Netgear GS105 5-port Gigabit Switch – Product review


The Netgear GS105 gigabit switch has five 10/100/1000 auto-negotiating ports that automatically adjust to the maximum speeds supported by network devices connected to it, in each port. Since it is an unmanaged switch, one just needs to power up this switch and connect network devices to it. The installation is pretty much plug and play. Just remember to connect computers/servers and other devices using cat6 cables (recommended) or cat5e cables in order to realize gigabit performance.

This switch is very compact and hence saves a lot of space. The metallic case makes the switch sturdy and tough. Since there are no fans, the switch is very quiet during operation. Silence is very important for home users as they normally keep switches in living room along with TV, sound systems, etc. This switch can be kept on the desk or can be mounted on the wall. There are LED indicators for power, link, speed and activity for each port.

Since the switch provides a lifetime warranty, you can be sure that it will be replaced if it goes down. So, you can sleep well 🙂  The power adapter however has a warranty of only two years, but it is easy to replace it if it fails and since it is separate from the switch, one doesn’t have to replace the whole switch if the power supply unit fails. Mostly, it’s the power supply unit that fails.

There is a misconception that all ports of switches work at the highest speed supported by the slowest device connected to one of its ports. But each port is independent of each other and you can have a mix of 100 Mbps and 1 Gbps devices connected to it and they will be able to connect to the switch at different speeds. It is a good idea to use a good quality surge suppression box while connecting this switch to the power supply.

Applications: One can connect an Internet connection (broadband modem/router) in one of its ports and share it with the computers connected to other ports. One can similarly connect a printer, server or NAS (storage appliance) and share it with computers. At home, you can connect a broadband router/modem, computer, gaming console, Blueray player and TV to each of its ports and create a high speed network of all these devices.

Wired Switch Vs Wireless Router: A wired switch supports more bandwidth and has a higher switching capacity than a wireless router. The wired network connections are stable unlike the wireless ones which are affected by distance, radio interference, walls/obstructions and a myriad of other factors. Wired network is much better than wireless network especially for high bandwidth applications like streaming video.

Even if you have switch ports in a wireless router, its a good idea to avoid network devices directly to the switch ports router. Instead, connect the uplink port of the Netgear GS105 gigabit switch to one of the ports of the router and connect network devices to the switch ports to get a better performance, more bandwidth and to avoid network congestion.

Important features of the Netgear GS105 5-port gigabit switch:

  • 5 x 10/100/1000 Mbps ports
  • Unmanaged Layer 2 Switch
  • Model: GS105
  • Switch capacity: 10 Gbps
  • 4k MAC address database size
  • Buffer memory: 128 KB on switch
  • LED indicators
  • Dimensions/weight: 3.7″ x 4.1″ x 1.1″/10.6 ounces
  • Maximum power: 3.5 W
  • Warranty: Lifetime warranty

Advantages:

  • Low cost, entry level high performance gigabit switch
  • Plug and play
  • Compact, doesn’t occupy much space on the desk
  • Metallic case
  • No fans, quiet operation
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Can connect to other switches using a normal cat6 cable for expansion

Limitations:

  • Unmanaged switch. No web-based management, no VLAN, no QoS and other advanced switch management features
  • The power adapter is quite large but the wall wart plugs sideways and hence does not obstruct the neighboring power adapter ports
  • Not every computer/network device has a gigabit network adapter and hence a lot of devices may have to connect at 100 Mbps
  • Interconnecting this switch with other switches takes away one port and gives only 1 Gbps of interconnect bandwidth. But that should be enough for many applications

The Netgear GS105 Prosafe 5-port gigabit ethernet desktop switch is an excellent option if you are looking at an entry level high performance switch at low prices. But keep in mind that the requirement for switch ports always keeps increasing (even and especially at homes) with so many devices now connecting to the network. So, you might want to buy the 8-port switch or 24-port switch if you want your investment to be future proof. If you want to buy the Netgear GS105 switch in the United States, you could check the best price offered by Amazon for the Netgear GS105 5-port switch.

In case you want to have a look at the 8-port version of the same switch, have a look at the Netgear GS-108 8-port gigabit switch from Amazon.

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