Web-Smart PoE Ethernet Switches
|1. D-Link Systems DGS-1210-10P||2. Netgear ProSafe GS110TP||3. Ubiquiti TOUGHSwitch TS-8-PRO|
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Non-PoE Web-Smart Ethernet Switches
|1. ZyXEL GS1900-16||2. TP-Link TL-SG108E||3. NETGEAR GS750E|
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1. D-Link Systems DGS-1210-10P Ethernet Switch
D-Link is a very successful Taiwanese Company that has been around for enough time to become a serious competitor for other networking manufacturers (like Cisco). It’s true that the company has been riddled by controversies, but it seems to have survived and we get new networking equipment to fiddle with every year.
Since switches are my main focus, I’ll have a look at the D-Link Systems DGS-1210-10P, a Web Smart PoE+ switch that features the D-Link Green technology (detects the length of the connected cable, so it can adjust the power usage, therefore saving energy, if you use shorter cables).
The D-Link Systems DGS-1210-10P doesn’t really stand out from the design point of view. You get the usual rectangular metallic case with the black matte finish and there are grey accents on the front. Since this isn’t a product that’s been released in the last couple of years, D-Link didn’t pressure itself to make a compact case, so, the DGS-1210-10P isn’t really small, considering it only has 10 ports (it measures 11.02 x 7.08 x 1.73 inches and it weighs 3.1 lbs).
This means that you may have some trouble if you want to put it flat out on your desk (especially if you opt for the 28 or 52-port variant). Thankfully, the DGS-1210-10P can be mounted on a rack, by using the included brackets. If the device will be put on a desk or shelf, don’t forget to add the four rubber feet and make sure that the unit gets enough space to ensure a proper airflow (the air vents are located on the left an right side).
It’s important to mention that the DGS-1210-10P is fanless (as well as the DGS-1210-10/20/28) which means that they run very quiet, but the DGS-1210-28P, the DGS-1210-52 and the DGS-1210-52P have a fan installed that turns on if a certain temperature is reached. Not much is going on on the top of the switch, except for the carved D-Link logo. The bottom side is equally plain, with only the label with the information about the switch.
The back of the DGS-1210-10P is home to a Kensington Lock, a Switch GND (a ground lift that can help to get rid of the noise from ground loops), a label with the S/N and MAC ID, and the Power port (100-240V AC, 50/60Hz, 1.2A MAX) and a Power Cord Retainer. The front of the switch is where you’ll find the 8 10/100/100Mbps Ethernet ports and two 10/100/1000 BASE-T/SFP ports (it’s used for fiber optic connections or as an interface for high-speed networking).
On the left of the ports, there is a Power LED, the PoE LED (that lights up if the switch reaches the maximum power budget – 78 W), the Port Link/Activity/Speed LEDs (blinking means that the switch is either receiving or sending data; if the light is amber, it means that the port is running on 10/100 Mbps, otherwise, if it’s green, it means that the port is running on 1000Mbps), the PWR Fail LED (if it lights up, it means that the switch PoE is connected to a power failure) and the PWR OK LED (a PoE connection to a proper power source).
Additionally, you get a couple of buttons, one for Resetting the switch (hold for 5 seconds to return to the default settings) and a button for choosing the Mode (press it to change the port LED to Link/Activity or PoE).
On the inside the D-Link Systems DGS-1210-10P is equipped with an ARM Cortex-A9 CPU clocked at 400MHz (Broadcom BCM56150), along with 128MB of DDR3 RAM and 16MB of flash memory (openwrt.com source). Although this is a 10-port switch, there is switching capacity of 20 Gbps.
As said before, the DGS-1210-10P is a Smart-managed switch, which means that you don’t get the complete control of a fully managed device, but there is enough configurability so it can’t be considered unmanaged. To sum it up, you get a small web-based utility so you can configure some of the options of the switch. In order to access this utility, you need to connect the switch to a computer using any of the 8 ports, open a browser of your choice and go to http://10.90.90.90.
Here, you will be asked to insert the password (by default, it’s admin) and you will be taken through some basic configuration process (Smart Wizard). Afterwards, you can access the main interface, which contains information about your device, information about the IP address and some quick configuration links (for RSTP, Port Mirroring, Storm Control, DHCP Client, Jumbo Frame, SNMP Status, 802.1X Status, Safeguard Engine, IGMP Snooping and Power Saving).
