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Review QNAP Multigigabit Switch Eight 2.5 gigabit & Two 10 gig Ports QSW-M2108-2C & QSW-M2108R-2C


hey everybody it’s la inside and we’re taking a look today at a new switch from qnap this is their entry-level multi-gigabit switch it’s available in a rack mount version like this one but also a desktop version that costs a little bit less they are functionally the same even though they look very different and we’ll talk about the hardware differences in a minute now both of these incorporate two 10 gigabit maximum ports here on the right hand side and you have a choice between a regular old rj45 or an sfp plus connector and then you get eight more ports of 2.5 gigabit max which is a lot more than the one gigabit we’ve seen on similar switches from qnap we’re going to be taking a closer look at this one in just a second but i do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that this is on loan from qnap so we’re done with this it goes back to them all of the opinions you’re about to hear are my own no one is paying for this review nor has anyone reviewed or approve what you’re about to see before it was uploaded so let’s get into it now and see what this switch is all about now the price point on the rack mounted version here is 3.99 the desktop version costs a hundred dollars less at 299.

both the desktop and the rack mounted versions are the same but the rack mounted one here is built differently so this one has an all metal case versus the desktop’s plastic case it’s a little bit more compact here on the rack mountable version and then you have an integrated power supply here on the rack mounted version which is not on the desktop one that one has a separate power supply now this one is rack mountable but it’s only going to take up about half the size of a 1u rack so what they did is they included one of these spacer bars here and i’ll give you my overhead shot and show you how that attaches so basically you attach this to the side here and you’ll have this on the left or right hand side of your rack and then it will all come together there’s another little bracket that goes on the right hand side here they do offer you the ability to install two of these side by side in a rack if you want but you have to buy another one plus a special adapter to get both in side by side but it is definitely rack mountable even though it’ll look a little weird versus some of the equipment that goes the full length now the fan noise on the rack mounted version here is very minimal it does have

two cooling fans here in the back i did not get the desktop version of this in to review but i do own a very similar desktop qnap multi-gig switch that’s upstairs in my home theater room and that one is a little louder than this one at least in so far as its fan noise is concerned so i suspect if you’re looking for quieter fan noise you might want to spend a little bit more to get the heavier duty model but again it’s going to be functionally the same as the less expensive desktop unit both of these are running as layer 2 switches you can log into its web based control panel and configure each of these ports individually and i’ll show you how to do that in a few minutes you’ve got the two 10 gig ports here on the right hand side there are two ports even though you’ve got four connectors and basically you have a choice on each port between how you want to connect so if i plug in this sfp plus direct attach copper cable to uplink to my other equipment i will not be able to use this rj45 connector but i could of course decide to plug in an rj45 on this one so these two are treated as two different ports and then again you’ve got the 2.5 gig across all of these and of course if you have slower equipment it will auto negotiate the speed based on what you’re plugging in so if you’ve got a mixture of 2.5 and one gig equipment it will automatically figure out what needs to go where the maximum switching capacity of this is 80 gigabits there’s enough for each port on the switch it

is a 40 gigabit non-blocking switch now a little bit earlier we did a few tests of its performance we started off here with a 2.5 gigabit test to my computer upstairs off of one of those eight ports and as you can see here we were getting uh the speeds i was anticipating about 2.3 gigabits per second here which is about right given some of the overhead you deal with there we also ran a similar iperf test on the 10 gigabit ports here again running upstairs to one of my other computers and here as you can see we were getting the speeds i was hoping to get about 10 gigabits out of those two ports on the right hand side so all in it feels like it is working as advertised at least delivering the bandwidth that we expect now a lot of folks have been asking me what’s the value of 2.5 gigabit ethernet right now especially given that you can get devices like this with 10 10 gigabit ports the short answer is cost this is a lot less expensive with eight 2.5 gig ports and two 10 gig ports than some of these switches out there configured with 10 10 gig ports and if you’re using laptops that just have gigabit ethernet installed it’s not all that expensive to upgrade them to 2.

