It is safe to say I grew up with video game consoles. My father bought us a Sears-branded Atari 2600 in 1980, and I have been hurling cartridges and optical discs in anger ever since. I’ve also watched the technology progress. I remember when it was a big deal that the Playstation 2 had an optional network adapter; now every modern console has some way to connect to a home network. Due to my economic situation, I now have four consoles instead of just one or two. How is one supposed to connect all those devices to the network, especially when most homes don’t have a CAT-5 jack in the family room?
I normally diss on Best Buy and other big-box stores and order directly from NewEgg. However, Best Buy’s Dynex-brand 5-port switch is an excellent value, especially for hooking multiple consoles up to one network uplink. Yes, the Dynex isn’t going to perform as well as a better brand, but with only one console running at a time, who cares if the switch’s routing capabilities are top-notch?
The Dynex is bare-bones. I mean, really bare-bones. It comes with the switch and the power supply:
I am 90% certain it doesn’t come with a CAT-5 network cable.
The most difficult thing about hooking the Dynex up to my consoles downstairs was taking the switch out of its packaging. I pried the switch loose, plugged the supplied AC adapter into a power strip, and hooked my main network connection into the UPLINK port. I connected the consoles to the back, and that was that. I haven’t had any performance problems connecting to Xbox Live! or streaming audio or video from my home server via Xbox Media Center.
I’ve had the switch running for about four months, and it’s going strong. I liked it so much that I bought another one for my consoles in the bedroom.
For $19.99 plus tax (where applicable), the Dynex 10/100 5-port switch is a great bargain. Yes, you can buy a less expensive switch online, but shipping costs may eat away whatever savings you might get. If you need gigabit ethernet then this product obviously isn’t for you, but only the Playstation 3 supports that super-fast connectivity anyway.
If you are a gamer looking to connect multiple devices to your network on the cheap, check out Best Buy’s Dynex 5-port switch.