NETGEAR Switches Room for Improvement

Josh Duguid
Systems Consultant at DBI Systems
Since this is my first time working with this specific switch interface, the interface was pretty intuitive. The only area I found a little bit confusing was how they separated IGMP. So IGMP integration could be found both in the switching area of the switch, but also in the routing area of the switch. Therefore, it wasn't super clear which of those did which. As a beginner with the switch. it was a bit confusing at first to know, for example, "Where do I need to set this up? If I'm doing this, why does this work, and why doesn't this work?" Otherwise, the interface of the switch is pretty simple. I just found the IGMP a bit convoluted. I was able to reach out to another guy who had used this particular switch in the past. He sort of explained some of the nomenclature that NETGEAR uses to explain things. It's just different from some of the other (especially lower-end) switches that I've worked with. It is just finding out how people explain their particular way to doing things. The IGMP specifics of the web management console could use a bit of clarification. This is sort of a specific thing. Every switch manufacturer has their own idiosyncrasies, like managing Dell switches for QoS, I find to be really weird. However, QoS on the NETGEAR was brilliantly easy and super self-explanatory. 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. This is a very common feature on other managed equipment, like control systems, projectors, and certain power management devices. These have that email notification built into them. A use case that I can think of is say somebody accidentally cuts an uplink wire between two switches. It would be fantastic if your core switch or one of the other switches could notice that disconnect and fire on an email to the manager, or the client, saying, "Hey, we've detected this problem. It happened at this time and date." Instead of having to run around the building trying to find out why things aren't working, you could have that information from a service standpoint ahead of schedule. View full review »
Jaret Carlson
Owner at Alpha Tech
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. But if we're talking about a scale of one to ten, as far as hassles go, where ten is a huge hassle, it's been a two. It would be nice if it came in a couple different colors. Right now, they're just white. Some customers want the whole black setup, they want everything to look black and to be black and these only are offered in white. I had one customer not want it because it was white. View full review »
reviewer1296177
UC Deployment Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
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. This would benefit a lot of our technicians, though if you have a lot of networking experience then the settings make a lot of sense. The very common settings are easy to use. However, some of the more advanced concepts are where it gets complicated, so a wizard for users would make those easier. Therefore, the only area they need to improve on is creating a wizard to help with some of the more advanced features. View full review »
Learn what your peers think about NETGEAR Switches. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: February 2021.
465,836 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Kevin Westcott
Network Delivery Architect at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
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. The only true con for NETGEAR is they are known more for residential applications, wireless routers, wireless pieces, etc. They don't have the reputation of a Cisco or Extreme on the enterprise side. That is the only real "X" against them right now. They have a business portfolio but they are not ranked as high as a Cisco or Extreme piece. They are working on this, as they don't have the name brand loyalty or recognition in the enterprise space that the other vendors have. View full review »
Chris Stowe
System Engineer at Diversified
I have noticed one thing where we have taken up the multicast group interval time. We have needed to increase that setting. What we found happening were streams would stop until they were reestablished. By taking up multicast group interval time, it resolved that issue. There has been talk in the roadmap from my conversations with the NETGEAR product development guys about a more streamlined web interface that is more friendly to audio visual personnel, such as general technicians. It would be comparable to a package type web interface. That is one of the conversations that we have had that would be beneficial to having a more streamlined web interface. Something that we have also spoken about were VLAN profiles. E.g., preconfigured VLANs that would have a multicast traffic configuration applied where you can select a VLAN that is already preconfigured for standard 1 Gigabit IGMP based video, and then another VLAN that is configured for Dante audio. That is beneficial to where you can check port by port or VLAN by VLAN, enabling a specific protocol. It naturally sets QoS settings as well IGMP settings for that VLAN according to the type of traffic. Another thing that would be a big ask is audio video bridging (AVB). 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 »
Jeff_Cooper
Information Technology Manager at King + King Architects
The feature to change settings on the switch needs improvement. I understand why it's there, I can change the settings on the switch and I have to actually hit save to lock them in, otherwise, on a reboot, the changes revert to the earlier settings. I've forgotten to hit save a couple of times. It should have more of a big red obvious "You need to hit save" button to lock your changes in; that would have been helpful. There were a couple of times where things suddenly stopped working and I realized it was because I rebooted it and undid what I just fixed. The web interface has been a little sketchy on occasion. Sometimes I have to reload the page to get things to show up properly, but the switch itself seems fine. The web user interface is a little wonky at times. View full review »
Mike Assel
Solutions Architect of Digital Media at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
One thing I have asked for, something that NETGEAR lacks that I would love to see — and from what I understand it's in the works — is a REST API to programmatically interface with multiple switches. That would be a great feature. View full review »
Keith Hanna
Independent Consultant at a tech company with 1-10 employees
My one issue with it is that not all the features of the switch can currently be managed via the portal. For some of the more advanced features, you still have to configure the switch. We tend not to use those features, so it's not a problem. It's coming along. Quite regularly, the platform is being updated so those features are definitely coming. Every month or two, when I log in, there are new features available online. So we can start to implement the features that, historically, we'd have to go to site to implement. They're not features that are critical to our use. It's the wireless access-point aspect and some of the routing capabilities on the wireless access point that I'm referring to. For example, the peer-to-peer bridging isn't available. You have to configure the access points directly for that. View full review »
Boas Hochstrasser
Chief Technology Officer at Genesis Technologies
NETGEAR's web interface describes settings with names and sentences which are different from other switch manufacturers. Therefore, you must figure out what each one does before you can use it. If you compare it to Cisco, for example, their web interface is a bit more intuitive. The web interface could also be improved when it comes to multicast settings. Especially, that IGMP is spread to “Switching” and “Routing“ is confusing. At first, it is unclear what needs to be setup where. Support for IGMPv3 querier would be appreciated. Currently, only a version 2 querier can be sent by the switches, which is a bit outdated, since version 3 has been on the market for a few years now. Cisco does support querier version 3 in their small business switches. The ‘how-to’ guides could do with some improvements. We got in trouble following the stacking and Dante set-up guides. If these would have been accurate, we would not have lost three days. View full review »
Jay Bretzmann
Reseach Director, Cybersecurity - Industry Analyst at IDC
The solution is standard and doesn't really offer anything special. It would be ideal if the switches were labeled so that when you looked at them, you'd automatically recognize the voltage. One of the issues with these products is that they're not really made for a rack or anything. The packaging is pretty straightforward. It's a box. Once you get five cords plugged into it, the box starts to move. It would be ideal if they could ensure it didn't shift around. It should have something to stabilize it, such as proper stabilizing feet or something of that nature. View full review »
Reviewer478057
Chief Technology Officer at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
It looks like they're going to come up with an auto-config, so if it's a slightly different switch, when you plug them together they will auto-recognize each other. Also, if they could come up with ways to look at metrics on it while the video is capping through the system, that would be nice. There could be some interesting uses for that, but it's a long way off. View full review »
reviewer1485975
President at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
The technical support could be more helpful. View full review »
Learn what your peers think about NETGEAR Switches. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: February 2021.
465,836 professionals have used our research since 2012.