Last year I hardwired large parts of my house, relocating my server from my office to a spare room. I have used the budget-friendly Netgear GS108Ev3 Smart Managed Plus switches which are decent for general use while offering some good managed switch functionality.

However, I have had quite a few issues with file transfer speed, in particular, large files would struggle going over 60MB/s from SSD to SSD. My initial theory was the cheap Realtek NIC on my old server, but since upgrading all my PCs, the speeds only marginally increased.

This led me to assume it was the switches, and then this led me to the well-reviewed Cisco SG 200-08 which is a business class layer two switch offering extensive management features. Ideally, I would have liked to try out the Ubiquiti US-8-60W, but I couldn’t quite justify the cost.

Priced at around £65 the Cisco is quite affordable though it is still around twice the price of the Netgear GS108Ev3.

While the Netgear has some basic management feature such as VLAN and QoS the Cisco is quite comprehensive, with some features going beyond my knowledge.

Some of the features you will find include:

  • Comprehensive statistics and diagnostics including testing the copper ports
  • Link Aggregation
  • Full VLAN options
  • Spanning Tree Settings
  • Multicast settings including IGMP and MLD Snooping
  • Extensive QoS settings.
  • Load balance based on either MAC address or IP/MAC address
  • Jumbo frames can be enabled, although this applies a global setting that affects all ports