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Corega has come up with a long-awaited solution to the unused Gigabit Ethernet of recent desktop Macs. Its low-cost eight-port switch is ideal for small fast networks.
It's some time since Macs have been blessed with 10/100/1000-BaseT Gigabit Ethernet. G4 Power Macs and Titanium G4 PowerBooks are blessed with the faster-networking technology.
Initially, we thought it would mean an end to network jams and slow transfers. It quickly became apparent that in fact there was no real solution for implementing Gigabit Ethernet across whole networks. Initial offerings were four-port switches that cost over a grand. It has taken until now to get the cost to a reasonable level and add a few ports.
The great news about the Corega Switch is that it costs just £115. The other great news is that it works. Don't expect the speed increase to be tenfold, though. In the same way that 100-BaseT wasn't ten times faster than 10-BaseT, Gigabit or 1000-BaseT is faster, but only marginally. Expect a two or threefold increase in file-transfer speed, compared to 100BaseT.
This switch is a no-frills affair, but that's the nature of switches. It does the job, allows a significant speed increase, and works without any fuss. It would be nice to see bigger switches - 12- or 24-port versions would be handy - but this is a good start, and great for smaller networks.