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The Best Ethernet Switch for 2016

by John Ciarlone on January 12, 2016

Best Ethernet Switch

Are upgrades on the horizon for 2016?

With each passing year, business networks become faster, more powerful, AND easier-to-use. This is a great time to be looking into upgrades because you have so many options, with a brand that's perfect for any business need.

We've put together a list of our top five picks for Ethernet Switches, so read on for a quick look at the possibilities ahead!

The Five Best Ethernet Switches You Could Consider In 2016



Meraki MS350

Meraki is currently the state-of-the-art in 21st Century networking, with a revolutionary cloud-based mesh architecture that self-adapts and configures with minimal administrator oversight. The MS350 line is one of their most popular and robust, suitable to be a primary unit for all size businesses. Every model includes 4 10-Gigabit uplinks, with either 24 or 48 Gigabit ports and optional PoE+ power.

The only downside to Meraki is that separate licenses are required for operation. However, Meraki licensing brings unlimited tech support and lifetime hardware warranties. We say a downside lightly, because in a few years, it's going to be normal practice for every manufacturer.

netvanta 1505

ADTRAN NetVanta 1550

Companies interested in virtualized networking, but looking for a cheaper alternative to Meraki, should look into the ADTRAN NetVanta 1550. Similarly, it has either 24 or 48 GigE ports and 4 SFP+ uplinks, as well as a plug-and-play virtualized architecture that makes installation a plug-and-play experience. The smart system software allows it to be a fire-and-forget solution, capable of self-administering with very little oversight. Additionally, ActivChassis stacking makes local expansion quick and easy, up to eight units. 

Cisco 2960x

Cisco 2960X

For companies looking for sheer power and unparalleled scalability, Cisco is still the top dog - and Catalyst 2960X Ethernet switches are a great starting point. With options for 8, 24, or 48 Gigabit ports, optional PoE+, and up to four 10-Gigabit uplinks, these Layer 2 switches are an affordable option for a wide range of businesses. A Catalyst 2960 is a workhorse that can be relied upon for a long lifespan, and can move easily between applications as your networking needs grow and change.

Lack of Layer 3 compatibility may hold it back for companies that need more robust options, but this is an excellent choice for companies looking towards their first Cisco purchase.

netgear m6100

Netgear ProSAFE M6100

Netgear has recently been turning heads with their highly-affordable and easily-managed business hardware. If you think Netgear is only for consumers, the ProSAFE M6100 chassis might change your mind! Designed as a core L2/L3 switch, it starts with 40 Gigabit ports along with four mixed GbE and SFP 10-gigabit uplinks.

Options for filling out the chassis include a variety of daughter boards for specialized interfaces, PoE+ or UPoE power, additional fans\power supplies, as well as additional connection ports. These Ethernet switches can easily grow alongside your business for many years to come, with great build quality and highly-reliable performance. This is NOT the same switch you can find at Best Buy on the shelf by any means.


HP 1950

HP is still one of the most-trusted brands in computing, and the HP 1950 series is a great option for a wide variety of networks. HP emphasizes standards-based implementation, which allows their Ethernet switches to seamlessly work alongside a variety of other hardware. HP doesn't require a full buy-in, unlike many other brands, and that makes it highly attractive to budget-conscious upgraders.

Like other models in this class, you get 24 or 48 Gigabit ports with optional PoE+ support, and four 10-Gigabit uplinks: Two GbE, and two SFP+. You also get a limited lifetime hardware warranty, and three years of tech support included

Need More Assistance?

Hummingbird Networks has years of experience connecting businesses large and small. Contact us today for a free consultation on your 2016 networking options!

To see more choices read The Best Entery-level Gigabit Ethernet Switches Compared

Topics: Switches