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,
- Windows user? Here are the best USB to Ethernet adapters for laptops
- Take a look at the top-performing mesh Wi-Fi routers
1. D-LINK DGS-108 ETHERNET 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.
2. LINKSYS LGS105 NETWORK SWITCH
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.
3. NETGEAR GS308 ETHERNET SWITCH
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.
4. TP-LINK TL-SG105 ETHERNET SWITCH
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.
5. AUMOX AM-SG205 ETHERNET SWITCH
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.