Know Everything About Gigabit Ethernet Switches


Gigabit Ethernet is one of the most commonly used networks by various businesses for their internal connectivity. It is economical and sustainable for most home networks and small businesses which require connectivity up to a few meters. To improve the efficiency and transmission distance of these networks, Gigabit network switches are used. They help increase the data rate up to around 1000 Mbps and increase the reliability factor in the network. Gigabit switches are important devices in a network that help establish connectivity of several other devices such as computers, printers, cameras, and so on to a local area network (LAN). They can also be used for advanced and high-definition devices such as HD television to connect to the internet without the need for a wireless connection. These are typically the higher version of fast Ethernet switches, which means it graduates from a 10/100 Mbps speed of fast Ethernet to 10/100/1000 Mbps or 10G. This article discusses various aspects of Gigabit switches including their features, tips for selection, and more.

Gigabit Ethernet Switches

What are the Features of Typical Fast Gigabit Switch?

A Gigabit switch helps boost network speed and usually supports speeds of 10/100/1000 Mbps for copper cables and 1000 Mbps for fiber optic cables. Here are some features of a typical switch:
  • Gigabit Ethernet switches are available in varied numbers of ports from two to 50 or even more.
  • Some switches may have all RJ45 connector ports, which means they are applicable for copper legacy networks.
  • Most switches nowadays have some SFP or small form factor pluggable ports which are used for fiber optic cable connectivity.
  • Switches may be managed or unmanaged, which means the former can function on an auto mode, while the latter have to be programmed manually.
  • Most switches have a simple plug-and-play design which makes them easy to operate.
  • They are suitable for single-mode as well as multimode networks and can work in half-duplex as well as full-duplex mode in terms of flow control.
  • They have a number of LED indicators that indicate various parameters like the type of port, status, linking, activity, and so on.

Why are Gigabit Ethernet Switches Important?

Gigabit Ethernet switches serve as essential components within a network infrastructure. They enable multiple devices to communicate with each other at lightning-fast speeds, enhancing data transfer rates and minimizing network congestion. These switches are particularly crucial in scenarios where high bandwidth demands are prevalent, such as offices, data centers, and even homes with multiple devices simultaneously connected to the internet.
In a business context, Gigabit Ethernet switches play a pivotal role in ensuring seamless communication between departments, promoting efficient data exchange, and supporting the use of bandwidth-intensive applications. For home users, these switches eliminate lag and buffering during online activities, providing a smooth and frustration-free experience.

How Many Pairs Does Gigabit Ethernet Use?

Gigabit Ethernet, also known as 1000BASE-T, employs a total of four pairs of twisted-pair cables. Each pair is used to transmit and receive data, making a total of eight wires in the Ethernet cable. This sophisticated setup allows for the transmission of data at a rate of 1 gigabit per second, a significant leap from the previous standard of Fast Ethernet, which used only two pairs.
Gigabit Ethernet utilizes all four pairs simultaneously, with each pair transmitting data at 250 megabits per second. This intricate arrangement ensures that data can be sent and received simultaneously, leading to higher speeds and improved efficiency.

What to Consider When Choosing Gigabit Ethernet Switches

Selecting the right Gigabit Ethernet switch involves considering several factors to meet your specific networking needs. Here are some key aspects to keep in mind:
  • Network Size and Usage: Before making a choice, assess the size of your network and the number of devices that will be connected. Businesses might require switches with a higher number of ports to accommodate various devices and departments, while home users might need switches with fewer ports.
  • PoE (Power over Ethernet) Support: If your network requires devices like IP cameras, wireless access points, or VoIP phones, consider switches with PoE support. These switches deliver both data and power over the same Ethernet cable, simplifying installation and reducing clutter.
  • Managed vs. Unmanaged Switches: Decide whether you need a managed or unmanaged switch. Managed switches offer advanced features like VLAN support, QoS, and remote management, while unmanaged switches are plug-and-play devices suitable for basic networking needs.
  • Quality of Service (QoS) Prioritization: For business environments where certain applications require higher priority over others, switches with QoS capabilities ensure that critical data flows smoothly without interruptions.

What specifications Gigabit Switch Must have?