On the left, you can also choose the System (IPv6 settings, port settings, DHCP Relay), VLAN, L2 Functions (this feature includes the Port Mirroring, Spanning Tree, LACP (Link Aggregation Control Protocol)) and IGMP Snooping; there’s also the Loopback Detection and Cable Diagnostics), QoS (it can guarantee the quality of VoIP traffic by creating priorities), Security, AAA, SNMP and Monitoring.
The DGS-1210-10P is compatible with the following standards: IEEE 802.3, IEEE 802.3u, IEEE 802.3ab, IEEE 802.3az and IEEE 802.3x.
Note: Inside the box, you can find the D-Link Systems DGS-1210-10P switch, a Power Adapter, a Rack Mount Kit, the Rubber Feet, a CD-ROM with Product Documentation and a User Manual.
2. Netgear ProSafe GS110TP Ethernet Switch
Netgear is an American company that specializes in the production of networking products and over the years, it has managed to leave its footprint with products that remained reliable long after their release (like the Netgear Nighthawk R7000 router) and with the production of high-quality devices with the latest technology implemented. We already had a look at the NETGEAR ProSAFE GS108, an unmanaged switch that lacked in terms of PoE capabilities, but could deliver a stable network, so let’s also focus on the PoE smart managed switch series from Netgear, namely, the 8-port GS110TP.
The design of the GS110TP follows the same guidelines as the other switches on the market. You get a rectangular metal case, with a dark grey-blue finish and a yellow band underneath the Ethernet ports. Overall, the GS110TP could be considered a compact device (as it measures 9.2 x 4.0 x 1.0 inches and weighs 1.55 lbs), but newer 8-port switches are getting smaller and more compact every year. Still, because it is quite lightweight, the footprint has a role to play into the stability of the device (especially if you fill all the ports).
The default position of the GS110TP is horizontal, so it will easily fit on a shelf or desk, but, if every inch of your space is important (like in an office), then you have the option to mount the switch on the wall (the kit is included in the package). The top of the device is quite plain, except for the Netgear logo and model name and, if you turn the device upside down, you can find the four feet (don’t forget to add the rubber footpad), the two holes for wall-mounting and a label with info about the device (serial number, MAC address and the password – which is ‘password’ by default).
The front of the GS110TP contains eight RJ45 connectors for the 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet ports (all support IEEE 802.3af, Alternative A (MDI-X)), two 1000M SFP Gigabit Ethernet ports (interface for high-speed networking), a recessed Reset button to restart the switch (accessible with a paper clip) and a Factory Defaults button (to restore the device to factory settings).
Additionally, there are a couple of LED lights on the left for Power and PoE Max (that lights up a solid yellow colour when less than 7W of PoE power is available, otherwise, the LED is going to flash a yellow colour if the MAX LED was active the previous couple of minutes), one LED for each SFP port for Link/Activity and there are two LED lights for each LAN Ethernet ports: one for Link/Activity (if it blinks, it means that there is activity, if it’s yellow, then there is a connection of 10/100Mbps, otherwise, if it’s green, then there is a connection of 1000Mbps) and one for PoE Mode (green – PoE forward, yellow – PoE fault).
On the back side of the switch, there is the Power connector and the Kensington key. One thing that you will notice is that the device is silent. The reason for it is because it doesn’t have a fan and it relies on the vent holes from the back and the sides to maintain a proper temperature.
Inside the case, the Netgear ProSafe GS110TP is equipped with a couple of Broadcom BCM59101 controllers, 64MB DDR SDRAM (Nanya NT5DS32M16BS) and 16MB of flash. Furthermore, the GS510TP has a switching capacity of 20Gbps.
The smart switch features a small utility that helps you to quickly configure your device, called the Smart Control Center Manager (included on the Resource CD).
The Smart Control Access utility features four tabs: Network (click Discover to find all the Netgear switches on your network; after all the devices are discovered, you can configure the devices, open the Web Interface, change the password and reboot the connected devices), Maintenance (upload or download system configuration for every connected device), Tasks (shows any scheduled tasks) and Help.
From the Smart Control Center Manager you can go to the browser interface (you will be prompted to enter the password). Here you will be greeted by seven main tabs: System, Switching, QoS, Security, Monitoring, Maintenance and Help.
