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TP-LINK TL-SG108E 8-Port Gigabit Easy Smart Switch, 8 10/100/1000 Mbps RJ45 Ports, MTU/Port/Tag-Based VLAN, QoS and IGMP
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: At first glance, the TL-SG108E simply looks like your average run of the mill 8-port mini-switch. The price is cheap, it’s relatively small, and nothing fancy to look at. Basically, it’s the type of switch you think you’ve found in small offices, schools, and of course, some home networks everywhere. A second look reveals it’s so much more than those mundane simplistic dumb switches.
With the addition of a few configurable options, you’re given the power to customize your network, allowing for far more control than an unmanaged switch, and it won’t set you back that much more.

Designed with practicality in mind; It’s a metal case, not cheap plastic. This may not seem like a big deal, but rest assured, it definitely is. If you’ve seen how people install their network equipment as I have, metal is by far a better choice than a plastic housing, for the single reason of durability. I’m actually surprised that a few mini switches I’ve come across were still functioning when considering how and where they were installed (On the floor, right under desk chairs, where they simply had to kicked around and/or stepped on numerous times a day! While I wouldn’t think of throwing my networking gear on the floor in the path of foot traffic, for some reason many people don’t give it a second thought, or it gets moved by clients after installation.

The included Configuration Utility (a necessary program as the switch does not have a configuration webpage, which definitely would have been a better option than having to install software on whichever PC you want to use to make changes), makes setting up and maintaining your switch a breeze. Easy GUI menu driven interface, takes the complication out of customization. There’s even a monitoring page for a quick look to verify connection speeds and even packet loss on any and all ports. Setup your Vlans, QoS, check system info, upgrade firmware, backup configuations, reset and reboot with the click of a button.

8 ports, 7 of which are available for your devices considering most people will use one port for a network uplink. About $5 a port. Not too bad. And for that you can set bandwidth limits…you don’t want someone monopolizing your network? Set limits on those ports with rate limits. Want to make sure voice takes precedence over videos? Set up Based Priority QoS. It’s simple, it’s easy, it’s customization that you’ll have available when you need it.
Vlans couldn’t be easier to setup with this switch’s configuration utility, and if you haven’t a clue how to setup a couple Vlans, there’s a handy Help menu with a link directly to the device’s User’s manual on TP-Link’s website. Including updated Utility software and firmware downloads.

Cons: The only real con is that you have to install the configuration utility rather than simply access a configuration webpage. But it's not a deal breaker or that much of an inconvenience. Plus, with the utility, you can manage multiple switches, provided they're compatible with the software, of course.

Other Thoughts: I have my PC (online gamer) and home NAS connected to the switch, which is uplinked to my DGL-4500 wireless AP, which in turn is uplinked to my Linksys EA6900 router. My family streams movies from the NAS to any of 4 PCs and the SmartTV, and we’re all avid online gamers, both PC and consoles. The switch has dropped a total of 15 packets in the nearly 2 weeks it’s been used, with over 50,000,000 sent successfully. No noticeable congestion (remember HD movies streamed from the NAS throughout the home network.) Whether or not that would change if all 8 ports were being utilized, I cannot say, but I’d doubt that would be a problem.

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Coboc Model SPW-2C14-300-CL 100ft 14AWG 2-Conductor Enhanced Loud Oxygen-Free Copper OFC Speaker Wire Cable
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: It's oxygen free and solid copper. No aluminum wire to corrode and deteriorate audio quality over time. It's flexible enough to route easily out of sight from speakers to amplifier, yet thick enough to maintain signal quality over relatively long distances, maintaining high audio quality reproduction for your listening enjoyment!

I crank up the sound when watching movies in Dolby Digital and DTS on my Yamaha 5.1 Home Theater System. The result is nothing but crystal clear audio quality. When it's necessary to keep the audio down a bit, (kids need to study, people are trying to sleep, wife attempts conversation with you), the result remains the same, sound quality you can actually hear, voice that you can understand (no subtitles necessary due to muffled or distorted audio), and bass that you'll still feel, though to a far lesser degree than when lower volumes are of no concern!

Lower quality wire can and will lose enough signal resulting in likewise low quality audio reproduction, e.g. harder to understand dialog at low volumes, distorted bass at higher volumes, lack or muddied/muffled bass at low or very low volumes, adversely affecting overall signal to noise ratio.

It's one of those necessary expenses if you appreciate quality, but no one really wants to include in their audio budget. (It's speaker wire, quality speaker wire should technically be included in your speaker purchase, though we could argue relativity, as the speaker price most likely would reflect that difference in the purchase price). Still, one shouldn't have to add speaker wire to the list when buying speakers, that should only be necessary if you require lengths above the dimensions of the average home's living room, especially since it's usually AFTER you open the boxes of your audio equipment and see what they included with your purchase,

The #1 reason you should buy quality speaker wire like this Coboc product:

The included excuse for speaker wire included in many speaker purcases is nothing more than junk. It's the cheapest, thinnest, poorly constructed wire consisting of the least possible number of strands required to qualify for the use of either a description and/or definition of what an average customer would expect when shopping for decent quality, average quality twisted [speaker] wire. Yet instead, one finds a roll of plastic tubing, of what includes a measureable amount of copper, though that amount may not be enough of which renders the volume of wire actually usable for the average consumer. Though even verification proves enough material exists inside the plastic tubing, more likely than not, a substantial percentage of that consists of not 100 % Oxygen Free Copper, as it most definitely should, but includes the performance inhibiting material, alumininum, and often additional materials of negative quality, such as other similar low quality, inexpensive, and more often than not, considerably poor material unsuitable for use as a c

