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A network switch is critical for anyone looking for more control over their home network and to increase the physical number of Ethernet connections available to them.
There are often very few Ethernet ports found on the back of the router; certainly nowhere near enough for most people when you consider how many devices we all have that can be connected over Ethernet.
I’ve done extensive research into various different network switches as well as having a switch as part of my own home network. I have found three that I believe would make a great addition to any home network, catering for different budgets and needs.
Top 3 Recommended Network Switches
- NETGEAR Nighthawk S8000 – This switch offers great performance and low latency whilst remaining very well priced and featuring a sleek, stealth-like design
- Ubiquiti UniFi 48 Port – The ultimate managed network switch with 48 ports, PoE+ and dedicated ports for supporting speeds of up to 10 Gbps
- NETGEAR GS308E – This is your budget option if you want to increase the number of Ethernet ports available to you whilst also making use of some of the smart switch features it comes with
Why I Picked the NETGEAR Nighthawk S8000
There are a few reasons for me picking the NETGEAR Nighthawk S8000 as the recommended router.
- 8 Gigabit Ethernet ports
- Low latency at less than 3.2 microsec at 1 Gbps
- Gaming dashboard for real-time network insights
- Smart switch functionality for more control over your home network
- Excellent price to value ratio
- Sleek design with integrated RGB LED lights
What to Consider When Buying a Network Switch
- Number of ports – This can vary from as little as 4 to as many as 48. Make sure you have enough ports for all of your devices whilst having several kept in reserve in case you get more gear in the future.
- Managed vs Unmanaged – Managed switches offer you more control over your network but are considerably more expensive to buy. Unmanaged switches are much cheaper but come with configuration loaded by the manufacturer that can’t be changed. I would recommend a smart-managed switch that sits somewhere in the between as they come with a lot of the more useful features whilst being much more affordable
- Performance – You need to make sure your network switch is able to keep up with the speeds across the rest of your home network. A switch that uses Gigabit ports is an absolute must in my eyes