The System tab has the following sub-tabs: Management (IP configuration, DNS settings, Denial of Service, SNTP Global and Server Configuration and Green Ethernet Configuration – if the cable is short, less power will be drawn), Device View, PoE (here, you can control the PoE capabilities of the switch – priority levels, scheduling), SNMP, LLDP and Services (DHCP Filtering). The Switching tab features the following sub-tabs: Ports (Individual Configuration for every Port and Flow Control), LAG (Link Aggregation Protocol), VLAN, VoiceVLAN, Auto-VOIP, STP, Multicast and Address Table.
The QoS feature allows you to set priorities for every port or globally, for all ports, as well as classify the network traffic using the COS options. The Security tab gives you multiple levels of protection: Management Security, Access Port Authentication, Traffic Control and ACL. It also has 802.3af power-over-Ethernet (PoE) support, providing up to a total of 46W of power to connected devices, with a maximum of 15W per device. Each port can be powered down on a schedule and it has the maximum allowable power draw specified.
The Netgear ProSafe GS110TP is compatible with the following standards: IEEE 802.3 CSMA/CD, IEEE 802.3i, IEEE 802.3u, IEEE 802.3x (Full-duplex flow control), IEEE 802.3ab, IEEE 802.3z and IEEE 802.3af (DTE power via MDI).
Note: Inside the package, you can find the Netgear ProSafe GS110TP unit, the AC adapter (48V/1.25A), the wall-mounting kit, the rubber footpads, the resource CD and the installation guide.
3. Ubiquiti TOUGHSwitch TS-8-PRO Ethernet Switch
This isn’t the first Ubiquiti switch I had a look at, since the Layer 3 EdgeSwitch ES-24-250W is also part of the list, but, this time, I’ll have a look at a more ‘tamed’ switch, from the web smart managed family called the Ubiquiti TOUGHSwitch TS-8-PRO. As the name suggest, this is a PoE (passive) switch that is equipped with 8 ports, but the TOUGHSwitch also comes as an 5-port variant (TS-5-POE), which also has support for PoE.
As usual, Ubiquiti dislikes the plain, boring design of the average switch (just a rectangular piece of hardware with ports), so it always tries to break the monotony with some minor, but eye-catching details. This time, with the TOUGHSwitch TS-8-PRO, instead of the usual rectangular box, it has some chamfered edges on the left and right side of the device. Besides that, the case is black and the materials used are an unexpected combination of rubber and metal, making the switch looking surprisingly rugged.
Furthermore, the TS-8-PRO is made to easily fit on a shelf or simply, on the desk, measuring 8.2 x 7.2 x 1.6 inches and weighing 2.7 lbs, so, even though it looks smaller than the usual PoE switches, this device won’t budge no matter how many cables you connect to its ports. As expected, you won’t be able to mount the TS-8-PRO on a rack (because of its small dimensions), but, unlike the 5-port TS-5-POE, it does not have any holes for mounting the switch on the wall (there are some trays available on the market that allow you to mount the device on the wall if you’re tight on space).
The back panel of the TOUGHSwitch Pro is mostly occupied by a large area with ventilation holes (some additional ventilation holes can also be found on the lateral sides and on the top of the device) and a Power connector. It’s good to see that Ubiquiti made all the proper steps into ensuring a good airflow (there is no fan installed inside the case, it relies solely on passive cooling, so you won’t be bothered by any loud fan noises – the switch remains completely silent).
The front panel is the place with the most activity: from the left, there’s a Management port (it’s a 10/100 Mbps port specifically created for the management of the switch, but, of course, you can use it as an additional Ethernet port, but be aware that it doesn’t do well under heavy load and it comes with the 10/100 Mbps and no-PoE limitations), a USB 2.0 port (it seems that this port can only be used to power up devices, as it provides 5V of power), eight 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet PoE ports (the maximum PoE wattage per data port is 11.5W for 24V and 23W for 48V) and a small Reset button (hold the button for more than 10 seconds to return the device to factory default settings). Furthermore, every port features two LED lights, one for PoE (green means 24V PoE, amber signifies 48V PoE) and the other for Speed/Link/Activity (amber means an established link at 10/100 Mbps, while green means an established link at 1000 Mbps; if either colours are flashing, it signifies activity). The Management port has only one LED light which will be amber when there is Power and when there’s a 10/100 Mbps established connection.
Inside the case, the TOUGHSwitch PoE Pro is equipped with a Broadcom BCM53128 chipset (Atheros AR7242 MIPS 24K CPU clocked at 400MHz), along with 8MB of flash storage and 64MB RAM.
