Like most decent switches today, the CNet switch has all the basic features. It supports Full Duplex, which enables Full Duplex Network Cards to send and receive data at 100 MBps simultaneously — theoretically. CNet’s 32- and 24-port switches also support 10/T or 100/TX NICs via Auto Negotiation. Factory options for the 24-, 16-, and 32-port models include an FX, or fiber, uplink to connect directly to a corporate or educational Ethernet backbone. The versions of the switches we were provided with for testing did not include this feature, so we are unable to comment on how well it works.
It is standard for switches to provide a separate crossover port for interfacing with hubs, other switches, and some types of routers. CNet’s crossover port doubles as the last port on the switch (i.e., port 16, 24, or 32, depending on the version in use). Thus, the above-mentioned ports have two physical connections of which only one can be used at a time.
As with the vast majority of switches on the market, the CNet 32-, 24-, and 16-port switches come with rack mounting kits. Administrators can simply attach the switch to a rack in a closet and forget about it.
Bandwidthwise, these switches are no different from any other switch on the market, as shown in tests using 100/TX Full Duplex Intel Pro/100 Network Interface Cards. As noted previously, price is what really differentiates them and makes them a great deal for most enterprises.
We cannot, however, recommend these switches for use on a super-high-traffic backbone, such as that of an ISP, because we were unable to test them under those conditions. For use on a server farm or a corporate office, these switches are a great deal because their price far undercuts that of other products in their space.