NETGEAR ProSAFE 8-Port Gigabit Click Switch (GSS108E)
Pros: Simple Plug and Play, USB charging, Easily Mountable, No power Brick
Cons: Long form factor, Short power cord
Background with tabletop switches:
While conducting internal network security assessments, my team often requires the use of a switch to supply additional ports so our entire team could access the internal network being assessed from the one port in the room. The switch we used took up a fair amount of desk space and the power cord had a brick at the end creating a power plug availability issue when our laptops or other devices needed charging. This switch seems to address these issues.
After setup and review, I would say overall the Netgear ClickSwitch meets all the necessary requirements for a typical office setting, and then some. The only downsides I would say is the length of the power cord and its odd lengthy form factor. I always seem to find myself with a power cord which is not quite long enough for my current situation. This is to be expected since not all conference rooms are the same; however, the option of a longer power cord would be an added benefit.
Setup was extremely easy. Especially if you install the ProSAFE Plus Utility, which assists in identifying the switch for you and allows you to configure from within the utility. It is similar, but slightly more complicated to configure from the web based configuration page. Overall very simple and straightforward.
I would like to point out the magnificent USB charging ports. If there was one other device, besides out laptops, my team utilized while onsite at a client it was our cell phones. Integrating this functionality into the device is genius since it eliminates the need for yet another power outlet or tethering the device to a laptop.
The switch allows control over LED activity, which I have found to be a useful and quick insight into the current connectivity of any connected device. This functionality would be useful in a dark room situation where blinking lights would be a distraction, such as a home theatre.
Mounting & Physical Security:
Based on my use of this type of switch I would more than likely always have the switch on the table top, however Netgear provides many different ways to mount the switch to either the wall or table leg with either adhesive, Velcro straps, or hardware (screws or bolts). The switch also comes with a Kingston lock anchor point for those users, like myself, who prefer to leave them at a location overnight or unattended.
Form Factor / Size:
In my opinion I think the ClickSwitches are a little long compared to other switches on the market and has the potential for creating a cluttered tabletop; however, its form factor is meant to be attached to a table's legs or mounted to a flat surface such as a wall.
VLAN and QoS
These are options available for those users wanting to regulate the data passing over the switch or segregate the ports into virtual LAN's.
I had no issues with the performance of this switch as it performed as I expected.
Price - Value:
$70 is not a lot to ask for a very configurable un-managed versatile switch capable of handling gigabit speeds.
I would highly recommend this product to a business for work groups needing to collaborate as a team or if a small array of devices in a single area, such as a home AV closet, needed connectivity.
I received this product for participating in NETGEAR's Friends and Family Program