We would like to thank Netgear for supplying the review sample.
At home, almost everyone nowadays has one switch in either a stand-alone device or embedded right into a WiFi router or an ADSL modem. With a wide portfolio of relevant products covering not only the needs of plain users, but those of business environments, Netgear is a key player in the networking market, and Netgear even has products that address the needs of service providers.
We came across the new Click Switch series consisting of two members with either eight or sixteen Ethernet ports at CES. The most notable feature of these switches is their compact form factor, and Netgear also provides these with a highly usable mounting mechanism, which allows either to be mounted vertically or horizontally in many places, including walls, desks, table legs etc. Although wireless devices are used almost everywhere nowadays, the wired infrastructure definitely still dominates since it offers much higher speeds and a more reliable operation. As the number of wired devices that need to be connected to a network increases, larger network switches are required, and switches with 16-ports or more can prove difficult to install because of their size. This is where the GSS116E comes in since it has 16 Gigabit Ethernet ports in a very small enclosure, which allows it to be installed in places where a typical 16-port switch would be too large to fit.
The Link Aggregation Control Protocol in accordance with IEEE 802.1AX-2008 (formerly known as IEEE 802.3ad) describes how to combine multiple Ethernet ports for increased network transfer speeds or enhanced reliability. According to Netgear, this switch supports port trunking; however, as we discovered through our test sessions, it doesn't support dynamic LAGs (dynamic LACP) and is only compatible with Static Link Aggregation. As such, you won't be able to exploit the increased speeds devices with more than one Ethernet port may be capable of, like many modern NAS servers today. All the NAS servers we have tested so far only support LACP and won't work with static LAGs. If you need a switch that supports Dynamic LACP, you had better not buy this one.
|Netgear Click Switch GSS116E Specifications|
|Max MAC Entries||8K|
|Buffer size||512 KB|
|Max Bandwidth||32 Gbps|
|Priority queuing||Weighted Round Robin (WRR)|
|Jumbo frame support||Yes (up to 9000 bytes)|
|VLAN support||Yes (up to 128)|
|Port-based VLAN Yes||Yes|
|Port Trunking Support||Yes|
|Number of LAGs - Number of members||2 LAGs & 2 to 8 members|
|IGMP Snooping (v1, v2 and v3)||Yes|
|Quality Of Service support||Yes|
|Cable Test utility||Yes|
|Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE)||Yes|
|Power Consumption (max)||8.4W|
|Power Supply||Internal, 100-240 V|
| Price excluding VAT|
(at the time of the review)