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Best High-Speed Network Switches 2023

Expand your wired network using one of our top picks packing loads of Ethernet connections

Which high-speed network switch is the best?

The best high-speed network switch you can get for most use cases is the Linksys SE3008. It has eight Gigabit Ethernet ports, an easy plug-and-play setup, and simple Quality of Service (QoS) features that prioritize audio and video streaming.

But if you need a network switch specifically built for gaming or large networks, we list our top picks for those categories too.

Compare network switch features and prices

Best forModelImagePort countPrice*Get it
Best overallLinksys SE30088$39.99View on Amazon
Best value TP-Link TL-SG1088$18.99View on Amazon
Best for gamingNETGEAR Nighthawk GS808E8$169.95View on Amazon
Best for large networksTRENDnet TEG-224DG24$84.99View on Amazon
Best for Power over EthernetNETGEAR GS305Pv25$39.99View on Amazon
Best forBest overall
ModelLinksys SE3008
Image
Port count8
Price*$39.99
Get itView on Amazon
Best forBest value
Model TP-Link TL-SG108
Image
Port count8
Price*$18.99
Get itView on Amazon
Best forBest for gaming
ModelNETGEAR Nighthawk GS808E
Image
Port count8
Price*$169.95
Get itView on Amazon
Best forBest for large networks
ModelTRENDnet TEG-224DG
Image
Port count24
Price*$84.99
Get itView on Amazon
Best forBest for Power over Ethernet
ModelNETGEAR GS305Pv2
Image
Port count5
Price*$39.99
Get itView on Amazon

Best overall—Linksys SE3008

Best overall

$39.99*

Specs:

  • Type: Unmanaged
  • Total bandwidth: 16 Gbps
  • Ports: 8x Gigabit Ethernet

The Linksys SE3008 is the best network switch for everyday use in your home network. The switch’s sturdy metal frame can sit on your desk or live in a rack mount. Using it is as simple as plugging it in.

This switch features eight front-facing ports with LED status lights, so you know when each port is in use. It offers some QoS functions to streamline your data flow for streaming movies and music.

Pros:

  • Simple plug-and-play setup
  • Basic QoS

Cons:

  • Higher price than basic switches
  • Odd power jack location

Best value—TP-Link TL-SG108

Best value

$18.99*

Specs:

  • Type: Unmanaged
  • Total bandwidth: 16 Gbps
  • Ports: 8x Gigabit Ethernet

This eight-port network switch is inexpensive but still has all the features you need in an unmanaged network switch. It has a metal frame, basic QoS for traffic optimization, and an automatic power-saving mode. Plus, its lifetime warranty guarantees that you’re covered if it fails.

Though the TL-SG108 has a metal chassis, it weighs less than 14 ounces. So, the weight of Ethernet connections can move it if it’s not secured correctly, which could be annoying since cord management is messy enough without your switch getting all tangled up.

Pros:

  • Low price
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • No Multi-Gig speeds
  • Extreme lightweight design

Best for gaming—NETGEAR Nighthawk GS808E

Best for gaming

$169.95*

Specs:

  • Type: Smart Managed Plus
  • Total bandwidth: 16 Gbps
  • Ports: 8x Gigabit Ethernet

The NETGEAR Nighthawk GS808E gaming switch is the only managed network switch on this list. That makes it a little more advanced and a little harder to set up, but it gives you more control over your network connections. That’s a huge benefit if you want to configure your connections to prioritize gaming data and reduce latency.

But all the fancy features make it cost more than unmanaged switches. The benefits outweigh the costs, however. And though the managed switch is a little more difficult to set up, you only have to configure it once.

Pros:

  • Low latency design
  • User-friendly management software

Cons:

  • High price
  • Difficult setup

Best for large networks—TRENDnet TEG-S24DG

Best for large networks

$84.99*

Specs:

  • Type: Unmanaged
  • Total bandwidth: 48 Gbps
  • Ports: 24x Gigabit Ethernet

If you need more than five or eight Ethernet ports, this TRENDnet TEG-S24DG network switch has plenty. With 16-port and 24-port options, this network switch is an easy way to expand your connections.

Like other unmanaged network switches, this device doesn’t have many QoS features like port configuration. But it does follow GREENnet energy saving performance standards that adjust power consumption based on the devices plugged into the switch.

The TEG-S24DG can sit on your desk for easy access or be rack-mounted, but you have to buy the rack-mounting hardware separately.

Pros:

  • Plenty of ports
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • No included mounting kit

Best for Power over Ethernet—NETGEAR GS305Pv2

Best for Power over Ethernet

$39.99*

Specs:

  • Type: Unmanaged
  • Total bandwidth: 10 Gbps
  • Standard ports: 1x Gigabit Ethernet
  • PoE+ ports: 4x Gigabit Ethernet
  • PoE+ Power budget: 63W total

Ethernet cables are typically associated with wired networking, but you can use them to deliver power too. For example, you can install security cameras in locations that lack electrical lines and outlets. Connect an Ethernet cable and the cameras can receive both data and power.

NETGEAR’s GS305P (version 2) provides power up to 30 watts per port, but your maximum total output can be only 63 watts. The “plus” version is $20 more and includes software that allows you to manage the device. If you need more ports and power, the GS316PP has 16 ports and a 183-watt power budget, starting at $399.99. Ouch.

