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DSH-5 5 Port 10/100 Hub w/Switch

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by D-Link
When I first heard that we were getting a 10/100 hub to test I was unsure what to think. I already had a 10 Mbps (Mega Bits Per Second) Hub and net cards in all the computers at my apartment and wasn’t sure what the extra speed would do for me. However, a couple weekends ago, I had the good fortune to attend a LAN party and was able to link the hub up for use with other computers in a large network. I found that in this type of situation, the 10/100 Hub works far better than its 10 Mbps counterpart.

The D-Link hub I received came packaged in its own box with a manual, manual supplement, Hub, power pack and rubber feet for the hub. The hub casing was pretty small--171 x 100 mm to be exact, about 6.7 x 3.9 inches for you non-metric types out there. The documentation was very adequate and stepped you through the do’s and don’ts of hooking up this hub to your network. I like the fact that D-Link had the foresight to add supplement pages explaining how the switched portion of the hub works.

Once we had the computers set up, we all jacked into the hub and fired up our machines. We made sure that we were all using some type of 10/100 Ethernet cards so that we had no chance of slowing the network down. The hub does support both 10 and 10/100 cards at the same time without sacrificing performance, but in my experience using both types of card is usually a mistake. We decided to play it safe and avoid the use of 10 Mbps ethernet cards--after all, 10/100 cards can be had for under 30 bucks these days.

Once we had the hub set up, we put it through its paces, trying as hard as we could to get  the network to bog down. We played a host of games, from Starcraft to Quake 2 to the dreaded network hog Unreal, but we never saw the hub bog once. The D-Link hub performed happily the whole time on even the most demanding games. We also tried transferring files from computer to computer, and in this task the hub performed just as well. After working with a 10/100 Mbps network, I can guarantee you that you will never want to go back to a 10 Mbps one.

When all was said and done, I was very happy with the DSH-5 hub. It was easy to set up, had good documentation and it worked just as advertised. One of these days, I’d like to get my hand on another of their hubs and test it with a D-Link switch to see how it fares in that type of situation. I think I can really only complain about two things on the DSH-5 Hub: First, I was disappointed to see that the hub had a fan in it. I know this usually isn’t a big deal, but the hub sits in my roommate’s room and every night he has to unplug it because the fan is so loud. The second thing I was disappointed about was the fact that the Uplink port and port one on the hub are shared, so you can only use one or the other, but not both. I know these aren’t big complaints, they are just things I noticed and found mildly annoying.

Overall, the D-Link DSH-5 Hub performed very well indeed. With a street price of about $79-89, most people should be very happy with the features and performance of this hub. If you are looking for a small hub for an apartment or mini-network, I'd heartily recommend the D-Link DSH-5.

-Tom Monter