Do you have a network where you share files at high speed, create backups, and stream movies on TV? You probably use an Ethernet switch. But a fast Ethernet connection is not enough these days, what you need are the Best Gigabit Ethernet Switches.
If you want to know what is the difference between a fast Ethernet and a Gigabit Ethernet switch, it’s the speed. This particular switch has ports that can get amazing speeds of up to 1000mbps. If you live at home and you need an Ethernet switch, the best option would be to go for a Gigabit one. It will help in future-proofing your current network setup and you can get some pretty high speeds.
For a business, anything less than a Gigabit switch would not suffice. You will definitely need one and that too a managed Ethernet switch to closely monitor your network. While you might feel that monitoring and handling the network is difficult, but most of these switches have a very simple UI. This allows you to manage and monitor the network without having any extensive networking related education.
But if you are buying a managed switch, you would know what you are getting yourself into. If you are buying one for home though, we would suggest an unmanaged switch. Unmanaged Ethernet Switches usually do not require any configuration or installation. These switches mostly have a plug and play feature. This makes it much easier to use than a managed switch, they also detect any changes in the network automatically.
Ethernet Switch Buyer’s Guide
While there might be only two types of switches for purchase, but some features set them apart from each other. But as usual, they depend on your usage and choice. If you end up buying a 24-port managed switch for a home, you are simply wasting your money. You can find a cheaper 8-port unmanaged switch that will fulfill all your needs. You can find as many as 52 ports on a Gigabit Ethernet switch. So always be sure of what you need before buying any product.
Managed Ethernet Switches
This is the kind of switch you will find in small businesses. The reason is that you can configure a managed Ethernet switch according to your desire. This gives you more control over what device can access how much data on your server. It also gives you a better layer of security and control over the whole network connected with the Managed Ethernet Switch.
Unmanaged Ethernet Switches
The more common type of Ethernet Switch would have to be an unmanaged one. Mostly used at homes and small businesses, these do not require any pre-configuration or installation of any sort. Most of these have a plug and play feature, which allows you to use it without having to configure your network. It detects the slightest change in the network automatically and adjusts itself accordingly. It does, however, take away any form of control you would get from a managed Ethernet Switch, but it also makes it easier to use.
Number of Ports
This is totally dependent on your usage because if you only need 8-ports or 16, buying a 24-port Ethernet Switch is a waste of money. Unless you plan on expanding the number of devices you need to connect to the network, an 8-port switch will be more than enough.
Best Managed and Unmanaged Gigabit Ethernet Switches
Best Gigabit Ethernet Managed Switch
This versatile Gigabit Ethernet Switch by Netgear has an amazing feature that allows it to be controlled remotely. So if your IT technician is absent today, they can still configure this switch from their homes.
There are screws to install this to a rack mount so you can mount it to a server rack. All necessary hardware required to mount is already present with the product when you purchase it. Installing it with your server mount keeps it stable, you can hook it up to a mounted UPS to keep it powered on at all times without any interruptions.
While a fan is a great addition to any hardware that consumes electricity, this switch does not require one. The power-efficient design allows it to operate fanless, giving you a silent operation at all times.
This product is quite affordable, with all the features in this switch, it is a great value. The Gigabit Ethernet Switch ensures the highest bandwidth to all the devices connected to it and you also get a lifetime limited hardware warranty for peace of mind.
Best Unmanaged Gigabit Ethernet Switch
So this particular model is a fanless switch, meaning that it is as silent as it gets when it comes to operation. This is only possible due to the product’s energy-efficient feature, since not a lot of electricity is being consumed, very little heat is produced.
This unmanaged Gigabit Ethernet Switch by TP-link can be wall-mounted or set on the tabletop. The design is very minimalistic, so it does not take much space. The ports all protected with a metal frame allowing for a strengthened grip.
A single green LED in the front shows that the device is powered on. But other than that there is not much other useless information on the switch. This makes it as simple as the switch can be for users. You can also optimize your traffic according to the use, for instance, put more bandwidth on video and audio calls.
With a lifetime warranty from the company will put your mind at ease. If any issues do arise, you can also get help from their 24/7 customer service. The sturdy metal design makes it very durable giving it a long life.
Best Premium Gigabit Ethernet Switch
So the first thing you will notice about this Gigabit Ethernet switch is that it is not your normal switch at all. It has only 8 ports and has a design that is aimed towards gamers. 6 of the ports are normal Gigabit Ethernet Ports, while 2 of them are multi-Gigabit 10G ports for high speeds.
The lights which indicate a connected device in the rear are controllable. These RGB lights are configurable so you can customize them to your requirements. There is no fan in this switch, so if sound bothers you, best get this switch for your home.
Another cool feature is easy to use GUI software for configuration and monitoring. Since it is aimed towards the gamer audience, you get fast responses. You also get a high resolution streaming support through this Gigabit Ethernet Switch.
Linksys is a reliable name in the world of Ethernet, whether it is routers or switches, they have it all. Their products provide a safe and secure networking experience, this model is an 8-port metallic Gigabit Ethernet switch for durable performance.
As usual, the design is fanless, you will receive a silent operation throughout. LED lights above the port give you an indication of connected devices. A power-saving module allows it to detect unused ports so it can power them off.
It also optimizes the bandwidth of streaming applications for better audio and video experience. It detects and fixes and chokes in bandwidth as well with intelligent port-based congestion detection.
This simple but powerful Gigabit Ethernet Switch is perfect for small in-home businesses. You can also use it for a LAN party very efficiently and get the best performance out of it. Not to mention it is an affordable option for budget gamers.