Any office with a lot of devices needs to invest in the best network switches available. All those computers, printers, and NAS devices in the office could be putting a lot of pressure on the work network, which is why having a durable and speedy network switch is so crucial.
Regardless of what your budget is or the size of your network, we have network switches that will fit your needs. You’ll find some smaller options meant for just a handful of network-connected devices to larger ones that have a huge amount of ports to accommodate large numbers of network-attached devices. We’ve collected options for just about every need.
Take a look at the top network switches on offer so you can bring your network out of the dark ages and future-proof it for your growing company. You can check out our included price comparison tool to save on the one that you’re considering.
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This Netgear switch is a sturdy little number that’s capable of handling heavy traffic in a home or office environment. It has a metal chassis that’s rugged, includes a Kensington lock port and positions eight RJ-45 ports around the back. Netgear advertises 16Gbps switching from the device, which runs its own management software that lets you switch configuration from any device connect to any port. It also comes with a handy utility that helps you find switches on the network.
So quiet you won’t hear a peep out of it, this unmanaged 24-port switch from Netgear can be mounted as a rackmount or desktop switch and is backed by an industry-leading warranty. It’s plug-and-play, making it suitable for small-to-medium-sized businesses – and it’s power efficient to boot. Additionally, each port is equipped with automatic speed and duplex sensing, in addition to auto uplink to adjust for straight-through or crossover cables to make the right link.
If you’re especially concerned about power efficiency, this switch features TP-Link’s energy saving tech that saves power up to 70%. This 1-port switch has a 3.2Gbps switching capacity and 9k Jumbo frame to improve the performance of large data transfers. It’s one of the quietest switches we’ve tested which is made possible by its fanless design – and because it’s plug-and-play there’s no configuration required. Oh, and it’s as affordable as switches of its kind come. What’s not to like?
Cisco’s monster 24-port Gigabit switch is an unmanaged switch designed for small office spaces. It’s plug-and-play, requiring zero configuration out of the box, and it’s available in both compact desktop and rack-mount models. As part of the networking giant’s 110 series, it’s designed for bandwidth-intensive video services, and this model can conserve energy by optimising power use without compromising features, which not only helps the environment – it’ll reduce your business’s energy cost too.
Who says you can’t do a bit of gaming in a home office? Looking nothing like your conventional switch, this model has been designed with gamers in mind – and it some features that can be found in high-end business models. In addition to being fanless for whisper-quiet operation, it comes with management software with an easy-to-use GUI that lets you configure, secure and monitor the network it runs on. Its standout feature is a gaming dashboard that lets you view real-time network insights and auto-diagnostics.
Amcrest’s tough metal switch sports PoE (power over ethernet capability, allowing you to power up to 8-PoE devices such as VoIP telephones, IP cameras, computers, TVs, gaming consoles and more over plug-and-play. Its LED lights indicate which devices are active on the network, and the switch’s light and compact (yet heavy-duty) design means you won’t be concerned when slinging it in a bag to take on the road.
This unmanaged 16-port switch is housed in a sturdy metal enclosure. The switch is designed to minimise file transfer teams and streams high bandwidth files without interference, making it ideal for streaming high-quality video over the network. It’s PoE+ capable, meaning that you can power compatible devices using an ethernet connection, with a maximum power consumption of 13.41watts. Moreover, this switch offers huge Gigabit transfer speeds of up to 1,000Mbs, and its QoS (Quality of Service) traffic prioritisation ensure that the most important data always receives top priority.
This switch from TRENDnet has one of the longest PoE+ signals on our list, reaching up to 200m at 10Mbps once its DIP switch is enabled. It can supply up to 30W of PoE+ power per port with a 65W total budget. Its other features are appealing too – it’s wall mountable, features a fanless design for silent operation and is incredibly easy to install and maintain thanks to its unmanaged nature and plug-and-play design. Oh, and its lifetime warranty will give you peace of mind.
Designed for use in home office networks, this easy-to-use switch can be set up in just two steps – simply connect it to the power supply, and the connect your various devices. Its vast feature set includes traffic optimization including IGMP snooping to optimize traffic delivery and ensure a better network experience for applications like IPTV. There’s also QoS (quality of service) functionality which lets admins designate traffic priority to keep voice and video applications clear and free of latency.
With this model, D-Link is targeting businesses who are looking for an affordable switch that doesn’t skimp on advanced features. It sports L2 switching features including VLAN and QoS, all delivered through a simple interface that will be easy to use for even the most inexperienced of IT managers. The switch also delivers PoE (power-over-ethernet) capability, making it easier for businesses to hook up IP cameras, VoIP phones, wireless access points and other standards-compliant powered devices.
With the CBS350 series, Cisco has a foothold in the lucrative consumer market which is bound to grow as more people work from home. The CBS350-8MGP-2X offers the right balance in terms of the number of ports, speed, and features. The fanless design together with great PoE support both in hardware and software makes the unit a treat to deploy and maintain. The web interface and companion mobile application increase the utility of the managed switch by simplifying its configuration.
The CBS350-8MGP-2X is not without flaws as the price is still a bit steep with only four ports 2.5Gbps and over. The case could definitely be smaller if the 10G combo ports were stacked. The CBS350-8MGP-2X remains one of the higher quality switches that we’ve seen and will be a good investment in the long run.
Read our full Cisco CBS350-8MGP-2X review (opens in new tab).