Linksys family room Gigabit switch 

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The Linksys WRT 8-port Gigabit Ethernet switch model SE4008 provides an easy means of adding additional Ethernet-connected devices to one’s home network. It is simple to install and has been styled so that it will not look out of place in a family room.

As it has the same approximately 195 x 245mm footprint as the company’s new Wireless Dual Band Wireless Router model WRT1900AC both units can be stacked one on top of the other with the feet of the router neatly sitting in indentations in the top of the switch. It is not, however, limited to just working with this router. I ran it successfully with a Netgear product.

With all the eight Ethernet ports and switches at the rear and the front panel just showing the power and status LEDs it offers an uncluttered appearance with the cabling neatly out of sight to the rear. The front half of its main body is bright blue with the LEDs shining through the transparent black acrylic front panel window, while the rear is black so that a uniform frontal appearance is shown when units are stacked. Although the unit can be wall mounted, it would then not be easy to see the LEDs.

As all eight ports are auto-sensing it does not need a specific uplink port and so the cable link to the router can go to any port. Similarly, it is auto-sensing so is capable of detecting and dealing with either straight-through or crossover cables. Hence, it was a straightforward task to connect to one’s router and then to all the various network devices. In fact, it is so simple in operation that, although the information on disc is in many languages, there is only a one-page product overview; one on Setting Up: Basics -- which directs one to if in need of help.

The only reference that I could find to it providing QoS traffic prioritisation and the fact that when connected devices are turned off or not in use the SE4008 enters power saving mode are on the box.

By the way, despite what the Linksys web site says, it will not allow “you to add up to eight (8) devices to your home or office network with plug-and-play installation…” The actual number is 6 as, in order to connect the switch to the router, one port is occupied at the router as well as one on the switch.

Once connected and powered up “T” shaped LEDs on the front panel show which ports are active. Secondary LEDs indicate where active connections are Gigabit. If one finds that the LEDs are distracting in a living room environment -- especially as they flicker to indicate activity -- they, with the exception of the power LED, can be switched off.

With this 8-port Gigabit switch, and its matching wireless router, Linksys is aiming at, simplicity, ease of use as well as bringing the Internet firmly into the family room. Priced at £54.99, but also offered on Amazon at £38.50 it is a unique product and appreciably different from the majority of unmanaged switches on the market and should be considered as such.

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OverallLinksys family room Gigabit switch rated 80 out of 100

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