The TP-LINK TL-SG10005D 5 port gigabit switch is good value for a small switch and it has good power saving features plus a three year warranty.
Every new generation of device uses less power but there are limits with network switches because there is a defined minimum power required for an active port. The TL-SG10005D can switch off inactive ports to save power. The TP-LINK figures quoted on the box are 75% for a switch with no active connections and about 50% for 5 connections with average activity. When you download a page through the switch, 2 ports will be active. While you read the page, there may be no ports active, giving you a 75% saving most of the time.
Some switches are fast enough to handle one active connection at a time but not all connections active at the same time. The TL-SG10005D has an internal speed of 10 gigabit per second which is enough to run all 5 connections in full duplex mode where each connection transfers at 2 Gbps instead of 1 Gbps. The switch will not slow anything down.
This is an unmanaged switch, you cannot monitor it across a network. Managed switches are expensive because you have to add a computer chip. In most cases with this type of switch, you monitor the computer connected through the switch. if anything goes wrong that might indicate the switch is faulty, you toss out the old one and put in a new one because the hardware costs less than the time taken to test it.
3 year guarantee
The TP-LINK switch is replacing a D-Link switch that cost slightly more and broke in less than a year. If the TP-LINK lasted only a year, I would be ahead on cost. The TP-LINK 3 year guarantee suggests TP-LINK are confident most of the devices will last 3 years, making the TP-LINK a more economical purchase.
Netgear devices are the most reliable network devices I have ever used. Most of the time they are just a little bit more expensive. Currently they have two ranges of switches in this size, the metal cased GS105 and the plastic cased GS605. I have only used the more expensive metal cased range with the lifetime warranty.
The plastic cased Netgear GS605 competes directly against the TP-LINK but has only a 2 year guarantee, making the Netgear a better buy than the D-Link but not as good as the TP-LINK. I have installed plastic cased Netgear devices for friends and relatives who take care of their possessions. The metal cased devices are good for offices where nobody cares if the device drops on the concrete floor and in homes where pets are allowed to chew everything. If your girlfriend/boyfriend likes chewing the plastic tops on pens, reduce the temptation, buy the metal cased Netgear.
Example problem solved with a switch
Think of a common problem. You are sitting at your desk with one computer connected to the only Ethernet connection. You want to add a network attacked printer or a NAS device or a second computer. Insert the switch between your computer and the network. You then have extra ports for all those extra devices.
The switch has 5 ports (sockets) for your network connections. Your first step is to plug the switch into the power and you may need a double adaptor or power board if your power sockets are all in use (a very common problem). 6 socket power boards are cheap and give you space for all the chargers you carry around for you phone, iThis, iThat. If you are stuck with one of those USB only notebooks, you need a USB hum and that needs power to drive bigger devices. Sort the power out first and make sure you end up with several spare power sockets for future use.
Now you make the network connection. You unplug your computer network cable from the wall socket and plug the cable into the back of the switch. You then plug in a network cable from the switch to the wall socket. Oops, you do not have a network cable. Another common problem. Some manufacturers supply short cables with their switchs and the cables are often too short. Supplying a switch without a cable gives you the chance to position the switch where you want then buy a cable the right length.
Work out where you want to put the switch, somewhere out of the way but with good air ventilation for cooling, somewhere it will not be hit when the cleaner vacuums the floor, and measure the cable length then buy a Cat 6 Ethernet cable of that length or slightly longer for future flexibility.
Plug the new Ethernet cable in the wall socket and one of the sockets in the switch. You can now switch on your computer and enjoy exactly the same connection you had before inserting the switch.
The TP-LINK switch has a green indicator light to indicate power. There are two lights per socket with green indicating there is a working network connection at a full gigabit while yellow indicates an old slow connection. You used 2 sockets and have 3 left. They could be used for a printer, a NAS device you are testing, and you still have one for an assistant with a notebook computer.
Things to buy
You with need an Ethernet cable that is 0.5 metres (1.5 feet) or 1m or 2m depending where you want the switch. Shops sell cable rated as Cat 5, Cat 5E, and Cat 6. Cat 6 is what you want. Cat 5 will work but is not ideal and can produce errors from electrical interference. Cat 5E is a temporary attempt to make Cat 6 style cable in a factory built for Cat 5. Get Cat 6. Most shops have Cat 6 and there is no price difference from Cat 5E. A 1m Cat 6 cable is AU$3.50-$7.00 except at Dick Smith where it is $19.95.
Officeworks.com.au do not have a 1m cable for comparison so we have to compare their 2m cable. They sell both Cat 6 and the totally obsolete Cat 5. Timewasters!
You can never have enough of these and they are one of the first things
borrowed from your desk. You can get bulk packs of 4 socket and 6 socket power boards from Bunnings and similar hardware shops. Ask your office manger to buy a 2 pack of 6 socket boards for every person in the company. That gives them one for their desk and one to steal borrow for home. You should survive weeks before someone borrows your power board.
Adding a small switch to an existing network is easy, cheap, and the TP-LINK SG1005D is a safe green choice. In a corporate environment, always ask the network people first.