Superguide: Efficient hardware for your home network

Posted by Paul Braren on May 26 2014 (updated on Aug 4 2017) in
  • HomeLab
  • Network
  • Superguides
  • Unfortunately, the D-Link gigabit switches listed here first didn't work out well, details here.

    TinkerTry has featured many home network related articles. This is the place to easily find the best of them!

    For networking devices you leave running 24x7, you can get unmanaged gigabit switches at incredibly low prices, with very high efficiency. This article details just how quickly these devices helped pay for themselves in energy savings, in my home network. From 5 ports at $24, through 24 ports for $99, I even cover a model in between that I've had for over a year. You'll see for yourself how efficient they are, in the accompanying unboxing and watt-burn testing videos. Includes handy links to the manuals, spec sheets, and videos I created. Good related conversation about managed versus unmanaged gigabit switches here.

    D-Link DGS-1024A, I measured it using 7 watts [wired as pictured above], specs say 14 watts max

    Very popular article, where I went out and bought, then tested all the latest and greatest 802.11AC WiFi routers in the fall of 2013. Enjoy a unique perspective on these ~$200 units! See also Linksys EA6900 802.11ac WiFi Router security best practices.

    Linksys EA6900, I measured about 10 watts idle, and 13 watts under load

    A close look at broadband beyond 100Mbps, where DOCIS 3 compatibility is a necessity. You'll also read why having access to the modem's logs can be very helpful indeed.

    Arris/Motorola SB6141, I measured 7 watts at idle and 8 watts under load

    Two speedy ports, with full VMware ESXi 5.5 support, and all the virtualization bells and whistles, including the ability to pass one of the ports to a cablemodem attached OpenVPN appliance. The 4 port Intel i350T4 is also compatible and available.

    Intel i350T2 uses 4.4 watts max, according to spec sheet

    For those of you with a low profile convertables like the Lenovo Yoga 13, you may find yourself entirely without a gigabit ethernet port. This article gives you some options. Four options actually! See also USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet NIC Network Adapter USB3100 Specifications.

    one-simple-and-affordable-way-to-get-four-additional-network-connections USB3100S watt burn unknown, but seems to run rather cool


    If Jumbo Frames are important to you, all of the hardware above supports them. I personally don't bother.

    If you need Switch Link Aggregation, the consider the $170.43 HP JG348A 1910-8G switch that home lab builds seem to prefer, specs here. I admit, I haven't tested that model.

    Want to read more about networking hardware and software? All of TinkerTry's Network articles can be found under "Topics" menu button at the top left of TinkerTry, which brings you to this category link: