A network/ethernet switch is basically a computer networking device that is used for the purpose of connecting several different devices to one single computer network. The devices are connected using the packet switching method, and the data is received, processed, and then forwarded to the device that is in need of the data. A network switch is also known by several other names, for those who don’t know, network switches are also known as bridging hub, and switching hub. However, the official name for network switches happen to be MAC bridge.
With that out of the way, for networking enthusiasts, having a perfect network switch is as important as it gets, and while it may seem that going to the market and buying a network switch is an easy task, it’s not. The reason is simple, the market happens to be saturated when it comes to network switches, more and more companies are pushing their products out in the market, and the current situation can easily baffle anyone who is in the market to buy a network switch, especially if you are rather inexperienced with that.
Keeping that issue in mind, we have compiled a list of some of the best network switches you can currently buy in the market, to make things easier, we have a total of about 10 network switches. So without further ado, let’s take a look.
This list is not ordered. Each network switches has its own advantages and disadvantages.
The first on the list is by none other than TP-Link, the famous manufacturer who is responsible for providing some of the finest networking products. The TL-SG1048 is a massive rackmount network switch that has a ridiculous amount of Gigabit ports. If you’re wondering how many go into this puppy, then it's 48. That being said, let’s find out more about it.
The network switch, as you have guessed is specifically made for rackmounts, however, if you are looking for compacter options, than TP-Link is offering those as well, with that said, it comes with complete support for the IEEE 802.3x flow control, for those who are wondering, this support is for Full Duplex Mode. That’s not all, it also comes with back pressure for Half Duplex Mode, if that is something you fancy. The switch also has a support for MDI and MDIX modes, this means that the need of crossover cables is completely eliminated.
Overall, the TP-Link TL-SG1048 is an amazing network speed that ensures stable network connectivity without any hiccups or slowdowns. Although the price may seem steep to some, it’s a must have for network enthusiasts who need a reliable and powerful network switch.
The next up on our list is the Netgear ProSafe FS750T2, this aptly named network switch comes with 48 ethernet ports, as well as 2 gigabit ports, and yes, just like the previous one, this also happens to be a rackmount network switch, with smaller options involved as well. So how does it fair, and does it have enough options to keep a network enthusiast happy? Let’s find out.
The network switch comes with a wide array of networking options that networking enthusiasts will like, if you are wondering what are the amazing features, check them out below:
With that said, the above mentioned features are just a few, the network switch also offers features such as a highly intuitive and easy to use web management, and the ability to retain the high speed while conducting auto voice and video VLAN. All these features, amazing quality, and a slew of features make the Netgear ProSafe FS750T2 an epic option for all the network enthusiasts alike.
Cisco is back with another product, however, what we are looking at this time is the SF100D-16-NA. There are several reasons to actually have this on our list, one of the biggest one being the fact that it’s a budget oriented, 16 port network switch. But is it worth the price? We’ll find out in a moment.
The network switch only costs about $125, however, a good thing about this network switch is the fact that it’s quite small in the footprint, and weighs only 4.7 pounds. The really good thing about the SF100D-16-NA is the fact that it doesn’t matter the number of devices you have connected to the network switch, it remains stable, and there are absolutely no hiccups with the speed.
The only downside maybe the fact that it happens to be a 16 port network switch in a market where you can easily get network switches with a larger amount of switches.
The next network switch on our list is the DGS-1210-10 by D-Link systems, now before we go any further, you should know that this is a 10 port internet switch which costs a little bit more than the competition has to offer but how good is it? Well, we’re going to find out.
This particular network switch happens to be the first one to ditch the all black exterior, and uses a slightly more stylish silver and black. However, follows the same design language, but you should keep in mind that these network switches aren’t built for looking good, but performing. With that said, the DGS-1210-10 has a total of 10 ports; 8 of them are your standard ports, while the remaining 2 are the Gigabit SFP Ports.
Performance remained consistent on this puppy, and it managed to stay strong in all the tests thrown at it, we had concerns over slow speeds and disconnections, but nothing like that ever happened.
So, the next network switch on our list came as a surprise to us because it may be an overkill for a lot of people. You can call it the elder sibling of the DGS-1210-10, where the younger sibling had a total of 10 port, the DGS-1210-52 has a total of 52 ports. Yes, you’ve heard it; this puppy sports 48 normal ports, and 4 Gigabit SFP ports. It goes without saying that this is a network switch best suited for hardcore networking enthusiasts who have way too many devices that need connection.
