What I love so much about this Netgear FS105 switch is how simple it is to use. It is considered a 5-port switch, though you must keep in mind that one port will be used for input. All you have to do is plug in that input line, then you can connect four more devices. There’s no software to install and nothing to configure, plus it has auto-sensing technology built it to help optimize network performance per connection. It really is just plug and play.
All of the indicator lights for this unit are right up front, and they are pretty bright. You probably wouldn’t want this sitting on top of a desk in plain sight because the incessant blinking would drive you nuts. There’s a solid green light for power, plus two more lights for each connection. When there is activity, the lights blink very rapidly. This way, you’ll know within a few seconds of plugging in the cable if the device is getting a network connection. This can be very helpful when troubleshooting. Another cool thing about this switch is that it is fanless, so it makes no noise at all when running.
Netgear housed this switch is a small metal blue case. It’s so small that I’d compare it to two Altoids cans placed side by side. It has rubber feet at the bottom, plus there are some slots for mounting it to a wall. Netgear also includes some mounting screws. Having the metal casing makes this much sturdier than your typical plastic home use stuff. A lot of times these switches end up on floors underneath someone’s desk and get stomped on, and I’ve seen them take a regular beating and still work fine.
I’m very happy with the Netgear ProSafe FS105 5-port 10/100 Desktop Switch (currently $29.24 @ Amazon.com), and highly recommend it to anyone in need of one. You could use it in your home to connect a couple of PC’s, a wireless router, a networkable printer, or your home video game system. Also keep in mind that if you need more than 5 ports, Netgear makes this same type switch with 8, 16, or 24 ports.