Are you a games enthusiast? There are many things that you should consider. Gaming is one of those activities that is deemed lucrative, especially when one is free with friends. Here, you can consider playing competitive games with your friends for fun and pass the time. If you prefer to play competitive games online, having a fast Ethernet is paramount. In fact, Ethernet normally provides better performance and less latency than Wi-Fi. However, in most instances, the ports found on the back of your router are not enough.
Therefore, there is a need for you to have a network switch so that you can expand the number of ports available. Although you might have fast internet, if you do not have the right switch powering your play, the connection can actually stutter and can even fall off the face of the earth from time to time. To avert this, you should consider investing in the best network switches for gaming. This article will outline some of the best models you should consider, alongside other facets about these switches that you ought to know.
Are Ethernet Switches Good For Gaming?
Yes. If you do not have enough Ethernet ports to connect all your devices directly to the router, these switches come in handy and can enhance your gaming experience. Since most gaming routers do not have enough ports for all your gaming devices, the Ethernet switch can help you avert the problem of dealing with the congestion that comes with these devices. These switches are reliable, more consistent and can help you enjoy better speeds if you already have a good internet connection.
Best Network Switches for Gaming
Buying the best network switches for gaming can greatly enhance your gaming experience. Speaking about the best network switches for gaming, chances are that you will come across several models. In fact, as we speak, there is a proliferation of models out there, which might make you get confused. Fortunately, we have chosen some of the models that will guarantee value for your money. These models include:
1. NETGEAR 16-Port Gigabit Ethernet Network Switches for Gaming
To start with, this model comes with 16 Gigabit ports, thereby offering more than enough capacity to connect all the gaming devices in your home or office. Besides this, it is easy to set up as it does not come with a software that requires any installments or configuration.
When it comes to the outside appearance, this model has a pretty standard. Its timeless design makes it ideal for your home. Also, you can use it in your office and the aesthetic appearance of your office will be improved.
The above-mentioned model supports both desktop and wall-mount placement. Besides this, it comes with a finless design, which means that there will be zero noise where it is located. This feature makes it ideal for noise-sensitive environments. The model is built to last as it has been roughly tested for reliability, quality and performance.
When it comes to power usage, the model is energy efficient. It is basically designed to optimize power usage thereby reducing your overall monthly power bills. In fact, it compliant with the IEEE802.3az Energy Efficient Ethernet mode. Finally, the model comes with a 3-year limited warranty from the manufacturer, thereby assuring you some peace of mind.
- Very affordable
- Zero configuration needed.
- Presence of 16 ports available to connect all your devices
- Very quiet
- Energy efficient
- 3-year warranty from the manufacturer.
- Since the network switch is unmanaged, you will not be able to fine-tune your network.
2. TP-Link 8 Port Gigabit PoE Network Switches for Gaming
The above-mentioned model comes with the 8 PoE + enabled gigabit ports. With this configuration, you can trust that you will enjoy a lot of flexibility whenever you are designing your network at home. As a result, you will be able to connect all your gaming devices and so on.
Besides this, there are the 2 SPF ports that give you the much-needed flexibility needed to run a fiber connection directly to the switch. This way, you can trust that your gaming devices will have better connectivity. Better still, you will be free to plug in another 2 Ethernet cables or crossover cables in whenever you need an extra connection.
The model also features port mirroring and loopback detection. In addition, it offers Qu’s and IGMP snooping capabilities which go a long way in optimizing your traffic when it comes to voice and video prioritization.
The double firmware image helps improve the overall reliability of the connection and even boosts the average up-time of the entire network. Finally, the model is made with sturdy metal material and can therefore last for many years.
- The model is very affordable
- It comes with 8 gigabit ports and is PoE+ enabled.
- Comes with awesome features that make it easy for you to control your network seamlessly
- Easy and quick configuration
- Does not feature a fanless design
3. TRENDnet 24-Port Unmanaged Gigabit GREENnet Desktop Network Switches for Gaming
First, this model comes with 24 Gigabit RJ 45 ports, thereby providing much-needed high-speed network connections to all your gaming devices. In addition, it has a 48Gbps switching capacity that allows traffic to flow seamlessly.
