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The Compex DS2216 16-Port Switch


Introduction

Not nearly enough network reviews exist. Sure, when the latest Bluetooth/wireless "wizbang" component is released, many sites do review the fresher technology, but why forget about the staple networking gear. Hubs, switches, routers, NICs, etc. are the mainstay of networks and sadly few reviews crop up extolling the virtues of say, the latest 16-port switch.

How many low cost switches (read: non-Cisco brand) are upgradeable? Not necessarily by adding a port, but by trunking additional ports to increase throughput by as much as 400%? The Compex DS2216 is just such an item. Imagine starting with a small network, say about a dozen boxes, then moving up to two dozen. What should you do? You could purchase a 24 or 36 (gulp) port switch and fight with lousy uplink speeds and massively increased network congestion or you could grab another DS2216 and have four times the bandwidth between switches. Now that sounds cool.

Factory Specifications
Compex DS2216
  • Industry Standards: IEEE 802.3, IEEE802.3u, IEEE802.3x
  • Interface: 16-Port 10/100Mbps RJ45
  • Modes: N-Way Auto-Negotiation or Forced Mode
  • Port Trunking: Yes, 4-ports
  • Flow Control: IEEE 802.3x - Full Duplex or Back Pressure - Half Duplex
  • Warranty: 3 Years
  • List Price: $109.95 USD



Compex

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9/10 Rating

Description & Specifications

The DS2216 has 16 ports with one MDIX switchable port on the lower right corner (port #8). Ports can be run in auto sensing mode or forced (i.e. full duplex) mode. If a second DS2216 is available, up to 4 ports each switch (8 total) can be used in a trunking mode, which allows for greater bandwidth over a smaller number of paths.

As with many newer switches, this model is fanless so noise doesn't present a problem if located in a high traffic area.

I'm a big fan of LED indicators so that it's easy to see at a glance what's happening. The Compex unit sports full readouts for this class of switch. The warranty is 3 years.

Port Trunking

Some readers may ask, "what's port trunking?" so I'll briefly cover its features here. Looking for a concise definition of port trunking I came across this phrase, "...increased bandwidth over a smaller number of paths." This means that although more ports will be used in the trunking process, the speed between devices increases. Let me illustrate.

Single Trunk (Standard)
Quad or 4-Port Trunk
200Mbps Full Duplex Between Units
800Mbps Full Duplex Between Units

Note: A standard CAT5 cable may be used for the single trunk (which isn't really trunking per se); however, crossover cables must be used for multiple port trunking. Normally when connecting one switch to another switch, one end of the standard cable is plugged into a port that switches the other end to a crossover type (flips pairs 1&2 and 3&6).

 





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