NETGEAR Switches Valuable Features

Josh Duguid
Systems Consultant at DBI Systems
We did a deployment where we were running about a 10Gb video endpoint sources, so we were utilizing a much larger amount of backplane bandwidth than we were used to using. We used the 96X as the core switch, then stacked it with the other single gigabit switches. So, knowing that the 96X had more than enough of backplane bandwidth than anything we could throw at it now or in the future, makes us confident that we were going in the right direction. Not to mention, the 96X was one of the only switches that I could find that would do 10Gb with POE over copper, which was a hard fast requirement for our job. Honestly, getting the 10Gb to work was simple. Just follow good termination practices in terms of your fiber and your copper, then it worked flawlessly. For us to have a system where we can run a 4K video source virtually anywhere in a building without having to worry about really expensive matrix switchers, etc., this is the way AV is going in the next little while. In this project, we knew that we were ahead of the curve, and there was no chance of running into bandwidth limitations, or anything like that. It wasn't a feature that I knew I would need, but once we deployed it, it came in very handy. You can stack different models of switches. The fact that we can stack the 96X, which is the modeler switch for 10Gb cards or 40Gb. We can stack that with the 1Gb PoE 48 port switch. 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. View full review »
Jaret Carlson
Owner at Alpha Tech
The remote management has been awesome. With the old-school style of switches, you actually had to be on the LAN, plug into it - you could get in remotely but you had to go through a computer and have other trickery to get in. 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, so it's pretty awesome for an IT company. It saves time which means more profitability. It's super-easy to use and deploy, probably one of the easiest managed switches I've ever used. I can have it pre-programmed and configured right through the web interface before I even plug it into the customer's site. By linking it to the account and doing the configuration, when I plug it in and turn it on at the client's site it gets the configuration automatically. The web portal is really awesome. I've had to troubleshoot one out of eight, so that's a pretty good ratio. It's a brand new product, so we haven't really sold tons of them yet. The troubleshooting has been pretty easy because we do it remotely and we can reboot the whole device remotely. The only time it has become a problem is when there were multiple failures. We did have one case where the internet had gone out and it was just that the router needed to get rebooted, but we couldn't do anything to the switch because their internet was down. I had to go out there. View full review »
Kiersten Saltwick
VP, Accounting and HR at Parrish Consulting
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 newest release, where we get to schedule firmware updates, is another extremely useful feature. The firmware updates are great for us because we can schedule them in off-hours for the business and at times where we'd rather not be physically at the office waiting for a switch to update. Those two are the features we use most. But they have a lot of features, all the way down to port-level insight, seeing which ports are being used, what's happening. Cable Test is another one. We haven't used it that often because we haven't had a need to, but it's nice that that feature is there. 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 which 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. They also have a great app. It's something we've had to get used to using. Most IT professionals are already on our computers and it's easy to use their computers. But the app is great and easy to use, and it has pretty much all the same functionality. Overall, it's easy, once everything is done correctly and you've gotten to the right firmware. On a scale of one to ten, the ease of use is a nine. I'm not the most IT-literate. Technically I'm the CFO and I do tech work on the side. But it's incredibly easy. It's really straightforward. I don't know how to describe it in any other terms. It's just user-friendly, even for those with little to no tech experience. You don't need to know command lines in this user interface. It's very mouse-friendly. You can just drill down by clicking on things like ports, etc. I don't think you need to be an IT expert to use the Insight Cloud Portal switches. It's really straightforward. They have a lot of warnings if you do something you're not supposed to, like set up a networking loop. That makes it really great for people who aren't familiar with how to support networks. If you set up a networking loop, that will take down your whole network. Even if you've caused that, it will keep your network up so you can look at the alert and find, "Oh, that's a networking loop," and unplug it and stay on track. This is really user-friendly for people new to networking or for small businesses that are trying to support themselves and that don't have internal IT. I think this would be really easy for them to use. When they came out with the Insight Pro Edition, a lot of the MSPs were really happy because it allows us to support multiple customers in the same pane of glass. I can have different customers, and different locations under those customers, but keep them so that the customers don't see who else we support. View full review »
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Ryan Baskharoon
Operations Manager at DLL Technologies
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. The switch itself actually works fantastically. Getting into it works well, the console works well. The console user interface is very easy. A "question mark" is the big key to that whole console. If you don't know anything, it actually walks you through what to look for and how to look for it, when you're in different sections of the console. Besides the modules, the software and the web interface, are actually very easy to use. They make life, programming, and everything very simple. View full review »
UC Deployment Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
