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Pros: Solid construction... no cheap plastic here. Great business class switch with gigabit performance.
Cons: None noted in my installation
Overall Review: I have always opted for the less expensive plastic builds for my home networking, but... when it comes to installation in a business environment you really cannot compair them to a good solid metal build. Truely worth the small added expence for the peace of mind that it will not fall apart when it gets bumped around a bit.
Pros: Good price, full-duplex 1Gb and auto-uplink for all ports, very rugged all-metal construction, slim profile power transformer. The version I got, which was "v2" hardare, *DOES* support jumbo frames up to 9000 bytes. Take a look at the description on the Netgear site and you'll see that it has supported jumbo frames from v2 hardware onward, which started shipping in late 2005. The Netgear GS108 product page lists that they've even started producing "v3" now, as of March 2006, but they must not be to NewEgg yet. I doubt there's any danger of getting a v1 hardware unit at this point, since v2 has been shipping for so long. As a bonus, they also reduced the size of the unit, so the LEDs are integrated into the ports themselves, not in a row to the left like the NewEgg picture shows. Take a look at the Negear product page (first hit on Google for "GS108") for an updated photo and specifications.
Cons: None, really.
Overall Review: Bought it primarily for a LAN party to facilitate quicker file transfers and it worked perfectly. Now I used it as a secondary high-speed network at home between my primary system and my file server. Eventually I'll move my other machines to GbE as well.
Comments: I upgraded from a GS104 to this GS108 and am plesently surprised. It's small for the number of ports and well built. The new switch runs much cooler than the old 4 port which means it uses much less power. It's power brick is also smaller and all in the plug which I find more convenient than the GS104's. I'm amazed at how cool they can get a 8 port gigabit switch to run even with all ports connected and without a fan. I now understand now how they can make the GS116 with twice as many ports and still no fan.
One interesting difference I noticed was that the activity lights are on the port now, not on the light pannel next to the ports like on the 104. I think I prefer it the other way but it really makes little difference. Auto uplink is cool, it's time to have crossover cables go away and this is a good start.
I continue to be impressed with Netgear's powerful little switches. I did a quick speed test and was able to copy a single 667MB file between machines in 34 seconds (19MB/s). A command line "copy [path] nul" command on the same file finished in 24 seconds (27 MB/s). Going through both the GS108 and GS104 with the same command yielded 26 seconds (25MB/s.) While this is not anywhere near a good benchmark it's telling me my disk write speed is my limiting factor and that I should be able to transfer files across the network as fast as my disk can write them. Also, since the speeds are roughly twice the theoretical limit of 100Mbit, it tells me there is a very noticable difference between Gigabit and 100mbit, even for simple home use.
Pros: When it works, it works great.
Solid, heavy case.
Cons: I've had to repair the unit twice since I purchased it. Both times the lights started blinking steadly. The PS was OK. Opening it, an electrolytic capacitor was bulging. Replaced it, and everything again worked OK. Happened again a year later. The thing is, the caps were being used too close to their maximum working voltage. I replaced their caps with a higher quality and higher voltage cap (same 1000uf value though). Because the caps were twice as large, I had to play games to get them to fit in the box. There are three more caps, that will probably need to be replaced eventually.
Overall Review: I've owned this for over 6 years (before Newegg existed). I've found performance great, when it works. I'm disappointed with their cutting of corners with key components. Having been an engineer and technician for over 40 years, I've seen a lot of junk on the market. This is not the worst, but there is still no excuse for this kind of corner cutting.
Pros: I have 4 of these. The switch works great until the power supply starts to fail. Over the past two years the power supply of 3 of these devices has died. I'm down to my last working power supply/switch. The other 3 units work fine when I test them with the one good power supply.
Cons: No power supply = no switch. You have to make sure you read the fine print. The lifetime warranty does not cover the power supply. Very deceptive if you ask me.
Overall Review: I would stay away from this device simply because of the track record with the power supply. Looks like I'm not the only sucker.
Pros: I have 3 of these units that I purchased over a 2 year period. They all worked fairly well at first!
Cons: All 3 units have failed at some point, the last one that I purchased lasted less than a year. I have experienced the same problem as everyone else. All of the link lights start blinking an you loose connectivity. Lights stop blinking if only 2 ports are used. I have RMA'd 2 of these within the last week. The first unit that I purchased in late 2006 has failed twice.
Overall Review: I don't understand why Netgear does not fix the problem. The unit has a lifetime warranty, this issue has to be costly to Netgear.
Pros: - Sturdy Build
- Metal Housing
- Cool Running
- Port Speed Lights (Orange for T100 and Lower, Green for T1000)
- Port Activity Lights
Cons: - High Cost Compared to Equivalent Switches.
- Small Buffer Memory Size
- Slow File Transfer Speed Compared to D-Link Switches.
- Requires a Mail-In Rebate to get lower price. This is a rip-off.
Overall Review: I have no complaints about the reliability of this switch. It has all the features that I want for a unmanaged Gigabit switch. It is easy to set up - truly a PnP device.
I replaced a perfectly good D-Link 8 port unmanaged gigabit switch that I was using with this Netgear switch mainly because the D-Link switch did not have port activity lights which indicated when data traffic was transferring over a particular port. The Netgear switch does have that feature and it works perfectly. The D-Link 8 port unmanaged gigabit switch only has a indicator light indicating when a device is connected to the port. The Netgear GS108 has that plus the connection speed and activity also.
I bought the Netgear switch thinking it would provide the same, or better performance than the D-Link switch. I was wrong. When transferring large multi-gigabyte files between the server and the workstations I was used to achieving full gigabit speeds of greater than 120MB/sec. Once I installed the Netgear GS108 switch in the system, my transfer speeds dropped into the 80MB/sec range. When starting the file transfer, speeds with the Netgear GS108 were initially the same as with the D-Link switch but after a few seconds the transfer speed would start to drop and level off in the 80-85MB/sec range. I put the D-Link switch back in the network and the transfer speeds went back up to the normal 120MB/sec range again.
The only thing I can think that would cause this is either a defect in Netgear buffer memory, or that the D-Link switch has more buffering. I am not a switch designer so I could be off base on the explanation. The effect is real and reproducible. I have repeated the test several times and it consistently shows the Netgear GS108 to have slower transfer speeds than the D-Link switch. All of the Ethernet cable connections are CAT6 and everything is the same in the network when I change between the D-Link and the Netgear switches.
Since the Netgear GS108 switch is more expensive than the D-Link switch with poorer performance, it isn't worth the slow down in file transfer speed to get the port activity lights. I have changed back to the D-Link unmanaged gigabit switch.
If you are upgrading your switches and network from a T10 or T100 network you probably will be happy with the performance of the Netgear GS108 switch. If you already have a high functioning gigabit network, you should be aware of the potential slowdown.
Maybe I have a lemon Netgear GS108 switch but, it appears to be fully functional and has been rock solid for the month or so that I have had it. The Netgear GS108 is just consistently slower than the equivalent D-Link switch.
If a Netgear rep reads this and can send me a method to fix the slow speed, I will be happy to write an appended review.
Pros: Fast, durable, easy to setup and use, nice specs, works perfectly.
Cons: no complaints--none.
Overall Review: For those of you who do not know the difference between a switch and a hub, a switch supports transparent bridging, hubs do not. Switches have less packet collisions, so if you are looking at a hub, dont, get a switch. Switches are faster.