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If you are looking to buy the best Ethernet switch for the money, you’ve come to the right place. Known to be able to act as bridges that realize connections between different network components, Ethernet switches are not the same thing with Ethernet hubs. They’re also not exactly capable of replacing your router. One way that Ethernet switches distinguish themselves from basic Ethernet hubs is that they don’t just send and receive every bit of information to the connected devices. They are capable of sorting it out to use the bandwidth more efficiently. It’s also important to note that Ethernet switches are used with wired connections. You might also be interested in our articles about the best hdmi switch and the best kvm switches.
There are a few things that you should be aware of before making the decision to buy an Ethernet switch. The key considerations are:
1. Number of ports
This determines how many devices can be connected to the switch so it’s obviously a deciding factor. The market contains many choices from just 5 ports to 24 and more.
Those who have a high-speed internet connection will need an Ethernet switch that’s fast enough to handle it. This is a very important aspect because there’s the risk of experiencing decreased speeds when all the devices are connected. Some of the best options are those that use a 10/100/1000Mbps configuration, but if you have a slower internet speed, perhaps choosing a model with a reduced speed such as a 10/100Mbps configuration, wouldn’t be an issue.
3. Managed or unmanaged
You can have your Ethernet switch either managed or unmanaged, though there are also devices that offer both options. The only difference is that managed switches come with a web interface which allows you to control the network more conveniently. If this matters to you, it’s important to go for a managed Ethernet switch.
4. Construction quality
Not all Ethernet switches are built the same. Some are created with durability in mind while others make use of a flimsy plastic housing. If you plan on getting a model that lasts longer you need to be prepared to also spend a little more money.
These are the main aspects to take into account when you’re shopping for an Ethernet switch. Now it’s time to take a look at the best products on the market. The following selection has been made based on many important criteria such as performance and overall quality, but the essential characteristic is if the switch is worth the investment.
Best Buy Ethernet Switch
One of the most balanced options for an Ethernet switch in terms of features per cost is probably the TP-Link TL-SF1005D which offers a straightforward operation, a fanless design, and 5 auto-negotiation ports. Other interesting goodies are the power saving function and the IEEE 802.3x flow control.
Setting this unit up is a breeze. There’s no special software required to make the Ethernet switch work and you shouldn’t need to do any particularly difficult configurations. It’s equipped with multiple automatic features to simplify things up. Crossover cables will be a thing of the past with the help of the auto MDI/MDIX.
Another convenient feature is the auto-negotiation for each port. It detects the speed of a network device and makes the right adjustments to ensure the best compatibility and performance. This switch has 5 10/100Mbps ports and it comes with non-blocking switch architecture. The 10K Jumbo frame should help a lot with the overall performance when handling large file transfers.
The way an Ethernet switch handles traffic congestion is important and this model offers powerful flow control for Full Duplex mode but there’s also backpressure for Half Duplex mode. Data can be processed at a rate of maximum 200Mbps, great for a performant wired network. This is also an eco-friendly device as it’s capable of saving approximately 68% of energy consumption.
If you’re looking for a nice all-around Ethernet switch, the TP-Link TL-SF1005D is one of the best you can find at this cost. It saves energy, is very performant, and the LED flash rate makes it very visible to see even from a distance. When you also consider the overall build quality, it’s safe to say that this is a very attractive choice.
- Plug and play
- Ethernet Splitter
- 5 10/100Mbps ports
- Fanless quiet design
- IEEE 802.3x flow control
- Automatic power-saving function
Best Ethernet Switch For Home Network
Netgear is a leading brand in the world of networking products and one Ethernet switch that looks particularly great is the GS105NA model. It provides instant connectivity and a level of performance that you can count on. Some of the standout features are 5 ports, QoS, energy efficiency, and the highly visible front panel LEDs.
This unit is part of Netgear’s series of unmanaged cost-effective Ethernet switches. It will allow for quick expansion of your network with the help of its 5 ports. There are also models with 24 port configurations, but this one is particularly great for those with more basic needs. The ports come with the auto-sensing ability for guaranteeing the best connections every time.
One thing that makes this switch stand out is the usage of high-quality components. The metal case gives off a feeling of robustness despite the small size. It’s obvious that it’s built with a focus on durability as these devices need to be able to last in the long term. They’ve been rigorously tested to meet the reliability standards of businesses.
To set this unit up you don’t have to put in a lot of work. After you connect the required Ethernet cables you can quickly enjoy your new expanded network without going through multiple steps of configurations and driver installation.
