Best 16 Port Gigabit Switches of 2020

  Comparison

Product Size Weight Price range
Ubiquiti US-16-150W Networks Networks UniFi Switch Ubiquiti US-16-150W Networks Networks UniFi Switch 17 x 1.69 x 8.7 inches 6.38 pounds $$$
Linksys SE3016 16-Port Gigabit Switch Linksys SE3016 16-Port Gigabit Switch 5.24 x 8.48 x 1.65 inches 2.45 pounds $$
TP-Link 16-Port Gigabit PoE+ Easy Smart Managed Switch with 110W 8-PoE Ports TP-Link 16-Port Gigabit PoE+ Easy Smart Managed Switch with 110W 8-PoE Ports 11.57 x 7.09 x 1.73 inches 3.86 lbs $$
NETGEAR 16-Port Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged Switch NETGEAR 16-Port Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged Switch 4 x 11.3 x 1 inches 2.74 pounds $
TRENDnet 16-Port Unmanaged Gigabit GREENnet Desktop Metal Switch TRENDnet 16-Port Unmanaged Gigabit GREENnet Desktop Metal Switch 11 x 1.7 x 7 inches 3.3 pounds $

What is a network switch, and what does it do?

Imagine that moment when you move to a bigger, more spacious house and you start thinking on how to connect and handle all your devices, only to find out that your new home does not have what you need to set up your working and entertainment space to your liking.
If you find yourself in the situation where your router only has only three or four Ethernet ports, whereas your living and working space require much more than that, then this is the article for you.

A network switch is used to connect all the devices to a local area network (LAN in short), thus allowing them to communicate over the network. In other words, a switch is similar to a hub; you just connect your switch to a router and then connect all the desired devices to the switch. In this way, all your equipment will be able to access your home network and communicate between them as if they were directly connected to the router.

Do I need a network switch?


While most common devices (such as laptops, phones, and game consoles) usually use Wi-Fi (and for some people, that is enough), a switch comes in handy in a few situations.
When you need extra Ethernet ports;
When you are trying to improve speeds using cables (but you do not want a bundle of wires in the middle of your living room);
You just need more control over your network.

What should I look for when choosing a network switch – Buying Guide


Like with any other purchase, you should do a little research before shopping.
First of all, you should select a network switch that has enough Gigabit (10/100/1000 Mbps) Ethernet ports; in this way, you make sure you have enough slots to connect your devices, and if you wish to add some more in the future, you won't need to upgrade your switch. Also, if one of your ports dies over time, it is better to have some more available ones at hand. Thus, the recommendations that you will find below will only refer to the 16 port Gigabit switches.

1. Placement


Upon deciding where you want to place your switch, consider that it will need to be easily accessible for setup and troubleshooting. Also, it must be placed at a maximum of 100m (328 feet) from the farthest room that you want to wire, because that is the most extended length over which most of the Ethernet cables work properly.
Network switches are usually placed on a desk/table or mounted on a rack. Some companies offer a mountable rack included in the package, for others, you will need to buy it separately.
Some of the switches presented are fanless, but part of them have a fan included, meaning that you will have to place your device in an aired place to prevent overheating. If running fan noises bother you, this is another criterion to consider when choosing the placement of your switch.

2. Managed vs. unmanaged switch


Depending on the complexity you need from your switch, you can go the managed or unmanaged route.
An unmanaged switch is the simplest version; it is plug and play (meaning you just take it out of the box and connect it to your router and then your devices to the router and you are ready to go). Unmanaged switches are widely used by beginners or people who do not need very high security in their network.
On the other hand, a managed switch is the more complex version; it is customizable and programmable to suit your needs. With this type of switch, you can log into their operating system and change settings, enable features, adjust bandwidth limitations, and prioritize LAN traffic. It is widely used by people who have surveillance cameras, for example. This being said, managed switches are not usually geared towards beginners, but more to experienced users. A user-friendly interface is also a plus when operating such a device because it will help tremendously set up and manage it. 

