I thought I understood what a switch is, and bought a TP-Link 8-port gigabit switch (TL-SG108) thinking I could replace my (too slow) 8-port Netgear Prosafe VPN Firewall ( FVS-318) device for my wired home network (for Internet distribution.)
The Netgear Firewall device (I think acts as a router, with extra hardware firewall features), has a WAN port, and 8 other ports. It works, but is way too slow.
When I substituted the TP-Link TL-SG108 switch (thinking it would auto-sense which was the WAN port, it didn't. It didn't do anything (but display lights.) It does not distribute the Internet among the network drops (maybe it acts as a connector between machines in the network? I don't know, I didn't try that. I just want to get the Internet to all 8 drops (I'm sure I'll still have network connectivity between machines.) I did try unplugging both the cable itself and the power to the modem, as well as the switch, but no change. I can't remember if I rebooted the computers (I have tried the TP-Link switch several different times.)
I don't care about the VPN functionality (never used it.)
I don't (think) I care about the hardware firewall functionality (I have been told that ALL modern routers - and switches? - act as firewalls)
I need 8 ports for the wired home network drops
home system, low budget ($200+ solutions are just too expensive)
Please help me:
A.) understand what a switch does. I keep reading, but different sites make it confusing (and make it sound like it should work for me)
B.) recommend an inexpensive solution
C.) I also want wireless gigabit in my home, so please also recommend an inexpensive gigabit wireless router, that will be connected at one of the upstairs network drops (for best wireless coverage.)
Thanks in advance for any help! I feel stupid asking these basic hardware questions, but clearly I have misunderstood previous advice and information about what a switch is and how it functions.