As you may or may not have expected, the DGS-1210-52 retails for above 600 bucks and offers everything that a networking lover. Speaking of features, the network switch comes packed with features that are required when you’re about to do so much networking. A great thing about this network switch is the performance, a lot of people say that the higher the number of devices, the slower the network will get.
Luckily, in our testing no such thing happened, the network speeds were consistent throughout, and there were no inconsistencies. The only downside is the huge size and the price, but then again; this rackmount network switch is built for handling the most intensive of networking tasks and belongs on the offices that require a steady amount of network traffic coming and going.
The name of this switch is the Netgear GS3080P-100NAS. Before we dive deeper into finding out how good this network switch, there are a few things you should know; as opposed to the other network switches we have on the list, this one happens to be budget oriented network switch, and another thing about this network switch is that it only has 8 ports instead.
So, first things first, the GS308P-100NAS only costs $30, it comes in 2 options; both metal and plastic housing. While metal is certainly durable, the plastic version looks quite stylish. If you are wondering there might have been some features that got compromised then you should know that it isn’t the case with Netgear; the network switch does everything an expensive network switch is supposed to do. The features are there, and the performance is there. The only difference? The network switch isn’t made for handling too many devices as it only has 8 ports.
With that out of the way, the Netgear GS308P-100NAS happens to be one of the best network switches if you happen to be on the budget and need something reliable that can actually hold the traffic load.
We have another Netgear product on our list from the same ProSAFE series that we reviewed earlier, right now, we are looking at the JGS524NA. The 24 port network switch happens to be one of the best ones we have seen in quite some time, and there are several reasons why this one is on the list. So without further wasting any more time, let’s find out.
First and foremost, the network switch costs a modest $157, and the price strikes the perfect balance between the price and the performance. According to several reviews and customer ratings, this happens to be one of the best network switches out there in the market, it’s affordable, easily mounts on a compatible rack, and has a plug and play function that ensures that the network switch doesn’t create an awful lot of problems.
We have another TP-Link product on our hands and this time, we are looking at the TL-SG1024. In many ways, it can be considered a younger brother to the highly popular TL-SG1048. This time, instead of having 48 ports, this one comes with 24; half the amount. However, that is not the question here, the question is if it’s good enough. Well, let’s find out.
Well, we were a bit reluctant when the testing began as we were wondering that the performance on this network switch wouldn’t be as good as its elder brother. To our surprise, this managed to bit all the expectations and delivered the same performance as the TL-SG1048. Of course, you still get the same amount of features, only on a smaller footprint, and of course, a cheaper price point
In shorter words, the TL-SG1024 is everything a networking lover would want, it features top of the line specs, a solid build quality, and features that will keep you busy.
We are now going to look at the brilliant SG200-26 from Cisco, and just like the previous one, this also happens to one of the highest rated network switches on Amazon. Not only that, the SG200-26 also happens to be among the top rated network switches of all time. Why is it so? Let’s find out.
At a slightly steep price of almost 200 bucks, the Cisco SG200-26 is the type of network switch that looks good and performs better. The network switch offer a lot of amazing features such as Quality of Service and has an amazing, and easy to use, web interface that lets you control pretty much everything about the web switch along with the networks and devices that are connected to it. In addition to that, Quality of Service (QoS) Layer 3 static routing, IPV6 support, and last but not least, it fully supports mass deployment capabilities.
All in all, the SG200-26 is a capable network switch that may have a steep price for some, but if you manage to overlook it, it happens to be an amazing device
The next up on our list is the TEG-424WS by TRENDnet and as compared to the other network switches in the list, this one happens to be a network switch with 24 ports, and falls under an affordable range by costing just about $160. With that said, let’s take a look at how good is the network switch is.
Even though a bit affordable, the TEG-424WS happens to be one of the most jam packed network switches we had the chance to use; it features all the features that are necessary and required by the networking enthusiasts. Some of the highlighted features include the full sport for Full Duplex backpressure, as well as Half Duplex.
Overall, the TRENDnet TEG-424WS is as perfect example of good network switches, it’s affordable, looks good, and performs equally better. A must buy product for anyone who’s looking for top of the line network switch.
Muhammad Asfand Yar, or Asfand as his friends call, is Author cum Owner of List Enthusiast. Blogging is his old new-found love. He writes to boost his Knowledge - and yours too. He usually remains in front of computer screen - even when he isn't writing any Blog post - doing computer programming. C++ is his passion. Catch him on twitter @asfandyar12.