Ethernet Switch that Doesn't Require Mains Power

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by haravikk, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    Okay, so I'm making an effort to significantly cut down on the number of mains adapters my computer setup currently has, which means trying to replace some of the many external drive docks and other detritus I have.

    Anyway, one of the things I have is a 5-port gigabit ethernet switch, though I probably really only need three ports (one for my computer, one for a games console, and one for the network connection).

    What I'm wondering is if anyone knows of any switches that don't require a power adapter (are there any powered by USB for example)? Or just alternatives I could consider. For example, has anyone tried using a USB3 to ethernet adapter (or a thunderbolt to ethernet adapter) to share a network connection with a games-console? I remember trying it ages ago with my XBox 360 but not having much luck, but then that could have been because I was trying (in vain) to make do with a wireless network at the time.

    It just seems like something I probably don't really need, seeing as how I don't need all four of the extra ports it gives me. Also bear in mind that I'm planning to switch my 2008 Mac Pro for a Mac Mini, so I'll be losing the second built-in ethernet port.
  2. drsox macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2011
    There are POE switches that receive power over their LAN connection from another POE switch that IS power connected. I don't think would work for you as it would require two switches, but the other POE switch could be somewhere else on your LAN if required. Many switches have just 1 POE port - see :
  3. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    Best you can hope for is USB powered. They do make these.

    Alternatively, you could find one that is 5V, and splice a couple cables.
  4. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    There's no solution that doens't require more hardware for the ethernet switch. I understand wanting to cue down the amount of power cords.

    For the external drives, do look for multidrive enclosures and also consider buying new larger drives. This will allow you cut down on cabling in general.And remember too many USB powered devices on the same USB hub may cause issues.
  5. haravikk thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    Hmm, does look that way. I did find a few USB powered switches, but many are fiendishly expensive and I don't think any handle gigabit ethernet (may require more power than USB gives?).

    In that case then what are people's thoughts about using a Mac as a switch, for example using USB or Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapters (actually I think I only need one in that case)? I've never had to touch USB networking on the Mac, and it's a while since I last used internet sharing with my XBox 360.

    I'm actually looking at finally buying a UPS; not that my area is prone to power failures, but the last time it did happen it was very nearly disastrous; I saved literally a minute or two before the outage, if it had happened sooner I'd have lost hours of work. Quite a few UPS' have ethernet surge protection as well, and some have more than two ports, but in technical details rarely mention whether that functions as a switch, any ideas?

    Actually I'm doing one better on that front; I've got myself a cheap PC case with 9 5.25" drive bays and chopped the back off it to make a more compact case to fill with hard-drive backplanes, a couple of standalone RAID controllers and a high quality power supply, so I've now one device with room for up to 15 3.5" drives or 54 2.5" drives, depending which backplanes I add/swap in future. So I'm hoping that means that, aside from updating components, I should never need another external drive ever again ;)
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Why don't you just buy a power strip with a LOT of plugs, and use that?. Probably cost you less money and trouble in the long run!
  7. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Look to see what voltage each of your devices use, then buy a single "bigger
    power brick to power all like voltages (hack off the power connector and splice it into the bigger power brick). I've never done this with computer equipment, but I've done this to power a few light and motion displays where each item had its own power brick and ending up with 16 5V 0.5A power supplies seemed silly when a couple 5A would do.

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