With the help of automatic flow control, the traffic is kept under control to avoid congestion. A maximum of 2000 Mbps bandwidth can be handled by each port. This switch comes with status LEDs for all the relevant information including power, link, and speed.
It doesn’t have too many advanced features but it has more than enough to justify its cost. It’s important to mention that this unit is particularly reliable as it doesn’t suffer from auto-negotiation problems like other inexpensive models do. Taking into account all of its abilities, the Netgear GS105NA is a strong competitor on the market for Ethernet switches.
- Sturdy metal case
- 5 auto-sensing ports
- 10/100/1000 Mbps
- Energy Efficient Ethernet
- Simple setup
Best Gigabit Ethernet Switch
TP-Link’s TL-SG108 is a powerful Ethernet switch for those who need to create a more complex setup. It comes with 8 shielded ports and many advanced features packed in a robust metal housing. It can adjust the used power intelligently and has other interesting capabilities under the hood.
Thanks to the compact steel housing design, this Ethernet switch will be able to provide long years of service. It features a wall-mounting design too, in case you decide to place the unit in a more convenient place. For ultra-fast wired connectivity, the switch is capable of large files transferring easily as it’s equipped with 8 10/100/1000 Mbps ports.
With the help of the recent innovations in energy efficiency, this Ethernet switch will be able to save power up to approximately 72%. To limit unnecessary consumption, it’s able to adjust it automatically using certain elements such as the cable length and link status to decide the optimum way to power the switch.
There are some capable automatic features available here for simplifying the operation process for this Ethernet switch. The installation is plug-and-play and you don’t need any crossover cables because the unit features auto MDI/MDIX. To increase the reliability of the data transfer, this model works using IEEE 802.3x flow control.
Another interesting ability which contributes to the traffic optimization is the 802.1p and DSCP QoS technologies. You can enjoy smooth traffic on your network, especially relevant if you need to work using voice and video data as these can suffer from latency.
Although it comes with a very low price, this Ethernet switch doesn’t make too many compromises on quality. The TP-Link TL-SG108 provides a hassle-free installation and it can be considered a very suitable option for various applications. It can even work well in a small office environment so it’s strongly recommended.
- 8 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit ports
- Fanless metal design
- 802.1p and DSCP QoS optimizations
- IEEE 802.3x flow control
- Smart power saving
Best Ethernet Switch For Gaming
For those who need a performant Ethernet switch, there are few options out there that are better suited than the GS408 from Netgear. It’s simple to set up, operate, and monitor, but that’s not all. The switch comes with an internet splitter, 8 fast Ethernet ports, and a strong metal design.
The design is not only durable but it also helps with the overall look of the device. It has 8 ports and is capable to automatically make the connection to a modem or router using any of its ports. The operation is fairly quiet compared to other units as there are no integrated fans. There are some status LEDs included for power, link and activity for each port.
The 8 auto-sensing ports offer great performance as evidenced by the 10/100/1000 Mbps speed. With the help of its 16GB non-blocking switching architecture, this model is capable of delivering maximum throughput for your applications. To connect to the highest speed automatically, it features auto-negotiation between the switch and the end device. There’s also a reliable power saving feature to reduce the energy costs.
For those who want some additional connectivity, you can try the internet splitter function. This allows you to get some extra wired connections through a router or a modem. You can, therefore, connect other devices such as laptops, printers, gaming consoles, etc.
The unit has a little strange port configuration considering that this is a desktop switch but overall it brings lots of great features together. The Netgear GS308 feels truly dependable thanks to its rock-solid metal design which is much more reliable compared to plastic models. If you also count the fast transmission speeds, this is truly a winner among Ethernet switches.
- Metal housing
- 8 auto-sensing 10/100/1000 Mbps ports
- Quiet operation
- Internet splitter
With a reliable combination of features, the Netgear FS116NA looks like a good choice if you need some extra space to connect your devices. This unit provides 16 ports with ProSAFE lifetime protection and many other features including plug-and-play connectivity, energy efficiency, and a durable construction.
The FS100 series has many things in store to please varied user needs. This model seems to be extremely easy to use, even if you’re unfamiliar with Ethernet switches. The first thing that’s required to do is to connect your Ethernet cables. Then you simply plug in a power cord, and you’re pretty much done without software configurations.
As this Ethernet switch has been designed to perform without the need for noisy fans, it can operate in a silent way. Even though it comes with 16 ports, the unit is compact and portable striking a good balance with durability due to the robust metal case which feels like you can depend on it. A 19-inch width would have been a better choice for those who wish to have it rack mounted, but this is not such a big issue.
