A Salute to Netgear’s FS105

A shout-out to Netgear for the FS105. Those little switches were BULLETPROOF. It was a beautifully functional steel chassis that people could (and did) walk on. You could drop them on concrete floors, or forget they were there and yank a network cable and slam them into a wall. I had one client where I found a still-working FS105 under a pile of fabric that, as far as anyone knew, hadn’t been touched in years. They just wouldn’t die. They were just built… ya know? At one job we sent almost 650 of those things to clients, and I think we got 1 back DOA.

There’s no telling how many hundreds of thousands of these are stuck behind bookcases and filing cabinets in offices worldwide, still silently doing their jobs 15-20 years later. Hell, I noticed that my county’s voting setup still uses FS105s. And why wouldn’t they? If there was ever a device that’ll genuinely last forever, the FS105 beats even some of those late 1990s HP laser printers, or some of those old HP JetDirect boxes.

They’re the Voyager space probes of small office networking.

Netgear FS105

I still proudly use their successors – a 5-port (GS305) and an 8-port (GS308) gigabit switch – on my home network today.

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