Network switch

Fast Ethernet vs Gigabit: which network switch should I buy?

Quick choice

Fast ethernet

Quicker than quick choice

Gigabit Ethernet

Fast Ethernet can handle speeds of up to 100 Mbps. This is faster than many broadband connections and more than enough for many people to use the local network. If you are using it at home or for a small business, you probably won’t need anything faster.

$ 10 on Amazon


  • Quite fast for many configurations
  • Works with some older configurations
  • Good for home or a small business

The inconvenients

  • May slow down speeds with heavy use
  • Will become more obsolete over time

Gigabit Ethernet can handle the fastest home broadband connections and has the bandwidth to handle the high demands of the local network. It is relatively future-proof and will guarantee fast internet and local network speeds.

$ 35 on Amazon


  • Can handle Gigabit Internet such as Google Fiber
  • More scalable than Fast Ethernet
  • Has incredibly high LAN transfer speeds

The inconvenients

  • May require newer hardware
  • Requires all hardware to be Gigabit compatible

Determine exactly what type of space you are covering and how much internet you need before making a decision. Fast Ethernet switches are ideal for home or small business use where speed requirements are relatively low. If you have higher speed requirements for your network, you should go for Gigabit Ethernet.

To log in

Ethernet switches work much like train lines, with the switch indicating which data goes to which device. They help separate connections from each other, allowing every device on the network to access that network when needed. They ensure that each device can transfer data over the network regardless of what other network users are doing.

Ethernet switches are designed to help devices connect directly to each other over a network and to help connect devices to the Internet. For many users, the biggest difference between Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet is in the local network speeds. Many broadband connections are 100 Mbps or less, and if that’s the case for you, it doesn’t matter which switch you use. You will not get a faster internet connection than what your provider gives you.

When it comes to LANs, the more bandwidth you have, the more all of your combined users on the network can do simultaneously. For example, if you are in an office and many people are moving data through the network at the same time, a Gigabit Ethernet switch will reduce the chances of bottlenecks that can lead to slower speeds.

It is important to note that in order to use the full bandwidth of your Gigabit Ethernet switch, you need all components in your network to support Gigabit speeds. If any device in the chain is slower, it will slow down the entire setup. This is also true for a Fast Ethernet switch, but it’s less likely to be a problem because most hardware supports up to 100 Mbps.

Fast ethernet Gigabit Ethernet
Speed 10/100 Mbps 10/100/1000 Mbit / s

If you are on a budget or just don’t expect to need more than 100Mbps network speed, Fast Ethernet will meet your demands and save you money. It will be the best option for most people. If you use your network a lot, have a large number of users on the network, or want to help secure your home or office, you should go with Gigabit Ethernet.

Enough for many

Fast ethernet

A fast connection that is enough for many users

This internet switch is more than sufficient for many users on home networks or in small offices as it can handle speeds of up to 100Mbps.

Top speed

Gigabit Ethernet

The maximum speed available

Gigabit Ethernet switches will help secure your home or office and can handle extensive network loads of many users.

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