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Netgear FB105 10/100 Network Kit

The Board
  • (2) 32-bit 10/100 NIC cards
  • 5 Port 10/100 hub
  • (2) 10 foot RJ-45 cables

Netgear's FB105 Site

(+,-) $79.99 USD

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I spend so much time doing router reviews and reviews of unusual networking products that sometimes the thing that most people need is left out. I'm talking about a hub. Most of you only need enough capacity to setup a small home network and the security of a router isn't all that important. Netgear not only sells hubs but will pack that hub with all the components to set up a small network. For someone who doesn't have these parts already, or the beginner who isn't sure exactly what they need, this is a great solution. Enter the FB105 Network Starter Kit.

First Impressions

Netgear has discontinued the DB104 Network Starter Kit I reviewed some time back so it is only natural to show you what they are currently offering. On the surface the FB105 is very similar to the DB104 kit we looked at last time. The most obvious difference is that it features a five port hub instead of the four port hub offered with the older kit. The other big difference to note is that the FB105 is packed with two 10 foot lengths of RJ45 cable and not the 25 foot cables that the DB104 kit came equipped with.

Out of the box the FS105 hub that is shipped in the kit is pretty impressive. True to Netgear's heavy-duty design philosophy the unit is made of metal and weighs in quite heavily. Most manufacturers have gotten away from this type of construction but I think it pays to have all the protection built into a component possible. One thing about this hub that is noticably different than other manufacturers designs is that the five 10/100 MBps connections are all in the front. This is very normal for networking components designed for business use but may appear cluttered for home use. I don't mind it a bit but it is something to be aware of.

Also found in the box are the two FA311 network cards, the two 10 foot lengths of RJ45 cable, the wall-wart power supply, and the drivers and software. Netgear packs the unit with a map-style fold open install manual that will have you up and running in minutes.


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