Gigabit Switch

Gigabit Ethernet is a high speed networking technology that is used in many homes and offices. Its data traffic speeds are up to ten times faster than those on older Ethernet networks. A gigabit switch is a device that manages traffic on a network by directing it more efficiently. There are several models of gigabit switch on the market today, including ones with wireless capability. Manufacturers include Cisco, Dlink, Linksys, and Netgear to name just a few. Choosing the right model requires an understanding of how switches and gigabit Ethernet work.

Ethernet was first developed at Xerox in 1975 and went on to become the dominant networking technology. It is used primarily for small groups of computers that are physically close to each other, called local area networks (LANs). In the early days, the speed of traffic on an Ethernet network was limited to ten megabits per second (10Mbps). Today, most networks operate at or above speeds of one thousand megabits per second (1000Mbps). The protocols and equipment that are used to achieve these speeds fall under the banner of gigabit Ethernet. The official name for the version that runs on twisted pair cables is 1000BASE-T. This version has been in use since 1999, and there is also a recent version that is ten times faster, called 10 gigabit Ethernet.

A switch lies between a hub and a router in terms of importance on a network. A hub is just a repeater than sends data on one port to all its other ports. While a hub is fine for a small network, it causes problems on a large network with high traffic flow. Data packets start to collide with each other and disappear, reducing the overall speed of the network. A switch alleviates this problem by directing traffic more efficiently. It maintains a list of the computers connected to it and can work out where individual data packets are meant to go. A router is basically a switch with more configuration options, and those used at home often have a broadband modem built into them.

Some people wrongly believe that a gigabit switch is essential for streaming media across a network. This is not the case since the required data transfer rate is less than what regular Ethernet can provide. So what is the point of upgrading to gigabit Ethernet then? The main reason is to reduce the time it takes for large files to be moved across the network. There are many people who need this ability to be more productive in their work, including graphic designers, architects, engineers, and scientists. Time spent waiting for a large file to transfer is time that could be spent on other work, and frequent transfers quickly add up to a lot of wasted time each day.

There are many different types of gigabit switch available on the market. This can make it a challenge finding the right one for a particular network. The first decision is whether a desktop, chassis, or rack-mountable switch is required. Full duplex mode is important because it allows traffic to flow at maximum speed in both directions. A gigabit switch should also be backwards compatible to support slower devices on the network. This allows for a staggered upgrade of the network and avoids the need to spend a large amount of money at once, something that many small businesses would appreciate. Some brands use less power and are touted as being environmentally friendly, but even a regular switch does not use much power.

The D-Link DSG-1005D is a good example of a desktop gigabit switch that is ideal for home and small businesses users. It is a compact device, with several status lights on the front panel and five Ethernet ports on the back. It can detect the speed on a port and adjust for optimum performance. The D-Link DSG-1005D has non-blocking architecture that allows it to redirect traffic at full speed. It is capable of learning addresses from the data traffic and can hold many addresses in its memory. Automatic crossover on the ports means that crossover cables and uplink ports are a thing of the past.

This Gigabit Switch Review is Written/Updated on Nov 5th, 2009 and filed under Computer Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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