Ethernet offers greater speed and lower latency than Wi-Fi, but the connections on the back of your router are frequently insufficient. A network switch may be used to increase the number of ports accessible in this situation.
We’ll look at things you should consider before buying a network switch, as well as 7 of our best network switches for gaming, in this buyer’s guide.
7 Best Network Switches for Gaming: Buyer’s Guide
The Netgear Nighthawk S8000 is our top choice for the best network switch for gaming.
As anticipated from their Nighthawk line-up, the S8000 features an extremely sleek and stealthy appearance. It’s sleek and contemporary, and it’s something you’d like looking at when sitting at your desk, particularly when compared to other switches that aren’t as appealing.
Anything RGB implies greater performance in the PC world, so you won’t be disappointed to learn that the Nighthawk has fully configurable RGB LED controllers.
The build quality is excellent; the zinc-alloy exterior shell is cool to the touch. Netgear has put a lot of work into making the S8000 appear and feel like a high-end device.
There are 8 Gigabit ports, which is enough room for your dedicated gaming PC and a few other frequently used devices.
Keeping the switch close by while gaming isn’t an issue thanks to its fanless design, which means no extra noise and quiet operation. Many network switches may be very loud, particularly when they’re under strain, thus the fact that the S8000 doesn’t disrupt your gaming sessions is a huge plus.
The Nighthawk is much faster than a standard network switch, with a latency of fewer than 3.2 microseconds at 1 Gbps. The result is a gaming experience that is both quicker and more reliable.
Because this is a smart switch, it has certain functions that aren’t available on an unmanaged switch, like basic VLAN features and service quality.
The gaming dashboard is one feature that sets the Nighthawk apart from the competition and gives you confidence that it was built with gamers in mind.
You’ll get real-time network insights, auto-diagnostics, and almost no latency as a result of this.
Netgear also provides a 3-year limited warranty, ensuring that the switch will continue to function well for a long period. Furthermore, the S8000 has been engineered to maximize power efficiency, reducing operating costs.
This is one of the best network switches to consider if you want to get the most out of your gaming experience.
The GS810EMX is one of the best network switches for gaming since it provides the best performance.
The GS810EMX features 8 Gigabit Ethernet ports, much as the Nighthawk S8000, however, it also has two extra 10 Gigabit ports. This kind of data isn’t available on any of the other switches on this list.
This switch may be thought of as the elder sibling of the S8000. It has the same low latency of fewer than 3.2 microseconds at 1 Gbps, as well as the same fanless design thanks to the superior zinc-alloy chassis.
The GS810EMX, on the other hand, offers even greater flexibility in terms of RGB management. You may customize each light on the network switch to your desire.
It may seem little, but the GS810EMX’s weight is a helpful aspect that many people overlook. Weight is essential for keeping the switch securely in place, regardless of the surface on which it is placed.
Some wires are rigid, and this may cause them to rise. As a consequence, a light switch is strewn around the room. With the GS810EMX, this is not a problem.
This network switch has many characteristics that make it perfect for gamers.
The port-based QoS (quality of service) feature enables you to prioritize certain ports; for example, you may prioritize your gaming PC and leave the rest to other devices.
VLANs enable you to separate your gaming PC from other devices on your home network, reducing unwanted traffic, while link aggregation essentially doubles the speed of each connection to 2 Gbps.
Apart from the fact that it was much more costly than the S8000, there was nothing to criticize. To get the most out of the switch, some technical expertise is required, and configuring it may be difficult, but that is the limit of the criticisms.
This is the one for you if you have the funds and want the best network switch for gaming.
Maybe you’re on a tighter budget, but you still want the benefits of Ethernet versus relying on a possibly unreliable Wi-Fi connection? If that’s the case, we’d suggest the TP-Link switch.
With this switch, TP-Link has gone for a no-frills approach, but this results in it being extremely cheap to purchase while still being a useful piece of equipment.
The TL-SG105 is a 5 port unmanaged switch that does nothing more than increase the number of Ethernet ports available to your router.
All five ports are full-duplex Gigabit. This means data may be handled at up to 2,000 megabits per second, making it ideal not just for gaming but also for extending your high-performance network.
Although the TL-SG105 is tiny, the metal shell is very robust and compact, concealing the RJ45 ports, and it has a fanless design that guarantees silent operation. It may also be mounted on the wall if you don’t want it on your desk.
Even though it is an unmanaged switch, TP-Link has built the TL-SG105 to enable QoS and IGMP snooping to improve multimedia traffic transmission.
When connecting numerous devices to this switch, some users are concerned about the speed decreasing. The advertised 1,000 Mbps was obtained with only two devices connected, however after a third device was added, the speeds fell to 100 Mbps.
Not quite what you’d expect from a gadget with five Ethernet connections and the ability to connect up to five devices.
Others have also observed that connecting a new device causes everything to be unplugged for around a minute. When a member of your family plugs anything in when you’re engrossed in gaming, it’s not ideal.
