NETGEAR GS208 vs. GS308 – Which NETGEAR switch should you get?

Currently, almost all homes and small businesses are choosing to purchase network switches for their network because they value the speed and efficiency with which these network devices handle data traffic.

NETGEAR manufactures and operates some of the most reliable and affordable Ethernet switches, which are a great solution for small-to-medium sized businesses. Nearly all their Ethernet switches have become some of the most popular and widely used network devices in the industry today. Generally, there are 4 categories of NETGEAR switches- the unmanaged switches, the unmanaged plus switches, the smart switches, and the NETGEAR managed switches. In this write-up, we will focus on the unmanaged and managed switches, particularly the NETGEAR GS208 and the NETGEAR GS308. Let us compare these two devices before we determine which is better suited to meet your internet needs.

What are the differences between the NETGEAR GS208 and the NETGEAR GS308?

Comparison Feature
NETGEAR GS208
NETGEAR GS308
Management Type
Unmanaged
Managed
Size Dimensions
8.86 x 7.86 x 2.32 inches
6.22 x 4.02 x 1.02 inches
Number of Ports
8 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
8 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
Mounting Type
Wall Mount
Wall Mount
Fanless Housing
Yes
Yes
Mechanical Life Expectancy
3 years
3 years
Actuator Type
Push Button
Push Button
Availability

NETGEAR GS208 vs. GS308 – How do they compare?

Design and Utility

The NETGEAR GS208 and GS308 are both durable and well-designed network devices. However, these two network switches are packaged differently. The NETGEAR GS208 comes in a white plastic case that has Ethernet sockets towards the back and activity LED lights towards the front. The NETGEAR GS308, on the other hand, comes in a black metal case that has both the Ethernet sockets and the activity LED lights on the front panel. Based on this comparison feature, the NETGEAR GS308 is sturdier than the NETGEAR GS208.     

When it comes to utility, the NETGEAR GS308 is a more versatile option than the NETGEAR GS208.  It is designed to create work-from-home and small business network control centers where Ethernet ports are seamlessly routed to a patch panel, and connected together through the switch. Also, you can easily stack multiple network switches and create a large network to meet your internet needs. The NETGEAR GS208, on the other hand, is designed for simple desktop installations that only need an Ethernet splitter to work.                                                       

Performance

Here, we will compare the two Ethernet switches based on their management type. The NETGEAR GS208 is an unmanaged switch, whereas the NETGEAR GS308 offers several managed switch features. Despite the fact that managed switches require a skilled administrator or engineer to work best, they have more capability than unmanaged switches and they enable better control of networks. This means that the NETGEAR GS308 is better performing and a more advantageous option than the GS208.

NETGEAR GS208 vs. GS308 – A Comprehensive Overview

NETGEAR GS208 Review

NETGEAR 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged Switch (GS208) - Desktop, Ethernet Splitter, Silent Operation, Plug-and-Play
  • 8 Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Simple plug-and-play setup with no software to install or configuration needed

The GS208 offers everything you would need from a network switch, from reliability to speed. This versatile network switch is compatible with several networking devices and offers fast Gigabit Ethernet speeds. It features a plug-and-play design that allows you to seamlessly start using it with any network. It comes in a sturdy plastic packaging and has 8 LED lights towards the front panel that indicate system power status and port activity. Along with that, it is an ultra-compact device hence a great option for desktop use and wall mounting.

Because it is fanless, it operates smoothly and quietly, hence the best option for quiet environments. Besides that, it is a great option for anyone looking to boost internet speeds for 4K video streaming or online gaming. It ensures traffic prioritization hence less interruptions and extremely fast internet speeds. It has been designed to support Energy- Efficient Ethernet and the latest IEEE standards to ensure low energy consumption when it isn’t too active. Also, it comes with an auto MDIX/MDI feature, which simply ensures that there isn’t really need for cross over cables.

Pros

  • Fast and reliable Ethernet speeds
  • Easy to install and setup
  • Aesthetic and durable design
  • Versatile and high-performing

Cons

  • LEDs do not change color to match link speed

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NETGEAR GS308 Review

The GS308 Ethernet switch is one of NETGEAR’s SOHO family of 8-port Gigabit Ethernet switches and it is the only network switch in this category that is housed in a metal chassis. Among its most notable features include a mean time between failures of 365,500 hours, an 8000-entry MAC table, and a 192KB memory buffer. Compared to all other network switches in its category, it has the largest memory buffer meaning that this switch can store so much more information before it is passed to the anticipated destination. Because of this feature, large workloads can be processed seamlessly through this network switch all at once. 

Besides that, the switch has status LEDs that allow you to keep track of the link connection/activity and the system power status. When it comes to the design structure, the NETGEAR GS308 isn’t too big so installation shouldn’t be a problem, even in the tightest of places around your home. To ensure proper grip when placed on a surface, the switch comes with 4 sticky rubber feet attached to the unit’s underside. In addition to that, the 4 sticky rubber feet elevate the switch to aid with heat dissipation. Because of this feature, this Ethernet switch barely demonstrates ant thermal issues during its lifetime. Using the two notches on the lower part of the metallic housing, you can also mount the switch to a wall vertically.

Pros

  • Has a lot of features for its price
  • Easy to setup and install
  • Doesn’t overheat much
  • Durable and sturdy design
  • Smooth and quiet operation

Cons

  • Terrible warranty
  • No reset button

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Conclusion

These two8-port gigabit Ethernet unmanaged switches will give you the exact results you are looking for. Aside from being high-quality devices, they are durable, reliable and are the most ideal option for small homes and offices.

Verdict: So, which is better – NETGEAR GS208 or NETGEAR GS308?

With all factors considered, the NETGEAR GS308 is a better network switch than the NETGEAR GS208. Its metallic chassis feels like quality and it works great. Besides that, you would be impressed by the fact that it ensures smooth and silent operation at all times, hence the best option for a home theater environment and quiet workspaces.

FAQs

  1. Do I need a router if I have any of these network switches?

Yes, you do. Remember that network switches do not have routing functionality, so it relies on your router for that.

  1. Is the NETGEAR GS208 compatible with cat 8 cables?

No, it is only backward-compatible with cat 5-7 cables.

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