D-Link Releases New Network Switches for SMBs

Paul Mah
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Network equipment maker D-Link has released a new range of highly affordable unmanaged network switches that the company says is specifically targeted at small and mid-sized businesses. The D-Link DGS-105 and DGS-108 Gigabit Ethernet switches and the DES-105 and DES-108 Fast Ethernet switches are available in five- and eight-port models and come with a number of capabilities friendly to small businesses.


For example, they support IEEE 802.1p QoS for the prioritization of time-sensitive or important data, which is important for the efficient delivery of services such as streaming media and VoIP calls. In addition, the presence of 802.3az Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) standard also means that they can detect when a computer is shutdown to automatically power down an Ethernet port for up to 85 percent savings on power consumption.


The rugged metal enclosure also provides security and reliability, says the company, allowing it to be mounted on the desktop or walls using a built-in mount. In a statement, Mark Prowten, director of product marketing, Business Networking Solutions at D-Link emphasized the company's drive to deliver easy-to-use network technology and high-end features "without breaking the bank."


Prowten also told eChannelLine that:

SMBs are getting more sophisticated. They usually don't need Layer 3, but they do need PoE and vLan, and QoS if they have VoIP. And they need things where you don't need to be a network engineer to enable them.

Of course, it must be noted that network switches with five to eight ports are really only adequate for very small businesses or SOHOs. D-Link appears to be assuming that SMBs will already have their backbone Level 2 switches, but looking to expand the number of ports without the inherent costs of having to replace the former.


Ultimately, I think the DGS and DES switches are a welcome addition for small branch offices looking for a quick way to increase their port count. With their business-friendly capabilities, they would probably make a good alternative to the use of consumer networking equipment, which I am strongly against. Having said that, I'll caution businesses against cascading too many separate switches, especially given the highly competitive prices these days - you can read more about that in "Report: Good Time to Upgrade Your SMB Network Infrastructure Now."


The DGS-105 ($55) and DGS-108 ($69) Gigabit Ethernet metal switches and DES-105 ($30) and DES-108 ($45) Fast Ethernet metal switches are now shipping, and can be purchased at various online locations such as the company's online store.

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