NETGEAR Switches Pros and Cons
NETGEAR Switches Pros
The ability to mix and match is invaluable. So, we didn't have to run massive super extensive switches in the data closets where it wasn't necessary. Being able to manage it all from one place, as all your network configuration settings went live across your entire building from one management console was really handy.
You are not limited in terms of stacking ports, and especially, if you're using the 96X as a core switch, the scalability, I could see this being very large. If you're using a type of a hybrid topology with a core switch going out to multiple switch stacks, or something like that, I could see the scalability of this being very good, especially considering the kind of backplane switching capacity on the 96X.View full review »
The cloud management has just been huge for us. We have 80 clients and they all have switches... With the cloud-managed Insight ones... we know more information without having to do complicated SNMP traps. We get nice emails, we get a web interface, and we're not having to wait for our RMM tools to get SNMP traffic to notify us. We don't have to do complicated configurations.
With this, you literally just log in to a website, see all your clients, all your NETGEAR switches, and you can manage them all right there: the VLANs, powering on and off individual ports, rebooting the whole device, the firmware updates. Everything can be done remotely...View full review »
Their online portal is one of the most useful features. The portal is very user-friendly, so even someone with not a lot of tech experience can go in and see what's going on with the switch.
The remote troubleshooting is pretty easy. You can turn off a port that might have a network loop created, or where there might be a bad NIC card that is creating issues. Being able to turn off that port remotely is fantastic, instead of having to replace the whole switch. Remote management is really easy.View full review »
The most valuable feature to me is the modular side of things, being able to replace a module and a transceiver at our beck and call. If something goes down, or a piece of equipment is broken, I don't have to replace the whole switch. I can just replace the part that's broken or the part that is no longer working. I can get them back up and working within a matter of minutes, versus having to replace everything and reprogram everything. It's a huge time-saver.
As far as remoting into it goes, it is very efficient because I can do it from anywhere, through the remote software. I can get right into it, I can change settings really quickly, if a customer needs to add another device into it or if I need to make changes on the VLANs that we created.View full review »
Out-of-the-box, it works for our main use case. When passing multicast video across the network, our technicians don't have make any changes. Then, if we do need to make configuration changes for a custom scenario, the web interface is user intuitive so it's easy to use and change.View full review »
The big winner for NETGEAR is their modular switch: the 96X version. That is something that you don't see in the market anywhere else, except for Cisco who has it at a high level for a high expense. The ability to customize your own switch with their modules is a big plus for what we do in the market right now. Instead of having to piece together standardized switches, trying to make something work, or fitting the design into the mold, the modular switches are aware that you can make a mark in the industry because you purchased one switch and design with different modules added and removed later on for functionality.View full review »
Valuable features include network monitoring and ease of programming for VLANs, etc. I especially like NETGEAR because it's easy to teach system administrators how to use them, how to look at them, how to make changes to them without having the complexity of CLIs, but still having a CLI should we need it.View full review »
It's nice, if there is an issue, to be able to go in through the remote. The fact that the remote doesn't require a static IP... is nice. They initiate the contact to the outside world, without requiring a static to get in.View full review »
We have one client that has three Insight switches and when we make a change to their network... we can make the configuration change and push it down to all three switches at once. We don't have to individually log on to each switch to make the change.
One of the biggest benefits of the remote management is that it's easy to use and you can use it from a mobile device or tablet with the app they've developed... If one of my engineers is out in the field at a client and an alert comes in from another client, that engineer can take that alert and look at it in real-time.
The remote troubleshooting features provide a single pane of glass where I can see my all my clients' equipment. If they're reporting a problem, I can go to the Insight Pro interface online and I can bring up that client and I can see all their devices and the status of all their devices.View full review »
The ease of use of these switches is very good because of the Cisco CLI. If you are familiar with CLI, then you can configure the switch that way. It also has a relatively straightforward web interface. Using the web interface is good for beginners or people who aren't familiar with Cisco CLI. However, having a common command line interface method is great for some of our more advanced guys who are familiar with it.View full review »
NETGEAR Switches Cons
I would like an email notification in case of errors or failures. If it was possible for the switch to email out an error log or notification note, especially in cases where we have the switches offsite (on the other side of town), then if something was to go wrong, it would be great to know about it before our client goes to use it for a big event, and it doesn't work. While I know that it does do SNMP, which is sort of standard, in the AV world, that is not always an option for us. We are usually running our own little network box and don't always have access to an SNMP server. We may just have simple Internet access or something similar.
The IGMP specifics of the web management console could use a bit of clarification.View full review »
I'd like to see a little bit of slowdown on the firmware updates. They've been doing a lot of them. I don't know if that's just because it's such a new product line, but the firmware updates have been a little annoying because they've been coming once a week. For a switch, that's a little extreme.
It's worked for the most part, but we've had to power cycle a few devices. We've had to ask customers to manually power cycle them with the power cord, after some of the firmware updates. Their updating needs a little improvement.View full review »
Their old firmware was a problem for us and we're still working on it. It didn't apply correctly so it took about half of our switches offline, which meant we couldn't use some of the functionality like the firmware updates. Unfortunately with that firmware, which they've sorted out, if you don't go through all the firmware and make sure it's past that point and back online, that's an issue with them. It's something to cautious aboutView full review »
When the power does go out, or if we do a soft shutdown, some of the transceivers or the monitor don't recognize when it turns back on, so I have to physically unplug it and plug it back in and then it works. We're working with NETGEAR's engineers to figure out why that's happening.View full review »
An area for improvement would be creating a wizard that can do a lot of common stuff. Instead of having some manual configuration for common features, they may want to have a single wizard that could be put in place which would let you walk through creating multiple VLANs and different routes between VLANs in a wizard. Then, you wouldn't have to dig in so deep.View full review »
They need to continue moving forward with their consulting in the AV realm to find out what is needed. They are some differences in the M4300 line and the larger M4500 line right now. They could produce a 1 Gigabit variety that could be a bit cheaper that might fit into that, since the majority of the projects that we see are still in that 1 Gigabit bandwidth threshold. Along with that, a great option would be if it would provide the same modular ability on a lower level.View full review »
What I'd like to see is more compatibility with virtual stacking, so that 4300-series switches and 3300-series switches will actually stack together and that virtual switch stacks, themselves, are not limited to just six devices, so that they can create larger loops with more bandwidth and more redundancy.View full review »
There are some design issues on which they really missed the boat. The problem has to do with rack mounting them because the lights and jacks should all be on the front, and the power on the back. The way they did it makes it really difficult to use them in a rack environment, because when the lights are on the opposite side of the jacks... you usually can't see the back side of a rack. You can't get back there to see, so it's just crazy.View full review »
One area that has room for improvement, and I know NETGEAR is working on it, is adding more features to the products lines in terms of what we can manage through the Insight portal... not all Layer 2 or Layer 3 settings are there yet.View full review »
Being able to pass AVB traffic over these switches, that would be a huge add. There are not many switches out that support that. The GS728TP NETGEAR switches used to or still do support AVB, but it would be ideal if the 4300 Series could support it as well.View full review »