3. Fail rate


Needless to say that when you invest your money into a piece of technology, you want it to last as long as possible and if something were to happen to it, you have a helpful customer service that will support you in fixing the problem or replacing the gear, so this is another aspect to pay attention to. 
With all these criteria in mind, below, you can find a list for 5 16 port Gigabit switches that will accommodate any need, whether we are talking prices, characteristics, or ease of use.

Part of the Ubiquiti Networks UniFi Enterprise System, UniFi Switch 16 150W, is built with 16 ports of auto-sensing IEEE 802.3af/at or configurable 16V Passive PoE that can make your work easier. It is managed by UniFi Controller, features 1U Rack Mount Height, and a 150W Power supply. Featuring a Single Control Plane, with an intuitive configuration Remote Firmware Upgrade and Guest Portal/Hotspot Support, the UniFi Switch is the most expensive option from the ones presented. 
As a step up from your basic consumer-grade products, you need to consider the fact that you need some IT/system administrating knowledge. This is one justification for their pricing as well, as these devices are used in multiple areas such as education, industry, etc.; hence they fall into the professional category, suited for more than just your average home setup. This being said, this is the device recommended if you already more than one UniFi equipment because otherwise, you will need to run the Unifi software just for it. It is easily configurable with the UniFi app (which is necessary) and provides the passive 24V PoE that is required by the UniFi cameras. 

Like the TP-Link device, the UniFi switch also has a fan inside, which is quiet most of the time, but from time to time, it can start making lots of noise when it reaches a high temperature. Another complaint that was commonly raised was poor customer service, which is quite challenging to contact and not very helpful. If you do not have experience in handling such situations or you just encounter a problem you have never seen before, the lack of help is a disadvantage. And, just like it’s Chinese competitor – TP-Link – is reported to have a relatively short life, which is not desirable considering the pricing. Although Ubiquiti is one praised company for their products, it seems that the 8 ports and 24 ports models are the better options.

PROS:

Well suited for setups bigger than homes or small offices;
Easily managed with the controller software;
Offers active and passive PoE.

CONS:

High price;
Poor customer support;
Short life spawn;
Not suitable for inexperienced users.

Functioning on networks: IEEE802.3, IEEE802.3u, and IEEE802.3ab with a port speed of 16 x RJ-45 10/100/1000Mbps, the Linksys SE3016 is one of the options you surely need to take into consideration for your new switch. It has a Power Save option that automatically detects unused ports, it prioritizes video and audio application so you have better streaming and it has an architecture of non-head-of-line blocking. Moreover, all of the ports have auto MDI/MDI-X cable detection. 

Being an unmanaged switch, there is no need for configuration, you just plug it in and use it from the get-go. Built from metal and with a fanless design like the other options provided, this has a plus in the fact that there is no external power supply so that you won't trip on the cables from all over the house. Since it is genuinely a non-blocking switch, you do not need to worry about your slower devices, and you can achieve close to gigabit throughput.

While having so many qualities, Linksys SE3016 almost has nothing that you can blame it for. Of course, there might be situations where fate comes out to play, and you have the bad luck if running into a bad unit, but overall, this switch has many qualities and almost 0 flaws.

PROS:

Increases Internet speed;
Non-blocking switch, perfect even with slower devices;
Auto-detection of MDI/MDI-X cables;
No external power supply (wall wart).

CONS:

None.

With 16 Gigabit Ethernet ports that deliver up to 2000Mbps and non-blocking bandwidth per port, TL-SG1016PE is one option that you should consider if you want to upgrade your switch. Through its web-based user interface, this TP-Link switch offers network monitoring, traffic prioritization, and enhanced QoS, so you can decide which applications remain clear and lag-free (such as video and voice applications). The VLAN functions help build a network with proper management and security; besides, 8 802.3af/802.3at PoE+ ports enable the switch to work with PoE supported devices (like surveillance cameras, wireless access points and IP phones) without needing extra power cabling.

Unlike the other switches presented, SG1016PE is not a fanless design, so there is a little noise, but nothing that would obstruct your work. However, if that is an aspect that you know will bother you, you should know that there is the option to replace the fan with a more silent one for a reasonable price. It is made from metal, with a solid build, the lights are visible and easy to read. Offering fast speeds and a good management interface, you can separate private networks from the public ones with the help of the VLANs. It is also easy to configure (easy smart switch), yet it offers enough features for more than basic networking.

