In last week’s review of the Linksys WRT1900AC Wireless Router, we discovered a networking device that’s a fabulous cocktail of old-school styling and blistering performance. If its retro blue and black colour palette and chunky lines fail to stir up some nostalgic good vibes (for the uninitiated, Google Linksys WRT54G), then you should check yourself for a heartbeat.
So I was delighted to hear the news from Linksys last week that the WRT1900AC would soon be joined by a range of classic, WRT-styled add-ons. Today, the company announced the first in a new line-up of devices to complement the iconic WRT1900AC wireless router – the Linksys WRT 8-Port Gigabit Switch (SE4008). Our review sample dropped on the doormat late last week, so having published the WRT1900AC review last week, I was very keen to check out the new device.
What’s in the Box?
Priced at $69.99, the Linksys WRT 8-Port Gigabit Switch isn’t positioned at such a premium as its big brother, the Linksys WRT1900AC router. Check online and you’ll find that Linksys tends to price its top-end 8-port Gigabit switches around that same price point, although you’ll find previous range-toppers, such as the Linksys SE2800 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch (a device that’s been happily supporting my home office for the last year or so) available with a healthy online discount, and budget devices from competitors such as TP-LINK available for a lot less.
The device itself is packaged with a power adaptor and documentation CD but surprisingly, there’s no Ethernet cable in the box which, for a top-end consumer device, seems a little measly. So make sure you’ve got at least one cable spare to connect the switch up to the network.
As you can see from our packshot below, our review unit took a knock in transit – expect your box to come without a “front-crease” feature!
The Linksys WRT 8-Port Gigabit Switch itself is designed to very closely resemble the WRT1900AC. If anything, it’s actually slightly larger (taller) than its partner, but retains those same classic blue and black detailing and muscular lines.
The consistency in design extends to the front indicator panel, which uses the same style of illumination to denote power and an active Ethernet connection.
In a great touch, the rear of the WRT includes a manual switch to extinguish the front LED indicators – the WRT1900AC allows its indicators to be switched off via its browser-based management console, so those that have done this will be very pleased to see the feature included on the WRT switch too. Of course, as an unmanaged switch, there’s no management console available on the WRT, so a physical button is required.
Completing the rear line-up you you’ll find the expected 8 gigabit Ethernet ports, alongside a power input and a physical I/O switch.
From the images above, you may have noticed indentations at each corner of the switch. It’s designed to stack below the WRT1900AC router, saving space on the desktop. Alternatively, its feet include the same wall mount screw holes as the WRT1900AC, although again, no screws accompany the switch in box. Stack the two devices and they’ll look very mean indeed.