Gatermann sent me a link to something today, something whose existence shocked me.

Affordable gigabit Ethernet, from a mainstream, second-tier manufacturer.That manufacturer is D-Link. Their 8-port gigabit switch costs $130 at Newegg.com. It wasn’t even five years ago that I paid that much for a Netgear 8-port 10/100 autosensing hub. And it’s a real, honest-to-goodness gigabit switch, not one of those 8-port switches with 7 10/100 ports and just one 10/100/1000 port.

Meanwhile, Netgear is weighing in with gigabit NICs at $31 a pop.

Gigabit’s a nice-to-have, not a need-to-have. Yes, it’s nice for your network drives to be about the same speed as your local drives. No, it’s not necessary sharing an Internet connection and it won’t make the network printers any faster. But if you shuttle large files around your network…

If you get the feeling I really wish I didn’t know this information, you’re right. So I’m sharing my pain.

I can see this becoming very common in households, however. Gigabit means no one has to fight over who gets the monster hard drive. Buy that $250 300-gig drive, then put it somewhere, share it out, and map it on all the computers in the household. Then everyone gets the upgrade.