5 by getting a relatively inexpensive usb 2.5 gig adapter you can get thunderbolt adapters to go faster for computers that have thunderbolt but

those are a lot more expensive just like the 10 gig switches you’ll plug them into so i think at the moment 2.5 is kind of the sweet spot you can more than double your bandwidth without breaking the bank you buy some inexpensive usb adapters you can use existing cat5e wiring even over longer distances and you’re good to go and the results are pretty clear when you start playing around with it so for example during our live stream the other day we had a file transfer here coming off of my nas that was only running at a gigabit you can see that we’re transferring a video file at about 112 megabytes per second not bad but when we switch over to a 2.5 gigabit connection you can see that your potential speed goes way up here we were clearing 200 megabytes per second and change because we had the bandwidth now yes 10 gigabits is going to be a lot quicker i’ll show you that real quick we’ve got my laptop’s thunderbolt adapter which is pretty pricey plugged into the qnap switch here and what i’m going to do is switch over to that computer’s desktop we’re going to copy that same file we were demoing a second ago and as you can see we’re getting close to a gigabyte per second just about uh transferring that file upstairs it goes a lot quicker but you’re going to spend more on equipment to get it there at that speed and if you can afford it great but i think for a lot of people going to 2.5 might be good enough qnap is making a lot of 2.5 gig stuff now including network attached storage devices we just got in one for review

that has two 2.5 gig ports on the back with the option to upgrade it to 10 down the road and in many cases network attached storage devices are running on spinning hard drives which may not be able to get up to that transfer rate we just saw because i was copying a file off of an ssd equipped computer to another ssd equipped computer that can handle the disk throughput that a spinning drive might not so there’s a lot of reasons why you can get away with 2.5 gigabit now save some money and get a lot of speed advantages too so let’s jump into the web-based control panel by the way there is a management port on this if you wanted to go in directly but i found connecting over the network and using the web browser to be the easier way to go for me now what you can see here is that we’ve got two things connected at the moment i’ve got my 10 gig uplink here going out to the rest of my network and then i’ve got my laptop here connected on this port you get a real-time traffic monitor so you can see what each of the ports is doing so if you’ve got somebody that is transmitting a little too much stuff on the network you can track them down what i’m going to do real quick here is just switch my 10 gig device over to one of the 2.5 gig ports and this will of course negotiate that network adapter down to 2.5 and if we jump back to the control panel here it should update there it goes and you can see now that that one is lit up and this one is now freed up and again we can keep an eye on all of the traffic going back and forth now over here on port management you’ll get a list of all of your active ports and what those ports are up to and the speeds they’re connecting at so you can see we’ve got a 2.5 gigabit full duplex connection on port 3 which is this one right here with the blue cable and port 9 is what we’re up linking to the rest of my network at 10 gigs and there you go you’ve got that showing up there too port statistics will give you an idea as to how much data is getting transited both to and from your devices plugged into the switch so that

might be helpful in certain circumstances i also like that you have an errors option here so you can see if you’re encountering any errors on your network especially if you’re trying to push some 10 gig over some cat5e maybe a little bit too far it might show itself in there with the error screen here so that’s nice to have over on port configuration you can configure each of the ports manually if you want i’ve got everything set to auto that’s been working fine but as you can see here on one of the 2.5 gig ports you can force it down to one gigabit or even 100 megabits port 9 and 10 which are the 10 gig ports will run at 1 gigabit per second minimum but you can also lock them in at 2.5 or 5 if you wanted to turn them down a bit again it’ll automatically negotiate usually to the maximum speed that your network adapter supports vlans are just that vlan tagging that you can set on each port if you want so i could go ahead and tag a port here and type in its vlan id and assign it to that one if you want to go that route this of course will work with other manufacturer’s equipment also provided everything is tagged properly you also have the option for link aggregation where you can link ports together so for example if i wanted to set up a group here lag group one i can go and edit that and tell it which ports i want to aggregate together now you do need to have equipment that supports link aggregation that you would connect to those two ports and for example we could connect that qnap nas that i talked about a little bit earlier because it has two 2.5 gig ports that i could link together and that would give us a total of five gigabits of potential bandwidth hooked up to the switch occupying two of those ports if we wanted to do that so that’s a good amount of link aggregation options you have there you have some other things here like rstp and lldp you also can do some igmp snooping if you want to keep an eye on some packets running across your network and you’ve got acl and qos features as well so you’ve got a lot of configuration options in here something we would expect on a managed switch the

username though is locked in at admin as far as i can see and i haven’t figured out a way to change the username you can very easily change the password here in system settings but the username is locked as admin and i would prefer to have something other than admin for my network hardware just given that it’s such a default thing these days but beyond that i think it’s a pretty solid switch here from qnap pretty affordable gives gets you in the door for multi-gigabit connections again the 2.5 stuff isn’t all that expensive to support at this point the usb network cards are very inexpensive as are the pci express cards you can back haul at 10 gig you can connect another 10 gig device if you want then you can get all your other stuff connected here at two and a half times the speed you had before that’s going to do it for now until next time this is lon sideman thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the london tv supporters including gold level supporters chris allegretta tom albrecht mark bollinger sergio morales mark dell jim callagher and steven sue if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to lawn dot tv support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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