The TL-SG105 is a very simple network switch that performs exactly what it says on the box at a very low price, making it my pick for the best budget gaming network switch.
We would suggest this TRENDnet switch if you need a large number of Ethernet ports to connect your gaming PC as well as a variety of other devices around your house.
This switch has 24 ports, all of which are Gigabit ports that offer a high-speed network connection to any device connected to it. With a switching capacity of 48 Gbps, data traffic may flow freely while bottlenecks are reduced.
The fanless design of the TEG-S24DG decreases energy consumption and reduces operation noise.
When it comes to energy usage, TRENDnet has included GREENnet technology, which helps to save money and reduce power consumption by up to 70%. They can do so by reducing port power consumption during times when link usage is low.
Other ways they may reduce power consumption include having a standby mode that uses less power when the linked devices are turned off and being able to identify the length of each Ethernet cable attached to it; shorter connections require less power.
Because the TEG-S24DG is an unmanaged switch, it is simple to set up simply by turning it on and connecting your devices.
There isn’t much to say about the design; it’s pretty much what you’d expect from a network switch. The metal enclosure is small and light, and the power, link, and activity LED indicators are visible.
The switch is full-duplex, which means it can handle up to 2,000 Mbps of data.
The TEG-S24DG does not come with rack ears, thus it cannot be installed in a network rack. This is a minor flaw. However, the absence of brackets can be ignored given the high-quality switch you receive for the cost.
Because of its design, performance, functionality, and compatibility with the UniFi ecosystem, the Ubiquiti UniFi is our favorite managed switch.
It features a very basic and elegant silver appearance, with the UniFi logo on the left-hand side and all of the Ethernet ports on the right-hand side. The power supply connector, some product information, and an Ethernet port for connecting to the switch via console are all located on the rear.
The build quality is excellent; it is extremely robust, and nothing seems to be loose when you shake it.
This model has 24 ports, however, there are also 8 port, 16 port, and 48 port versions depending on your needs. A Gigabit port is available on each port.
There are two extra SFP ports, which come in useful if you just need a few more ports. If you want to bring fiber-optic connections directly to the switch, you may use these dedicated ports to simply connect two extra Ethernet cables, or you can install a fiber-optic SFP module.
All ports can push POE+ (802.1af and 802.1at POE standards). This may be extremely helpful if you want to provide other devices, such as UniFi access points or cameras, additional power.
Ubiquiti’s UniFi controller software is one element that distinguishes them from the competitors. It’s easy to set up, operates fast, and serves as a one-stop-shop for network management.
When you use UniFi devices, everything is simple since they function so well together inside their ecosystem.
The UniFi network controller lets you administer your network from a single dashboard, with sophisticated monitoring, remote firmware updates, and full-time and guest users, as well as a guest portal and hotspot support.
One frequent complaint is that the switch may become very hot and loud, which is something to keep in mind when choosing where to put it. You don’t want to put it somewhere you’ll be spending a lot of time; a garage would be ideal, and that’s where We store all of our networking gear.
This UniFi switch may seem to be pricey, particularly when compared to other switches with the same number of ports and comparable performance, but We believe it is well worth the additional money, given the capabilities of the UniFi network controller and how well it integrates with other UniFi devices.
The Netgear GS316 is our choice for the best-unmanaged switch. It is easy to set up and operate, has a large number of ports, and provides reliable performance at a low cost.
The GS316 is a fantastic choice to consider if you just want a switch to provide a stronger connection than utilizing Wi-Fi throughout your gaming sessions.
There are many versions with similar specifications apart from the number of available ports, but we would suggest the GS316 since it has 16 ports, all of which are Gigabit ports.
There should be enough ports to connect your gaming PC as well as other Ethernet-enabled gadgets in your house.
Because the GS316 is an unmanaged switch, no configuration is required. Simply connect a gadget to the switch and turn it on. It’s truly that simple, with no software to install or complex setup required.
The GS316, like many of the other network switches on our list, features a fanless design that produces no additional noise wherever it is installed in your house. It won’t be a distraction if you keep it near your gaming pc.
The switch is broad but not especially tall or deep in terms of design. All 16 ports are next to one another, and power LED light is located on the left side.
One thing to keep in mind is that the GS316 doesn’t come with any wall mounting hardware, so you’ll have to set it up on something solid. Because it isn’t very heavy, the Ethernet wires attached to it may cause it to rise somewhat.
If you’re searching for a switch but don’t want to take up too much room on your desk, keep this in mind.
The most serious criticism leveled against the GS316 is not with the device itself, but with the customer service provided to certain customers. Despite having a 3-year limited warranty, which Netgear claims are industry-leading, several customers have complained that Netgear has refused to offer phone assistance 90 days after purchase.
As a result, these concerns are uncommon, and the overwhelming majority of evaluations are very favorable.
The GS316 is a network switch worth considering if you want a simple but efficient method to enhance the connection between your gaming PC and your router without breaking the bank.
