Getting Connected: My Search for the Perfect Ethernet Splitter at OfficeMax

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How I Found the Ideal Solution to Connect All My Devices

Have you ever felt like you just don’t have enough Ethernet ports on your router or modem? With so many wired devices in our homes and offices these days, from smart TVs to game consoles to printers, it can be a real challenge getting everything hooked up to the internet. I recently found myself facing this very issue and started researching Ethernet splitters to expand my network connectivity. That search led me to the vast selection of splitters available at OfficeMax.

After browsing their inventory online and even visiting my local store, I am happy to report that OfficeMax offers a fantastic variety of Ethernet splitters to suit any need. From cheap basic models under $10 to high-performance gigabit splitters over $100, they have the products, prices and brands to get any job done within budget. I’m excited to share everything I learned during my quest to find the perfect Ethernet splitter at OfficeMax!

Evaluating the Different Types of Ethernet Splitters

The first thing I discovered is that not all Ethernet splitters are created equal. There are a few different configurations to consider based on your needs:

  • Ethernet switch vs. splitter: An Ethernet switch acts as a control center, allowing you to connect multiple devices while managing the network traffic between them. A basic splitter just duplicates the signal to multiple outputs without any configurability.
  • Powered vs. unpowered: Powered splitters boost the Ethernet signal, allowing you to preserve speed and quality over longer cable runs. Unpowered models are more affordable but distance is limited.
  • Number of ports: Of course, the number of ports determines how many devices you can connect. Choices range from modest 2-port models up to 10-ports or more for large networks.
  • Gigabit capability: Gigabit models maintain full high-speed connectivity, while 10/100 models limit you to lower speeds. This is important if you have gigabit internet service.

Comparing Ethernet Splitter Prices and Brands

OfficeMax really does offer an extensive selection of Ethernet splitters across a wide span of price points. Here are some of the brand and price options I came across:

  • Basic unpowered splitters under $10 – Brands like Dynex, Rocketfish and other OfficeMax private labels offer the most budget-friendly options. Just don’t expect advanced features.
  • Mid-range powered splitters from $25-$75 – Brands like TRENDnet, Tripp Lite and Belkin occupy this space, providing robust connectivity with extra power and ports. Great for expanding your home network affordably!
  • High-end gigabit splitters above $100 – Premium brands like Netgear, Linksys and TP-Link offer enterprise-level performance, blazing gigabit speeds and advanced configurability for large or complex networks. The price reflects the quality.

Can I Buy an Ethernet Splitter Online at OfficeMax?

Of course! I was able to browse their entire stock of Ethernet splitters right from my laptop. They offer free shipping on orders over $45, plus easy online returns. Many items are also available for in-store pickup within hours at my local OfficeMax.

I love having the option to research and purchase my tech online, then swing by to grab it on the way home. No waiting for shipping!

Discounts, Sales and Ways to Save at OfficeMax

Like any savvy shopper, I kept an eye out for deals on my OfficeMax splitter. Here are some of the money-saving tips I picked up:

  • Check for coupons and promo codes before ordering online. I found 10-15% off coupons on their website.
  • Sign up for OfficeMax Rewards to earn points with purchases. Points can be redeemed for discounts on future shopping trips.
  • Look for periodic sales, especially around holidays and during back-to-school season. I scored a brand new 8-port gigabit splitter for just $79 during a Black Friday event!
  • Ask about open box and refurbished merchandise for deep discounts. Just inspect carefully for any defects.
  • Buy OfficeMax store brands like Dynex and Rocketfish to maximize value. Quality is usually solid for much less.

Key Specs to Consider When Choosing an Ethernet Splitter

Once you decide which type of splitter suits your needs and budget, there are some key specs to evaluate:

  • Data transfer speed – Make sure it meets your internet plan’s bandwidth, especially for gigabit networks.
  • Cable length – A powered splitter will preserve signal for runs up to 300 feet, while unpowered models max out around 150 feet. Measure your actual cable runs.
  • Number and configuration of ports – Buy the exact number of ports you need, in the arrangement that fits your space best. Models range from 2 to 10+ ports in either horizontal or vertical layouts.
  • Supported cable types – Some models are optimized for common Cat5e or Cat6 Ethernet cable, while pricier models work with any cable type. Just match splitter specs to your cable.
  • Network standards – Any modern splitter will support typical standards like 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX and 1000BASE-T for various network speeds. Just check that yours includes the standards you need.

