Do Home Networks Need Gigabit Switches?

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With the advancement of technology, wireless has developed rapidly in recent years. The general consensus now is that everything should be wireless. Charging, data transfer, and especially internet connectivity all lean towards wireless technology. This is all fine in a perfect environment, but there are always variables that affect the speed of these services, especially Wi-Fi.

Ethernet connectivity remains the internet solution of choice for homes and businesses around the world. But most routers have only a handful of Ethernet ports, and routers are often located in the most awkward locations in homes and offices. Choose a Gigabit switch for your home network.

What is a Gigabit Switch?

Think of the Gigabit switch as a power plug extension to the Ethernet port on the back of the router. Not only can users maximize the use of available ports, but they can also place the Gigabit switch in a more convenient location on their property for easy access.

Gigabit switches come with different numbers of ports, and it might be a good idea to check how many ports you need before buying. There are also different types of switches that provide different services:

KVM Switch: Used to manage multiple PCs from one unit. This is more suitable for larger companies that use this switch to maintain server rooms, but it can also be used by home users for various purposes, such as sharing monitors between desktops and Xboxes.

Managed Switch: These types of switches allow users to manage network traffic to and from it. This is where QoS comes into play, allowing users to prioritize bandwidth and traffic based on the needs of connected devices. For example, online gamers require more bandwidth than PCs used for day-to-day office work.

Unmanaged Switch: Usually the cheapest option for simply connecting all Ethernet-based devices to one router. This is usually the best solution for people not interested in managing network traffic.

Smart Switch: Somewhere between beginners and managed gigabit switches, Smart Switches provide a set of easy-to-understand guidelines that allow them to self-manage traffic.

PoE Switch: This Gigabit switch supplies power to connected Ethernet devices, so it works without an AC adapter. This is usually used for security equipment.

Why do home networks need a Gigabit Ethernet switch?

Like other Ethernet switches, Gigabit Ethernet switches are responsible for directing the bandwidth of the network connection to different home network wired devices such as computers, PCs. Why do you need a router when you already have it? Here are three main reasons:

Gigabit switches provide enough speed for home networking

At certain rates like 10/100/1000Mbps data rates, wired networks are generally more stable than wireless networks. Instead of Wi-Fi, using a home network switch can provide better speeds. This is helpful for tasks that require a good connection to fast internet (such as gaming).

you’re likely to get better performance out of a 4K streaming device. So if you use a wired connection with a gigabit network switch, your network will get high reliability and power.

Gigabit switches provide more ports for home wired devices

Home routers are often used to connect wireless devices such as computers and smartphones. However, if you are connecting multiple wired devices such as IP cameras, smart TVs, and laptops, a Gigabit Ethernet switch is essential. Gigabit Ethernet switches are responsible for directing the bandwidth of the network connection to the different home network wired devices.

Gigabit switches help reduce congestion

If multiple users access the same network device, a Gigabit Ethernet switch will provide more total bandwidth, reducing network congestion and improving overall performance. Also, gigabit switches are useful when transferring large files, for example, when you perform server backups over the network.

Which Switch Should I Pick?

Port Number

Network switches come with different numbers of ports. The more ports a gigabit switch has, the more devices you can connect to your network. When choosing a switch, consider whether the interface is adequate for future upgrades. It’s better to have an interface with more switches than you actually need. For home use, a 5-port Gigabit switch or an 8-port Gigabit switch is a wise choice.

Actual Forwarding rate

To meet different needs, Gigabit switches support forwarding rates up to 15Mpps, 95Mpps and 130Mpps. Therefore, users can choose according to the desired forwarding speed. However, not all network switches can achieve their claimed forwarding rates. Maybe you can get a gigabit switch with a performance test.


There are several types of network switches. For Gigabit switches, there are managed and unmanaged types. They also come in PoE and non-PoE types. For home users who need an IP camera system, purchasing a managed Gigabit Ethernet switch with PoE is a better option.

Managed or Unmanaged

Unmanaged switches perform simple functions without any prior setup or configuration. This type of switch is often used in small networks where users do not want to spend too much time and money. So you’ll find that most of these switches are used for home networking because people just want an easy plug-and-play way to connect their devices. Unmanaged switches are also a cost-effective way for a home to get more Ethernet ports to connect devices.

Managed switches have many advanced features such as VLAN, CLI, SNMP, etc. They can manage and monitor your network. Of course, this also makes them more expensive and you will need professionals to configure and maintain the switch. But in reality, home networks don’t need these “fancy features” because there’s usually not much connection and network traffic to handle, and for most homes, time and budget are limited.

Fanless or Not

Fanless Gigabit switches can provide a quiet operating environment with a noise level of 0 dB, which is popular in homes and offices. If you are concerned about the noise caused by network equipment such as switches, choose a fanless device.


1.TP-Link TL-SG108 (Unmanaged)

Reason for purchase:

  • cheap
  • good build quality
  • Dimmable LEDs
  • Lifetime Warranty

Reasons to avoid:

  • No loop detection

2.TP-Link TL-SG116

Reason for purchase:

  • plug and play
  • no fan
  • Premium Warranty

Reasons to avoid:

  • No loop detection
  • Not as good value as TL-SG108
Want to know more, please click here: Cisco SwitchesUbiquiti SwitchesSMB Switches
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Charlene, 2022. How to Select the Best Gigabit Switch for Home Network.

Wait, C., 2022. Best Gigabit Switch For Home Network in 2022.


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