What are you gonna do if your lovely router that you just bought and hooked it up to your home network ran out of ports?
Lets say I have many many computers in my house and I want to connect them the router through wired connections but my router has only 4 ports. I connected three computers and a printer to this router and I have no more ports left on the router to connect more wired devices to it.
Thats what the switch is for. A network switch is kind of like a network surge protector. You plug in one output to your router and other ones will split up the connections so you can plug wired devices into the input on the switch.
A 4 port switch will have total of 5 ports, one output and 4 in ports and just like that an 8 port switch will have total of 9 ports in the same fashion. Switches come in many sizes and network speeds like 4 port switches, 8, 16, or even 32 ports or 64. And there are much larger and more industrial switches to handle all the wired connections and meet up your networking needs.
The switches also have different speed to them and when I say speed I mean transfer rates. 10 Mbps is the lowest wired speed which is seen very less frequently on devices, 100Mbps has become usually a standard, and 1000Mbps which is often called as gigabit ethernet is the signature speed. You can often get 10Gbps network switches but those are for industrial use and very less people are going to be taking advantage of those kind of network switches.
If you are planning to buy a gigabit switch it is wise to make sure that you also have a gigabit router and the ports on your computer are gigabit too. Otherwise you are not really benefiting from your gigabit switch. So if you have way to manny computers for your router to handle, an ethernet switch is definitely what you need.
Top 10 Best Network Switches 2015
Here is the list of 10 Best Network Switches that you can buy to expand your high speed wired network. Lets dig in.
10. TP-Link TL-SG1005D – Check Price
- 4-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch with 10 Gbps Switching Capacity and support for MDI/MDIX.
- Save upto 85% Power with Green Ethernet Technology.
- Reliable data flow with IEEE 802.3x
- Plug & Play with desktop or wall mounting sleek design.
For beginners TL-SG1005D from TP-Link is the perfect choice to add more wired devices to your high-speed gigabit network. Its a great little switch for the money and you can buy.
9. Linksys SE1500 – Check Price
- 4-Port 100 Mbps networking switch with auto sensing ports.
- Ideal for adding slower devices to your network like printers or TV’s.
- Built-in QoS or Traffic Prioritization for smoother experience.
- Plug & Play for quick installation and get your network running in minutes.
This simple switch does not have any DHCP or advanced capabilities but it is a good choice to consider if you ran out of ports on your router and need to expand your wired network.
8. Netgear FS108 – Check Price
- 8-Port 100 Mbps fast ethernet network switch with MDI / MDIX connection.
- Small and power-saving design that can be wall-mounted or rested on desktop.
- Sturdy design to stand against normal everyday rough usage.
- Easy to hook-up to your existing network and get up and running in minutes.
This router is simply built to last and offers great reliability. With simple setup and stellar performance you do not need to be a tech savvy person to use this network switch.
7. Linksys SE2500 – Check Price
- Wired connection speed of up-to 1000 Mbps (1 Gbps).
- 4-Port Gigabit Switch (5 total Gigabit ethernet ports).
- Built-in QoS and traffic prioritization for smooth networking experience.
- Power saving features for less power consumption.
- Easy setup with Plug & Play connections to get your network up and running in minutes.
Successor to its sibling SE1500, this is the perfect choice if you are looking for a stylish high speed network switch to go along with your sleek router. Get this router to expand your high speed network without compromising device looks.
6. Trendnet TEG-S80G – Check Price
- 8-Port Gigabit ethernet networking switch with auto-negotiation.
- Reduce power consumption up-to 70% with GREENnet technology.
- Build your high performance wired network in minutes with easy installation.
- Compatible with WOL (Wake on LAN).
- Well-built metal construction which runs cool and quiet.
When shopping for network switches, Trendnet TEG-S80G comes as a low price, low power and high performance network switch that is both easy to use and sturdy for everyday. I personally recommend this switch to anyone looking to expand their high speed wired network.
5. Netgear JGS516 – Check Price
- 16 auto sensing Gigabit ethernet ports for total capacity of 48 Gbps.
- 1U Rack mountable form factor.
- Plug & Play for easy and quick installation.
- Consumes up-to 60% less power for stellar performance.
- Ideal for small business or heavily connected home.
This industrial grade networking switch is for those who wants serious performance from their wired network. With sturdy build quality and rack mounting design, this network switch not only looks professional but performs excellent too.
4. D’Link DGS-1210-28P – Check Price
- 24-Port gigabit network switch to expand your high-speed network.
- Supports 4-ports Combo UTP/SFP for ultra high speed transfer rates.
- Features Auto Surveillance VLAN and Voice VLAN for advanced users.
- Safeguard Engine protects switches from flooded traffic.
- Easy management via web interface.
- Smart energy saving technology to consume less power when traffic is low.
If you are looking for high speed wired networking switching that can handle multiple large file transfers, multiple HD Video streams then this network switch is the perfect choice for you. Plus it also have more features like IGMP Snooping, Port Mirroring, Spanning Tree, and Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) to further improve your high speed network.
3. HP ProCurve Switch 1800-8G – Check Price
- Features up-to 8 Gigabit LAN ports for high speed wired network.
- Secure web interface to allow changes and manage the network switch.
- Built-in QoS for smoother network performance for every situation.
- 144 KB Packet Buffer, 1 MB RAM/ROM capacity and 1 MB Flash capacity for high speeds.
- Quiet operation even when under heavy load.
This speed demon network switch is best for busy connected home or business. You just plug things in and it just works. That is the simplicity that you need when you need to work on your projects and not figuring out how to set up your wired network to work and this network switch delivers that very well.
2. Netgear ProSafe GS110TP – Check Price
- 8 high speed gigabit ethernet ports to expand your wired network.
- Offers useful PoE power management features for better power control.
- Provides Centralized Management via the New Smart Control Center interface.
- Advanced 802.1x security for authentication.
- Advanced QoS for superior network performance even under high traffic loads.
- Includes wall mount kit for easy installation.
This high speed and high performance literally needs 5 minutes to install and get all your high speed devices up and running and no it does not compromise on security and features for the ease of use. This is the best investment if you heavily rely on wired networks and needs a high performance solution.
1. HP V1910-48G – Check Price
- 48 high-speed manageable gigabit ports.
- Base-T rack mountable and desktop design for easy storage for any situation.
- Half-/full-duplex auto-negotiating comparability for every high speed ethernet port.
- Supports static ARPs.
- Enhanced security features such as Access Control List, IEEE 802.1x and VLANs.
- Features easy-to-use out of the box and plug-and-play deployment.
This router is expensive and it is a good step to “real” pro-grade network switch. This router provides stable high speed network even in high traffic situations. If you are looking to kick start your wired network with high speeds and professional equipment, this is a great choice for you to consider.
Its simple: check out how many devices you want to add to your wired network, make sure if you need Gigabit speeds (slower devices like printers can work on Fast Ethernet too without a problem) and look for advanced features and controls (if you need some) while buying the router.
It is always great to future proof your investment so I would highly recommend you to get a Gigabit switch.