Best ethernet switches of 2018 – switches for home use, small networks electricity cost per watt


It features eight ports that allow for flexible configuration of source and outlet cables and auto-MDI/MDIX to eliminate the need for crossover cables. It supports Gigabit speeds through all ports with non-blocking switching architecture, so each port can transfer data at maximum throughput for a total maximum switching speed of up to 16 Gbps. Each port also auto-negotiates connections so they work at the fastest common speed for each device connection.

The ProSAFE can be purchased with either a sturdy plastic or metal casing. Both are compact and feature a fanless system, allowing the switch to work silently without overheating. This is great for use on desks or close to your workspace, as its quiet operation won’t cause a distraction. Each of the ports on the back has a corresponding front-facing LED that indicates the activity and power status of its port for easy monitoring. It is compliant with Energy Efficient Ethernet standards, so it can conserve power by limiting energy expenditures to idle ports.

An Ethernet switch acts as a bridge to connect different parts of a network together. Many – though not all – routers include network switching capabilities to offer you multiple Ethernet ports. An Ethernet switch, however, is not a replacement for a router. Ideally, you connect a switch to a router and then connect all your wired devices into the switch. They are great if you prefer wired to wireless connections but have more devices than available Ethernet ports.

Ethernet switches are smarter than Ethernet hubs in that they sort information before sending it to only the proper destination, whereas hubs simply send and receive all information to all connected devices. This differentiation allows switches to make better use of your bandwidth. Ethernet switches are not wireless network switches, as they are used with wired connections.

The first differentiation between different types of Ethernet switches is whether a switch is modular or fixed configuration. Modular switches are flexible because you can add to them to meet different needs. Fixed configuration switches have a set number of ports and components.

Fixed configuration switches can be further divided into managed and unmanaged switches. Managed switches are flexible and give you more control over your network. The three products we recommend are all unmanaged switches, which require no programming or configuration. These are easier to use and set up than managed switches and work well for home networks and small businesses. They are also less expensive than managed switches.

It is important to buy an Ethernet switch with the appropriate number of ports to fit your needs. We recommend choosing a product with enough ports to connect all your computers, consoles and other devices plus one to connect the switch to your router. Typically, switches are available with five, eight, 16, 24 or 48 ports.

Most people will be best served by a Gigabit Ethernet switch supporting 10/100/1000 Mbps switching speeds, with some switches able to handle twice that while in Full-Duplex mode. Fast Ethernet switches are ten times slower, by comparison, and still cost about the same. In your network, you want all your components to be at or above the speeds you intend to use, otherwise something like a switch could create limitations. Even if you don’t have anything in your network that can handle Gigabit speeds, purchasing a Gigabit Ethernet switch is a sound investment if you plan to upgrade any connected devices in the future.