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Selecting the Best Gigabit Switch for Home Network

Updated on Jan 28, 2022
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Gigabit Ethernet is one of the most commonly used networks by small businesses and homes. Why Gigabit switches are better for home? And how to choose the best one? Follow the text below to get all the answers.

 

Why Gigabit Ethernet Switch Is Needed for Home Network?

Like other Ethernet switches, a Gigabit Ethernet switch is responsible for directing the bandwidth of your network connection to different home network wired devices such as computers, PCs. Why do we need it since there is a router already? Here are three main reasons:

Gigabit Switches Offer Enough Speed for Home Network

At a specific rate such as 10/100/1000Mbps data rate, a wired network is usually more stable than a wireless network. Instead of using Wi-Fi, using a home network switch can provide considerably better speed. And this facilitates those tasks where a good connection with a fast internet is required (gaming, for example).

Similarly, you may get better performance from your 4K streaming device. Therefore, if you use a wired connection with a Gigabit networking switch, your network will get high reliability and strong functionality.

Gigabit Switches Offer More Ports for Home Wired Devices

A home router can usually be used to connect wireless devices like computers and smartphones. However, a Gigabit Ethernet switch is essential if you have several wired devices to connect, such as IP cameras, smart TVs and laptops. The Gigabit Ethernet switch is responsible for directing the bandwidth of your network connection to different home network wired devices.

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Gigabit Switches Help to Reduce Congestion

If multiple users access the same network device, a Gigabit Ethernet switch will provide more total bandwidth, which reduces network congestion and improves overall performance. In addition, a Gigabit switch is also useful when it comes to large file transfers, for instance, when you perform backups of servers over a network.

How to Select the Best Gigabit Switch for Home Network?

Here are some considerations for you to choose the best Gigabit home switch.

Port Number

Network switches come with varying numbers of ports. The more ports the Gigabit switch has, the more devices you can connect to the network. When choosing a switch, you need to consider whether the interfaces are enough to support the future upgrade. It’s better to have a switch that has more interfaces than the actual need. For home use, a 5-port Gigabit switch or 8-port Gigabit switch is a wise choice.

Real Forwarding rate

To satisfy different demands, the Gigabit switches support up to 15Mpps, 95Mpps, and 130Mpps forwarding rate. So, users can choose one based on the required forwarding speed. However, not all the network switches can reach the forwarding rate as they have claimed. Maybe you can get a Gigabit switch with a performance test. For instance, FS S3900 switches have gone through the Ixia test and the forwarding rates are as what we claim.

 

PoE or Not

There are various network switch types. For Gigabit switches, there are managed and unmanaged types. They also have PoE and non-PoE types. For home users who need an IP camera system, it's a better choice to buy a managed Gigabit Ethernet switch with PoE function.

Managed or Unmanaged

There are two common types of Gigabit switches, managed and unmanaged. Which one is more suitable for home networks?

Unmanaged switches perform the simple function without any prior setup or configuration. This type of switch is typically used in smaller networks where the users don't want to spend too much time and money. So, you can find the majority of these switches are used in home networks as people simply want to connect their devices with a simple plug-and-play way. Unmanaged switches are also a cost-efficient way for homes to get more Ethernet ports to connect the devices.

Managed switches have many advanced functions, such as VLAN, CLI, SNMP, etc. They can manage and monitor your networks. Of course, that also makes them more expensive, and you will need professionals to configure and maintain the switch. But in fact, home network doesn't require these "fancy features", because normally there are not much connection and network traffic to handle, and for most families, time and budget are limited.

Fanless or Not

A fanless Gigabit switch can offer a silent operating environment with a sound level of 0 dB, which is welcome in both homes and offices. If you care much about the noises caused by networking devices like switches, make sure to choose a fanless one.

Frequently Asked Questions About Gigabit Switches

1. Will a gigabit switch make my Internet faster?

Internet speed depends mainly on the Internet bandwidth of your ISP (Internet service provider). It has nothing much to do with your network switch. The most effective way to make your Internet speed faster is to increase the bandwidth of your Internet. In terms of usage, Gigabit and fast Ethernet are the same, the difference is that Gigabit switches have faster data transfer speeds when you transfer large files.

2. If I buy a Gigabit Ethernet switch, do I still need a router?

Yes, you will need one. Although switches and routers perform some similar functions, they are still different. The common switch works in the data link layer, and the router works in the network layer. The Gigabit Ethernet switch itself cannot connect to the Internet. In other words, it needs a router to connect to the Internet. The main task of Gigabit Ethernet switches is to expand network capacity.

But there is an exception. A layer 3 switch has the main function of the basic router. The layer 3 switch has both data exchange and routing and forwarding functions, but its main function is still data exchange.

However, layer 3 switches cannot replace routers, because more complex protocols or functions are currently implemented in software, while switches implement data processing through hardware.

Conclusion

Before choosing the best Gigabit switch for your home network, you must find out if you need one. Once you decide to buy a home network switch, it is best to consider the factors we just mentioned and then choose the right one.

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