Ethernet switches are a great way to provide a super-fast Ethernet connection to the devices on your home or office network. This is a great way to ensure a stable and fast network connection.
Best Gigabit Switches For Home: Top Picks
The links above will take you to the switch in Amazon. More info on the switches below.
Please read on to find out why you might need a gigabit Ethernet switch, about the different types of switch available and to see a rundown of some of the best gigabit switches switches out there.
Why Do You Need A Switch? What Does A Switch Do?
A gigabit Ethernet switch is a way to create a network using Ethernet cables. Whether you realise it or not, most people will already have an Ethernet switch on their router as the Ethernet ports you almost certainly have on your home router are actually an Ethernet switch.
Of course, you may find that the four connections on your router are not enough for your needs. Alternatively you may want to connect a lot of devices in a place away from your router. If this is the case you should buy an Ethernet switch.
Ethernet switches generally start with five Ethernet ports, although can go up to eight, 16 and even 24 port switches. If you need more than this you will likely need to look at business grade Ethernet switches.
One of the main advantages of using an Ethernet switch to connect devices to a network, instead of wifi, is that Ethernet connections are generally faster and more reliable than wireless connections. As such they are perfect for things such as gaming, and network file transfers.
It is important to note, that you shouldn’t think about using a gigabit switch to replace a router. You will still need a router on your network to provide IP addresses to devices on your network as well as to route traffic to and from the internet. As well as this, routers have features like firewalls, Quality of Service, and security settings that will help your network run smoothly.
Connecting Up A Switch
What is a PoE Switch, Do I Need One?
PoE (Power over Ethernet) allows Ethernet cables to carry electrical power. It is frequently used on devices like phones and security cameras. A PoE switch is essentially a network switch that also uses PoE to provide power to the devices on the network.
If you are looking to connect devices like computers, printers etc to a network, you won’t need to buy a POE switch, however, if you want to connect compatible phones, cameras or access points to your network, a PoE switch could be the way to go.
Most home users won't need PoE...
Managed vs Unmanaged Switches?
The difference between managed and unmanaged switches is really quite simple. An unmanaged switch is one that does not require anyone to configure them. They work out of the box and all that is needed for someone to connect to an unmanaged switch is for them to plug an Ethernet cable into the switch.
Because anyone can use an unmanaged switch, they are perfect for your home or small office network as it makes it easy for you to connect new devices to your network and people can just get on with using the network.
Managed switches on the other hand, require configuration (although they often work straight out of the box). They use a GUI menu to give the owner of the switch more control so they can get the best out of their network.
The downside to managed switches is obviously that if you choose to use a managed switch on your network, you will need someone to set up and run your switch. While a lot of managed switches are fairly intuitive, and easy to set up, it is still extra work that you may not want.
All the products we will feature in this article are unmanaged network switches.
Top 5 Rated Best Gigabit Switches For Home Use
TP-Link TL-SG108 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Desktop Switch
- 8 Ethernet ports
- No fan for noiseless operation
- Steel case and a 5-year warranty
This Ethernet switch is a mid-range product with a number of features to help you expand your Gigabit Ethernet network.
It is well made, with a metal casing that suggests it won’t break easily. It has a 5-year warranty to back this up and also comes with unlimited technical support from TP-Link.
Its 8 gigabit ports provide you with plenty of available connections and this should be enough for most home networks. If not, there is also the option to buy the same product in 16 and 24 port versions.
It is really easy to set up and use, simply plug it in then start to add cables to your network. It would be a great product for anyone wanting to add a switch to their network without much hassle.
One feature that is a great extra on this product, is that it is fanless. This means that wherever you put the product, it won’t make a noise or disturb what you are doing.
Netgear Prosafe GS108PE 8 Port Gigabit PoE Web Managed Switch
- 8 Ethernet ports including 4 that are PoE
- Ability to configure VLAN, QoS and traffic from the switch
- Lifetime warranty
The main standout feature on this router is its ability to use PoE. As such if you need to send power over your Ethernet cable, this is a great product for you. This will allow you to power compatible phones, cameras and access points.
While basic set up is simple, this switch also offers you the ability to configure things like QoS and traffic directly from the switch. These extra options allow you to configure your network more efficiently than with other switches.
One of the downsides to this product is that its extra features make this switch one of the more expensive devices on this list.
All in all this is an excellent switch that gives you a few more options for your network, it could be perfect if you are looking for something a bit more advanced for your network.
Linksys SE3008 8-Port Metallic Gigabit Switch
- 8 gigabit Ethernet ports
- Easy setup
- One year warranty
This is a good Ethernet Gigabit switch. It has 8 Ethernet ports although is also available in 16 and 24 port versions.
It has a metallic case that increase the routers sturdiness. One slight downside is that it only has a one year warranty which compares unfavorably to some of the other products on the list.
It has features like QoS to enable you to prioritise certain types of data. This is especially useful if you game or stream a lot of media. As well as this it is very simple to set up and just requires plugging in. If also comes with a wall mount to give you extra options about where to put it in your home or office.
This is an excellent device that should keep your data streaming through your network without any problems.
TP-Link TL-SG1008P 8 Port Gigabit Ethernet PoE Desktop Switch
- 8 ports including 4 PoE ports
- Energy efficient
- Easy setup
Like the Netgear switch above, this TP-Link switch also has the PoE functionality on four of its ports. It is used in the same way and can provide power to compatible phones, access points and cameras.
It doesn't have as many options as the Netgear switch in terms of traffic, although if you want to keep things simple this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. When using this switch all you have to do is plug it in and go.
It is an energy efficient device that uses only a maximum of 15.4W per port(53on the PoE ports), which can help to keep costs down.
Also like the Netgear switch, this device has a fan. This means if you don’t want to be disturbed by the noise you will have to keep it somewhere the sound won’t bother you.
If you need an unmanaged PoE switch that has as simple a setup as possible, then this could be the switch for you.
Cheap Alternative: TP-Link TL-SF1005D 5-Port Fast Ethernet Desktop Switch (This is 100Mbps NOT Gigabit!)
- 5 ports
- Fanless design
- Easy set up
This desktop switch may not have as many ports as the other switches on the list, but it does come with some big plus points.
First, the lack of ports mean it is smaller than the other switches. It could easily be placed on a desk or table without much problem. It is also fanless so having it near where you work won’t be a disturbance.
Secondly, it is a very cheap switch. If you don’t think you will need 8 ports then you could save yourself a lot of money by buying this port instead one of the others. Despite the price difference, it still has an easy setup and all the basic features required.
If you just want a couple of extra Ethernet ports on your network without having to spend too much money, this could be the switch for you.
Do you have one of these switches? Are you thinking of getting one? Let us know about it in the comments section below.