When it comes to design, the above-mentioned model comes with a desktop design. Its sturdy metal Ethernet desktop switch with a built-in power supply is actually well suited for desktop or rack-mount installations. Apart from this, the model comes with a fanless design, which makes it ideal for quiet environments.
Worried about power consumption? Worry not because the model provides a high bandwidth performance, ease of use and reliability and the same time reducing power consumption by up 70%. In fact, GREENnet technology automatically adjusts power consumption as needed, thereby helping you save more on energy. Its embedded GREENnet technology normally works seamlessly.
When it comes to the mounting options, you can consider looking for an optional rank mount, which is sold separately. It is actually rank mountable with ETH 11MK rack mount brackets. Apart from this, the model comes with a fanless design that makes it ideal for noise-sensitive environments. This feature also lowers energy consumption whenever the unit is in use. Finally, the model comes with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.
- It comes with a whopping 24 gigabit ports
- Very energy efficient
- It comes with a lifetime warranty
- No setup needed.
- Not easy to mount it on the wall.
4. Ubiquiti UniFi Switch – 24 Ports Managed (US-24-250W), White
Are you looking for the best network switch when it comes to connectivity, performance, control and other features, look no further as this model meets all these needs. To start with, the model comes with 24-gigabit ports as well as 2 dedicated SPF ports that allow you to bring a fiber-optic connection into the picture.
The good news is that each port runs with PoE capability pre-configured. As a result, you will be able to prioritize the power output to certain gaming devices during your gaming sessions back at home.
Besides this, the model comes with a stunning and powerful management suit commonly known as UniFi Controller. With this suite, you will be able to control every aspect of your network from a single access point. This feature makes it unique, compared to other models out there.
- The model comes with 24 ports
- It features passive PoE switching capacity at 52 Gigabits per second.
- Better network connectivity and improved speeds
- It comes with a sleek all-silver design
- Can be a little bit louder than other models.
5. NETGEAR Nighthawk S8000 8-Port Gigabit Smart Managed Plus Gaming Switch (GS808E)
When it comes to Ethernet port configuration, this model normally comes with 8 Gigabit ports. As far as its management software is concerned, you will note that it comes with an easy-to-use GUI interface. With this kind of interface, you can trust that you will be able to configure, secure and even monitor your network the way you please.
As far as the design is concerned, this model normally comes with a modern desktop design. Its cool-touch zinc-alloy outer housing matches its high gaming performance inside. Besides this, the model does not have a fan. As a result, it is ideal for those who live in noise-sensitive environments.
When it comes to gaming and streaming versatility, the model comes with a new gaming dashboard for real-time network insights. Also, this dashboard is ideal for auto-diagnostics, close-to-zero latency for fast effective and finally for high-resolution video.
As far as energy efficiency is concerned, this model does not disappoint. This is because it is designed to optimize power usage, thereby lowering the overall energy costs. Finally, the model is built to last. It has been tested for reliability and quality and has proved to be very effective.
- The model comes with a fantastic aesthetics
- Very silent, thanks to the fanless design
- It is energy efficient
- Features 8 Gigabit ports to connect all your gaming devices.
- Might be expensive.
6. NETGEAR GS810EMX Nighthawk Pro Gaming SX10 Gigabit Ethernet 8 Ports Switch
To start with, this model comes with 8 Gigabit ports and 2 Multi-gig/10G ports. Apart from this, it comes with an easy-to-use GUI interface that enables you to configure, monitor and secure your network. As far as the design is concerned, the model boasts to have a cool-touch zinc alloy outer housing which matches its high gaming performance inside.
Speaking of noise, this model reduces fan noise in a bid to make your home or office calmer, thanks to its whisper-quiet design. When it comes to energy efficiency, this model does not disappoint as it will not make your monthly energy bills to escalate.
As far as its construction is concerned, this model is built to last. You will note that it has been tested for reliability and quality and it has proved worth the money. Finally, it comes with 3-year limited warranty from the manufacturer.
