Best Network Switches (Managed & Unmanaged) Windows Central 2020
When choosing a network switch to expand your home or office network, you have a choice between managed and unmanaged switches. Managed switches allow you to really dive deep into configuring the device to control a whole manner of functionality, while unmanaged switches are a little more affordable, but aren't quite as advanced.
- Robust Networking: TP-Link TL-SG108E
- For gaming: Netgear S8000
- For the office: TP-Link T2600G
- Workhorse: Cisco SG 300-20
- Budget Ports: TP-Link TL-SF1005D
- Capacity Overload: D-Link GS-316
If you're into gaming, Netgear has you covered with the S8000. It's a managed switch with an easy interface to use and a total of eight Gigabit ports for hooking up your consoles and gaming PCs. It's also not terribly expensive and doesn't look like a spaceship.
Cisco is known for serious network equipment and the 300-20 is no different. It's designed for small businesses and enterprise deployment, but remains easy enough for almost anyone to configure. It's reliable, offers high levels of performance, but comes at a rather high price.
Making the right switch
Choosing an unmanaged or managed switch depends entirely on your budget and how many ports you require. If you're only connecting a few PCs at home, the TP-Link TL-SG108E is ideal with a low price and plenty of features — you can even go a little further and check out the built-in configuration page to play with a few features and settings.
If you'd prefer a managed switch and happen to play games, the Netgear S8000 is a great tool to hook up all your consoles and gaming PCs with gaming in mind. This switch houses eight Gigabit ports for hooking up all your devices. It even rocks some advanced features like traffic prioritization and QoS management.
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