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Review: Netgear ProSafe Click Switch Is High-Tech Chic

Stylish and practical, Netgear's Click Switch 8- and 16-port switches will be the envy of the office.

Here's a product that every VAR's repair tech will want for his bench, and that no power user should be without. Unveiled by Netgear at CES, the ProSafe Click Switch brings a clever twist to the everyday Gigabit Ethernet switch. Available in 8- and 16-port models, the compact device snaps into any of four positions on top of, underneath or attached to the leg of a desk, table or counter.

Unlike most other mountable switches, the Click Switch includes a snap-on base that can be affixed with screws or Velcro straps, both of which are included. And with the help of an angled power connector and built-in AC adapter, the cord can be oriented toward the side or front of the unit, whichever is most attractive or better goes with the flow of data cables. The the 8-port Click Switch GSS108E is encased in plastic, adds two USB charging ports and lists for $69.99. The 16-port Click Switch GSS116E lists for $149.99, has a metal case and provides denial-of-service protection and port trunking to boost uplink traffic.

Both switches offer 801.2Q- or port-based VLAN capabilities, QoS based on WRR, type-of-service or port, flow control and rate limiting. Also supported by both models is 802.3ad link aggregation, maxing out at two LAGs of eight ports each. Its DHCP client feature is enabled by default. A disc contains a Windows-only configurator utility and basic installation documentation. The utility installs Adobe Air and WinPcap, the Windows Packet Capture library.

There's also a browser-based configuration console. We weren't able to locate an operator's manual on the disc or online. Click Switches can be seen in a number of ways and not heard at all. The fanless unit is ultra-quiet, and its LEDs can be configured to show link speed and activity, link speed only or be turned off. For the bench technician, there's even a built-in cable tester function for quickly identifying bad Ethernet cables.

The ProSafe Click Switches are a creative solution to a problem that's as common in conference rooms, board rooms, training centers and repair benches of small and midsize businesses as it might be in a power user's home-based command center or at the enthusiast's gaming rig. Because of its versatility of installation site and networking power, configurability and utility, the ProSafe Click Switch is a recommended product by the CRN Test Center.


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