- It comes with 8 Gigabit ports and 2 Multi-gig/10G ports
- Very easy to use
- Comes with a whisper-quiet design
- Very efficient design
- 3-year warranty from the manufacturer
- Might be expensive
7. TP-Link TL-SG105 | 5 Port Gigabit Unmanaged Ethernet Network Switches for Gaming
If you are looking for an energy-efficient gigabit that saves energy in your home, look no further as this model meets all these requirements. This is because it comes with the latest innovative energy. With this technology, you will be able to expand your network capacity with less power consumption. Ultimately, you will be able to save a few bucks on your energy bills.
When it comes to noise issues, you will have a calm environment even when the network switch is in use, thanks to its fanless design. It is also easy to use, since there is no need for software installation or configuration needed.
Since this model comes with advanced software features, you will be able to prioritize your traffic and be guaranteed that you will enjoy high-quality videos as well as voice data transmission. Besides this, the model comes with a sturdy metal case that makes it more durable. Finally, it comes with a limited lifetime warranty and free 24/7 technical support.
- Very energy efficient
- The model is quiet and reliable
- Very easy to set up
- It comes with a sturdy metal case
- Comes with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer
- It comes with 24/7 technical support
- Fewer ports
8. Linksys SE2800 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch
With this network switch, you will be able to expand your home’s network since you will be able to connect up to 8 gaming devices. Also, with this model, you will be able to leverage the power of Gigabit. Here, you can expect speeds up to 1000 Mbps, which is 10 times faster than standard Ethernet.
Besides this, it will be easy to connect your wired devices and begin to start using it with no configuration needed. By investing in this model, you will be able to enjoy high-performance thanks to the Quality of Service (QoS) traffic prioritization technology.
It is also ideal for quick file and media sharing between Gigabit devices. Finally, the model comes with auto-sensing ports that help to optimize speed for each connected gaming device.
- It comes with 8 Gigabit ports
- Very easy to setup and use
- Ideal for quick file and media sharing between Gigabit devices
- Fast speeds of up to 1000Mbps
- Might be noisy
Best Network Switches for Gaming Buyer’s Guide
When looking for the best network switches for gaming, chances are that you might come across many models out there. These models might confuse you since each has its own bells and whistles. Some might appear to have similar features thereby making get spoilt for choice. The good news is that this guide has outlined some of the critical features that you should check when buying these models out there. Some of the features that you should be keen to check include:
1. Temperature and humidity range
One of the fundamental things that you should pay attention to is the environment that the gaming switch will reside in once you install it. Since we live in different environments, the last thing you would like to experience is future problems resulting from the surrounding environments. For instance, will the gaming switch fit in a humid environment?
Will it need a separate setup to prevent overheating? Most network switches are normally very sensitive to extreme cold and hot conditions. The good news is that the temperature ranges of switches sore normally indicated in the information booklet and have to be adhered to, all the time.
All these are valid concerns that you have to consider when buying this model out there. If it fits the home or environment you had planned for, the better the model.
2. Number of ports
Besides the specifications mentioned above, you should be keen to check the number of ports that you will need for all your gaming devices. If you have many gaming devices, you might need to have several ports for efficiency purposes. This way you will have a wonderful gaming experience back at home.
It is important to note that the number of ports on a network switch normally varies. Some normally come with 4 ports while others come with as many as 48. The choice of a network switch is sole, yours.
If you can choose one with many switches, you can trust that you will enjoy a lot of seamlessness regardless of the number of devices you have. For instance, a switch that has between 8 and 24 ports would go a long way in enhancing your gaming experience.
3. Managed vs Unmanaged
To start with, you will note that we have two most common types of network switches. These are the managed and the unmanaged types. However, most people can hardly tell the difference between these two types. Here, we shall elaborate on these types further, for better understanding.
First, the unmanaged switches normally come from the manufacturer and are mostly pre-configured. Therefore, it will be very difficult for you to make any changes you please. However, they are easy to use and do not need any setup.
