Fast Ethernet switch and Gigabit Ethernet switch have been transmitting data across your devices for years. Both the switches play an important role in the network edge. But which one is more suitable for you? What is the difference between both? This post will answer such questions.
Are you excited to know? Let’s dive in!
Difference b/w Gigabit Switch and Fast Ethernet Switch
Gigabit switch has a faster transfer speed than the Fast Ethernet switch without a doubt. But then the Fast Ethernet switch works on a variety of applications including desktop even today. The main differences between both are as follows.
Gigabit Switch is Less Pricey
The Gigabit switch is almost four times more pricey than the Fast Ethernet switch. It must be the most remarkable difference between both the switches. As a network engineer, you always focus on being cost-efficient. And that’s why you will prefer the Gigabit switch over the Fast Ethernet switch.
Gigabit Switch Delivers More Watts Comparatively
The PoE tech transfers 12.94 watts for IP-enabled devices. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work on newer equipment. Gigabit switches support the PoE+ standard delivering over 30 watts of power. This is the reason why most of the network engineers choose the Gigabit switches rather than the Fast Ethernet switches.
But the vendors already working with the Fast Ethernet tech are not willing to switch to new power standards.
Similar Feature Sets
The Gigabit switch is more recent and thus has more advanced feature sets than the Fast Ethernet switch. You can assign QoS and security policies to applications using the former switch. On the other hand, the Fast Ethernet switch also does the same functions but with a higher price tag.
One of the substantial benefits of using a Gigabit switch is its power efficiency. The Fast Ethernet switch uses more power to run its operations. As a network engineer or enterprise personnel, you can lower down your power consumption by using the Gigabit switches rather than the Fast Ethernet.
Be Ready for the Next Big Thing
By using the Gigabit switch on the network edge, you make sure you are ready for the next technology emergence. It will help you adjust according to the upcoming big thing. It’s because whenever the new tech emerges, it’s usually better than its predecessor. We hope you understand what we mean by that.
But what about the Fast Ethernet switch? Do people still use it? Let’s get to know the answers.
Fast Ethernet Switching: Does It Still Work?
The short answer is; yes. Actually, the Fast Ethernet switch is more popular than the Gigabit switch. For example, if you search Amazon for the ‘ethernet switch’, the top result includes a Fast Ethernet switch. In fact, about half of all the results on the first page included Fast Ethernet switches.
People may be looking for a cheaper option. But then, the price for the Gigabit switch is dropping like never before. Maybe, the network engineers are used to the Fast Ethernet switching. Or they don’t want to change the components of the network.
Whatever the case may be, the Fast Ethernet sells and works even today.
Sneak-Peak into the Past
Data inventors introduced the Ethernet in 1980 that could give you the maximum speed of up to 10 Mbps. After 15 years in 1995, they introduced the Fast Ethernet switch that could reach 100 Mbps. It was phenomenal progress without a doubt. However, after three years more, the Gigabit Ethernet switch was introduced.
It has the ability to transfer the data in 10/100/1000 megabits per second. And that’s mind-boggling. But the problem is that the interface does not support the gigabit speed. The larger businesses use the gigabit switch and related peripherals for increased data travel.
With on-going advancements, the new components are designed to support the gigabit switch. And now, you can choose between both he switches, depending on your data transfer needs. Which one should you choose between the two? Let’s get to know it in detail.
How to Choose Between the Two?
The basic functionalities remain the same for both, the Gigabit switch and Fast Ethernet switch. Think about how much internet you need before making a decision about the switches. Fast Ethernet switches are good enough for a home or small business. But, if you need high-speed data travel, a Gigabit switch is ideal.
Let’s Go Back to Basics
To understand which switch is better for you, let’s go back to basics. What are the ethernet switches for? They work like data train lines. The switches decide which data goes to which device. In other words, they help keep your connections separate. They make sure each device transfers the data despite other device usages.
Most of the broadband connections provide you with 100 Mbps or less speed. If you have that slow connection, it really doesn’t matter which ethernet switch you use. Another thing to notice is that all of your network components must support the Gigabit switch. You will not face the issue if you use a Fast Ethernet switch. Let’s dig deeper into both the switches.
Fast Ethernet Switch
Fast Ethernet switch is actually an upgraded version of the original Ethernet switch. That’s why it’s ‘Fast’ which pushed the transfer speed from 10 Mbps to 100 Mbps. It supports 10/100 protocol to make sure you get 100 megabits per second. The Fast Ethernet switch comes packed with RJ45 ports. It works over Cat5 cables to connect with your network components.
Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of these switches one by one so you can make an informed decision.
Pros and Cons of Fast Ethernet Switch
Fast Ethernet switch handles the speed of up to 100 Mbps easily. It’s usually faster than your typical broadband internet connection. It’s more than enough for most of your local area network needs. So, if you are looking for an ethernet switch at home or for a small business, Fast Ethernet is fast enough.
- Works fine with old network setups
- Fast enough for most places and people
- Works on the same functionality as the Gigabit
- Drops the speed when used heavily
- Outdated for the next tech advancement
You only need to understand the fact that the more bandwidth you have, the more combined users can do.
It’s 10 times faster than Fast Ethernet switch and is designed to transfer high-speed data. As the name indicates, it transfers up to 1 gigabit per second meaning 1000 Mbps. It also has RJ45 interface and SFP slots with cat5e and cat6 cables. Gigabit switch is not necessarily compatible with some older network components. That’s why you might not want to switch to the Gigabit switching.
Pros and Cons of Gigabit Switch
Gigabit Ethernet switch manages the fastest broadband connections right now. It’s perfectly ideal for high-speed LAN demands. The switch is futureproofed and ensures maximum internet speed and data travels. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of using the Gigabit switch.
- Maintains the fast speed even when heavily used
- More future proof than the Fast Ethernet
- Handles the higher speed of up to 1000 Mbps
- The network hardware must be Gigabit compatible
We recommend using the Gigabit switch if you have faster internet usage demand than 100 Mbps. Otherwise, the Fast Ethernet which you are using right now is good to go.