The installation process is as simple as it gets and all you have to do is connect the Power cord to the Power port and to an outlet, then use an Ethernet cable and connect it to the Management port and to the Ethernet port from your PC (to perform the configuration of the switch) and lastly, you can simply add any devices you want (including PoE) using additional Ethernet cables. After you installed the switch, you can now configure the device by visiting the Configuration Interface (type https://192.168.1.20 in your favourite web browser and enter ubnt for both username and password fields).
You can’t really complain about the UI, as it looks modern and doesn’t scare away new-comers with a flood of options: it feels intuitive and everything is where it should be. So, the interface features five main sections: Status, Device, Ports, VLANs and Alerts, each with its own window and set of options. The Status section displays a graphic representation of the switch, with all connected ports and the specific LED light, as well as the Total Throughput, the Status of the device, the Status of the Ports (as well as Port Statistics) and the Data Distribution between the ports.
The Device section also keeps the upper graphic representation of the switch and addresses the Firmware Update, it allows you to change the Management Network Settings, the Basic Settings, the Management Connection Settings, configure the Services, the Spanning Tree Protocol, the Jumbo Frames, access the Device Discovery, the System Account, the Device Maintenance and the Configuration Management. The Ports section consists of Basic Settings, Ping Watchdog settings, the Spanning Tree Settings and the Alerts for every TOUGHSwitch port.
The VLANs section allows you to Trunk Ports and configure Virtual Local Area Networks, while the Alerts section shows the Alert and System logs. Besides the main sections, on the right side, there’s also a Tools drop-down list which includes the MAC Forwarding Table, Ping, Traceroute and Discovery.
The TOUGHSwitch TS-8-PRO is compatible with the following standards: IEEE 802.1Q-based VLAN with 4K entries, IEEE 802.3x, 802.3, 802.3u, 802.3ab.
Note: Inside the package, there is the Ubiquiti TOUGHSwitch TS-8-PRO Switch, a Power cord and the Quick Start Guide.
4. ZyXEL GS1900-16 Smart Ethernet Switch
Besides TP-Link and D-Link, ZyXEL is yet another Chinese-based company that in a short amount of time, has managed to become a well-known worldwide networking products manufacturer (it commonly acts as an OEM). The company has its fair share of innovations, being the first to create an integrated voice/fax/modem, the first ADSL2+ gateway, the first Analogue/Digital ISDN modem and more.
I had the opportunity to test some of the ZyXEL products: an access point, a dual WAN VPN router, a powerline adapter and today, I will have a look at the 16-port GS1900-16 switch, that is part of the Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Web-Managed series.
Design-wise, the ZyXEL GS1900-16 is a small, compact device, having a metallic rectangular body, covered by a black matte finish. The last few years, there haven’t been many improvements in the switches department and the main differentiating factor seems to be the size of these devices. Fortunately, since the ZyXEL GS1900-16 is small (it measures 5.2 x 8.5 x 1.7 inches) and reasonably lightweight (2.1 lbs), you won’t really have a problem placing it anywhere in the room (on a desk or on a shelf).
Still, if space is important (especially when dealing with crowded business offices), ZyXEL offers the possibility to mount the switch on the wall (use the two screws provided in the box) and, additionally, you get the option to mount it on a rack (there are two mounting brackets included in the package to help you), just be careful to not obstruct the airflow of the switch.
The ZyXEL GS1900-16 relies on passive cooling, so it lacks the loud fans some of us have come to dread. On the left and the right side of the switch there are some vent holes that should ensure a proper ventilation, but bear in mind that the GS1900-16 does have a tendency to get a bit warm. The bottom side of the switch is home to four feet, two holes for wall-mounting and some labels (with the product name, model number and the power consumption).
On the front side of the ZyXEL GS1900-16, you can find the 16 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet BASE-T ports positioned in two blocks (at 100Mbps, the duplex mode can be both half or full duplex, while at 1000Mbps, there is only full duplex available). On the left side of the ports, there are two main LEDs, one for Power, the other for System (if it’s blinking, it means that the system is either rebooting or is performing self-diagnostic tests) and two arrays of eight small LEDs showing the LINK/ACTIVITY for every port (if the green LED is blinking, it means that the system is transmitting and/or receiving data from a 100/1000 Mbps network, otherwise, if it’s on, it means that the link to a 100/1000Mbps network is up and running).