All you need to do is to plug them into your router and then provide it with power and you will good to go. These kinds of switches simply allow two devices to communicate with each other during the gaming sessions.
On the other hand, managed switches allow you to manage your home network. Here, you will have the liberty to configure priority traffic across your home network. Generally, these switches offer greater overall control of your home network and the devices that connect to it, through protocols such as SNMP. In addition, you can also give priority of bandwidth to certain devices on your network and even access your switch remotely through command lines or a GUI. Therefore, you will not need to be in the physical location of the switch so as to monitor or manage it.
Besides the above-mentioned switches, there is a smart switch, which is commonly referred to as the intelligent switch. This kind of switch is less expensive compared to the managed switches. Interestingly, it gives you more control than what you can get when you are using the unmanaged switch. If you do not find the managed switch, you can settle for the smart switch as it offers a great balance of both cost and features. Therefore, it is bound to suit the needs of many people.
Speed is another critical factor that you should consider when buying these network switches for gaming. Ideally, your network of choice should be able to transfer large amounts of data at a faster rate.
If by any chance you use a switch that is not up to the task, you might experience some lag whenever you are playing online games. This might make your gaming experience less enjoyable. To avert this, you should consider investing in gig switches. These switches normally have a data transfer speed of 1 Gigabit per second or greater.
In addition, the switching capacity of your devices will also play a critical role in determining how seamless your gaming sessions will be. Here, you should check whether your device offers gigabyte ports or priority routing. This is more important for gamers who want to have a wonderful experience whenever they are playing online games.
5. Mounting type
You will note that most network switches normally come with wall-mounted or desktop mounting options. However, there is a category that has both mounting types. If you choose the wall-mounted one, you can be sure that you can place it anywhere while the desktop switch will need a standard position. However, if you are not certain about how you would like your switch placed in the future, consider going for the versatile desktop mountable and wall-mounted switch.
For your network switch to become more effective, it should come with some extras. For instance, your network switch of choice should come with some added features such as the PoE, popularly known as Power over Ethernet.
With this feature, you will be able to connect devices such as VoIP phones and IP cameras. In this case, there will be no need for you to supply electrical power to each of the connected devices or components of the network. As a result, the PoE will make your switch require some cooling. Therefore, there will be a need for you to check the temperature range from time to time.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do network switches cause lag?
To start with, the latency is normally added by the switch itself. Unless you are truly concerned about the high-speed stock market trading apps, you do not have to worry about it. However, it is imperative to note that there are two types of latency: serialization delay and the time it takes to do the lookup and forward. For it the serialization delay, it refers to the time it takes to encode bits on the wire.
2. Why is a network switch better than hub?
You will note that the switch is normally more intelligent than a hub. As a hub, the switch is the connection point for the computer and other devices within a network. However, a switch is more efficient when it comes to passing along traffic. In case the destination address is not in the table, the switch normally sends the traffic to all the connected computers.
3. Are managed switches faster than unmanaged models?
No. In fact, there is no inherent difference between the speed and latency available to host talking to anyone another on a managed vs. unmanaged switch. However, you will see better performance when it comes to a managed switch since unmanaged switches are less capable in every sense compared to the managed switches.
4. Why use a switch over a router?
First, the network switch will allow you to connect multiple devices and networks in a bid to expand the LAN. However, the router allows you to share a single IP address among multiple network devices. Simply put, the Ethernet switch basically creates networks while the router allows you to make connections between networks. Without an Ethernet, you will not have a network to connect with.
5. Can I use multiple switches on my network?
Yes. You will note that daisy-chaining switches together are generally considered safe. However, it is not recommended as it might cause chaos on a network. If it is a ritual for you to have daisy-chain switches together, you should avoid connecting more than 3 switches with each other.
It is the wish of every online game enthusiast to have a wonderful gaming experience with friends. The above-mentioned best network switches for gaming will not disappoint you. You will note that these models have the best connectivity and performance needed to make your gaming experience superb and memorable. Also, the above-mentioned guide will help you make a wise choice when buying these models. Consider these ideas today and you will get the value for your hard-earned money.