You don’t want to settle for an unmanaged switch that gives you no control, so opting for a full-blown managed switch may be a little daunting.
In this scenario, you’ll want to search for a smart switch that rests in the middle.
The TP-Link T1500G finds a nice compromise between a managed and unmanaged switch, providing the functionality you’ll need without the higher price tag that managed switches usually come with.
This switch has an overall capacity of 8 Gigabit Ethernet ports. They’re also PoE+ compatible, like the Ubiquiti UniFi switch, giving you additional options for how you set up your whole home network.
Finally, you may use this switch to connect wireless access points, security cameras, IP phones, and other devices that don’t need a separate power source; a single Ethernet connection will deliver both power and data.
One thing to keep in mind is that the device’s overall power budget is 110W. Although most people would never use anything close to this, it’s still useful to be aware of the restriction.
Port mirroring, loopback detection, and cable diagnostics are just a few of the features that come standard with the T1500G due to its smart capabilities. This may not seem very handy when you simply want to connect your gaming PC to a switch, but it may be quite beneficial when it comes to managing your home network as a whole.
From the outside, the T1500G resembles any other network switch. The quality of the structure is excellent, and it seems to be well-made. The front panel is attractive, and the LED indicator lights are all easily visible.
The online interface for configuring the switch is extremely simple and does not provide a lot of capability. This may be viewed as a plus since it makes setting the switch simpler, but it does leave out certain functions that other smart switches provide.
It’s also worth noting that the T1500G, especially when under high load, may be very noisy. You should keep it away from where you sit and play your games since the noise may soon become annoying.
The T1500G may not have as many capabilities as other smart switches, but it is less expensive, and the fact that each Ethernet port supports PoE+ is a pleasant touch that may be helpful.
As a result, it comes highly recommended as the best smart network switch for gaming.
Guide to Buying a Network Switch
We’ll look at what We believe to be the most essential things to consider when choosing which network switch is best for you in this buyer’s guide.
Number of Ports
When looking for a network switch, the number of devices you wish to connect to it is perhaps the most important aspect to consider.
You probably only have one or two gaming PCs, but that doesn’t mean you won’t want to connect some of your other devices via Ethernet to get a little more performance out of them.
A network switch’s number of ports may vary. Some will just have four ports, while others may have up to 48.
We believe that buying a four-port switch will be a bit of a waste of money. You may soon discover that this is insufficient and that you will need to purchase another.
A 48 port switch, on the other hand, is excessive for most people, at least for home networking.
We recommend a switch with between 8 and 24 ports. This will be enough for the vast majority of people, with some leftover just in case.
Managed vs. Unmanaged: What’s the Difference?
Managed and unmanaged network switches are the two most prevalent kinds. Unfortunately, many individuals are unaware of the differences between the two, making it difficult to decide which switch to purchase.
Unmanaged switches are often pre-configured by the manufacturer, and you are unable to make any modifications. They don’t need any configuration for simplicity of use; just connect it into your router and power it up, and you’re good to go.
Unmanaged switches do little more than enable two connected devices to interact with each other. Thankfully, this is all that is required to connect your gaming pc.
Managed switches, on the other hand, can do a lot more. They provide you more control over your home network and the gadgets connected to it (through protocols like SNMP).
Having a managed switch makes managing and monitoring your network much simpler.
In addition to being able to access the switch remotely through a command line or a GUI, you can assign precedence to specific devices on your network. You do not need to be in the same physical place as the switch.
A smart switch, also known as an intelligent switch, is located between managed and unmanaged switches.
They are less costly to purchase than managed switches, yet they still provide greater control than an unmanaged switch.
We would suggest a smart switch if you had to choose between these three kinds of switches.
They strike an excellent mix between price and features, and they will be ideal for the vast majority of individuals.
If you have the money, you should consider buying a managed switch instead, particularly if you want to extend your home network in the future.
Check out this page for additional information on the distinctions between unmanaged and managed switches.
Another essential aspect to consider when buying a network switch is speed.
Because you’ll be utilizing the switch to link your gaming PC to your network, you’ll want to be sure it can handle huge quantities of data quickly.
Using a switch that isn’t up to the task may cause latency during online gaming sessions, which not only makes the game less pleasant but also increases your chances of losing.
When comparing switches, a switch with Gigabit ports is something to look for. They provide the best performance and therefore should be saved for your gaming PC as well as any other devices that need it.
Thoughts for the End
These are the best gaming network switches we’ve discovered that offer the connection and performance you’ll need to improve your gaming experience.
Remember to think about how many ports you’ll need for all of your devices, how much management you need over your network, the data transfer rate the port can offer, and if you want any extra features like PoE when selecting a network switch.
If We had to choose one of the switches on this list to suggest, it would be the Netgear Nighthawk S8000.
Not only does it have a great appearance, but it was created with gamers in the heart.
It performs well in terms of performance, port count, and functionality, all while being a relatively cheap switch that would make a fantastic addition to your home network.