WHAT is it?
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Model EZXS55W LYNKSYS v4.2 10/100 5 Port Ethernet/LAN Workgroup Switch
The LINKSYS Instant EtherFast Series Switches allow more than one RJ-45 Ethernet Connection on any single Cat 5e cable from a Router. The name implies a WorkGroup usage but today's proliferation of Ethernet Ready Equipment has given these "Old-Tech" marvels a new life for nearly every user.
The 10 indicates 'Standard' transfer rate of 10Mbps with UTP Category 3* (or better) Cable The 100 indicates 'Fast' speed of 100Mbps with UTP Category 5 (or better) Cable
WorkGroup Switches were called "Hubs" or "Bridges" a short time ago.* This series of switches includes 8 and 16 port versions.
P.O. Box 18558
Irvine, CA 92623
Website: http://www.linksys.com/ or www.linksysbycisco.com
WHY DID I DO THIS TO ME?
I had exceeded the capacity of an existing hard-wired and costly LAN Router. I needed more than one Ethernet Connection at one Node or station on this network. The solution was an previously unheard of Ethernet Switch; this is the second of two tested. I am happy to report that this device did exactly what I wanted and I recommend it for any user of a wired wireless LAN.
Although Multi-Port Ethernet Switching was introduced in 1990*, the supporting documentation in the EZXS55W carton is dated 2009; demonstrating an ongoing need for these relatively ancient but useful devices. By force of circumstance, I had been a "voice from out of the wilderness'; a stand alone PC user at home. In the beginning, the new device cost about $10,500 which I could not afford even if I had known about networking.* And I had a deep distrust of networking.
But this was war, so we hired an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to install a Local Area Network (LAN) and here we are.
This Switch is a passive device with no mechanical toggles to forget; everything is done internally and automatically. It enables users to increase the number of devices on a LAN. In our case, only one account to one ISP was necessary in place of two fixed land lines from Big Telephony, Incorporated.
Until this week, our LAN consisted of a Rooftop Transceiver, a LinkSys Router, Three PC's and One Printer. The acquisition of a Blu-Ray DVD Player required manual switching of the Living Room cable. Our ISP took pity on me and told me about Ethernet Switches. The one I now use in the living room works fine. Because of a Tsunami of Wireless devices, it was difficult to find a wired one. Given the living room example; I obtained the EZXS55W; keeping the other one for use with a future Ethernet-ready Laser Printer in my office.
When it became clear that the LINKSYS switch was much superior to the previously installed Netgear one, I replaced the latter in the living room; where it is connected to a PC (for internet feeds) and to a Blu-Ray Player to allow exploration of what manufacturers are offering on their own versions of the "Free" Internet. The Netgear device went into indefinite storage.
LINKSYS EZXXS55W is compatible with existing 10baseT, 100BASE-TX or 10/100 networks.
Width/Vertical Height 4.3" x Depth 3.4" x Horizontal Height 1.3"
(The ends are slightly rounded, negating a vertical mounting.)
Weight: 6.0 oz
Interface: RJ-45 Ports, 6 Total. Port 6 is for the Uplink from the router. Port 5 is shared.
Power: Included Power Adapter 7.5 VDC 700mA
Certifications: FC Class B, CE Mark Commercial, UL and CL Listed
Operating Temperature: 0 to 50 degrees C, 32 to 122 Degrees F
1 Year Warranty
Just set the little thing down on its own 4 soft feet. It is so light, users can hang it on a wall with a push pin.
The Users Guide for the LYNKSYS came in the box, on a CD; which I printed out on 7 pages. On the Manufacturers WebSite, is a much more detailed version that was easier to understand.
The Factory Carton mentions MDI/MDI-X Crossover detection. Do not panic; this feature applies only to the 16 Port Version.
Connect Cat 5 Ethernet Cable RJ-45 plug from your Router to Port 6, or "Uplink". Port 5 is shared, thus Port 5 cannot be used if uplink is used. Ports 1 thru 4, used in no exact order, are for peripherals such as a Printer, a PC or even another Switch.. Uplink Port may be used to connect to another switch.
The Maximum recommended length for each Cat 5 cable is 328' or 100 Meters.
Before connecting them, turn those components OFF.
Now, connect the DC Power adapter.
There is no power switch per se, this means another always on-device that seems primitive nowadays. It is not polarized, thus relatively easy to unplug.
