Network Switch Speed

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MacFanUK, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. MacFanUK macrumors 6502a


    Jul 29, 2009
    Not really sure where to post this so sorry if it's in the wrong place.

    I'm looking at setting up a network in my office (currently use a cheap netgear wireless modem/router just to connect the printers to 2 computers but its not ideal), so I'm looking to buy a 2nd hand network switch but don't want to spend loads.

    Would a 10/100MBs be sufficient or should I look for a faster one?

    On the network, I plan to have 2 networked printers, 2 pc's (for now) and 2 NAS drives.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    No idea, since you don't state what kind of network you're on. If you've been getting by with "a cheap netgear wireless modem/router", it'll probably be fine.
  3. MacFanUK thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 29, 2009
    I'm not sure what you mean about what network I'm on. I'm a web developer so I'm guessing it'll mainly be images and html/php files that I'll be transferring.
  4. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    Look at your device speeds first. If none of them are gigabit, then a 10/100 switch will be fine.

    For example, if the NAS box is only 100, then nothing you can do at the switch level is going to help.

    Same for the PCs.

    Perhaps the missing piece for you is that a switch cannot pass data faster than the devices connected to it can.

    100 device to 100 device via a gigabit switch gets you 100, 100 device to gigabit device via a gigabit switch gets you 100, gigabit device to gigabit device via a 100 switch gets you 100.
  5. samh macrumors 6502

    Oct 29, 2009
    I'm going to disagree and suggest that if you can find a way to afford a secondhand gigabit switch, go for it. I hate buying equipment twice. If you think you might need a fast network some day, buy the gigabit device. Even if nothign on the network can take advantage of it today, it provides room to grow into later.
  6. jcodirewolf macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2010
    It depends...

    There are two numbers you care about in a switch. The Port Speed and the Backplane/throughput speed. ANY Switch you buy the switch internals will be what they call "Oversubscribed" meaning if every port talked at the max rate, you'd drop packets.

    This is normally okay since if all your ports are 100% all the time, then you have other issues. Most of the home gear it's hard to find how much data the backplane can pass.

    Get a 10/100 switch, if it's not too much more get a gigabit switch. But for most home applications a gigabit is way too much bandwidth and the the cheap gig switches only burst up to that speed anyway.

  7. VoR macrumors 6502a

    Sep 8, 2008
    First of all, I'm surprised you've got 6 devices plugged into a 'cheap modem/router' - very rare to see one with more than a 4-port switch.

    I'd just buy a cheap gig switch, they're pretty much all you can buy now, and cost very little - for a soho application like yours, I wouldn't look into the specs of it at all - buy on price.

    As your asking this question, I assume you've bought 'off the shelf' nas appliances. Even if they have gig ports, they probably won't push too much more than the 12MB/s limit of a 10/100 connection.

    Contrary to the previous post, I find that many home users in many home uses actually use far more disk space and network bandwidth than in a corporate environment. Transferring media between pcs/NAS devices/etc does tend to benefit from a gigabit network, even with cheap hardware - nowadays I wouldn't (and would struggle to anyway) buy anything less.

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