What is a Gigabit Ethernet Network Switch?
All network switches are not the same, with the transmission speed being the deciding factor. From traditional ethernet switches came the Fast Ethernet Switch, an updated version that enhanced the speed to 100 Megabits per second or 100 Mbps from 10 Mbps. With advancements and increased demands came the need for higher speeds and better connectivity, and this is what pushed the development of Gigabit Ethernet Network Switch.
A Gigabit Ethernet Network Switch is capable of operating at speeds of 1 Gbps or 1000 Mbps, 10 times faster as compared to its predecessor. Gigabit Ethernet Network Switches are also backward compatible, supporting 10/100 legacy standards. These switches have RJ45 ports, SFP, and SFP+ ports. Coupled with a variety of features, Gigabit Ethernet Network Switches are the ideal choice for high-speed and high-availability data centers. So what is the best Gigabit Ethernet Network Switch in 2021? What should you consider while looking for one? Let’s try to dig in and find the answers to all that.
Check out the thorough reviews of the best gigabit ethernet network switches in 2021 below.
This 8-port Gigabit Ethernet Network Switch from TP-Link comes with a plug and play setup, minimizing the need for any software installation or additional configuration. One of the best features of this is the power management feature which adjusts consumption as per the cable length and link status. It uses IEEE 802.3x flow standards for reliable transfers.
With DSCP QoS and 802.1p, a switch is an ideal option for traffic that is highly sensitive to latency like audio and video. It comes with 8 RJ45 ports and backward compatibility as per 10/100 standards. Lifetime warranty along with 24×7 technical support is included with this Gigabit Ethernet Network Switch from TP-Link.
- Simple and easy setup
- Lifetime warranty and 24×7 support
- Efficient electricity consumption
- Lack of SFP or SFP+ ports
- Power and network ports are on opposite sides, requires extra cable management
If you are looking for a Gigabit Ethernet Switch for a larger project or commercial applications, this 52-port switch from Netgear is one worth considering. It has 48 PoE (Power over Ethernet) switches along with 4 1G SFPs. An advanced GUI for configuration and management makes it easy to set up as well as manage this ethernet switch. It is also compliant with IEEE 802.3az standards for Energy Efficient Ethernet mode operation.
You get a 1-year subscription of Netgear Insight, which is a cloud-based app/portal for network management. A limited hardware warranty is included along with 24/7 chat-support from Netgear.
- Designed for reliable commercial applications
- 4 SFP ports for increased capabilities
- Lifetime warranty on the hardware
- The complicated configuration process for those with little experience
- 24×7 support limited to chat only
This 28-port Gigabit Ethernet Network Switch from Netgear comes with 24 ethernet ports along with 4 Gigabit RJ45 and SFP combination ports. It supports both static and L2 routing. D-Link’s Network Assistant tool allows for easier management down to the individual port. The initial setup is also made easy through this utility.
The D-Link Green technology allows for conserving power without any decline in functionality or performance. Several safeguard features are included including traffic screening, ARP spoofing, etc. to provide a more secure network. There is a limited lifelong warranty along with the advanced replacement on the next-business-day.
- 4 Dual ports along with SFP support
- Lifetime warranty and quick replacement
- All 24 ethernet ports support POE
- Firmware updates are not regular
- Setup requires advanced knowledge, UI needs improvement
This Gigabit Ethernet Network Switch has 24 auto-sensing ports, which can recognize the current network speed and adjust accordingly. It offers plug and play connection to simplify setup, and includes QoS or Quality of Service traffic prioritization. 12 out of the 24 ports support Power over Ethernet (PoE) with a budget of 120W.
It has a compact form-factor and can be mounted in a rack for building an enterprise setup. The fanless operation provides complete silence while operating. You get a lifetime warranty with the entire product, except the power apply and fan that is only covered for 2-years.
- Compact form factor and design
- 24 ports with 12 supporting PoE
- Lifelong warranty
- No SFP ports
- Lacks LED indicators for individual port status
This 24-port gigabit ethernet network switch from Mikrotik comes with 2 SFP+ ports along with support for 1.25GB and 10Gb SFP+ modules. This is a ‘Cloud-Smart’ switch equipped with capabilities for managing port forwarding, VLAN configuration, adjustment of IP header, and MAC field among others.
The switch supports PoE in but not PoE out. Some initial setup is required to get this switch running since it comes with a DHCP set up out of the box. The firmware also requires an upgrade. There is a 1-year warranty against any manufacturing defects in this Gigabit Switch.
- Multiple features including VLAN configurations and port forwarding
- Affordable and high-quality
- SFP+ port supported
- No Power over Ethernet output
- Does not come with a lifelong warranty
How To Pick The Best Gigabit Ethernet Network Switch 2021
Knowing the best gigabit ethernet network switches in the market is just half the battle. You must also ensure that you consider all important factors before buying one- which are exactly what we will go over ahead.
Number of devices to be connected
This one is obvious- depending on how many devices you plan to connect to the switch, you need a gigabit ethernet switch with a sufficient number of ports. In case you do not have requirements for many ports now, it would still be wise to get one with a few extra ports to leave room for growth.
SFP Port Availability
Are you planning to connect multiple switches? If yes, you need to consider getting one with SFP uplink port or Mini-GBIC ports. These are the connection points that allow switching to other switches through optic fibers.
PoE or Power over Ethernet
PoE or Power over Ethernet is how connected devices are powered through ethernet cables. These devices include VoIP phones, surveillance cameras, and wireless access points. If you plan to use any of these, getting a switch that provides PoE with suitable power may make things easier for you.
Managed v/s Unmanaged Switch
If you will need to control network traffic, then a managed switch is what you need. This includes applications like access control between various departments over LAN, running multiple applications that require high-bandwidth at once, prioritizing certain data on LAN, implementation of VoIP and similar advanced services, etc.
Warranty and After-Sales Service
Since a lot depends on the Gigabit Ethernet Network Switch with multiple devices connected to it, especially in an enterprise, you will want a product that lasts for the maximum possible time with optimum performance. This is why choosing one with a few year’s warranties and some form of quick-replacement guarantee (many offer next-business-day delivery) can save you a lot of trouble. Having a manufacturer that provides 24×7 technical support is another benefit that can make things a lot easier for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How easy is it to set up a Gigabit Ethernet Network Switch?
In the case of an unmanaged Gigabit Ethernet Network Switch, set up is simple as most of these are plug-and-play, able to run without any configuration. However, managed switches offer advanced functionalities and may require some configuration before they can be used.
- Can a Gigabit Ethernet Network Switch improve my internet speed?
The speed offered by the ISP is the major factor that decides how fast your internet will be. However, if you have high-speed internet but a switch that offers a lower rate than the maximum speed, then upgrading to a Gigabit Ethernet Network Switch may improve performance.
- Is an ethernet hub and switch the same thing?
While both of these are network devices that can be used to connect multiple devices on a network, there are differences. A switch is used for connecting different devices in a single LAN, while a hub combines various devices to function as a single element.
A switch offers higher performance as it is smarter in determining the target where data is to be forwarded, unlike a hub that sends data to all connected devices thus decreasing performance due to the shared bandwidth.
From home networks to enterprise data centers, having the best gigabit ethernet network switch can help boost performance and ensure a stable network. With our review of the best 5 gigabit ethernet network switches in the market, you should be able to narrow down your search and find the best choices to help you set up a reliable LAN. Take your time as you go through our buying guide and find one that is the best investment for your money and provides excellent performance for a long time.