Sometimes, when I’m on a client site, I think that it would be really useful to have an Ethernet switch with me but generally they are too big to carry around (even my excellent NetGear DS108 hub is a bit on the chunky side). Then, last week, I spotted one of my colleagues using a small network switch, about the size of a packet of cigarettes, with four ports (plus uplink). It turns out to be a GS-SW005 10/100Mbps switch from Gigabyte Technology. Now I’ve got one and it’s great! Although it is supplied with a DC power adapter, it was the USB power cord that sold it to me, meaning one less power supply to carry around. I got mine from Scan Computers although for a Â£24.68 item I thought Â£10 for shipping was a bit steep (and even the Â£24.68 is a bit high considering it is also available in Australia for just AUS$20).
One word of warning – the product no longer appears on the Gigabyte Technology website, so it may have been discontinued; even so I would certainly recommend it to anyone who frequently needs to create ad-hoc networks for PC builds, demonstrations, or when working in a meeting room with only a single live network port.