After a few exchanges, I’ve finally found the best home office network switch and I’m excited to share my findings: The NETGEAR ProSAFE GS108E 8-Port Gigabit Web Managed Switch and here’s why.
8-Ports: Spend the extra cost and reserve it for the future, you may not have use for the extra ports now, but you will eventually. I ended up buying two of these GS108E’s and already found use connecting additional devices (wired is always better than WiFi).
Build Quality: The fact that this is fanless and energy efficient (max <4.08W + auto power-down) is huge in my books, not to mention the sleek compact metal case for desktop or wall mounting. I found both TP-link and Linksys to be quite annoying with their power supplies – both brands seem to be using a low quality plug that emits an extremely high pitch noise.
Price: The Unmanaged NETGEAR ProSAFE GS108 8-port kicks off at $44.21 ($34 after current rebate), which is an absolute deal compared to the GS105 5-port ($42) and the “low quality” TP-link 8-port ($24). Remember, you get what you pay for! The Managed GS108 8-port (from the intro) starts at $52.26 ($37.26 after current rebate) is a no brainer for the extra “$13″ from TP-link, and for an extra “$3″ to get managed is a great deal. The managed is nice to have for future use, but the unmanaged is still sufficient.
Web Managed: The GS108E Plus (managed) has a very simple and easy to use web interface. Not that I’m using any of the managed functions / controls just yet, but it again will be reserved in the future for i.e. setting priority on ports for home TVs, VoIP; rate limiting; vlan; etc..