Melco S100 Network Switch Stepping Up Your Network

Stepping Up Your Network

An eight-port Netgear unit, housed in a sturdy metal case, will set you back as little as £20 online. And, with the addition of a linear PSU (£15 or so) to replace the standard switching 'wall wart' in the quest for lower noise, this will do a reasonable enough job. Plug your music server into one port and your network player into another, and use a third port to connect to your Internet router to access streaming systems and the like, and chances are you'll get a better sound than you would simply using your router for all the connections.

It's also worth taking your ISP-provided 'hub' out of the routing equation completely, by switching it into 'modem' mode, and connecting it to a dedicated router. The latter could be as simple as an Apple Airport extreme, or one of the excellent models from the likes of Asus, DrayTek or Netgear, which will also give you extended Wi-Fi range – not for music playback, but for those vital control apps on which network music players rely. One final tip – avoid 'PowerLine' Ethernet solutions for, while convenient, they inject noise onto the mains. I've never heard a system that doesn't sound worse with Ethernet over mains in use!

Buffalo Technology
Supplied by: Audiophile Digital Music Masters Ltd, UK
01252 784525