Unfortunately, like many other Chinese manufactured devices, this switch tends also to have a short life spawn (shorter than others) and crash after a few months; of course, this is not a rule, but it is one aspect that you should take into consideration when you are investing your money into a product. Also, while this is an excellent device for homes and small offices, it does not have such a strong capability to offer high network security, so depending on the space you are using, it might not be suitable.


PROS:

Easy to configure despite being a smart-managed switch;
Easy to access and manage.

CONS:
Short life spawn;
Not suitable for the locations where high security is needed.

Simple to set, with no configuration needed, Netgear’s switch will support desktop or wall-mount placement. It is designed to lower energy usage and with a fanless design, so it is perfect for any environment due to reduced noise capacity. Built to exceed the high standards need for stable network infrastructure and compliant with IEEE802.3az Energy Efficient Ethernet mode, the GS316 is the perfect device for any business environment.
Made from solid metal instead of plastic (with an evenly distributed weight, so you can even place it vertically), this 16-port switch is the perfect solution for any network upgrade, whether it is done for an office or your home. All the ports are upfront, the lighting is easily readable, and the plug and play feature make it very user-friendly. 
However, despite all the advantages, GS316 has been reported to have quite a short life spawn (below two years). And although it comes with a 3-year warranty, the customer service is quite challenging to deal with, making the returning process rather unpleasant. 

PROS:

Solid built;
Fanless design – quiet;
Plug and play;

CONS:

Short life spawn;
Customer service is not very helpful.

Another plug and play device, TEG-S16DG from TRENDnet is a 16-port unmanaged gigabit switch has a compact, sturdy metal housing design. It is embedded with the GREENnet technology that will reduce power consumption by up 70%, thus providing cost savings. Moreover, the Link Down Detect technology will deliver less power to unused ports, Standby Mode will provide less power altogether when the devices are off, and the Cable Length Detect will supply less power on shorter cables. 16-gigabit ports will provide a high-speed network connection. The 32 Gbps switching capacity will increase network efficiency by allowing data traffic to flow smoothly and thus eliminating network congestions and reducing traffic bottlenecks.

If you work from home or own a small to medium space for your business, this switch will tremendously help you. With a slim and fanless design, this switch is the perfect device to use in your home and your office because it is very silent. It is also easy to set up right out of the box, it never heats up, so placing it in a confined space will not represent a problem.

The main aspect that you will need to consider when purchasing this switch is that it lacks a mounting rack, but you can optionally buy one. Also, some people can be bothered by the fact that you need to plug all the cables on the front side of the switch, instead of in the back, which means that you might have to adjust your setup when setting up this device.


PROS:

GREENnet technology to reduce power consumption;
Easy to set up and use;
Metal housing, fanless design.

CONS:

No mount rack;

After going through all the aspects that need to be taken into consideration when choosing a network switch and reading all our suggestions for a suitable 16 port Gigabit switch, let's also tackle a few of the most common concerns when it comes to this topic.

What else do I need to know about network switches?


1. Ports: it does not matter in which port you use to connect to the internet, all your devices will be connected to the internet through the switch. What you do need to bear in mind is that one port will be occupied at all times, so you will basically have a 15 port Gigabit switch.

2. Switch vs. router: while both are connecting devices, a switch's job is to connect all the devices into a network, whereas a router will find the shortest path for a packet, acting only at the network's layer.  

3. Speed: although extra cable length usually means latency, switches have a higher bandwidth than the average internet connection, so it is unlikely to notice any difference.

And now that you have all the information about how to choose a switch and a list of suggestions at hand, all that is left is to wish you smart shopping!

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1Ubiquiti US-16-150W Networks Networks UniFi Switch
Ubiquiti US-16-150W Networks Networks UniFi Switch
2Linksys SE3016 16-Port Gigabit Switch
Linksys SE3016 16-Port Gigabit Switch
3TP-Link 16-Port Gigabit PoE+ Easy Smart Managed Switch with 110W 8-PoE Ports
TP-Link 16-Port Gigabit PoE+ Easy Smart Managed Switch with 110W 8-PoE Ports