I find the flexibility they offer to be the most valuable feature along with the wide range of features that they have for its price. 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. My experience with the High-Bandwith AV over IP functionality so far has been very positive. I haven't run into many issues with their switches passing a lot of high bandwidth communication across the switch. We have had projects that are pretty small and others with 80-plus devices. Regardless of the size, it works once setup and is stable too. Expandability is an easy feature for these switches that works fairly well. View full review »
Kevin Westcott
Network Delivery Architect at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
NETGEAR solutions are very easy to use. The command line language and structure are very similar to what Cisco has. They have a fairly intuitive GUI for their system. Also, their command line structure is very similar and straightforward in its programmability. 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 »
Jess Holderbaum
Senior System Administrator at a agriculture with self employed
* Network monitoring * Ease of programming for VLANs, etc. Also, 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 »
James McCabe
President at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
The cloud management is the reason I switched to them, although the regular NETGEAR product line that I've used would be less expensive. I love the cloud management feature.` They are easy to use and deploy. The deployment can be done through the direct interface of the device or through the cloud management if that mode is selected. But 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 - even though most small businesses do have static IPs, you do run into some that don't - is nice. They initiate the contact to the outside world, without requiring a static to get in. The switch has been really easy. Anybody who has been in the business can hop on there and change stuff right away. View full review »
Eric Gorman
Owner/CTO at a tech services company
Two of the most important features are the ease of monitoring and setup. The setup is a breeze with the Insight switches and monitoring of the Ethernet switches for our clients through, in our case, the Insight Pro account, is also a breeze. NETGEAR has made it really easy to deploy these devices because you just put in the serial number and the system dials home and finds the right account to be attached to. I can set up and preconfigure everything for my client in the Insight Pro interface, put the serial numbers in, so when we bring these things online, they can go home, they can get their configuration, they check in, and do all that stuff automatically. And through the Insight product line, you can push the settings down to all your Insight devices. For example, we have one client that has three Insight switches and when we make a change to their network - for example, we have to add a VLAN for whatever purpose within the organization - 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. I really love the remote management as well. 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. I have technicians and engineers who work for me and support my customers. 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 using the app on his phone. He can figure out what might be the problem and actually even solve the problem without the issue having to be transferred back to the main office to have someone else address it. 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. I can start to dive into it and look at, "Okay, what's the throughput on this switch?" I can then quickly identify, "Well, there's something attached to this switch that's causing a flooding of the network," for example. I can then actually identify which port it is and then address it quickly. View full review »
Chris Stowe
System Engineer at Diversified
* The new IGMP Plus is a handy feature. There is no configuration out-of-the-box to be able to pass a multicast video. This is probably the most beneficial feature of it. * The web interface is nice. * The overall usability of the switch seems to be going well. * One of the things I like most is the different variations in models. We have 24 SFPs and 24 copper ports (24 by 24). The flexibility of that switch is really good for our medical systems use case. 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. The cost and ease of being able to roll out similar implementations of specific use cases is very beneficial. Plus, the ease of setup with the IGMP Plus feature to naturally support what we do on a daily basis is a huge benefit. View full review »
Hans Mertens
CEO at a tech vendor with 11-50 employees
Remote management is the most important thing for us. And monitoring, of course, allows us to see when something is wrong with a client. We get notified that an access point is down, for instance, or that there are too many clients on one access point, so that we can log into the portal and manage the solution with the client instantly, from either a laptop or a cell phone, with the Insight app. That's the most important feature for us. I also find it very easy to use and deploy. I have a few colleagues who aren't so involved in technology and they can set it up pretty easily with a cell phone or with a laptop. They scan the serial number or the QR code on the device, it gets automatically assigned to a client, an Insight portal, and the configuration and firmware updates happen automatically. It's very easy to use, very easy to config. You just to put in the configuration once, and all the devices that you scan and assign to that client or that location will be updated and installed automatically. The remote troubleshooting is easy to use, intuitive. The alerting is very clear. It's very apparent when you have an alert on a device. It comes to the foreground and it says that device has an issue and then you can directly look at the issue of the device. The Facebook login is very important for our clients. View full review »
Mike Assel
Solutions Architect of Digital Media at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