On the right side of the ports, there is a recessed RESET button, accessible using a paper clip. On the rear side of the switch, you can find a Power ON/OFF switch and a Power port (AC input 100-240VAC 50/60Hz 0.25A MAX).
On the inside, ZyXEL has equipped the GS1900-16 with a Realtek RTL8382M switch controller and 64 MB of RAM. Furthermore, the ZyXEL GS1900-16 has a switching capacity of 32 Gbps.
Setting up the GS1900-16 is very easy, all you have to do is connect the switch to a power supply and add up to 16 devices using Ethernet cables. Additionally, ZyXEL gives you the option to configure your new created network using a Web Configurator. To access it, you have to go to http://192.168.1.1, where you’ll be prompted to insert the user name and password (admin/1234) and lastly, you have to click Login to access the utility. The interface looks modern and it can be divided into two main parts. On the top right, you can Log out, Save the applied changes to your network, access About and read the Help section.
The second section is a lot more complex, as there are four main tabs and each opens a new screen with personalized configuration options: Getting Start, Monitor Menu, Configuration Menu and Maintenance Menu. The Getting Start tab displays general information about the device (name, serial number, MAC address, CPU and Memory Usage and so on), the System Status, the Virtual Device (displays an image of the front of the switch and shows the active LEDs and connected ports) and the Wizards (Start up, VLAN, QoS and Link aggregation).
The Start up Wizard allows you to set up the IP/DNS and user name and password. The VLAN Wizard lets you create and edit VLAN IDs, as well as tag and untag VLAN for Ethernet frames. The QoS Wizard gives you a graphic representation of the ports and let’s you choose the priority of each of them (highest, medium or low). The Link aggregation Wizard allows you to create groups of ports.
The Configuration tab has a lot going on, having a very complex sub-menu: System (IP settings – IPv4 and IPv6; Time settings and Information – configure the system name, location and contact), Port (here, you can configure the port and EEE settings for each individual port, configure the Bandwidth Management and the Storm Control), VLAN (configure VLAN, Port and VLAN Port settings, as well as Guest and Voice VLAN), MAC Table (here, you can configure the MAC address, the VLAN ID of a attached device, as well as set up the static MAC addresses, add filtering MAC rules and configure the dynamic info), Link Aggregation (Global, LAG Management, LAG port and LACP port), Loop Guard (here you can configure the protection against the network loops that may occur on the edge of your network), Mirror, Multicast (here, you can configure different multicast features, such as IGMP snooping), Spanning Tree (configure the RSTP, MRSTP and MSTP in order to prevent network loops), LLDP, QoS, Security (Port Security, Protected Port settings, 802.1X and DOS settings), AAA and Management (here, you can configure the syslog, SNMP, HTTP/HTTPS, error disable and users and remote access controls).
The Maintenance tab allows you to manage the Firmware, the Configuration, the Diagnostics and gives you the option to Reboot the switch.
Note: The ZyXEL GS1900-16 is compatible with the following standards: IEEE 802.1Q, IEEE 802.1ab, IEEE 802.1p, IEEE 802.1x, IEEE 802.3, IEEE 802.3ab, IEEE 802.3ad, IEEE 802.3az, IEEE 802.3u, IEEE 802.3x.
5. TP-LINK TL-SG108E Ethernet Switch
The TP-LINK TL-SG108E is part of the TP-Link’s Easy Switch series, which offers a slight degree of customization, but not so much as to be considered fully manageable. As expected, TP-Link is an alternative to the more expensive switches from the market (like Cisco) and it aims to implement as much technology possible, while maintaining an affordable price. This makes the TP-Link switches perfect for home use or for small businesses.
From the design point of view, the TP-LINK TL-SG108E has the same rectangular metallic case, this time with a dark grey blue finish, but what attracts attention is that it’s incredibly compact, it’s not larger than a small book (or a VHS tape, if you remember those). It only measures 6.2 x 4.0 x 1.0 inches and it weighs 0.86 pounds (so it’s quite lightweight). Sure, it has rubber feet to stop the switch from budging, but, if you connect devices to all ports, you may have to pay attention to not position the device near the edge of the table (especially if you go for the 5-port or the 8-port version).
Since this is a small device, you won’t really have trouble positioning it anywhere in the room, but if you want to mount the switch on the wall, TP-Link made this option possible by adding two holes on the bottom of the device. Because of its reduce size, you obviously can’t mount it on a rack and the only unit from this series that is rack-mountable is the 48-port TL-SG1048.
