NETGEAR GS208 Home Switch Review


NETGEAR GS208 Home Gigabyte Switch Review


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Overview:

The NETGEAR 200 series of Unmanaged Switches can provide easy and affordable networking to any home and or small office.  Everything about this switch is plug-and-play, so if you need to expand your network to multiple devices fast, you can just plug them directly into this switch and away you go. Its as simple as that.

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Features:

This is a very basic home switch so don’t expect anything amazing to come out of it. As for the features for this switch, this NETGEAR switch wont set itself apart from most home switches for both the appearance and speed categories.

The GS208 is powered by a single external 12V 1amp power supply located at the back near to the right of the Ethernet ports. The GS208 has 8 10/100/1000 Base-T ports that allow for a maximum throughput of 8Gbps according to there site.   Power consumption was low to be expected around the 2.0-2.5W range with 4-ports being used and 0W when nothing was plugged in. Which means you could leave this switch on all the time without raising your power bill through the roof. Actually this would raise your bill around $1.50-$3.00 a year depending on what your power company changes for power so that’s a plus. For those that like details it complies with the IEEE 802.3az standard which is based around technology being energy efficient.

Just like most switches produced today the GS208 comes with auto-MDI/MDIX capabilities which allow for the switch to be able to handle a cross-over cable just like it would a straight-through cable. The NETGEAR GS208 again just like other switches has the ability to auto-negotiate cable speeds to optimize speed/throughput to an end-device.

Fan less design makes the devices impossible to hear when it is running and the internal temperatures are easily around a steady 20C with half the ports populated. Though I wouldn’t really worry about this device over heating ever.

Features FS205 FS208 GS205 GS208
10/100/1000Mbps Ports 5 8 5 8
Encloser Plastic Plastic Plastic Plastic
Green Ethernet Yes Yes Yes Yes
Energy Efficient (802.3az) Yes No Yes Yes
Memory Buffer 384-Kbits 768-Kbits 1024-Kbits 1536-Kbits
Address Table Size 4K 4K 4K 4K
Dimensions (W-D-H) 110-71-26mm 152-93-26mm 114-86-26mm 152-93-26mm
Operating Temperature 0 ~ 40C 0 ~ 40C 0 ~ 40C 0 ~ 40C

My Thoughts:

Over all this is a nice little switch that is very simple and easy to use.  It can see this NETGEAR GS208 switch being bought by mainly home users with very few to none in the small business world.  Yes this does function as a plug-and-play switch but being an individual that works with networking equipment everyday, I would want more control over what and where my data is flowing, without the use of 3rd party software.

That being said I do have some complaints about this switch.  The first being, it has a very cheap feeling.  I can flex the entire switch with ease. I know its case is all plastic but that should not be an excuse when I can easily bend the plastic in areas. The case is held together with tabs which is very common in today’s world.  This reduced cost of the device when you are producing in mass and is probably is the reason the switch can be flexed so much.

Another issue I have with this switch is the underside of the case.  It is very smooth casing it to move around very easily.  It would have been very nice to add in some small rubber nubs which would give it some grip on smooth surfaces.  This may seem like nit picking but when you like things to be organized you have to.  Rubber nubs are not much of a cost increase so they really should not have been a missing feature.

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Over all the NETGEAR GS208 is a decent home switch that will function perfectly for end-users.   When you just need a dumb-switch to spread internet to other devices at your home this will be the switch for you. Though if you are a small-business I would not advise this switch though I would advise NETGEARS GS308 switch which is very similar to this switch except that its is a metal housing and has grips on the bottom and supports large frame support for transferring large amounts of data across a network.

All in all NETGEAR I think this is a good switch but defiantly has room for improvement.

 

Thank you

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