Cons: I can only guess that someone in the engineering department somewhere in the speaker wire division drank one too many energy drinks or had a half dozen too many quaduple shot espressos during first break and as a result, his/her internal wiring literally fried itself out of existence, taking everything but one or two smoldering brain cells, which at any moment will cease any and all function, effectively leaving the human they once thrived in nothing but a non-functional mass of cells, requiring artificial means for the most basic of functions, even necessitaing the use of a respirator to obtain oxygen, to acheive nothing more than the opportunity to exist. Yet in those last 2 seconds before expiring all signs of life, those 2 brain cells collaborated and spoke one last time, telling co-workers how funny it would be if they used what is descibed in the above paragraph as speaker wire, instead of actual speaker wire, in every package of speakers shipped until the end of time! And, since this person was a relative of the company's CEO or maybe it was someone of importance to the actual Owner of a company, or a mistress who threaten to squeal, regardless, it was someone high up, it's the only legitmate reason that explains why no one disagreed, questioning the failed attempt from the person who possesed those two smoldering brain cells, question that persons absolute lack of ability in any way of extracting laughter from his/her fellow human beings, and demanding to hear the obviously incorrect, yet potentially amusing, yet possibly intriguing explanations from the instigator explaining his/her non-existent, absolute, and utter lack of any and all knowledge, understanding, a shred of even the tiniest comprehension regarding anything remotely related to humor, up to and including the most basic definition of humor known to man. let alone the requirements necessary to produce the reactions related to this emotion, or that it's a trait experienced many times daily by the majority of the human race. Evidence of humor being incomprehensible to the creator of OEM speaker wire so overwhelming by his/her very own hand, being the only one finding it funny listing it as included in the package, but when it's opened the speaker wire in the box is just a roll of plastic tubing with or without one single strand of metal material, or 'wire'.

Other Thoughts: Can't stress this enough, don't fall for the OEM joke, buy real speaker wire. Don't let that person who overdosed on caffeine have the opportunity to laugh wherever he/she ended up while watching you connected OEM speaker wire to your sound system! Buy real wire and laugh at him/her yourself while connecting your system with the real wire. Perhaps one day manufacturers will decide it's enough, and replace the fake stuff with the real McCoy, only then will the originator of OEM speaker wire finally be able to rest in peace, never to laugh at other's expense, watching while people attempt to use the plastic because they're stubborn, and will always, no matter what it is, use only what's included in the box.

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Nippon Labs Black 6 ft. Pro A/V Premium Toslink Digital Optical SPDIF Audio Cable 6ft  Male/ Male in Black Color Model PT-6 6 feet
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: It's a digital optical S/PDIF cable and it works just as it was designed and manufactured to do! Installation could not be easier, just line up the plug with the port (there's only one way it will fit, the shape of the plug fits perfectly into the shape of the port.) So I guess it COULD be easier if you didn't have to align it, but really, we can't say having to do that is difficult in any way! So installation ALMOST couldn't be easier!

It's inexpensive. Relative to the rest of your equipment, $7.99 is like finding a penny on the sidewalk. You're not going to even notice the $8 you shelled out for this cable.

Especially when you consider the return on investment. Crystal clear sound! Although I suppose that's technically relative to your sound equipment more than just this cable. So if you've purchased this cable for decent quality or higher sound equipment, the audio experience you'll hear will be as high a quality as the equipment you've connected this cable to. In other words, outstanding clarity, you simply can't get from copper analog audio cables.

I use this cable to connect my Soundblaster Recon3D audio card in my PC to my Yamaha 5.1 HTR for movies, music and most importantly, PC games. The sound is stellar. From the rumbling bass as I fire the turret on my M1 Abrams in a Battlefield game, to the exploding artillery shells in Saving Private Ryan in DTS.

One cable means no wiring mess or at least much less of a mess from source to destination. I could have multiple wires from my SB Recon3D via analog 5.1 routed to the rear of my Yamaha reciever, but with this optical cable, there's just a single cable that reproduces 5.1 Dolby Digital Live for all my PC audio needs. There's already enough wires what with power, ethernet, usb devices, video, why not keep the audio cable to just that a single cable!

To put it simply as possible: You can't get a better return for your $7.99 investment.

Cons: Zero. Nada. There are no cons for this product. Not legitimate cons anyway.

For the sake of argument, these could be considered cons:
It's not free.
It has to be delivered to your house.
The delivery person won't open it up, install it for you, and recycle the packaging material for you.
It isn't exactly the perfect length between the devices you've connected it too (wouldn't that be great if all cables and cords were?)
There aren't any legitimate cons with this product so I can enter them into the 'Cons' section of this review.

Other Thoughts: Excellent product. Great price. This is the ONLY way to connect your audio equipment to your PC! Which also means the best audio from a PC requires an audio device that has S/PDIF optical out!

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Michael M.'s Profile

Display Name: Michael M.

Date Joined: 01/02/05

Achievements:

  • Top 1000 Reviewer
  • Reviews: 64
  • Helpfulness: 57
  • First Review: 06/10/06
  • Last Review: 10/24/14
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