I have a client with about 30 computers. Upgrading technology hasn't been a priority at this location for a few years, but we're working to bring things "up to speed" so to speak.
The network infrastructure consists of a Cisco RV042 VPN router (with a 4 port 10/100 switch), a Cisco/Linksys small business series unmanaged 24 port 10/100 switch, and two 5 port 10/100 workgroup switches (Cisco small business series as well if memory serves).
The cabling infrastructure is decent but I'm not sure if it's cat5 or cat5e. I need to check it to be sure.
The computers are a mix (about half/half) of older Windows XP workstations with 10/100 cards and some newer Windows 7 workstations with 10/100/1000 cards and a server with two 10/100/1000 cards (only one is active).
One of the workgroup switches bit the dust and needs to be replaced. I'm considering upgrading this network to Gigabit but will have to do it in stages because of limited funds. My question is, since I need to get a new workgroup switch, should I replace it with a gigabit switch?
Are the less expensive unmanaged gigabit switches (like a Netgear or similar) capable of negotiating slower speeds where the infrastructure isn't capable of it or am I asking for trouble dropping a Gigabit switch in there?
What are your real-world experiences with this? Do you have any recommendations on switches?
I look forward to your responses.