On the front panel of the EZSX55W is a pilot LED that glows green when the switch is plugged into a 120VAC outlet.. To the right of "Power" are three rows in five columns of LED indicator lights that verify status of connections and display the performance of the devices that occupy each Ethernet Port.
Top row lights, labeled Link/Act, glow green when a connection is detected.
Flickering indicates Data is moving
Row Two, labeled 100, glow green to indicate a speed of 100Mbps (Fast)
Off or no light, indicates 10 Mbps (Standard)
Row Three, labeled FD/Col glow orange to indicate Full Duplex Mode
Flickering indicates Data Collision Error. (Mine did not flicker)
Off indicates Half Duplex Mode
My trial installation verified these lights, reminding me that an unoccupied Port does not light up any lights. The correct lights came on within a few seconds after each of the connected machines were powered up.
There are no claims about OS Compatiblity. I successfully connected it to two different VISTA machines. In my opinion EZSX55W should be compatible with Windows, Linux, Macintosh, Netware.
All Ports have auto-speed and duplex sensing
- IEEE 802.11
- IEEE 802.3 10BASE-T Ethernet; Standardized Family of network technologies.
- IEEE 802.3u 100BASE-TX Fast Ethernet
- IEEE 802.3x Flow Control
Although I had resisted wireless as arcane; it was welcomed tardily here at "21" when the Dialup Service became intolerable. We hired a local ISP to hard wire the house; install a Rooftop Receiver, 2 PC Stations and a Printer. The installers left a "Router" for our convenience and we were off and running several years after the rest of the world had advanced well ahead. Part of our coming of age was a greatly increased monthly invoice.
Alas, the ISP experienced annoying interruptions and so did we. That bred exasperation and led us to a new ISP.
And a new invoice but service was unreliable. It was WAR! Nothing less. Two more attempts with other services; then we thought of asking our neighboring Winery owner. He gave us a name and we were soon enjoying reliable service with a local company. Which had just upgraded us from 1.5 to a 5.75 Mbps transceiver, no charge!
Meanwhile, I had tested Sony Internet TV and Logitech Revue, found both could access the internet we already paid for but dismay filled the land when I discovered subscriptions both offered had the potential of bankrupting us.
My workaround was a CPU with output to the D-Sub Port on our Toshiba 42" HD ready TV. But we still watched whatever interested us on PBS, Comedy Central, and (ugh!) CNN. We own a modest collection of DVDs that are threatened species; then came the Blu-Ray decision by that arbitrator of taste, WalMart.. Hoping for the best but expecting the worst; I dipped my toe, cauriously, into the new world of Blu-Ray.
Still hoping for a break, I faced Hurricane Obsolescence out in the open. With enormous shame,I brought home a Blu-Ray Player and began looking at what Upconverting could do to "Casablanca".
By now, one should be able to live without Cable or Satellite but it was too cumbersome. Meanwhile, I was switching from the Blu-Ray Player to the PC/D-Sub routine by fishing out the single LAN lead from our Router and plugging it into the back of the other equipment. Our ISP heard about that and shouted out as he roared down the driveway: "Get an Ethernet Switch".
And we did.
*UTP = Unshielded Twisted Pair Category 5e at 100 MHz Frequency Bandwidth, 100BASE-TX and 100BASE-T Ethernet, e means enhanced or better testing standards are used by manufacturers.
*See "Networking for Dummies" 7th Edition, 2005, Chapter 9, page 128.
*History of the Ethernet switch, 10 most important inventions
*I retired in 1996 and stayed out of trouble until 2001when I heard my name called out in public, at the local Supermarket in Gardnerville, NV. I tried to hide in a freezer tub but it was no use. The next five years were a heavenly interlude on my way to the crematorium. So, I became a part-time employee of the County of Alpine, California. There, I learned about Shared Files and Servers from an eccentric but brilliant IT whose pores oozed networking and other talents. Donald and our Boss, Dave, had installed an LAN and I got to use a PC connected to it.
I remained one of the great unwashed until a need arose: We had two PC's in the house and I became the default IT. Without portfolio, of course. Then, in 2006, the dial-up ISP became impractical. Like the sun in "Lawrence of Arabia"; it s-l-o-w-l-y dawned on me that the strange unused port on the hind end of our PC's might be useful. As in "...duh..." Alright, already; I surrender!
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Amount Paid (US$): $24.97
Driver Availability: Windows, Linux, and Mac