Buyers of high-end consumer routers have sent manufacturers the message that aggressive styling based on next-generation fighter aircraft and science-fiction space ships helps move product. Netgear's Nighthawk series of routers was perhaps the first to fly down that corridor, and the company is now hawking a managed switch with aggressive aesthetics and a performance-oriented feature set. The Nighthawk S8000 is an eight-port managed Gigabit Ethernet switch with QoS, traffic prioritization, link aggregation, plus the angular looks and not-boring-green lights that Nighthawk products are known for.
While Netgear pitches the device to gamers and 4K streamers, the link aggregation feature could be beneficial to users of NAS or home server systems with high traffic requirements. That feature allows up to four ports on the switch to connect to the same device for 4 Gbps of combined bandwidth. According to PCPerspective, the link aggregation can also be used for failover in the event that a network cable fails. In the time it takes to watch the dubstep-infused 16-second teaser video below, 7.5GB could have passed through a four-port aggregate line, according to Netgear's claimed maximum speed of 470 MB/s.
The switch is managed with a web interface as usual, but Netgear says its GUI has been optimized for use on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. The management features allow for three tiers of port-level traffic prioritization, as well as QoS management to ensure that gaming sessions are not derailed by things like peer-to-peer traffic. PCPerspective says the Nighthawk S8000 will cost $100 when it ships in March, and will be backed with a three-year warranty.
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