Ethernet switches are one of the smartest ways to expand wired network connectivity inside the house. They're quite handy since most routers have limited Ethernet ports. These simple and compact devices require almost no special setup process and lets you have wired connectivity around the house with ease. However, if you are looking to get the best possible speeds and if your data plan supports it, it's best to have a Gigabit Ethernet switch onboard.
These Gigabit switches support a theoretical speed of up to 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps) and let you send and receive data (Duplex) all at the same time. The best part is that most Ethernet switches require almost no special setup and configuration. You need to make sure that it's powered on and connected to the router, and that's about it.
You can then go ahead and connect devices to Ethernet cables via a quality CAT 6 cable. Yes, it's that simple.
These switches are especially useful if you want a cost-effective wired network inside the house. Provided you plan, you can route the Ethernet cables through walls, attach an Ethernet wall plate, and then have devices like printers and PCs connect to it.
Now that's settled, the following are some of your recommendations for the best Gigabit Ethernet switches. But before that,
As noted earlier, ethernet switches are a cost-effective way of increasing the local area network. The D-Link DGS-108 is no different. This eight-port switch provides network prioritization, although it's not a managed switch. This one supports 802.1p QoS protocol to let you divide the traffic into four levels, and depending on the priority of your devices, you can plug them into the switch.
For instance, if you have a 4K TV, you can set level 1 for it always to receive maximum bandwidth. And devices like printers can settle on the low priority ports. Clever, right? For the record, two ports are dedicated to each priority level on the D-Link DGS-108.
This switch requires no special configuration and works right out of the box, and quite a few users have backed this claim. It works as advertised. It's quite popular on Amazon and has received more than 11,000 reviews at the time of writing. Out of these reviews, it has managed to accumulate an average rating of 4.7-stars on Amazon.
Did You Know: 10 Gigabit Ethernet was introduced in 2002.
If you want to scale things down a little both in terms of price and the number of ports, you can consider the Linksys LGS105. It has 5 Gigabit Ethernet ports, meaning you can link up to 4 devices. The best part is that the Ethernet ports have LED indicators on top of them, thereby letting you see the connection's status. It is a QoS switch, and the ports are optimized to route the data traffic cleverly.
Again, it is an unmanaged switch and plays by the simple plug and play rules. As long as it stays hooked to a power source and the input Ethernet cable is doing its job well, it will work flawlessly.
Do note that this one doesn't support VLAN or Virtual LAN.
The Netgear GS308 is an 8-port Gigabit Ethernet switch just like the D-Link switch mentioned above. It's a simple plug and play switch wherein the ports are QoS enabled. These ports auto-sense the traffic and assign the priority accordingly. It's worth mentioning that in Ethernet switches one of the ports will act as the input.
One of the highlights of the Netgear GS308 switch is the memory buffer of 192KB. Though it may not look like much, let me tell you that this memory buffer is responsible for storing transmission information. Even if a larger data load were to pass, it would pass it to its destination seamlessly.
The Netgear GS308 is compliant with 802.3az Energy Efficient Ethernet. So far, it has seen more than its share of reviews, with most of them being on the positive side. At the same time, quite a few people have praised Netgear for its customer care and support.
The TP-Link TL-SG105 is perhaps one of the most popular Gigabit Ethernet switches out there, and it's easy to see why. For one, this is a small and compact device that fits easily into most corners. Secondly, it's super affordable. The metal build gives it a tad premium look. Compared to the Netgear switch, this one has a higher buffer of 1Mb, allowing for easy processing of large workloads. Like its many counterparts, it doesn't need a special configuration and works out of the box, and automatically optimizes traffic.
Though it has a small and compact build, the TL-SG105 doesn't heat up, and that's a huge plus.
It costs less than $20 and lets you connect four additional devices via Ethernet cable. This tiny device has seen more than 40,000 user reviews on Amazon with users loving it for its build and easy installation process.
This TP-Link TL-SG105 switch is available in a variety of configurations and goes up to 48 ports. If you are looking for power over Ethernet ports, you can opt for the PoE variant.
Last but not least, we have the Aumox AM-SG205. It has a much smaller scale than several of its counterparts above and packs only 5 ports, and is super affordable at just $15. Thankfully, no corners have been cut, and you will get the desired speed, provided the base speed is top-notch. The good news is that it supports both QoS and VLAN (Virtual LAN), similar to managed switches.
The AM-SG205 also has a small footprint and the wall mounting options at the back mean that you can just let it hang inconspicuously in a corner near your device station. At its heart, it's an unmanaged switch and requires no special configuration.
Cut Down the Wireless Interference
It goes without a doubt that connecting to a wireless network and going about your job without worrying about the hassles of wires is itself a liberating experience. But unless you can access the 5GHz network, you will be stuck with the interference-ridden 2.4Ghz band. A wired internet connection removes these issues. The only issue is that the portability of the device is severely hampered.
Nonetheless, if wired internet connectivity is your thing, the best bet would be to get your hands on quality Category 6 (or Cat 6) cables. Not only are these cables future-proof, but they also help to transmit data at best possible speed. Do note that it can transmit 1-gigabit Ethernet signals for up to 100 meters.
Is weak Wi-Fi coverage discouraging you from walking around your house? Check out the link below to discover the best mesh Wi-Fi routers that you can buy.
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