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8 Port Ethernet Hub - Buying an 8 Port Ethernet Hub - 8 Port Ethernet Hub Models

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Setting up a computer network for a small office doesn’t have to be a big hassle, and many people will find that they can do it themselves, time permitting, without having to hire an IT or networking expert. Once you have your internet connection established with your ISP, many small office networks can be set up just by adding an Ethernet hub. This will make the internet connection available to each computer connected to the hub, and in addition, the hub will create a network between all the computers.

Simple hubs in the past only had 4 ports for Ethernet connectivity. For very small offices and homes, this may be adequate, but a lot of offices, and even large homes, require more ports. An 8 port Ethernet hub has become a standard. While most 8 port Ethernet hubs work similarly, some work better than others. An off-brand, or badly built hub can be prone to crashing, requiring an annoying network restart.

For those who are not experienced with computer networking, it should be noted that an 8 port Ethernet hub is not always the best solution. Many people confuse a hub with a router. Network switches and routers are smarter devices and can automatically assign IP addresses and direct communications more easily between specific computers. Hubs are dumb devices. They send information to every computer on the network. They are good for running programs from a server to multiple workstations. Internet use can be limited unless a router is attached to the network or the modem has routing capabilities.

8 Port Ethernet Hub Models

If you are in the market for an 8 port Ethernet hub, here are the top models to take into consideration:

3Com OfficeConnect Ethernet Hub 8

This is an older model of 8 port Ethernet hub, but it is one of the easiest to install and maintain. This hub was designed with the small office in mind, and it is perfect for sharing resources such as printers and hard drives. Internet sharing is also very efficient and reliable with the OfficeConnect. Features include front diagnostic LEDs, MDI-MDIX port for connecting to a server, small form-factor, and a sleek design.

Cisco Linksys EZXS88W EtherFast 10/100 8-Port Workgroup Switch

This is perhaps the single most popular 8 port Ethernet hub on the market. Cisco Linksys is known throughout the world for its reliability, simplicity, and ease of use. This EtherFast hub supports half-duplex speeds for activity in increments of 10, 20, 100, and 200 Mbps. This hub is made for home and small office use, but it can be used for a mid-sized office. This unit is rack mountable and has features that automatically detect and correct errors for added reliability. Other features include incoming frame timing, auto-partitioning, and data collision control.

Netgear FS108 ProSafe 8-Port 10/100 Desktop Switch

This 8 port Ethernet hub is designed for office and industrial use. Its case is made of sturdy metal and is designed to handle much more physical abuse than the standard plastic-housed hubs. Netgear products are in the top of their class, and are respected for their long lifespans. The FS108 features network auto-sensing, auto-negotiating, auto-flow control, and auto-uplink for MDI-MDIX connections. It supports speeds up to 200 Mbps and 96 KB buffer memory. All connections are on the front panel and include LED status lights for each port. In tests, the average time between hub failures is 168,300 hours. Netgear backs up this hub with a lifetime warranty. It can be used on a desktop or shelf or can be wall-mounted with the included kit.

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