Here are some pointers which may be useful when buying a Gigabit ethernet switch based on your network application requirements.
  • Check the number of slots for copper networks and those for fiber networks vis-à-vis your application requirements.
  • Compatibility is an important aspect, and their suitability with other devices on the network must be considered. Additionally, your network should adhere to Gigabit standards.
  • Look for flexibility in a switch when it comes to port selection. For most home networks, switches with six to eight ports are ideal with at least 2 ports of SFP modules. This makes your network scalable and leaves scope for future expansion in case you plan to blend fiber optics with your legacy network.
  • You need not always opt for a managed switch. Most home network requirements can be met with the help of unmanaged switches quite efficiently. So, consider your budget and requirements.
  • Check if the Ethernet switch complies with the IEEE 802.3 standards and if the manufacturer is certified. Also check for the customization the manufacturer or supplier can offer.
  • While most switches are designed to function in harsh environments, do check their operating temperature range and relative humidity range.
  • Gigabit PoE switches are a great value addition, especially if you need or have powered devices on the network or the network passes through a remote area with connectivity or power issues. It is also ideal for connecting with CCTV cameras, VoIP phones, and various access points.

How Does a Gigabit Switch Work?

A Gigabit Ethernet switch operates by creating a network of connected devices, enabling them to communicate efficiently. When data is sent from one device to another, the switch examines the destination MAC address and forwards the data only to the relevant device, rather than broadcasting it to all connected devices. This process, known as packet switching, minimizes network congestion and enhances overall efficiency.

How Fast Are Gigabit Switches?

Gigabit switches, as the name suggests, offer data transfer speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps), which is ten times faster than Fast Ethernet switches. This remarkable speed increase significantly reduces latency and allows for seamless streaming, faster file transfers, and smoother online experiences.

Why Do Some Fast Gigabit Switches Cost So Much?

The cost of Gigabit switches can vary widely based on several factors:
  • Speed and Ports:: High-speed switches with more ports tend to be more expensive due to the complexity of their design and the increased capacity they offer.
  • Build Quality: Switches with better build quality, such as those designed for enterprise use, often come with a higher price tag. These switches are built to withstand heavy usage and offer advanced features.
  • Advanced Features: Some Gigabit switches come with advanced features like Quality of Service (QoS) settings, which prioritize specific types of network traffic. These switches are sought after for their ability to optimize network performance.
  • Brand Reputation: Established brands with a history of producing reliable networking equipment may charge a premium for their reputation and quality assurance.
  • Energy Efficiency: Switches designed to be energy-efficient and eco-friendly may have a higher initial cost but can lead to long-term savings on electricity bills.

  • It's important to evaluate your networking needs before purchasing a Gigabit switch. While some features might be beneficial for businesses and power users, they might not be necessary for the average home network.

Types of Gigabit Switches

There are several types of Gigabit Ethernet switches tailored to different networking requirements:
  • Unmanaged Gigabit Switches: These switches are the simplest and most cost-effective options. They offer plug-and-play functionality, making them ideal for small home networks or setups where minimal configuration is needed.
  • Managed Gigabit Switches: Managed switches provide advanced control and configuration options. They allow network administrators to set up VLANs, control traffic, and prioritize data flows. These switches are essential for businesses with more complex networking needs.
  • PoE Gigabit Switches: PoE switches deliver both data and power to connected devices, eliminating the need for separate power cables. They are invaluable in scenarios where devices need to be deployed in locations with limited access to power outlets.
  • Stackable Gigabit Switches: Stackable switches can be interconnected to create a single logical switch with increased port density. This simplifies management and improves redundancy.

How to Upgrade Your Network to Gigabit Ethernet

Upgrading your network to Gigabit Ethernet is a worthwhile endeavor if you're looking to enhance your connection speed. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:
  • Assess Your Current Setup: Start by evaluating your existing network equipment, including routers, switches, and cables. Ensure that they support Gigabit Ethernet.
  • Upgrade Hardware:If your current equipment doesn't support Gigabit Ethernet, it's time to invest in compatible hardware. Look for routers, switches, and cables that are labeled as Gigabit-compatible.
  • Replace Cables: To fully harness the benefits of Gigabit Ethernet, you'll need Cat5e or Cat6 Ethernet cables. These cables can handle higher speeds and provide optimal performance.
  • Configuration: After installing new hardware and cables, configure your devices to enable Gigabit Ethernet. Check your device's user manual or online resources for guidance.
  • Test Speeds:: Once everything is set up, run speed tests to ensure that you're getting the desired Gigabit speeds. Remember that the actual speed you achieve might vary due to factors like network congestion and distance.