Setting Up and Using an Ethernet Splitter

Once you’ve purchased the perfect Ethernet splitter from OfficeMax, how do you install and use it? I found the process blissfully easy.

  1. First, place your splitter near your modem/router in a location where all connecting devices can reach it with existing cables.
  2. Use an Ethernet cable to connect from one LAN port on your router to the “IN” port on the splitter. This feeds the incoming internet signal into the splitter for distribution.
  3. Run additional Ethernet cables from each “OUT” port on the splitter to the devices you want to connect.
  4. That’s it! Each connected device should now have live internet access through the single router connection.

If you arranged your cables correctly during Step 3 so that adequate length reaches every port, you don’t even need to move any furniture or relocate devices. Just plug in and surf!

Of course, always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific model for proper setup and usage guidance. Most Ethernet splitters truly are plug-and-play, but it never hurts to consult the manual.

Will an OfficeMax Ethernet Splitter Meet My Networking Needs?

This was my biggest question as I evaluated Ethernet splitter options for my home office setup. With the spectrum of brands, specs and price points available, I knew there MUST be an OfficeMax model suited for my needs but how to determine what those needs were?

I took measurements of the distance from my modem to potential device locations to understand my cabling requirements. I took stock of the number of wired devices I wanted to connect, from computers to a network printer to a smart TV.

Most crucially, I checked my current internet speeds to ensure I chose a gigabit-compatible splitter that wouldn’t bottleneck my high-bandwidth Fios connection. After that assessment, it was clear I needed an 8-port powered gigabit splitter for under $100.

Lo and behold, thanks to OfficeMax’s broad assortment, I discovered the perfect match – a TRENDnet model for only $79.99! And from the user reviews, I could tell it was a quality product that would handle my networking needs with aplomb.

So in short – yes, OfficeMax absolutely carries the right Ethernet splitter for your requirements, whatever they may be! Just know your network environment and let their selection do the rest.

Helpful Shopping Tips for the Perfect OfficeMax Ethernet Splitter

Based on my journey to upgrade my home office network via an OfficeMax Ethernet splitter, here are my top tips for choosing the ideal model:

Know your devices – Carefully consider which devices you need to connect and their requirements, like if they have gigabit capability or not. This determines how many ports and what speed splitter you need.

Measure cable runs – You don’t want to buy an unpowered splitter only to find your long cable distances bottleneck your speeds. Factor in all cable lengths from router to each device.

Buy for flexibility – Consider getting a splitter with more ports than you currently need, preferably gigabit-compatible. This leaves room to add devices without replacing the splitter.

Check user reviews – Pick a reputable, highly-rated model from a quality brand to minimize any issues. See what existing customers have to say.

Confirm needed standards – Ensure any special networking standards like PoE for power-over-Ethernet devices are supported by your chosen splitter.

Consider tech support – OfficeMax offers decent customer service if issues emerge. Prioritize brands known for their support resources to make your life easier.

Know the return policy – OfficeMax allows easy returns for non-working or incompatible splitters. Save time and headaches by confirming return terms just in case.

Time to Upgrade Your Home or Office Network!

Well, there you have it – everything you need to know to find the perfect Ethernet splitter for your needs at OfficeMax. Their broad selection of brands, configurations, ports, speeds and price points ensures you can upgrade your network connectivity affordably and effectively.

I’m thrilled with my new splitter from OfficeMax and finally have my home office devicesnetworked exactly as needed. As an added perk, setup was a cinch with the device-specific guidance provided in the manual.

So don’t put off solving your multi-device internet access issues any longer! Head to OfficeMax online or in your neighborhood to check out the Ethernet splitters available right now. I sincerely believe you’ll find the ideal model meet your networking requirements, whatever they may be.

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