If you want to buy gigabit unmanaged network switches, you should consider TP-Link’s portfolio of switches that have capacities ranging from 5 to 48 ports, each. Unmanaged switches are entry-level switches for homes and shops/businesses with a few people connecting to the network, who may not require the advanced features provided by managed switches like VLAN (network segregation to prevent congestion), SNMP (management of switches), Link Aggregation/Trunking (Combining two or more links in a switch for additional bandwidth/failover), etc.
TP-Link’s switches have been getting good reviews at major online retailers, like Amazon. The price-performance ratio of these switches is another major advantage. Since wired connectivity is faster and more reliable than wireless connectivity, you might consider buying these switches in areas where you can lay cables, instead of extending the wireless network or buying trying to buy a stronger Wi-Fi router. Voice/video and other real-time applications perform better, when devices are physically connected to a switch using wires.
One port of the network switch can be connected to the wired port of the router, for sharing Internet connectivity to all devices that connect to the switch. Two network switches can be connected to each other using Cat 5E/6 cables, in order to expand the network.
TP-Link’s family of unmanaged switches come with useful features like,
- High Speed Gigabit connections – 10/100/1000 Mbps Auto-Negotiation (all ports).
- Fanless (All models except the 48-port switch) – Quiet operation.
- Green Switches: Power saving features like idle port auto shut-down, auto adjustment of power to individual ports based on cable length, etc. The green features saves electricity and reduces running costs (for all models except 48-port switch)
- Non-Blocking architecture – Data is processed at wire-speed and is not held in the buffer. Good feature to have in congested networks.
- Rack-mountable configurations.
- Plug & Play – Simple installation, No configuration settings/changes.
- Jumbo Frame support – Offers faster processing speeds for larger data chunks.
- Environmental: FCC, CE & ROHS Compliant. Ships in certified frustration-free packaging.
- Per Switch and Per Port Diagnostic LED’s (in certain models)
- Supports MAC address auto-learning and auto-ageing.
- Consistent latency across all ports, in addition to high-speed connections.
Further Information: TP-Link web-page (Look under Unmanaged Switches)
Please note that these switches are entry-level switches and hence they don’t come with expandable optical fiber ports/modules, POE ports (Power Over Ethernet), L2 Managed switch features, etc. While the switches do come with 3/5 year warranty, the exact warranty period for each switch is not mentioned in their website/datasheet!
While you can buy smart/managed switches from well-known brands, they might be relatively more expensive. If your network is going to be a simple one, you might as well give TP-Link switches a try.
Models/Price (USD)/Where to buy (USA): Amazon web-page for,
- TP-LINK TL-SG1048 48-Port 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit 19-inch Rackmount Switch, 96Gbps Switching Capacity
- TP-LINK TL-SG1024 10/100/1000Mbps 24-Port Gigabit 19-inch Rackmountable Switch, 48Gbps Capacity
- TP-LINK TL-SG1016 10/100/1000Mbps 16-Port Gigabit 19-inch Rackmountable Switch, 32Gbps Capacity
- TP-LINK TL-SG1008 8-Port 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit 13-inch Rackmountable Switch, 16Gbps Capacity
- TP-LINK TL-SG1005D 10/100/1000Mbps 5-Port Gigabit Desktop Switch, 10Gbps Capacity
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