What Is the Best Rack Mounted Ethernet Switch?

Contributor, Benzinga

To keep your devices connected and up to speed, having the best ethernet switch can improve your experience. If you are in an office or building where you have many devices, you will need more ports that can only fit on a rack-mounted option. To help you choose which one works for you, here are some of the best options for a rack mounted ethernet switch. 

What is an ethernet switch? An ethernet switch is a way to connect ethernet-compatible devices and connect them all to one server or connecting point. Essentially it is a hub for activity and information to be sent and received. 

What to Look for in an Ethernet Switch

You need to take into account a few simple factors when you are shopping for an ethernet switch. Here are some of the basic pieces to consider before you choose your ethernet switch. 


How many ports you need will help you more easily determine the best ethernet switch for you. Generally, most modern switches can offer gigabit connections that allow for faster speeds. The number of ports should not affect that factor, but always double-check before purchasing. Also, take into consideration that more ports will mean that more rack space is needed. If you have only 16 ports, your unit can take up to as little as 1u of rack space while something with 24 or more ports will need 2u or more. 


The price of an ethernet switch is not always affected by how many ports there are, although that can be an influential factor. Things like speed, brand and power wattage will be more important determining factors that will inevitably affect the final cost. 

As far as what sort of price you should expect, most quality ethernet switches that fit on racks start around $100 or more. Occasionally you might be able to find some switches below that price, but be sure to read up on the reviews and specs before making a decision. 


Slow connections can be more than just a simple nuisance. If you are trying to work on another device remotely through the network, a slow connection can make the process take longer or even make it impossible with it timing out. That is why you want to make sure you have a switch that can handle usable speeds.

The oldest and slowest ethernet connection would be a Cat-5 cable which only can send around 100Mbps. For all current purposes, you should try to run at least Cat-6 which can handle 10 times that speed. Cat-6 is rated for speeds up to 1,000 Mbps, or just 1 Gbps. Remember though that this feature does not guarantee that you will have 1 Gbps all of the time but that it is possible for you to reach speeds of 1 Gbps. 


The most common goal of an ethernet switch is to split an internet signal and amplify it out on multiple ethernet cables. It can also double as a hub for connecting with devices across an entire building. If you patch into the network with the correct programs, you can monitor and interact with any device connected to an ethernet network via the switch. 

An alternative method that ethernet switches can be used for is for security systems. Generally, running cables long distances can be very expensive, especially for video. One of the more popular methods for security camera connection is an ethernet cable. It is a fairly cheap wire that you can use to run long distances and when they are all connected to the switch, they can be monitored and controlled by one central location. 

The Best Rack Mounted Ethernet Switch

Benzinga reviews the best rack mounted ethernet switches.

Cisco SG220 – 26

Cisco is an established and top-of-the-line company, and their SG220-26 offers 26 ethernet ports for you to build your network. A great feature to Cisco products is the ability to access and manage your Cisco devices on your network remotely. 


  • Energy efficient
  • Remote management
  • 26 ports
  • Gigabit connections
  • Supports up to 256 VLANs


  • Managing remotely can be confusing for beginners

Best For: Remote Management

Pricing – $249.99

Netgear JGS524

If you are looking for a professional switch that is easy to use then look no further than the JGS524. It is a simple plug and play setup, but it does not have the in-depth managing functions that many other switches have. 


  • Energy efficient
  • 24 ports
  • Gigabit connections
  • Speed light indicators


  • Unmanaged

Best For: Plug-and-play setup

Pricing – $149.99

TP-Link provides an easy-to-use piece of technology for your network. The TL-SG1024DE is built with speed and channel optimization to make sure that the highest connection speed is available for those who need it most. 


  • Energy efficient
  • 24 ports
  • Gigabit connections
  • Up to 32 VLANs
  • Effective network monitoring
  • Easy management tools


  • Limited management capabilities

Best For: Low price

Pricing – $99.99

Netgear GS116

The Netgear GS116 is the smallest switch on this list, taking up only one rack unit. You can buy what Netgear calls Plus Switches for management capabilities, but this switch is an easy plug-and-play switch. This type of switch is perfect for simple tasks like small security systems and simple internet connections. 


  • Small rack space required
  • Energy efficient
  • 16 ports
  • Gigabit connections


  • No management tools

Best For: Compact Spaces

Pricing – $109.99

FS S3900-48T4S

If you are looking for an absolute workhorse of a switch that offers as many ports as possible, the S3900-48T4S is the switch for you. It requires 2 sources of power and is a fully managed switch for you to customize and control. 


  • Fully managed
  • 48 ports
  • Gigabit connection
  • Stackable up to 6 units


  • Requires 2 sources of power
  • Can be somewhat noisy

Best For: High port count

Pricing – $529.00

Switch it up

Having the best rack-mounted ethernet switch makes a big difference in the workplace. Being able to work in detail with devices or just have them ready to go will help you to create a better working network for your business. With the proper switch and plenty of Cat-6 cable, your connections are only going to improve.