Best network switches for NAS 2023

A network switch is a must-have for anyone looking to build a physical network at home or in the office. Wireless connectivity has come a long way, but nothing competes against physical cables. I’ve rounded up some excellent switches that would go well with a NAS (or a few).

  1. Best overall: EnGenius EWS2910P — 8x 1GbE, managed
  2. Runner-up: TP-Link TL-SG108E — 8x 1GbE, managed
  3. Best budget: TP-Link TL-SF1005D — 5x 1GbE, unmanaged
  4. Best 2.5Gb: TRENDnet TEG-S350 — 5x 2.5GbE, unmanaged

What is the best network switch?

Every network switch is worth considering, so long as it’s from a reputable brand. There are some important things to consider when shopping around for connecting your devices and the best NAS together, however. Firstly, there’s the price.

Network switches can become really expensive fast. Adding in power-over-ethernet (PoE) support and being able to manage various advanced settings can send the price sky-high. If you’re starting out and don’t plan on using phones or security cameras, I’d recommend against PoE.

Then there’s the number of ports. Five is a good place to start. Count how many devices you have to connect to the switch, including a port reserved for your router or another access point. Finally, we’ve got unmanaged versus managed. The former doesn’t allow the changing of more advanced settings.

Just like a NAS enclosure, it’s easy to spend very little or a colossal amount of money on a network switch. My recommendations here are a good place to start.

1. EnGenius EWS2910P

Best overall switch

EnGenius EWS2910P
EnGenius EWS2910P. (Source: EnGenius)

Our thoughts: EnGenius makes some compelling networking equipment that’s backed by cloud-based monitoring. The EWS2910P has eight 1Gb ports and PoE for providing power to specific hardware.

  • 8x 1Gb ports
  • 2x 1Gb SFP ports
  • Managed
  • Good array of LAN features
  • Pricey
EnGenius EWS2910P
TypeManaged
Ports8x 1GbE
2x 1Gb SFP
PoE55 W
FeaturesPort Mirroring
Loop Prevention
Cable Diagnostics
QoS
Cloud monitoring

I’ve used EnGenius networking equipment extensively and it’s worked perfectly with the impressive cloud backend. Using EnGenius Cloud, it’s possible to log in and check your network from anywhere with a net connection.

The EWS2910P is available with eight 1Gb ports for quick and speedy data transfer. It also has two 1Gb SFP ports for transmitting data over longer distances and is ideally suited for connecting this switch with another hub, freeing up the eight RJ45 ports.

It’s expensive, especially compared to other network switches, but you’ll not feel hard done by. It’s fully managed, allowing you to control everyone either directly on the switch itself or through the cloud platform.

EnGenius EWS2910P

EnGenius EWS2910P
EnGenius EWS2910P. (Source: EnGenius)

The EnGenius EWS2910P has eight 1Gb ports and two SFP ports for connecting to other hubs. It’s managed, has PoE, and is capable of being monitored remotely through the company’s cloud platform.


2. TP-Link TL-SG108E

Best network switch runner-up

TP-Link TL-SG108E
TP-Link TL-SG108E. (Source: TP-Link)

Our thoughts: I’m a big fan of TP-Link’s range of network switches. The TL-SG108E is brilliant for small homes and offices, allowing you to connect up to eight devices. It’s great for connecting NAS to your other hardware.

  • 8x 1Gb ports
  • Managed
  • Good array of LAN features
  • No PoE
TP-Link TL-SG108E
TypeManaged
Ports8x 1GbE
PoE
FeaturesPort Mirroring
Loop Prevention
Cable Diagnostics
QoS

You don’t need that many ports if you don’t have more than a few devices to connect physically to the network. Eight is more than enough for most homeowners, but remember you’ll need one reserved to connect to your router for net access.

Being a managed switch, you can log into the admin panel (by connecting to the IP address in your browser) and make some changes throughout. Some highlight features include network monitoring via port mirroring, loop prevention, and cable diagnostics.

It’s not all good news on the feature front for expansive networks. Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) isn’t available to provide juice to access points, cameras, and other devices, but the managed features make up for this.

TP-Link TL-SG108E

TP-Link TL-SG108E
TP-Link TL-SG108E. (Source: TP-Link)

This network switch is managed, allowing you to alter various settings. There are eight 1Gb LAN ports for hooking up all your devices, making this quite an excellent value.


3. TP-Link TL-SF1005D

Best budget network switch

TP-Link TL-SF1005D
TP-Link TL-SF1005D. (Source: TP-Link)

Our thoughts: If all you require are a few ports for physical cables to run around the house and don’t really care about advanced features like PoE and other managed functions, this is a perfect affordable switch.

  • 5x 1Gb ports
  • Affordable
  • Great to start with
  • No PoE
  • Unmanaged
TP-Link TL-SF1005D
TypeUnmanaged
Ports5x 1GbE
PoE
Features

If you want something truly affordable, look no further than the TP-Link TL-SF1005D. It’s the best budget choice in this collection due to the low price and availability of just five 1Gb ports. This is reduced to four once you’ve connected the device to your LAN.

It’s unmanaged, there’s no PoE support, and you won’t be able to activate many advanced features found in more expensive switches, but it’s perfect if you’re looking to buy your very first NAS enclosure.

TP-Link TL-SF1005D

TP-Link TL-SF1005D
TP-Link TL-SF1005D. (Source: TP-Link)

The TL-SF1005D from TP-Link is brilliant for those on a tighter budget. It won’t win any awards for network switches, but it will let you create a physical network at a low cost.


4. TRENDnet TEG-S350

Best 2.5GbE network switch

TRENDnet TEG-S350
TRENDnet TEG-S350. (Source: TRENDnet)

Our thoughts: TRENDnet makes some solid switches and the TEG-S350 is a great choice for those looking to give their LAN a boost. Faster transfer speeds allow for more data to be sent to and from the NAS.

  • 5x 2.5Gb ports
  • Good value
  • Great to start with
  • No PoE
  • Unmanaged
  • Pricey
TRENDnet TEG-S350
TypeUnmanaged
Ports5x 2.5GbE
PoE
Features

The TRENDnet TEG-S350 may have the same number of ports as my most affordable switch recommendation, but we’re bumping the speeds up to 2.5Gb/s. This will theoretically allow for transfer speeds of 200MB/s, which is nearly meeting what most mechanical NAS drives are capable of.

It’s unmanaged, making it more affordable than many 2.5Gb port-rocking switches out there. This does mean there aren’t any advanced settings, nor will you be able to power anything through the LAN ports. But if all you need is speed, the TEG-S350 is a solid pick.

TRENDnet TEG-S350

TRENDnet TEG-S350
TRENDnet TEG-S350. (Source: TRENDnet)

The TRENDnet TEG-S350 is a very capable network switch thanks to the five 2.5Gb connections. These are rated for up to 200MB/s for each port.

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