Extension to the networking family – Gigabit switch

I have been playing quite a lot of Battlefield Bad Company and did notice a small amount of lag when having the PS3 connected via wireless. I needed a quick fix in the form of the Zyxel GS105a 5-port gigabit switch:

I had a gigabit cable running from the office to the Airport Express to which the PS3 and any other wireless device in the lounge connects. The drawback of the Airport Express is that there are no additional ethernet ports and I was forced to connect everything wireless. This was never ideal, as media-streaming was not very reliable on the PS3.

There is nothing magic about a switch, other than getting something decent for a reasonable price. I got the Zyxel as it has many of the “business-type” switches for a mere R 600:
– 5 Auto-sensing 10/100/1000 Mbps Full-duplex (up to 2000Mbps on each port), Auto MDI/MDI-X Ports
– Intelligent power-saving technology (instead of providing full power to a port, the switch will detect the cable-length and output sufficient power per port)
– Full Wire-speed Store-and-Forward Technology Support
– Non-blocking switching technology (you will feel the lack of it, when you play and someone pulls down a DVD-movie)

Having done some tests, I did notice that latency has improved by 10-20ms — which is not much for the casual websurfer, but for a gamer this is the difference between winning or loosing a game.

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