I’ve been needing a switch for some time. As with most people I rely on the ports on the back of my ISP supplied router, but those 4 don’t get very far and the 100 Mbps speed from all but one of the ports just isn’t cutting it.
The TP-LINK I bought for 2 reasons – it has a Gigabit connection (i.e. 1000 Mbps) and it was cheap (I bought mine for less than £15 from Amazon).
Other features are that it has 5 ports (there is an 8 port version but it’s nearly twice the price), is energy saving (by powering down the ports when there’s no activity and by varying power based on detected cable size, it claims to save up to 75% of energy). The box is rather lacking – a User Guide leaflet, the switch and a power supply. You don’t even get a single ethernet cable (thankfully I have many spare!). The user guide is, putting it politely, rubbish – it tells you all about the technical functionality and how to connect it up to the mains but if you don’t know what to do with a switch this really won’t help. The box itself is smaller than a router and generally quite compact. There are lights on the front for each port and well as a general power light. There are no buttons at all and no configuration to perform.
So, I powered up the TP-LINK and connected an ethernet cable from my router to a spare port on it. I then transferred all my other router connections over to the switch – each of these can now communicate to each other at Gigabit speeds.
It was cheap, simple to use and has given me a 10x increase in speed accessing certain devices. The only negative point is the rubbish instructions.