
Partially Managed Switches or Smart Network Switches
More often than not intelligent network switches are confused between managed switches or partly managed switches. This is because smart network switches provide a basic level of management feature with the capability for security, and administration. A standard feature is a management interface which is more simplified than what the managed switches have to offer. They all make offer set up options like VLANs and Quality of Service (QoS). For VLANs, the smart switches allow the creation of workgroups within the network through segmentation making it quite a versatile solution. This can be helpful for an organization in use of VoIP phones or look to save the cost of their networking budget. These switches are cheaper compared to their managed counterparts.
If you are willing to spend a fortune just to get the highest quality of network switches, then I would consider going for a managed switch. Not only do you get high-level security and control and also the full management of your network. And as the more costly option in the market, it would best suit a large organization looking for stability in their networking features.
Network Switch Vs. Router
More often than not, users ask whether a network switch or router is best for their networking projects. For beginners, a router performs a much similar function to what network switches do. Whereas switches create the system, a router connects these networks to each other. The router link computer to the internet, and acts as a dispatcher at times. These two devices often look similar and tend to perform the same functions, but each has a distinct role on the network. In essence, a router picks the best path for data transfer.
Additional Considerations when Looking for a Network Switch
With a basic breakdown of what network switches entail, there are a few other things that make an impact on the type that will meet your needs.
1. Port Slots
First of all, is the number of ports on the network switch. The market provides network switches ranging from 5 to 52 port slots and configurations. While considering the number of ports you will need, the ultimate factor lies with the number of users you expect your network to support. The more substantial you network users, the more ports you will need.
As a standard aspect of most networking devices, speed also matters in a networking switch. For fixed configuration switch users their speed comes with Fast Ethernet (10/100 Mbps), Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000), Ten Gigabit (10/100/1000/1000/10000) and 40/100 Gbps speeds. At first, this might seem confusing, but it is knowledgeable to know that if you plan to use large volumes of data, then Gigabit Ethernet is the ideal option.
3. Standalone or Stackable
An often overlooked element is whether or not you plan on your network proliferating. If you plan on extending your system in the future, a stackable switch is a way you might want to go. One good reason is that standalone switches need specific configuration and troubleshooting whenever an issue in the network arises. On the other hand, a stackable switch allows configuration of multiple switches as though they were a single device. This can save you the hassle of having to configure each network switch to the user on the network. For stackable switches, the most considerable advantage is that they can automatically reroute around a network issue whenever there is a port or cable failure.
We hope this guide was informative, concise and helpful enough.