Switch Advice Small Business

Hi everyone. I'm a technician and have been running a computer/cell phone/tablet repair business out of a home office the last 3-4 years. Over the next 1-2 weeks I will be moving my business into a leased space. It's gotten too crazy for the home.

What I'm looking for: Besides a couple KVM switches, networking-wise I've never used anything more than the DSL modem/built in router from my ISP. It almost is not enough here in the home office as it is.. and I imagine I'll be more busy once I 100% open up... so I'm looking for something I can connect to the modem/4 port router from the ISP to give me more than the 4 built in ports. I've never had to actually purchase one myself so I'm not toooo up on what is best to get. I've been looking at this one and would like to know your thoughts/suggestions:

Or any other recommendations. I'm not looking to go too expensive. Anything up to 100 bucks, the cheaper the better. But I don't want to scrimp on quality either. Just looking for something simple, where I can split the internet connection up. I assume it is a matter of 1 Ethernet cable going from the router/modem to the switch..and than any of the ports where I plug one it, it should give me internet on the clients; computer, correct?

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  1. That one is likely as good as any other you can find on the market. These are very simplistic devices and the chips used to create them have been around a long time so most are extremely stable.

    You will only find difference between switches when you look at managed ones and that is all related to software features not simple passing of traffic.
  2. Pretty much all gigabit unmanaged switches are going to be the same especially within the same price range. Given the kind of work that you are doing, you may wish to consider separating your network traffic, such as having one LAN for your staff computers, and one separate LAN for customer computers. This is mainly for security and to help protect against some of the really nasty viruses and malware that circulates out there. In this case you'd want to have a business-class router that can actually manage multiple networks, not just a gateway with a single internal LAN network.

    However, if that's not a concern then pretty much any gigabit unmanaged switch will do just fine. I personally like the HP ProCurve line of switches as they are very high quality and have great warranty and support. That may be towards the higher end or outside of your expected budget, though.
  3. Thanks guys!

    So, is it just a matter of one ethernet cable going from the ISP modem/4 port router into the switch. And the other 8 ports or however many..I can just plug one end of a cable into that and the other into a customer system? I feel pretty dumb asking the question since I do this work all the time. Just not super familiar with switches and wanted to double check before I purchase anything.
  4. Best answer
    Yes, the switch is made for connecting all of your networking devices together to communicate. One connection will go to each of your computers from one port each on the switch. Another connection will go from the switch to your router to allow access out to the internet.
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