- Very well built from quality metal frame
- Will improve your transfer speeds compared to routers provided by internet service providers
- QoS is overidden by your router's QoS
- Very expensive compared to other eight port switches out there
More and more peripherals that require speedy internet connections are entering our homes all the time. Among these items you will usually find gaming desktops as well as game consoles. Now in most houses you will find a wireless router, that’s plugged into your telephone connection. My BT Home Hub sits in the living room as that’s where mine comes in. For my needs it’s fine, but there are some out there that share multiple greedy broadband devices. For this, you’ve got devices like the Netgear Nighthawk S8000 Network Switch.
Now please don’t confuse this with your wireless router. This product is not for wireless devices, instead having to use Ethernet cables to connect your devices together. The Netgear Nighthawk S8000 would typically sit by your router, that has probably provided by your internet service provider. As the Ethernet ports on the back of your router are very limited, the S8000 is a product that can add multiple more. On the back of my BT Home Hub are three Ethernet ports. But, let’s say that you have a gaming desktop, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and a gaming laptop in your house, using the S8000 switch adds up to eight new ports.
Having a cabled Ethernet connection between device and router means that it will receive internet speeds a lot faster than if they were on a wireless network. Each port on the Netgear Nighthawk S8000 have Gigabit network speeds, which is a lot faster than those pumped out of your router from your internet service provider, which equals much faster internet and transfer speeds between devices. All perfect for things like gaming online, or streaming a video from your desktop PC on your Playstation 4.
Now something that may put up novice PC users is the set up. The S8000 requires you to enter your PC’s network settings to find the IP address for the switch. Once this number has been found, enter it into your web browser URL bar and the settings for your switch will appear. It’s not hugely difficult, but it is no way plug and play like your router from an internet service provider.
There are a number of options to choose from in the settings. The first is assigning the ports to some kind of profile. As standard, the first three ports are taken up by gaming, media streaming and the uplink, which is the port connected to the network switch. Once you’ve plugged in your devices, you can move on. In this case I had my desktop in the first port, and then my Xbox for media streaming in port two. The rest of the ports weren’t needed as in my house, we don’t have many wired devices.
The different preset options are to prioritise different devices. So for gaming preset, my PC takes priority, but for media streaming preset, my Xbox took over. The standard preset sees all ports as the same, and an option that I can see most users for a household choosing, unless you want to reign dominance of the internet over your Netflix hogging housemates.
One handy option the Nighthawk has is the ability to check the quality of your Ethernet cables. One click and you can check the health, and whether a network cable needs to be replaced. latency improvements back into the network for a wired gaming PC.
The Netgear Nighthawk S8000 Network Switch is a handy device to have, but only if you’re planning on using multiple devices. Yes, the switch does offer things like lower latency, and puts QoS back into the mix, which means you get a higher frames per second when streaming and gaming. For families that will find their family members online at once, then the S8000 could be a worthy investment. But for someone like me, who has one gaming desktop and a whole host of wireless devices, it’s not worth the price. Although it does look super cool and will turn you into a nerdy badass thanks to its metal construction and sharp blue LED lights. You can find out more from the Netgear website.