What is Gigabit Switching Technology Deployment?

This intelligent and flexible switching technology supports three Ethernet rates. A typical 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet switch enables maximum transmission speed and accurate data transfer from source to destination. The ports on this switch can determine the speed of each device on the network and accordingly transmit or receive data. On the network that is Gigabit enabled with appropriate configurations, you can deploy Gigabit switching technology to enhance the network speed and get maximum output from the network. This technology supports high-speed data transfer among multiple devices.

How to choose Gigabit Switches for Home Network?

While gigabit switches are largely used for commercial networks, they are also useful and beneficial for home networks. Most home networks may have a wireless router; however, for wired connections to your home computer and other devices such as printers and cameras, gigabit switches are useful in getting a good speed and seamless connectivity. This is especially true in case you have Fast Ethernet and looking to expand your home network in terms of speed, more number of devices, and so on. Here are some pointers on why gigabit switches may be beneficial for home networks.
  • Most times, unmanaged gigabit switches are suitable for home networks or small offices as managed gigabit switches are designed for large networks in industrial units.
  • In-home networks, these switches offer a speed of up to 1Gbps and help the devices remain connected to LAN.
  • They are extremely reliable and safe.
  • The main benefit of using gigabit switches in home networks is that multiple users can connect to the internet and still enjoy a good signal strength and a huge bandwidth. For instance, you may have a small surveillance system, IP phone, camera, printer, and so on along with two or more computers connected to the network.
  • Also, with this, it is easy to take server backups or transfer bulky files over the network. This is especially useful in case you operate your business from home.
  • You can select from a range of gigabit switches with a number of ports ranging from 4 to 50, and these include RJ45 ports as well SFP ports.

Key Features to Look in a Gigabit Switch for Home Office Setup

Here are some factors you may consider when installing a gigabit switch in your home office network.
  • Number of ports: This totally depends on the number of devices you need to connect. You also need to consider if you have only a legacy copper cable network or if you plan to blend it with fiber optics. In the second scenario, you would require switches with RJ45 as well as SFP ports.
  • Speed: As long as your internet service provider offers a good speed, switches would enhance the data forwarding and transmission rate. For almost all switches offered by VERSITRON, the speed for copper networks is 10/100/1000, and that for fiber is 100/1G.
  • Managed or Unmanaged: Usually, unmanaged switches are preferred for home networks. While unmanaged switches are easier to manage on your own, managed switches are automated but need to be configured by a professional. The former type is cost-effective and ideal for small offices and startups. The unmanaged switches offered by VERSITRON have built-in QOS services as well as basic security features. They are simple to use and can be operated with a plug-and-play option. They offer a speed of 10/100/1000 for copper and 100/1G for fiber networks. They offer unmanaged commercial-grade switches with four and six ports, which are ideal for homes and small offices.
  • POE or non-PoE: While you may not require PoE in a small network, it may be wise to opt for PoE switches in case you are looking for expansion. This is especially if you want to increase the distance of transmission and let the network pass through remote areas. In case you want a managed PoE switch with a high capacity, VERSITRON offers SGX72870MP a 28-Port 10/100/1G/10G Layer 2+ Managed Switch with 1G/10G SFP slots with 600 Watts of total PoE power.
  • With or Without Fan: A switch without a fan operates silently, whereas a switch with a fan tends to produce some noise. If you prefer a peaceful environment, choose a fanless switch.

Can I Increase My Ethernet Speed with a Gigabit Switch?

Absolutely! A Gigabit switch can significantly enhance your Ethernet speed, especially when dealing with multiple devices. A Gigabit switch operates as a central hub that connects various devices within your network. Unlike older switches, which were limited to Fast Ethernet speeds, a Gigabit switch supports the high-speed capabilities of Gigabit Ethernet.
When you connect devices to a Gigabit switch, they can communicate with each other at lightning-fast speeds, thanks to the dedicated 1-gigabit-per-second connection that each port provides. This can drastically improve data transfer rates between devices, making activities such as large file transfers and media streaming smoother and more seamless.

Switches Offered by VERSITRON for Home Networks

Here are some top picks for VERSITRON best gigabit switches for a home office setup.

