Until now, most of our switch reviews have been datacenter models that helped build our enterprise test racks, but at this year's CES, Netgear peaked our interest in something new. The new Netgear Click Switch product family consists of two models, the eight-port model we're testing today, and a larger 16-port model.
We've all owned small, low-cost switches that are not much larger than a few decks of cards, and we've all ran into the same problems with them. The cable tension provides more force than the weight of the switch, which lifts the switch off the table. If you are in a conference room, the deck-of-cards switches always seem have the ports facing the wrong way too, which makes your conference room table look like a spaghetti factory.
Netgear lists the new Click Switch products in the business portion of the company's website, but with a price of less than $70, and an exciting feature list, we can easily see this as a crossover product. The Click Switch products ship with a mounting plate that can be screwed into place, or mounted with the included straps. To put the icing on the cake, Netgear designed the switch so users could choose the power cord exit location.
When I first saw this product, my mind immediately drifted to home theater installations. Most of the devices I've purchased over the last few years have been connected, and many of the devices can connect via Wi-Fi, but the reduced bandwidth makes browsing through thousands of folders and files quite painful. If others are also using the same Wi-Fi channel with Netflix streaming or other activities, then your music files will show up slower than the time it takes to play the song. If you are serious about accessing your audio collection over a network, then wired is the only way to go. The Click Switch products are also managed so you get VLAN and QoS features.
Specifications, Pricing, and Availability
The feature list is extensive for a switch that sells for this low of a price.
Some features are model specific. The eight-port model we're testing today includes two USB ports for charging portable devices. The 16-port model also has an exclusive feature; it supports link aggregation of up to eight members per team.
Netgear's Flexible 1-2-3-4 mounting system gives you choices when placing the switch, be it in your conference room, home theater, or Leviton Media Enclosure.
We found the new Click Switch eight-port model at Amazon and Newegg for $69.99, and the larger 16-port model at Newegg for $149.99. Both models fall under Netgear's ProSAFE Lifetime Hardware Warranty.
PRICING: You can find the Netgear GSS108E for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The Netgear GSS108E eight-port model retails for $69.99 at Amazon.
- Page 1 [Introduction & Specifications, Pricing, and Availability]
- Page 2 [Netgear GSS108E]
- Page 3 [Inside the Configuration Menu]
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