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Networking

Best Gigabit Ethernet Switch

An Ethernet switch is a device that connects multiple computers together as part of a local network. As networking technology has improved, so has the speed that data can be sent between systems. These devices also have "Gigabit" or 1,000 Mbps ports to send data from one computer to another at very high speeds. Most home computer setups don't really need a dedicated Gigabit Ethernet switch since a consumer router typically includes both Internet routing hardware and an integrated switch for a small, local network. If you're looking to set up a larger network (especially in a business environment) then a dedicated switch can help organize your hardware and speed up data flow between systems.

We've chosen these picks as the best Gigabit Ethernet switches thanks to at least eight ports, which gives you a lot of connections for your computers, devices, and other hardware. All of these models are either "smart" or "unmanaged" switches, which makes them easy to set up and use without extensive management on your end, so they're ideal for a small business or even home use. You will also find environmentally friendly features such as power reduction for ports not in use which keeps your energy costs low.

TRENDnet TEG-S82g 8-Port Gigabit GREENnet Switch

This is an excellent Gigabit Ethernet switch if you're looking to set up a simple network and you want to save some money by reducing your power requirements. Networking eight or more computers together can often be a large power draw, just from the systems themselves in addition to what the networking hardware requires. This switch helps reduce some power consumption by monitoring what systems are on and adjusting power flow accordingly. It delivers less power than most other switches to empty ports, less power to switched off networked computers, and adjusts power levels down if you use cables that are shorter than 100 meters in length. There are 5-port, 16-port, and 24-port models available with similar features if eight is not quite right for your setup. This is an unmanaged switch that's easy to set up and use without installing any software or utilities.

Linksys Se2800 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch

While there's a lot to like about this Gigabit Ethernet switch, it just doesn't really have anything to indicate superiority to the other picks on our list. It works well and is easy to set up/use without the need for installing extra software or utilities, simply requiring a connection to begin operating. However, there are some great features such as QoS traffic management which determines priority of activities based on bandwidth so more demanding tasks happen faster while reducing buffering times. This model also detects which ports aren't in use or are connected to powered down systems in order to prioritize data rates to those that are in use. The switch can also reduce power requirements though not to the extent of some other "greener" models.

Greg Wiesen
With an AA in Computer Animation, I have spent years building computers and playing video games. I learned early on that the best way to figure out a new software program was to just start pushing buttons and see what happens (saving often, of course), and that is still my philosophy. From hard drives and motherboards to graphics cards and "holographic" keyboards, I enjoy checking out and playing with all the tech I can get my hands on. I have written hundreds of informative computer and technology articles in the past, and I believe that anyone can understand and use a computer. I'll worry about research and trying out different hardware, you just enjoy the results.
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