Model No.
No. of Ports
Managed/Unmanaged
PoE/Non-PoE
Switching Capacity
Cables Supported
Flow Control
Power Requirements
View Details
SG70460
4
Unmanaged
Non-PoE
8Gbps
Copper Port: Cat5 or Higher Fiber Ports: Multimode: 50/125 or 62.5/125 Single mode: 8/125 or 9/125
Full Duplex: 802.3x Flow Control Half Duplex: Back Pressure Flow Control
Power Supply Input: 100-240VAC, 50~60Hz Power Supply Output: 5VDC, 3A
SG70660
6
Unmanaged
Non-PoE
12Gbps
Copper Port: Cat5 or Higher Fiber Ports: Multimode 50/125 or 62.5/125 Single mode: 8/125 or 9/125
Full Duplex: 802.3x Flow Control Half Duplex: Back Pressure Flow Control
Power Supply Input: 100-240VAC, 50 ~ 60Hz Power Supply Output: 5VDC, 2A
S70850M
8
Managed
Non-PoE
Copper- 7-10/100Mbps Fiber- 100Mbps SFP Slot – LC Connector
10Base-T: Cat3, 4, 5 UTP (<100 meter) 100Base-TX: Cat5 or later UTP (<100 meter)
-
DC 5~15V
SG10208
10
Unmanaged
Non-PoE
20Gbps
Copper Port: Cat5 or Higher Fiber Ports: Multimode: 50/125 or 62.5/125 Single mode: 8/125 or 9/125
Full Duplex: 802.3x Flow Control Half Duplex: Back Pressure Flow Control
Power Supply Input: 100-240VAC, 50 ~ 60Hz Power Supply Output: 15VDC, 2A
SG72060MP
20
Managed
PoE
192Gbps
10/100/1000Mbps: Cat.5 up to 100m 1Gbps: Cat.5e or higher up to 100m Multimode or Single mode fiber with LC Connectors
-
Total power- 400 Watts Input power 100-240VAC, 50/60Hz, 5.0A
SGX72870MP
28
Managed
PoE
598Gbps
10/100Mbps: Cat.5 up to 100m 1Gbps: Cat.5e or higher up to 100m 10Gbps: Cat.6 or higher up to 100m Multimode or Single mode fiber with LC Connectors
-
Total power- 600 Watts Input power- 100-240VAC, 50/Hz, 6.6A
SGX75270M
52
Managed
Non-PoE
598Gbps
10/100Mbps: Cat.5 or higher up to 100m 1Gbps: Cat.53 or higher up to 100m 10Gbps: Cat.6 or higher up to 100m Multimode or Single mode fiber with LC Connectors
-
Input Power 100-240VAC, 50/60Hz, 6.6A

Conclusion

There is variety of switches available, among which Gigabit switches are the most widely used. The best part of using these Gigabit Ethernet switches is IEEE standardization and compliance. Saving energy that is unnecessarily wasted is a crucial aspect of any business or even a home, and gigabit switches allow you to save on energy. It is wise to opt for managed or unmanaged Gigabit switches with both copper and fiber port modules as it becomes easy to scale up the network in the future or even add devices in the short term. Gigabit switches are suited for home offices too. VERSITRON offers a variety of Gigabit Ethernet switches which are compatible with a number of devices and copper as well as fiber networks. The company offers switches with ports for RJ45 connectors as well as SFP modules. Most of them are also PoE enabled. For details, you can visit www.versitron.com and go through the information on Gigabit network switches like 8 port gigabit switch, 10-Port Gigabit Industrial PoE Switch, 10-Port 10/100/1000 Gigabit Industrial Managed Switch and various other network devices as well as installation kits. Whether for a small office or home network, you would certainly find the rightly configured switch that meets your requirements.

FAQ

1. What is a Gigabit Switch

A Gigabit switch is a networking device that allows multiple devices within a local area network (LAN) to connect and communicate at Gigabit speeds, facilitating fast and efficient data transmission between devices.

2. What is Gigabit Internet?

Gigabit internet is an ultra-fast internet connection that provides speeds of 1 gigabit per second (Gbps).

3. What does a Gigabit Switch do?

A Gigabit switch enables multiple devices to connect and communicate at high speeds within a local network.

4. How does a Gigabit Switch work?

A Gigabit switch uses packet switching technology to efficiently forward data packets between connected devices.

5. Do Gigabit Switches reduce speed?

No, Gigabit switches do not reduce speed; they facilitate high-speed communication without compromising bandwidth.

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