I ran cables from my Verizon Fios router to my downstairs home theater setup and my bedroom. I was only using one internet device when I ran the cables so I only ran one. Now I need a switch because so many devices require an internet connection. I have wireless but I prefer a hard connection. I am planning on getting a slingbox and I want to make sure I get the proper switch.
10/100 is sufficient for internet browsing and Netflix. But if you will be doing more than one thing with your network connection, or file transfers, or the Slingbox, I would definitely go with the Gigabit.
On a separate issue, you also need Ethernet cables that support the gigabit speeds. That would mean you need at least Cat5e cables, or Cat6. I would recommend going with Cat6 now so that you aren't stuck with old tech down the road.
For internet connection of any sort all you need is a 10/100 connection.
I would definitely go with Gigabit if you are transferring a lot of data between two PCs or devices. I am not familiar with how Slingbox works. I have a Gigabit connection between my primary PC and my HTPC since I do video encoding from time to time and I generally transfer several GB worth of video between them. I think one time I was transferring around 40GB of data from one PC to the other. That took a long time.
Thanks for the responses everyone. I am still trying to fully understand. A switch is rated for different speeds just like nics and routers are. So if I get a 10/100 then the max speed will be 100 if the router, nic and my internet speed are also that fast. Since my internet speed is only 50 then having a 1000 switch isn't going to be any faster. If I had two computers connected and they both had 1000 nics then having a 1000 switch would allow the computers to transfer data up to 1000 between each other. It won't make downloads from the internet any faster since my internet speed would be the bottleneck.
Since I will be using this strictly for internet streaming (sling box and netflix) and not for trasnfering files between two pcs it sound to me like a 10/100 is all I need.