Linksys LGS108P 8-port Desktop Gigabit PoE Switch
Linksys makes PoE a much more affordable choice
• Price: £74.99 (Ebuyer) • Manufacturer: Linksys • Website: www.linksys. com/gb/p/P-LGS108P/ • Requirements: Ethernet network
For those working in business IT, flexibility is the name of the game, because for whatever reason, many companies don’t involve their technical people in business planning and then jackin-a-box their demands on them when they make changes.
A typical instant requirement is the relocation of people and their systems to parts of the building where there aren’t lots of Ethernet ports.
New cabling is one option, but short timescales can mean a better one is to use a product like the Linksys 8-port Desktop Gigabit PoE Switch, the LGS108P.
From the outside, this appears very similar to the types of switches many home users might deploy, but looks can be deceiving. What it shares with those inexpensive expensive options is the 8 ports of 10/100/1000 Ethernet connected via a high-performance backbone (16Gbps in this case) and the typically understated aesthetic.
However, professional IT needs require more than connectivity, and to that end Linksys added 802.1p and DSCP quality of service functionality.
But the real enhancement here is that the first four ports of this device are PoE (power over Ethernet), and included in the box is a larger than expected PSU to provide the 50 watts extra that the LGS108P can send along with data.
For those wondering if sending power over Ethernet is a good idea, there are safeguards in place under the IEEE 802.3at (PoE+) standards it was built on.
Original PoE designs reduced the data bandwidth by requiring dedicted wires, but in this design at gigabit speeds all wires are used for power and data using a method called the ‘Phantom technique’.
What PoE provides is an easy means to deploy equipment where there isn’t a conveniently placed power socket but where you can easily send an Ethernet cable.
The obvious uses are security cameras and VoIP telephones, but there are lots of PoE-powered gizmos to choose from.
If the four PoE or eight data connects are insufficient for your needs, then Linksys also has the LGS116P and LGS124P that expand data connectivity to 16 and 24 ports respectively and bump backbone bandwidth up accordingly. They also have more PoE supporting ports (eight and 12) and a greater power budget to divide between them.
The only minor blot on this manicured landscape is that all these switches are unmanaged, so they’re not really designed to be at the centre of a network but more peripheral.
Discrete and easily wall mountable, this is exactly the sort of hardware that an IT manager needs on the shelf when the call comes that they’ve hired a new telesales team and its going where there is little or no infrastructure to support them.
Given the premium cost that PoE hardware is associated with, this hardware is also rather cheap, and therefore potentially of interest to anyone who is installing a home security system in their own property.
A built for purpose eight-port switch with extra PoE sauce