NetGear Switch Stands Out in Price

NetGear's GS724T Gigabit Smart Switch is prices to appeal to growing businesses.

In an interview last month, NetGear CEO Patrick Loh told eWEEK Labs that 2004 would be the year of Gigabit Ethernet.

A few weeks later, NetGear has begun making good on that statement with the release of the GS724T Gigabit Smart Switch.

Aimed at small and midsize businesses and remote offices, the GS724T is a Layer 2 switch with 24 10/100/1,000M-bps ports. The unit delivers nonblocking, full-speed packet forwarding with 48G bps of bandwidth.

Each of the 24 nonblocking, full-speed, packet-forwarding ports is capable of generating 2,000M bps of data throughput in full-duplex mode.

In addition, there are two optional Fibre Channel ports, making the rack-mountable unit a good choice for power users who need access to multimedia, images and video in a remote office environment.

In my tests, the unit was easy to set up via a Web browser interface. Using the interface, I was able to monitor switch performance; configure ports; and set up trunks, virtual LANs and traffic prioritization.

Like many of its competitors, the GS724T features two hot-swappable SFP (Small Form-factor Pluggable) GBIC slots for optional fiber connectivity, Web browser management and full-/half-duplex sensing. However, the GS724T stands out for its price: The unit retails at about $900, making it a good value for small businesses that anticipate growth.

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