Netgear Announces ProSafe Plus Switch Family

The company's family of managed switches come in a compact size and offer a host of green technology features.

Networking solutions company Netgear announced the release of the ProSafe Plus family of switches, designed for small and midsize businesses managing a growing network. This line of switches includes two Fast Ethernet versions, the 16-port FS116E desktop switch and 24-port JFS524E rack-mounted switch, and one Gigabit Ethernet version, the 5-port GS105E desktop switch.

The Plus switches deliver network monitoring, cable testing, traffic prioritization and network segmentation for better troubleshooting, as well as security and resource allocation. All three Plus Switches are shipping now, and will be made available worldwide from value-added resellers, direct marketers, and e-commerce sites at estimated U.S. street prices starting from $70 for the GS105E, $90 for the FS116E and $110 for the JFS524E.

Additionally, all of these switches utilize Green Ethernet features to help reduce the power required to operate. Similar to the company's existing line of "green" switches, which includes the GS716T and GS724T Smart Switches among others, the ProSafe Plus Switches consume up to 70 percent less power than their unmanaged equivalents, Netgear claims. The FS116E and JFS524E also support auto power-down, a mode that reduces chip power in each Ethernet port when the signal from the copper link is not present but instantly resumes normal operation when energy is detected, as well as auto cable length detection, which enables the switch to use lower power if its connections cover a distance of less than 10 meters. Plus Switches also come in packaging that is manufactured with at least 80 percent recycled material.

"With many business users running multiple, real-time applications on their networks, they need to be able to segment and prioritize traffic to ensure consistent performance," said Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst of enterprise voice and data at Infonetics Research, a market research and consulting firm specializing in data networking and telecom. "Netgear's new line of ProSafe Plus Switches gives SMBs greater control over their networks at only a modest premium over unmanaged switches, thereby providing a good balance between features and price."

Quality of Service (QoS) features enables users to assign traffic priority based on physically connected ports or prioritize traffic by the types of data, such as streaming video and voice. With VLAN support for network segmentation and security, users can set up network groups to enhance security and use the network resources more efficiently, and the switches also offer cable testing capability for troubleshooting connectivity problems.

Maggie Wu, Netgear's product line manager for SMB Switching Products, said businesses are relying more heavily on their networks as they deploy more Ethernet-based technologies such as VoIP, as well as Internet-based applications for email, calendaring and collaboration. "To support this trend, Netgear has created this simple yet powerful network switch for businesses," she said. "The ProSafe Plus Switch, as an upgrade from the simple connectivity of an unmanaged switch, offers our customers essential network features such as enhanced security, troubleshooting, traffic prioritization, segmentation and monitoring, all at an affordable price."