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This review is from: NETGEAR ProSAFE 8-Port Gigabit Smart Managed Switch (GS108T) - Lifetime Warranty
Pros: Low cost, lifetime warranty, broad featureset. Set and forget.
Cons: Wall wart. Somewhat irrational web admin interface. Link speed auto-negotiation doesn't always work, and you may need to set a port that links to a slower switch manually.
Other Thoughts: If you want to play around with vlans, link aggregation, and other bigger-network features, this is great. It's around $80 now, and is a big step up from the lower-cost 8-port switches. It's perfect for small offices that need to segregate their LAN segments.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Buffalo BS-GS2008P 8-Port Gigabit Green Ethernet PoE Web Smart Switch
Pros: Inexpensive, but doesn't feel cheap. Supports VLANs and basic enterprisey features.
Cons: Configuration options are somewhat limited, and the web UI is meh, but it gets the job done.
Other Thoughts: This is good for a small office where you need to power a few access points over ethernet, and maybe a few desktop switches or cameras. Supports the newer 802.3at devices.
If you run a larger network, you should get a switch that integrates with your management software and has a zillion SNMP features. This may not be that switch.
This review is from: AT&T Syn248 SB35010 Multi-Line Analog Gateway Syn248 by AT&T Business Telephones
Pros: Easy to set up, a little complex to use. Not too expensive. A small VOIP PBX that's cheap. It's easier to set up than Asterisk, by a lot. It's easier to set up than an Avaya.
Cons: It doesn't have web-based "operator switchboard" software.
Other Thoughts: If you have an office that needs a few phones, and you don't have existing telephone wiring, this is a nice little add-on that adds telephones to your LAN. It's a VOIP PBX that uses regular analog phone lines as the outgoing lines. It supports up to four external lines, and something like 12 internal stations. Your call capacity is limited to the number of external lines. It comes with a simple voicemail system.
I think the basic use case is an office with an assistant to take calls. If the assistant is gone, it can forward the call to the office. Another common use case is an office intercom system that can hail everyone at once. Yet another use case is an office split across multiple suites that needs a single phone system.
The final use case, and to me the most important, is that you don't want business calls going over personal cell phones. All those calls are then potentially either subject to subpoena, or, conversely, you might not be able to get at them in a lawsuit. If you use this PBX, you run calls over POTS and that seems to confer more privacy rights. Also, the logging and accounting features are minimal, so during legal discovery, there's less to analyze, and thus, lower legal costs for you.