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I use an Apple TimeCapsule (2011) as my home LAN router.

I've run out of free Ethernet ports on the TimeCapsule, so I need to extend the network; probably using a Gigabit switch.

From the TimeCapsule, I'm going to run a 10 metre CAT6 Ethernet cable, to a switch, and then from that connect to my NAS and Philips Hue hub. The NAS is my main media server, so therefore network speed is a consideration.

I have never purchased a Gigabit switch before, so I'm pretty oblivious where to begin searching in the consumer jungle.

Questions:

  • Are Gigabit switches generally commoditized products, or are they differentiated in meaningful ways?
  • If so, what are the considerations that generally should be taken into account? Speed, security, ease and access to configuration, choice of brand and services/support?

My impression is that switches for home use are relatively commoditized and fail-safe products, and cost competitive alternatives can be easily found. Am I wrong in this? Could the switch, for instance, impair the functionality of my NAS in some way?

Requirements:

  • I'm looking for a fairly cheap Gigabit Switch, typically with 3-4 ports. Perhaps around the $30-50 USD mark or less if possible.
  • It should have all functionality that should be expected of a consumer-grade personal LAN Gigabit switch.
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For home networking, TP-Link and Netgear are the brands I've found most affordable and relilable; TP-Link tends to be a little cheaper and Netgear a little more reliable, but there's little difference between them.

On my home network, I've got a TP-Link TL-SG1005D. This is a Gigabit, 5-port, unmanaged switch - plug the uplink port into your Time Capsule, and the other ports will Just WorkTM. You don't need to do any configuration at all.

Amazon lists the regular price as $21.97, though it's currently on sale at $16.99.

There's also an 8-port version of the same thing available for $3 more, in case you want to expand - honestly, for $3 extra I'd recommend getting the 8-port version even if you don't currently need more than 5 ports.

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    TP-Link's kinda the goto company for cheap/decent networking hardware – Journeyman Geek Mar 6 '17 at 0:18
  • @JourneymanGeek I actually prefer Netgear stuff, but it is a bit more expensive. Worth it if you're willing to spend, but TP-Link is a good fallback. – ArtOfCode Mar 6 '17 at 1:48
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    I went for a Netgear GS108, but TP-Link TL-SG1008D was also something I considered. Hope I made the right choice. – PAN Mar 6 '17 at 12:56

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