This unit also respects energy efficiency requirements so it can be a solid solution for any office where an expanded network is needed. Netgear’s customer support is one of the best in the industry. In case you’re experiencing some issues, they have a good team of technicians ready to assist you.
Simple to use and a very performant addition to any environment, the Netgear FS116NA is worth a shot if you need more ports. The price is very balanced considering what you get. You should be able to enjoy a fast home network and the unit looks quite stylish too with its metal design. Highly recommended.
- 16 10/100 Mbps ports
- Durable and reliable
- Plug-and-play connectivity
- Energy efficient
- Small and silent form factor
Best Home Ethernet Switch
A very sleek option that makes no compromises on performance is the TP-Link TL-SF1008D, an Ethernet switch that comes with 8 fast 10/100 Mbps ports. To make it more reliable, it’s equipped with IEEE 802.3x flow control and a great power saving feature. The technical support from TP-Link is also hard to match.
As it’s able to process data at a fast rate, this Ethernet switch represents a valuable addition to your home if you wish to expand a wired network. Packed with a 10K Jumbo frame, this model has no problems with transferring larger files. To alleviate traffic congestion, it features IEEE 802.3x flow control.
Installing the switch is a fairly straightforward task. There are plenty of automatic features that remove some of that hassle of the initial setup. You won’t be needing uplink ports or crossover cables because the auto MDI/MDIX feature makes it unnecessary. Auto-negotiation is also available for optimizing the speed of the network.
The non-blocking switching architecture integrated into this Ethernet switch is truly well thought. You will experience enhanced network response times and the traffic between subnets can be sped up too.
When it comes to power-saving abilities, this model doesn’t disappoint. It provides its users the latest technology for reducing energy consumption in an intelligent manner according to link status and other factors such as cable length. This can be helpful in certain situations like when your computers are off and yet the switch keeps going so this cuts off the power supply of idle ports with great efficiency.
When you look back over its features, the TP-Link TL-SF1008D is definitely an interesting choice for an Ethernet switch. It’s not as solid to the touch compared to units made of metal, but if you consider the smaller carbon footprint, it’s still a great option. An excellent product overall.
- 8 10/100 Mbps ports
- Fanless and quiet
- IEEE 802.3x flow control
- Ethernet splitter
If you’re searching for a very affordable Ethernet switch you shouldn’t miss the TRENDnet TE100-S5, a plug-and-play solution for all your networking problems. Its compact design is nicely suited to places where space is critical. You’ve got a total of 5 ports which manage decent speeds, so it seems like a reasonable switch for the cost.
To boost the performance of your network, this unit makes use of the Auto-MDIX feature which gets rid of congestions and other unnecessary traffic. Each of the 5 ports on this switch offers dedicated bandwidth. Negotiation between different network speeds and duplex modes is possible.
Thanks to the plug-and-play capabilities of this Ethernet switch, the user has a very smooth experience when setting up the device for the first time. You can have it running immediately after taking it out of the box. There’s no management requirement and the integrated GREENnet technology will significantly reduce energy consumption.
The design of this model doesn’t make the unit stand out but the Ethernet switch is compact and has a decent level of flexibility when it comes to fitting in different environments. It’s also worth mentioning that the manufacturer designed this switch to enable service prioritization for data.
This model is compatible with multiple operating systems including Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. It uses a non-blocking architecture and has some useful diagnostic LEDs.
A very compact solution considering everything, the TRENDnet TE100-S5 works well and the networks speed is right as expected. While it’s a bit basic in terms of features, this Ethernet switch is worth the price and can have multiple applications at home or for a small office.
- Extensible design
- Up to 200 Mbps per port
- 5 10/100 Mbps ports
- GREENnet technology
- No management requirements
- Easy to use
- Reliable switching
A great Ethernet switch is the D-Link DGS-1016A, a model that comes with 16 ports to boost your networking productivity and features many solid capabilities. The ports offer high speeds and there’s an aggregated bandwidth of 32Gbps. The price isn’t very high but let’s see if the switch is worth the expense.
Bandwidth-intensive environments are sure to appreciate this 16-port unit. It comes with auto MDI/MDIX crossover and it supports 9K Jumbo frames. Traffic is managed in an optimized manner thanks to the advanced IEEE 802.3x flow control. As this is a Gigabit Ethernet switch you should benefit from great speeds and a reliable network.
