The 8 Best Ethernet Switches
This wiki has been updated 12 times since it was first published in February of 2018. Whether you're expanding a business network, streaming video content to multiple devices, maintaining an IP surveillance system, or setting up a LAN party for a big gaming event, a high-speed Ethernet switch is an easy and efficient way to share an internet connection. From user-friendly desktop models to rack-mounted workhorses, our comprehensive list has something for everyone. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
December 30, 2020:
As part of this update, I wanted to ensure all options offered gigabit ethernet support - that is, they can handle Cat 6 cables without stepping down the transmission speed to 100Mbps. All the models in this list – except the GoFanco 24-Port - should now also have power-over-ethernet, including newer switches like the Cudy GS1010P and ZyXel GS1008HP that I’ve added. One model I was tempted to keep was the Netgear Nighthawk Pro, not least for its ease of use, but also for its multi-gigabit ports, which are hard to come by, even on newer models - however, it didn’t offer PoE, and speeds of 1Gbps are more than enough for home networks or really in the vast majority of applications. Most of these options will be unmanaged, which means that they’re more affordable, and marketed towards home setups and smaller businesses, and they’ll be fairly easy to setup, though I’ve left the Netgear Smart Managed Pro in our top spot as a managed switch, and decided not to add any more managed switches.
September 04, 2019:
An Ethernet switch essentially acts as a gateway for managing the communication between PCs, laptops, gaming consoles, IP cameras, and other hardware connected to a local area network. Most Ethernet switches allow for fast access and even connectivity to a variety of devices and they are ideal for installation in any home, office, or industrial working environment. I like to think of the switch as a proverbial "highway" equipped with one or more "lanes" (i.e. ports) that manage data flow to various devices. These switches are extremely beneficial for a variety of applications, including managing video surveillance systems, small office networks, printers, computers, and even streaming high-definition media, depending on your business needs.
I added the Netgear Smart Managed Pro for its energy-efficient design, intuitive graphical user interface, and 190-watt power output. I thought the GoFanco 24-Port was a worthy contender due to its dedication for supporting high-definition video broadcasts, making it ideal for use in gyms or restaurants. The Hornbill PSE1816G offers simple plug-and-play operation and a fanless design for use in noise-sensitive work settings. I also included the TP Link TL-SG116 for its low power consumption as well as a combination of IGMP snooping and Quality of Service technologies, which help to optimize the flow of network traffic. Ideal for industrial job sites, the Ovolink Gigabit can withstand extreme temperatures and it can also transfer large files at high speeds. The NexTrend Desktop supports a data transmission distance of over 800 feet with an ability to automatically detect your equipment and provide it with optimal power without overloading any non-PoE devices. I also added the Aumox AM-SG205 for its integrated lightning protection and vented steel housing. The MokerLink Gigabit supports port isolation and broadcast storm suppression, making it ideal for ensuring the integrity of your surveillance system. Finally, while the Netgear Nighthawk Pro is from early 2018, I felt that its high-speed throughput and ability to sustain smooth, low-latency video game action still makes it a relevant option.