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Unmanaged Gigabit Ethernet Switch Round-Up

Included in this guide:

Conclusion

Netgear GS308

Netgear GS308

Reasons to buy
+Reasonable size • Metal construction • Solid build • Integration of link / activity lights on switch ports • Strong benchmarks • Lowest average price
Reasons to avoid
-No SoC heat sink (no observable heat issues)

Netgear GS308

Amped Wireless G8SW

Amped Wireless G8SW

Reasons to buy
+Metal body construction • Wall-mounting option • Heat sink on SoC
Reasons to avoid
-No integrated link / activity lights • Weak Mesh benchmarks

Amped Wireless G8SW

ZyXEL GS-108B

ZyXEL GS-108B

Reasons to buy
+Great aesthetics with silver-colored body • Metal construction • Wall-mounting option • Strong Point-to-Point benchmarks • SoC mounted with heat sink
Reasons to avoid
-Link/Activity lights not integrated into switch port • Edges of metal body could be a bit more rounded • Leftover construction material residing internally • Lesser fit and finish than competition • Weak Mesh benchmarks

ZyXEL GS-108B

Final Thoughts

Given the number of unmanaged switches out there, it's hard to pick the right one. But with some benchmark data to lean on and a lot of feature parity between the models we reviewed, you shouldn't expect many surprises.

With that said, we believe that Netgear's GS308 offers the best performance for your money. Its benchmark results were generally the strongest, its Ethernet ports face the front, facilitating more installation options, and its memory buffer is the largest. Impressively, it's also the most affordable option in our round-up. As a result, the GS308 emerges as our top choice.

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Eric Bliss is an Associate Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware.

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