An eight-port Ethernet switch for small office LANs fits in a pocket

An eight-port Ethernet switch for small office LANs fits in a pocket

BY William Jackson

GCN Staff

Compex Inc. has designed two compact networking devices for building or expanding small office LANs.

The five-port NetPassage 15 router lets up to 253 devices share a single IP address over high-speed cable and digital subscriber line connections. The dual-speed, eight-port Pocket Switch 22088 Ethernet switch is small enough to fit into a pocket.

The NetPassage 15 accepts Ethernet output of a cable or DSL modem and does Network Address Translation to manage private IP addresses provided through the Dynamic Host Control Protocol. Five 10/100-Mbps autosensing ports can connect up to five devices directly, sharing one Internet account and high-speed connection.

Bandwidth available to each device depends on the number using the connection at once. Chen Mun, the Anaheim, Calif., company's chief executive officer, said performance is best with 50 or fewer devices.

Mun said the $279 NetPassage 15 has primitive firewall capabilities. Packet filtering lets only specified types of packets pass to or from the Internet, and Net access by each IP address can be controlled. The device is configured through a Web interface by pointing a browser to the factory-default IP address.

The $199 Pocket Switch 2208 is the smallest full-duplex, eight-port Fast Ethernet switch on the market, he said. It has a nonblocking architecture and store-and-forward switching, and it supports address learning, migration and filtering. Via an uplink port, straight cable can cascade to another switch or hub.

'The problem was not getting the electronics in, it was getting the heat out,' Mun said. Compex put a small fan on the 6-watt chip, and the power adapter is external rather than internal.

Contact Compex at 714-630-7302.'

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