SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- NETGEAR®, Inc. (NASDAQGM: NTGR) ( www.netgear.com), a global networking company that delivers innovative products to consumers, businesses and service providers, today set a new bar for the networking industry by expanding its switching solutions ( netgear.com/business/products/switches/) with a full range of the industry's first announced affordable 10 Gigabit Copper (10GBASE-T) switches for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), government agencies, educational facilities, and other networks supporting fewer than 500 users. NETGEAR is introducing three new switches with groundbreaking price points, ranging from the lightly managed ProSafe 8-port 10 Gigabit Plus Switch (XS708E) for small networks, to the ProSafe 12-port 10 Gigabit Smart Switch (XS712T) for small and medium-sized networks, to the ProSafe 24-Port 10 Gigabit Copper M7100 series Managed Switch (XSM7224) designed for enterprise and campus-style networks supporting up to 500 users. NETGEAR's new 10GBASE-T offerings range from as little as $125 per port to $250 per port on the top end, in stark comparison to the most aggressively priced 10GBASE-T solutions currently on the market, which can cost $415 per port or more. "It's good to see that NETGEAR is offering a switch with 10 Gigabit for entry-level situations," said Eric Lindeman, a solution consultant with ETC Distribution BV in the Netherlands ( www.etcdistribution.nl). "I look forward to the massive speed upgrade and how the network will perform as a result." Today's announcement greatly expands NETGEAR's leadership in future-proof networking technology innovation in 10 Gigabit switching. The new copper switches join the NETGEAR ProSafe 24-Port 10 Gigabit Stackable L2+ Managed Switch (XSM7224S) successfully launched in early 2011 that leverages 10 Gigabit fiber to enable businesses to accelerate their data centers to enterprise-class speed, with far less cost and complexity than traditional enterprise vendors ( netgear.com/business/products/switches/fully-managed-switches/10-gigabit/XSM7224S.aspx#). With the introduction of the new 10GBASE-T switches, NETGEAR becomes the first networking solutions provider to bring more affordable 10GBASE-T solutions to sub-500 user networks to alleviate performance bottlenecks and deliver a fast and seamless response to unpredictable bandwidth demands. The company now offers a complete portfolio of cost-effective 10 Gigabit copper and fiber switching solutions ( www.netgear.com/10gigabit/) for networks ranging from a few employees to medium-sized businesses and government agencies with remote branches and campus-style networks. According to Crehan Research, ( www.crehanresearch.com/), a market research and consulting firm focused on data center switch, server and storage networking, 10GBASE-T switch shipments are expected to see a forty-fold increase over the next five years. "Thus far, 10GBASE-T switch market penetration has been relatively low. However, the arrival of affordable, lower-power products in conjunction with the uptake of 10GBASE-T on servers should propel much broader 10GBASE-T switch adoption," said Seamus Crehan, president of Crehan Research. The network performance bottleneck caused by the growing demand for bandwidth to support intensive new applications, combined with the proliferation of data replication and the widespread adoption of server and storage virtualization in small and medium sized networks, is driving the deployment of 10 Gigabit solutions for network connectivity. 10GBASE-T, like other BASE-T technologies, uses the standard RJ45 Ethernet jack, a connection form factor not only common on switches but also normally integrated onto servers, workstations and other PCs. BASE-T usually runs up to 100 meters, on the widely deployed, twisted pair copper cabling such as Cat6A and more recently Cat7, which is far easier to adopt than 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) fiber. 10GBASE-T technology is also backward compatible, auto-negotiating between higher and lower speeds, thereby not forcing an all-at-once network upgrade. With Crehan Research predicting that the number of servers with 10GbE ports will represent a majority of servers shipped in 2014, 10GbE has finally reached the tipping point of availability on servers. The next step in adoption requires affordable price points for infrastructure, to put 10GbE in the realm of possibility for smaller networks as well as medium-sized enterprises, government agencies and educational facilities with evolving networking requirements.