As expected, the TP-LINK TL-SG108E does not have a fan and relies on passive cooling, so make sure that you don’t obstruct the vent holes on the sides. On the bottom side of the switch, besides the wall mounting holes, there is a label with printed information about the device (the MAC address, the Serial Number, the default IP address, the user name and the password).
On the front side, you can find a Power LED and the 8 10/100/1000 Mbps RJ-45 Ethernet ports (the connected cables must not exceed 328 feet). Each port has two LED lights on the top left and right side (if the LED light is amber, it means that it is connected to a 10/100Mbps device, otherwise, if the LED is green, it means that the port is connected to a 1000Mbps device). The rear side of the switch is occupied by a Kensington lock and the Power port.
Inside the case, the TL-SG108E is equipped with a Realtek RTL8370N Switch Controller (Layer 2) and 1MB of flash memory. The switching capacity of the TL-SG108E is 16Gbps.
The hardware installation is quite simple, you have to connect the switch to a power outlet, using the provided Power adapter and then connect it to a router (to access the Internet) and/or connect any desired clients to create a LAN network. Since the TL-SG108E is a smart switch, it does feature a configuration utility that is compatible only with the Windows OS.
In order to access the interface, you have to install the Easy Smart Configuration Utility. If you access the utility, you will be prompted to insert the user name and password in order to gain access to the main interface. Here, you can find six main tabs: System, Switching, Monitoring, VLAN, QoS and Help. The System tab has the following sub-tabs: System Info, IP Setting, User Account, Backup and Restore, System Reboot, System Reset and Firmware Upgrade.
The Switching tab consists of Port Setting (Speed/Duplex and Flow Control), IGMP Snooping and Port Trunk (up to two trunk groups, each with a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 4 port members). The Mirroring tab has the following sub-tabs: Port Statistics (Link Status and more), Port Mirror (ports that are part of a trunk group cannot be mirroring or mirrored ports), Cable Test (tests the ports and shows the cable fault distance) and Loop Prevention (if a loop is detected, the port will be automatically blocked in order to maintain the network running; it must be coordinated with the Storm Control).
The VLAN tab features the following sub-tabs: MTU VLAN, Port Based VLAN, 802.1Q VLAN and 802.1Q PVID Setting. The TL-SG108E supports 32 VLANs. The QoS tab has the following sub-tabs: QoS Basic (four priority levels), Bandwidth Control (you can set ingress and egress bandwidth limits for every port) and Storm Control (one limit to control possible storm traffic rates).
The TP-LINK TL-SG108E is compatible with the following standards: IEEE 802.3, IEEE 802.3ab, IEEE 802.3u, IEEE 802.3x and IEEE 802.1p.
Note: Inside the package, you can find the TP-LINK TL-SG108E switch unit, a Power cord, an Installation Guide, the Resource CD and the rubber feet.
6. NETGEAR GS750E Ethernet Switch
The NETGEAR GS750E is one of the best smart managed switches to choose if you want to take the next step from an unmanaged switch and to ensure that you have a reliable entry-to-intermediate-level solution for small businesses or even for home users enthusiasts. So, if you’re coming from an unmanaged switch, the Gigabit Smart Managed Plus Series will offer a lot more control over how your devices are connected to the network and a more flexibility to do some basic management (more so than your average web-smart switches).
On the other hand, if you downgrade from a fully managed switch, you’ll notice that a lot of features are gone and that there’s a lot more constraint over the management capability. That being said, the GS750E offers the essential networking features (such as QoS for traffic prioritization, loop prevention, VLAN support, Auto DoS prevention or IGMP snooping v1, v2 and v3 support for multicast optimization) but it does lack support for PoE – if this feature is mandatory, you could have a look at the Netgear GS105PE.
The NETGEAR GS750E features the usual rectangular, metallic case, covered by a light grey matte finish and on the front the switch barely tries to break the monotony by using a darker grey nuance to surround the ports. It isn’t easy to stand out of the crowd from the design point of view when dealing with enterprise-focused networking products, but nobody really expects them to, since people will value a lot more the built quality and the features of the GS750E than any other eye-catching unnecessary element.
