An Ethernet switch acts as a bridge to connect different parts of a network together. Although many routers also possess the network switching capabilities and multiple Ethernet ports, the Ethernet switch is not the replacement for routers. It is worth emphasizing that Ethernet switches are smarter than routers in that they operate at the data link layer (Layer 2) and the network layer (Layer 3) of the OSI Reference Model and therefore support any packet protocol. Ideally, switches will make better use of bandwidth if you prefer wired to wireless connections but have more devices than available Ethernet ports. On the other hand, an Ethernet switch is a costly way to expend the network in home or small business. So it is very important to invest an Ethernet switch with the appropriate number of ports to fit your needs. In the midst of various Gigabit Ethernet switches, a 24 port switch is considered as the most common Gigabit switch that connect devices in a local area network. Then this article will explore how to select a suitable 24-port switch.
Popular 24 Port Switch in the Market
FS S3900-24F4S 24-port switch comes with 20x 100/1000BASE SFP, 4x 1GE combo and 4x 10GE SFP+ slots. The flexible port combination form provide a high bandwidth aggregation connectivity for multiple switch in network to enhance network capacity. Moreover, it is a stackable SFP managed switch, which can provide true stacking of up to 6 switches in a stack acting as a single unit with totally 168 ports (144x 1G Ports and 24x 10G ports). The switching capacity is 128Gbps. This 24-port Gigabit managed switch fits for enterprise network operators who need high performance and low power processor to provide full speed forwarding and line-dormant capacity.
Figure 1: FS S3900-24F4S 24-Port Gigabit Switch
Cisco SGE2000P comes with 24 10/100/1000BASE-T RJ45 ports and 4 shared Gigabit SFP slots. This 24 port switch can provide ACL (access control lists), DoS (denial-of-service), VLAN and IEEE 802.1X port authentication. And the enhanced quality of service (QoS) and traffic-management features help ensure clear and reliable voice and video communications. This Gigabit network switch enable you to take advantage of the comprehensive feature set for a better-optimized, more secure network.
Figure 2: Cisco SGE2000 24-Port Gigabit Switch (Source: Cisco)
The Netgear ProSafe GS724T is armed with 24 copper 10/100/1000 ports and 2 SFP 100/1000 ports. Each port can transfer data at maximum throughput for a total maximum switching speed of up to 48 Gbps. This 24-port switch is intended for SMB organizations using the switch for applications like VoIP, video conferencing, and system security, etc. And it features a fanless system, allowing the switch to work silently without overheating. This is great for use on homelab, as its quiet operation won’t cause a distraction.
Figure 3: NETGEAR ProSAFE GS724T 24-Port Gigabit Switch (Source: NETGEAR)
The TP-Link TL-SG1024 features 24 Gigabit Ethernet ports and non-blocking switching, which can provide large file transferring and also be compatible with 10Mbps and 100Mbps Ethernet devices. Moreover, this network switch has 48Gbps switching capacity with 8K MAC address table, 10KB Jumbo Frame and 4MB buffer memory. This TP-Link switch is a fanless rack mount design with LED diagnostic lights, so you can easily tell which ports are in use. It can automatically adjust power consumption according to the link status to limit the carbon footprint of your network. The price is $69.99 on Amazon. So this fanless Ethernet switch is good for your wallet both because it is inexpensive to buy and because of its energy-saving technology.
Figure 4: TP-Link TL-SG1024 24-Port Gigabit Switch(Source: TP-Link)
Comparison of 24-Port Switch
|Gigabit Switch Mode||Ethernet ports||Gigabit SFP||SFP+ Uplink ports||Switching Capacity||Forwarding Rate||Power Consumption||Price|
|FS S3900-24F4S||24||4 combo||4||128Gbps||95Mpps||43W||$400|
|NETGEAR ProSAFE GS724T||24||2||/||48Gbps||No Information||29W||$219.99|
From the chart we can see, all the Gigabit switches listed above provide 24 port Ethernet RJ45 ports, only FS S3900-24F4S 24 port switch has 4 SFP+ uplink ports. They have some characteristics in common that make them suitable for being used in places like home or small business office. In terms of the power consumption, TP-Link TL-SG1024 and NETGEAR ProSafe GS724T are lower than others, but the huge price spread exists between these two switches because NETGEAR ProSafe GS724T has another two SFP ports for more flexible application. Among these four switches, if you have no limited cost budget, FS S3900-24F4S is a good choice. It has a more flexible port combination and higher switching capacity, that is why it may cost a little more than the other three switches. If you need stronger data transferring capability, FS S3900-24F4S is a better choice considering its forwarding rate. On the contrary, TP-Link TL-SG1024 is the best budget choice. If you want a fanless switch, NETGEAR ProSafe GS724T is an inexpensive and reliable choice, but the install program only works on Windows and the secure management is very difficult to be enabled.
When choosing a Gigabit Ethernet switch, the first factor to consider is how many devices need to be networked together. Purchasing a network switch with too few ports and not enough capacity will prove ineffective, and one that is too large can be a waste of money. Generally, small offices with a few employees should start with a 16-port switch, but a business that is looking to expand its operations soon needs a 24-port switch. So 24-port switch is the most future-proofing and cost-effective choice in small business network. Except for the above mentioned S3900-24F4S, FS.COM also provides other cost-effective 24 port switches for different demands. For instance, S3900-24T4S is a Gigabit stackable managed switch with 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports and 4 10GE SFP+ uplinks ports.
Related Article: 48-Port 10GE Switch Selection: What Is the Right Choice?