If you don’t have enough Ethernet ports on your router to support all your wired Ethernet devices, then a network switch may be the solution. It’s incredibly useful if you want to connect more wired Ethernet devices but need extra ports.
Network switches add Ethernet ports to your existing router. This can come in handy in the office and in big homes, or if you just want to improve your connection to the Internet.
A Few Things To Consider When Buying a Network Switch
One of the first things you should look for in a network switch is its speed. Network switches with faster data transfer rates will make your Ethernet connection speeds stronger. Another thing you should consider is if you want a managed switch or an unmanaged switch. An unmanaged switch is easy to set up and requires little to no work. On the contrary, a managed switch gives you more control over your connection, but it will require the skill to operate.
Best For Budget: TP-Link 5 Port Fast Ethernet PoE Switch
The TP-Link 5 Port Fast Ethernet PoE Switch is an affordable way to add more wired Ethernet devices to your network. It is a 5-port, PoE switch, which allows for electric power to also transfer, along with data. It has 15.4W output for each of its four PoE ports. It’s great for security cameras, IP phones, and any other device that needs a connection to data and electricity. If you’re budget-minded, this network switch is the best cost-effective option for you.
TP-Link TL-SF1005P V2 | 5 Port Fast Ethernet PoE Switch | 4 PoE+ Ports @67W | Desktop | Plug & Play | Sturdy Metal w/ Shielded Ports | Fanless | Limited Lifetime Protection | Extend & Priority Mode
This ethernet PoE switch is an 5-port, unmanaged network switch with four PoE ports, which transfers data and electricity
Best For Small Offices: Linksys 8-Port Metallic Gigabit Switch
It’s important that printers, computers, scanners, and other such devices in the workplace are able to communicate with each other. The Linksys 8-Port Metallic Gigabit Switch is a solid Ethernet network switch that will allow you to add a few extra Ethernet devices. This 8-port switch can identify traffic in its ports and can identify empty ports and save power.
Linksys SE3008: 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged Switch, Computer Network, Auto-Sensing Ports Maximize Data Flow for up to 1,000 Mbps (Black, Blue)
This switch is best served in a small office, where many devices need to be connected. It can identify port traffic and is energy efficient.
Most Reliable: NETGEAR 24-Port Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged Switch
The NETGEAR 24-Port Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged Switch brings you the easiest and most reliable network switch to use. It is an unmanaged switch with no set up required. It can also efficiently utilize each port’s power supply, which lowers the cost to use this switch. Additionally, it comes with hardware to mount this switch onto any wall or surface. As a bonus, this switch comes with a three-year warranty. Its features make this switch as reliable as possible.
NETGEAR 24-Port Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged Switch (GS324) - Desktop/Rackmount, Fanless Housing for Quiet Operation
This is a network switch you can surely rely on. It features 24 ports, energy efficiency, and a 3-year warranty. It includes hardware for mounting.
Best For Gaming: NETGEAR GS810EMX Nighthawk Pro Gaming SX1
It’s not uncommon for gamers to choose Ethernet over a wireless connection: a wired connection is faster and more reliable. The NETGEAR GS810EMX network switch will take your gaming to the next level. It is an energy-efficient, easy to set up switch with 10 ports total. It also comes with LED RGB colors. Its low latency will process data at high speeds, which is crucial for gamers.
NETGEAR GS810EMX Nighthawk Pro Gaming SX10 Gigabit Ethernet 8 Ports Switch with 2X 10 G/Multi-Gig Uplinks, Black
This network switch is designed for gamers in mind. It's easy to set up, energy-efficient, and comes with management software. It even has RGB lights.