What Is the Best 5 Port Ethernet Switch?

Contributor, Benzinga

Whether you want to create a security surveillance system or just increase your ethernet ports, an ethernet switch can help you out. Connecting to an ethernet switch is a simple task that you need no training for. For a small device like these choices for the best 5 port ethernet switches, you plug it in and connect. 

What to Look for in an Ethernet Switch

You can find many benefits to using an ethernet switch, but what should you expect from that switch? Here are some benefits to a 5 port ethernet switch as well as some factors to keep in mind when using them. 

Size

With a 5 port ethernet switch, you get exactly what you expect, 5 ports for an ethernet cable. A huge benefit to these low-cost switches is the amount of space they take up. Every 5 channel switch has a low footprint in its space requirements.

The largest drawback of a device this size is the inability to install in a rack. But that is the whole point of getting a unit this size. You can have it sit on your desk or on an inconspicuous shelf. 

Price

You can choose from a multitude of 5 port ethernet switches. You want to watch out for the deals that might seem too good to be true. While they are not expensive, 5 port ethernet switches are expected to have better quality at a higher price. 

With higher prices, you may notice no physical differences, but the benefits manifest themselves internally. The setup and design of the more expensive switches have better security and Quality of Service (QoS). QoS is a way you can designate certain ports as a higher priority to enhance the speed of the connection. 

Speed 

The one thing that everyone hates is slow internet. With an ethernet switch, you should see no loss in speeds. Newer switches will have the capacity to handle a standard 1000 Mbps to each of the outbound ethernet ports. 

If you see loss in speed, try connecting directly to the router itself when you start testing the speed to see if there is an issue with the cabling. A common reason for slower connections is the cable. Cat-5 is the slowest physical connection for ethernet switches and has been replaced by Cat-6 and 6a. For reference, a standard Cat-5 cable can only handle up to 100 Mbps while a standard Cat-6 can handle up to 1000 Mbps. 

Goal

Ethernet switches can be used for a number of different goals. The most common for a switch this size is for splitting an ethernet internet signal into multiple outputs to reach more devices. Another use for a switch is to monitor and interact with devices across a network of a building. It can be done with devices this size, but normally that sort of work is done with much larger units.

Lastly, ethernet switches are a great way to monitor video cameras. For security surveillance, you can connect cameras via ethernet cables and connect them to one device via the switch. No matter how you plan to use your switch, there are certain options that will be best suited for your needs. 

The Best 5 Port Ethernet Switch

Knowing what all a switch has to offer, as well as how to use it is a great way, to make an informed decision. Taking that knowledge, you can choose which of these options are the best 5 port ethernet switch for you. 

Linksys SE3005

Each port on the Linksys SE3005 is a Gigabit ethernet port that will let you transfer data 10x faster than with fast ethernet. Linksys is a great company for anything networking related. While the price is a little higher, you should quickly notice a difference in speeds. 

Pros:

  • 1 Gigabit ports
  • Power-saving features
  • LED indicators
  • Plug-and-play setup

Cons:

  • Can drop connection if the box is moved while connected

Best For: Speed

Pricing – $34.99

Netgear GS305

Netgear (NASDAQ: NTGR) is another popular company when it comes to providing network equipment for commercial environments. It is also a popular choice for home use since the smaller inconspicuous build of the GS305 is great for staying out of the way. 

Pros:

  • Metal case
  • Can be wall mounted
  • Plug-and-play setup
  • 1 Gigabit ports
  • Power-saving technology

Cons:

  • No enhanced security
  • No QoS

Best For: Simple home use

Pricing – $15.99

Netgear GS305E

The E in GS305E simply stands for Enhanced. It is set apart from its simpler model that was just listed by its enhanced network capabilities. Rather than every port being connected for 1 large network, it has VLAN network security allowing you to have multiple networks running off of the same unit. 

Pros:

  • Metal case
  • Can be wall mounted
  • Plug-and-play setup
  • 1-Gigabit ports
  • Enhanced security (VLAN)
  • QoS
  • Power-saving technology

Cons:

  • The in depth switch management can be difficult for a beginner

Best For: Network security

Pricing – $20.99 

The TP-Link TL-SG105 is another simple yet effective way to improve your ethernet connection abilities. With its energy-saving functions, it detects when an ethernet port is and is not in use and reduces the power draw for the ports that are not in use. 

Pros:

  • Plug-and-play setup
  • 1-Gigabit ports
  • Power-saving technology
  • Traffic optimization

Cons:

  • Some users have had connection speed issues 

Best For: Price

Pricing – $14.99

TRENDnet TPE-LG50

The TRENDnet TPS-LG50 sets itself apart as 1 of the only 5 channel switches to offer power over ethernet, also known as PoE. This feature means that for low-power devices such as surveillance cameras and access points, 30 watts of electricity can be sent through the ethernet cable to power the device. The power output is available to 4 of the 5 connection points.

Pros:

  • Plug-and-play setup
  • PoE
  • PoE+ compatible
  • Long-range PoE
  • Gigabit ports
  • Port isolation

Cons:

  • Is larger than most 5 port switches

Best For: Small video networks

Pricing – $51.99 

Multifaceted Use

Something as simple as a switch is a great way to improve your network capabilities. You can even use this in a college dorm environment when you only have a single ethernet connection point and want to connect computers as well as consoles. A 5 port ethernet switch allows you more opportunities and connections to improve your online and networking experience.