The most valuable feature is definitely the fully functional IGMP snooping and querier, out-of-the-box, that the switch provides. With most if not all switches that we've worked with previously, at a minimum you have to enable a couple of different options. With some switches there are several things that you have to enable. It can be cumbersome for AV techs who don't have much experience working with switches to configure those things, and difficult for them to troubleshoot. It's really a good feature to have that stuff enabled and fully functional out-of-the-box so that they don't have to worry about configuring any of that stuff. Overall, the switch is very easy to use. Because they have the IGMP fully enabled out-of-the-box, in most cases an AV technician won't even need to configure anything on the switch. But in the event that they do need to configure it, their switches have a really nicely laid out, consistent web user interface that I think is pretty intuitive and easy to use. The AV over IP works great as long, as the network is configured correctly. If you don't have the IGMP querier and snooping set up correctly, you can very easily flood the network to the point where it becomes unusable. Also, especially when you use multiple switches, you have to be very aware of how much bandwidth you need to connect the switches together. The SDVoE also works great. It's just another type of AV over IP, so again, as long as you have all of the multicast stuff set up correctly, and the appropriate bandwidth between switches if you're using multiple switches, it works great. SDVoE is very easy to use. You get all of the value of being able to put AV on the network and all of the flexibility of it. So far it's been pretty easy for us. And the warranty is one of the most compelling aspects of the NETGEAR switches. Other manufacturers would charge a lot of money for the exact same warranty that is included in the price of the switch with NETGEAR. View full review »
Keith Hanna
Independent Consultant at a tech company with 1-10 employees
The most valuable feature is the Insight application itself, with its ease of management. Also, the remote management tools are fantastic. The combination of the webpage as well as the app makes life so much easier. I don't need to go and visit sites to do upgrades or any sorts of changes. The firmware can all be deployed remotely. I can see the traffic on each of the switch ports remotely as well, so I can see if we've got problems, down to an individual port. It's very granular. It's easy to use and deploy. It's just a simple case of assigning a switch to one of the already-configured network offices. Then, as soon as the device pairs up, it downloads the configuration and it's good to go. It's very simple. The management tools are very straightforward. They're well laid out in terms of the concepts, and configuration and adding new devices are very easy. It's very straightforward. View full review »
Developer with 11-50 employees
The most important feature is the failover, the LACP links. That's the dual set it allows. We have redundant core switches and, if one fails or one network adapter fails, the other one can take over without problems. You have to know a bit about networking of course, but for me the ease of use is about a nine out of ten. View full review »
Boas Hochstrasser
Chief Technology Officer at Genesis Technologies
* The stacking feature * The web interface, which makes it easy to use and set up. * The support for SDVoE * The 10GbE port speed It provides the ability to stack switches together, and this is a huge time saver! Having one interface to configure the complete system, especially when it comes to VLANs, helps a lot. This administration is something that is time consuming when all switches need to be configured individually. Thanks to stacking, you have VLANs available on all switches, and you can just select what you want. Since it has a web interface, it is easy to set up. You don't have to take three years of training somewhere for a lot of money. View full review »
Principal Consultant at a tech consulting company with 1-10 employees
The most valuable feature is the fact that Insight is cloud-managed. The whole reason behind it is that there is one central place to manage it. You can pre-configure everything and you can get access to it without having to get onto the client's network. That makes it easy to use and deploy. Remote troubleshooting is good and easy. View full review »
Chief Technology Officer at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
The High Bandwidth AV-over-IP functionality of these switches has been fantastic, especially in leaf-and-spine. We've been able to build redundancy and they seem to outperform even the Cisco Catalyst, which is about twice as expensive as the M-series switches are. The price-to-performance for the M4300s is phenomenal. It's the best-on-market. We also like the ease of set up. The setup on them takes less than 15 minutes. They're fantastic. On a scale of one to five, the ease of use is a five. The warranty rates a four or five out of five. It's a good warranty. We don't have any problems with the product, so we don't think about it. View full review »
Darwin Sellers
Owner at a tech services company
The ability to manage them is the big valuable feature. The ease of use is great. It's very cost-effective. All my guys know them. They're pretty consistent across the platforms. There are some inconsistencies but, for the most part, they're pretty darn good. They are something all my guys are familiar with at this point and they work very well. They're guaranteed for life, covering all the things that you don't think about until something happens. It is consistent and that means a lot. The interface doesn't change a lot and that's important. When you get a new management interface all the time, it makes it tough. View full review »
Greg Corlett
System Administrator at Brigham Young University
* The price, and for the most part it has been reliable. * Their enterprise-class switches have a way to go with their CLI as compared to for instance Cisco, etc. This is I think due to a lack of maturity in this market. View full review »
Find out what your peers are saying about Netgear, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Dell EMC and others in LAN Switching. Updated: February 2020.
406,860 professionals have used our research since 2012.