This is not only a performant network extension solution but also a highly economical one. The Green Ethernet technology that’s been integrated into this switch offers extended product life and helps to keep the energy costs down. This could be very important in business environments. It comes with a cable detection feature which helps a lot with energy savings.
The plastic design is reasonably compact and it features recyclable packaging. It doesn’t rely on harmful substances and is RoHS compliant. These details really create an eco-friendly impression. What’s great about this unit is that it relies on a very compact construction which reduces the chances of overheating even without integrated fans. The switches are both silent and economical.
Considering its features, the D-Link DGS-1016A is a powerful solution and the cost is relatively low for a 16-port model. It’s simple to mount on a wall and delivers the performance through a good range of abilities to optimize your network traffic. The only drawback is the plastic design which doesn’t leave the same elegant impression as a metal unit does.
- 16 10/100/1000Mbps ports
- 9K of jumbo frame support
- Energy-Efficient Ethernet
- Compact plastic housing
The Netgear GS108Tv2 is a more professional option for users who prefer convenient management through a web-browser based interface. It provides a comprehensive layer2 networking, is powered by PoE, and delivers great performance through its 8 ports. Compared to other 8-port models it’s pricier but it compensates through its superior abilities.
As this is a managed Ethernet switch you can expect some sort of provided utility software which is needed to control it. You can manage your network using the Smart Control Center software but you also have the possibility to use the Web GUI. The setup and configuration steps are reasonably easy to do and the browser interface is intuitive.
The management suite provides multiple ways to control the switch including to configure ports, set up traffic prioritization, and monitor the overall performance of the switch. One alternative you have is to rely on the SNMP-based software.
There’s a fairly complex set of L2 features packed in this Ethernet switch. Just to name a few, you’ve got enhanced QoS, access control lists, rate limiting, and 802.1x port authentication. Another solid function which contributes to a performant business network is the IGMP snooping among many others.
This unit supports the IEEE 802.3af standard for PoE. It gets its power from a PoE source though it’s also possible to use an external power adapter. Your SMB can benefit from the flexibility of making the installation of the switch in locations where there are no outlets available.
Finally, the design has been tweaked for meeting the needs of eco-friendly oriented users. The switch offers an auto power-down mode for limiting the energy resources allocated for unconnected ports. If the cable is under 30 feet, the transmit power is less and overall the packaging has also been constructed using approximately 80% recyclable material.
Offering solid value for the price, the Netgear GS108Tv2 is a nice managed solution for your network expansion. It may not be for everyone and the intuitive interface might still be a little complicated for novice users, so considering everything this is recommended to those who want more out of their Ethernet switch.
- Complex Layer2 networking
- Silent operation
- Web-browser management
- 8 ports
- 2000 Mbps bandwidth per port
- Auto DoS prevention
Linksys is another familiar brand for anyone who’s into networking products such as Ethernet switches. Their SE3008 model has a very attractive and intuitive design and is built with performance and reliability in mind. With great data flow rates and multiple advanced features, the unit easily makes an appearance on this list.
Thanks to its 8 Gigabit Ethernet ports you can guarantee high-speed connections for a total of 8 devices. The installation process is done in a plug-and-play style, so you can benefit from an expanded network in no time. A durable metal chassis has been used to manufacture this Ethernet switch and the unit is desktop mountable. Another thing worth mentioning is the non-blocking architecture.
Capable auto-sensing ports are in place for maximizing the speed of the connections for 10/100/1000 Mbps. They all support auto MDI/MDI-X cable detection. High-quality audio/video streaming is done using the Quality of Service 802.1p. Full-duplex flow control, as well as half-duplex backpressure, will provide the ability to optimize the traffic. As this is a Gigabit Ethernet switch you can expect a much faster connection than a conventional unit.
When it comes to power-saving abilities, the switch doesn’t disappoint. It makes use of innovative features to keep power consumption within reasonable ranges as it doesn’t waste away any energy on unused ports. A convenient on/off switch can be used if you prefer having the LED indicator lights turned off.
Even though it’s coming in last on this list, the Linksys SE3008 is actually a very underrated Ethernet switch. It has a great metal construction, flow control, uplink autodetection, and Gigabit capability. Also worth mentioning is the fact that it doesn’t suffer from overheating problems like some other switches.
- Full-duplex IEEE 802.3x flow control
- Auto MDI/MDI-X cable detection
- Advanced power saving mode
- 8 10/100/1000 Mbps auto-sensing ports