The switch is well-built and reasonably compact, measuring only 17.3 x 8.0 x 1.7 inches; it’s not really lightweight though (weighing about 7.17 lbs), but once again, that’s to be expected for a switch with 48 ports. The device lacks an internal fan, therefore it runs completely silent and, since it relies on passive cooling, the GS750E features a series of vent holes on the left and right side of the case in order to maintain a proper airflow (I was a bit concerned when I saw that a 48-port switch does not have at least a fail-safe fan, but, so far, it did not give any signs that it could overheat even with all the ports connected – this usually happens with PoE switches, where a fan is mandatory). Furthermore, the device is equipped with four feet if you want to put it on a desk or shelf, but, it also has four holes on each side for mounting on a rack horizontally.
Now, returning on the front of the switch, you’ll notice a small Power Led on the left side, along with a recessed Reset button (which has the role of returning the device to factory default settings) and on the right side there are four blocks of 10/100/1000 Base-T RJ45 Ethernet ports (each with 12 ports, which makes 48, in total) and each port has its own LED light that has the role of showing the status of the connection: if the LED is solid green, then a valid 1000 Mbps link is established (if the LED is blinking green, then the port is receiving and transmitting data at 1000 Mbps) and, if the LED is solid amber, then you either get a valid 10 or 100 Mbps link established (flashing amber means activity on the port at 10 or 100 Mbps).
Further to the right, there are two additional SFP ports for fibre uplinks, each with its own LED light (Link/Activity): if there’s a valid 1000 Mbps link established, then the LED will be solid green, while if data is being transmitted or received at 1000 Mbps, the LED will blink a green colour; the LED it will remain solid amber as long as a valid link was established at 100 Mbps, while it will blink amber if the port is receiving or transmitting packets at 100 Mbps.
On the rear side, the GS750E has a Kensington lock and the 100-240V ~ 50-60Hz power connector (1 A maximum, the power supply is internal). On the bottom, there’s a label with info about the device (such as the model name and the MAC address).
Setting up the Netgear GS750E is pretty simple and intuitive, all you have to do is connect the switch to a power source and then add all the devices (in a plug-and-play manner), but, all switches from the Plus series come with a configuration utility (ProSafe Plus Utility) which allows some degree of management (unfortunately, it only works with Microsoft Windows OS). After you install the utility (from the resource CD or from the official website), you’ll be asked to choose the switch that you wish to configure and to enter a password for the device.
As a side note, be aware that the utility can be a bit slow at times. You can also access and configure the GS750E directly through the web browser–based management interface – you can access it by going to the IP address of the switch (it is 192.168.0.210 by default).
Note: In terms of performance, the switch features a 1.5MB packet buffer, it supports 4k VLANs, a 11.9 Mfps packet forwarding rate (64 byte), up to 9K Jumbo Frames an 16K dynamic MAC address table VLAN entries.
The interface of the GS750E has a top main menu with four options (System, VLAN, QoS and Help), each with its own set of settings. So, under System, you can visit Management (here, you can access and configure the Switch Information (includes enabling DHCP Mode), view the Port Status, configure the Loop Prevention, enable the Power Saving Mode and Broadcast/Forwarding), Maintenance (here, you can Change the Password, change the Switch Management Mode (Web browser Only or along with the PROSafe Utility), perform Device Reboot, return to Factory Default settings, perform Firmware Upgrade, set up the Access Control, Save the Configuration or Restore the Configuration), Monitoring (shows Port Statistics, gives you access to port Mirroring and Cable Tester), Multicast (IGMP Snooping – if you have enabled port-based or 802.1q-based VLANs, then you can specify a VLAN specifically for IGMP snooping) and LAG (allows you to configure the Link Aggregation between two managed switches and add ports under Link Aggregation Membership). The GS750E supports both port trunking and LACP groups (Link Aggregation Control Protocol) through IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation.
Under VLAN, you get two options: Port Based VLANs, 802.1Q (both with Basic and Advanced settings) and Voice VLAN, while under QoS, you get access to QoS – Global Configuration (where you can enable the 802.1p/DSCP-based QoS), Rate Limit and Broadcast Filtering (enable Broadcast Filtering and configure the Storm Control Rate).
Note: The NETGEAR GS750E is compatible with the following standards: IEEE 802.3az compliant, IEEE 802.3 Ethernet, IEEE 802.3ab 1000BASE-T, IEEE 802.1Q VLAN Tagging, IEEE 802.1p Class of Service, IEEE 802.3x Full-duplex Flow Control and IEEE 802.3u 100BASE-T.