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Best Gigabit Ethernet Switches For SMBs

Gigabit Ethernet used to be found only in enterprise settings. But today the technology is so common that it's built into most new notebooks. SMBs involved in video conferencing, video streaming, multimedia training and so on need the added functionality of Gigabit Ethernet, and with several vendors targeting the space, Gigabit Ethernet is becoming practical for smaller companies. Here we look at Gigabit Ethernet switches from Hawking Technology, Netgear and
SMC priced from $60 to about $1,200.

For customers looking for basic gigabit switch functionality in a small size and at an affordable price, Hawking's five-port or eight-port switches excel. Netgear's GS748T includes 48 ports, offers robust management features and is ideal for combining 10-Mbps, 100-Mbps and 1,000-Mbps devices on a single network. Meanwhile, the 24 ports on SMC's SMC8524T switch can be configured for various speeds, and the unit includes features to ensure proper delivery of data.

All of the switches are backed up by thorough sales, technical and marketing assistance from the vendors.

Hawking Five-Port H-GS5T Gigabit Switch

Hawking Technology is selling its five-port gigabit Switch model H-GS5T for only $59.99. The unmanaged auto-sensing unit needs no attention once it's set up. It features five 10/100/1000-Mbps auto-sensing RJ-45 ports, all capable of automatic speed and duplex negotiation to provide the best possible network performance. The unit offers wire-speed filtering and forwarding.

The H-GS5T has a per-port cost of around $12. It is compatible with any standard NIC, hub or switch, regardless of speed, so it's easy to connect to an existing network. The unit measures only 8x2.25x4.5 inches and is practically weightless, so it will fit almost anywhere and is also wall-mountable. LEDs on top of the unit show connection speed, link activity, power and port status. For customers that need additional ports, Hawking sells an identical-looking eight-port unit, the H-GS8T, for $99.99.

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