Pros:

  • Up to 30 watts per PoE port
  • Plug-and-play design

Cons:

  • Overall 63-watt power budget

What to look for in a network switch

Network switches come in many forms and sizes. To make sure you find the best network switch for your network, keep these things in mind.

Number of ports

The most important factor to consider when buying a network switch is how many Ethernet ports you actually need. It would suck to purchase a device and get everything set up just to find out that you’re a port short.

One key thing to remember here is that one of the ports on your network switch will be used to connect your switch to your router. For example, if you have five devices you want to connect to the network switch, you’ll actually need six ports.

Network switches start out with about five ports on the small side and scale up to dozens. The larger switches are often intended for commercial or business use, but if you need 24 Gigabit Ethernet ports for personal use, more power to you.

Ethernet port speed

Make sure you get a network switch with Gigabit Ethernet ports, at the very least. These ports are rated for speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps, and they’re backward compatible with older Ethernet standards. Don’t get a switch with Fast Ethernet ports, which are rated for up to a slower 100 Mbps.

You should consider network switches with Multi-Gig Ethernet ports although we don’t list any here. They’re more expensive, but they deliver the real-world wired speeds you need if you have an internet plan that’s 1,000 Mbps or faster.

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Our verdict

If you’re in need of more Ethernet ports, go for the Linksys SE3008 network switch. Its simple plug-and-play setup, eight gigabit Ethernet ports, and automatic QoS traffic prioritization make it the easiest way to expand your home network.

FAQ about network switches

What is a network switch?

A network switch is a standalone device that adds more Ethernet ports to your home or office network.

Standalone Wi-Fi routers include four or eight Ethernet ports to support all your wired devices, and in most cases that’s plenty. Mesh systems like the TP-Link Deco X55 only have one Ethernet port per unit, which can be a real pain if you prefer wired over wireless.

A network switch plugs into an open Ethernet port on your router, gateway, or mesh router/node device so you can connect more wired devices to your network, like computers and game consoles. Wired connections have fast, stable speeds and low latency.

Do network switches reduce your network speed?

A network switch will reduce your home network speed if you choose the wrong one.

For example, nearly all routers have Gigabit Ethernet ports with speeds up to 1,000 Mbps each. If you plug a network switch into one of those ports and the switch is only capable of 100 Mbps, then 100 Mbps is all you get from that switch, even if your tethered wired devices have Gigabit Ethernet ports. The switch is now your speed bottleneck.

Here’s another example. You pay for a 1,000 Mbps fiber plan, but the switch you use has Gigabit Ethernet ports. Wired connections have overhead, so the most you’ll get from Gigabit Ethernet is 940–980 Mbps. To get the full 1,000 Mbps from your internet connection, you need a switch with Multi-Gig Ethernet ports with real-world speeds of around 2,300 Mbps or more.

Finally, a faulty switch will cause speed woes on your network. But they’re cheap to replace, so the speed fix can be quick and painless.

Does an network switch replace my router?

A network switch is a complement to your router, not a replacement.

Most routers have a built-in network switch, which is why they have multiple Ethernet output ports. But routers perform a ton of network management tasks that no network switch—even a high-end managed switch—can do, including creating a Wi-Fi network and securing your home network.

Switch vs. hub: What’s the difference?

Network switches and network hubs look similar, and they perform a similar function in your home network. But you want a switch, not a hub.

An Ethernet hub isn’t as smart as a network switch. A hub doesn’t know where each piece of information is supposed to go, so it sends every piece of information in your network to every connected device. This creates a bunch of problems that result in poor network performance.

Hubs used to be popular, cheap alternatives to network switches. But switches are now so inexpensive that it makes absolutely zero sense to buy a hub instead of a switch.

Managed vs. unmanaged: What’s the difference?

Most of the devices on our list are unmanaged network switches. This means that they don’t require any configuration and work right out of the box. Any switch advertised as “plug and play” is an unmanaged switch.

The benefits of unmanaged network switches are that they’re inexpensive and very simple to use. But they don’t give you much control over individual connections.

Managed network switches are generally more expensive and require some configuration. But they allow you to manipulate how and where data flows in your network. Most let you monitor and regulate traffic through the switch and implement QoS.

Some managed switches are designed to be easier to configure and meant for residential settings, like the NETGEAR Nighthawk S8000. But because of their advanced features, managed switches are usually found in commercial or business networks.

Author -

Rebecca Lee Armstrong has more than six years of experience writing about tech and the internet, with a specialty in hands-on testing. She started writing tech product and service reviews while finishing her BFA in creative writing at the University of Evansville and has found her niche writing about home networking, routers, and internet access at HighSpeedInternet.com. Her work has also been featured on Top Ten Reviews, MacSources, Windows Central, Android Central, Best Company, TechnoFAQ, and iMore.

Editor - Cara Haynes

Cara Haynes has been editing and writing in the digital space for seven years, and she's edited all things internet for HighSpeedInternet.com for five years. She graduated with a BA in English and a minor in editing from Brigham Young University. When she's not editing, she makes tech accessible through her freelance writing for brands like Pluralsight. She believes no one should feel lost in internet land and that a good internet connection significantly extends your life span.

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