D-Link DSS-8+ Ethernet Switch
Product sample provided by: My Wallet
Date posted: 12/26/01
With the increasing popularity of high speed internet connections and the multi computer family. We have seen the price of networking equipment get progressively less expensive. At this time it is possible for nearly everyone to have a fast 100Mbit ethernet in their own home. This introduces the ability to engage in multi-player gaming and the sharing of files, internet, and printers. The central point of a network such as this is a hub or switch. In the not so distant past switches were much too expensive to warrant buying when a hub would suffice. However, this has changed and today faster switches can be had for the cost that hubs once were. For that reason there is almost no excuse to settle for just hub.
Hubs vs Switches
While you may be able to transfer a single file from one computer to another using either a switch or a hub without a noticeable difference between the two. The real speed difference comes when you are transferring files between multiple computers at the same time. Now here is why. When a computer on the network is communicating with another machine on the network it sends out a packet to it's port on the hub or switch. A hub will then send a copy of that packet out on each port. Because only one of the computers will accept the packet all the others have had their available bandwidth decreased for no reason. A switch on the other hand will only send the packet to the computer that is waiting to receive it. Thus leaving bandwidth open on all the other ports. Therefore, as a rule, the more machines there are on a network and the more simultaneous activity present, the greater your performance gain when using a switch vs a hub.
This particular switch has been around for over a year. The company I work for does complete networking for a number of schools in the area that I live. We have labs that have been using one of these switches at each table for nearly a year now. Although there was a recall on the power supplies early on, overall I would say our experiences with D-Link and the DSS-8+ have been very positive. If you are going to be using a large number of these as in our case. You will be glad to know that for the warranty period (1 year) they will provide advanced replacements, meaning they will ship you a new unit before they receive the defective one (requires a credit card number). To the best of my memory we have only had to replace one or two due to fan failure.
What you get
Inside the box you receive a users guide, a power adapter, four rubber feet, and the switch itself. The manual just gives you the product specifications and explains how to uplink the switch with either a crossover cable or the uplink port. As you can see the unit is very small in size. Notice the mounting holes in the second shot. This makes it easy to mount the DSS-8 on the underside of a table or in a vertical position.
When I consider the features, the low cost, and the experiences I have had with this switch. I can easily recommend it to those looking to replace an existing hub or build a fast new 100Mb switched network.
Final Rating: 9.5/10