Thinking About Getting A Managed Switch


Senior Member
It is getting to where everything these days has an IP address and network management is becoming a concern. Last night I had a short period of time where some sort of network storm was messing with my LAN and I realized that with over 200 addresses now reserved in my router table it is no longer practical to troubleshoot something like this by going around and unplugging things one to a time. 
So now I am wondering I replace my main 24 port unmanaged switch with a managed one if that would help me find issue quickly. I've never used a managed switch so I;m not sure what info they will tell you about real-time traffic at each port or how hard it is to dig it out. Ideally i would like to see a graphic where all active ports are green when operating normally and turn red when something connected to them is misbehaving so I can quickly zero in on the offending device. 
1 Will a managed switch do what I am looking for?
2 Is there a preferred brand for this purpose? 
Note I really don't need a lot of QOS or LAN segmentation features. I just need a way to quickly identify which switch port a misbehaving device is connected to.
Will a managed switch do what I am looking for?
Is there a preferred brand for this purpose?
Relating to work I came from a Cisco switch world. Airline migrated from Cabletron to Cisco in the late 1990's.
A few years back went to a TP-Link 24 port Easy fanless switch for my Leviton Media panel. 
I have three of these today and they are doing well.     
I have posted here and on the PFSense forum relating to these switches.    
Have been redoing a family member ISP  / Network connection stuff over the last few months and purchased the TP-Link Easy 8 port with POE switch.  It has the same footprint as the 8 port TP-Link unmanaged switch.  Just a larger power supply.
TP-Link seems to be the most popular option for folks who are not invested in Ubiquity Unify central management. I'll start looking at the managed 24 and 48 port POE offerings. Looks like there is a big price jump if you go with the largest POE power offering in each switch size so I better decide just how much POE power I am likely to need.
pete_c said:
You can also purchase off lease Cisco Gb POE switches these days for a good price. 
Used Cisco SG300 are not bad:
I had one, a Cisco SG300-10MP 10-Port, to feed cameras from and to have a separate VLAN for them. It may be an overkill though if you do not need PoE and VLANs.  Despite having web UI, it may be a bit challenging to configure especially if one is not familiar with VLANS.
I don't have any immediate need for VLANs or QOS. My main purpose is better LAN troubleshooting. I want to go with whatever gives me the most information about what each port is doing in the simplest format possible with a minimum of configuration. Ideal would be a graphic showing the port as red or green with a text tag if it is red explaining why. Probably no switch is that simple but I want to get as close as possible. 
Probably would be good to confirm it supports the old Spanning Tree Protocol that Sonos uses so it doesn't create any problems there.
Will probably get a 48 port as I am replacing a 24 port unmanaged HP switch plus three unmanaged 8 port POE switches that power 6 cameras and 6 access points. (I use three because only 4 ports on each hub are POE)
There will be downstream unmanaged  8 and 16 port switches on some of the ports off the managed switch. I don't know if down the road it would be worth while to eventually migrate those to managed switches also and if that is a possibility does it impact what switch I should be selecting as my main switch? Don't know if Cisco really gets me anything over TP-Link ?

Was also looking at this Netgear model:

Anybody heard good or bad about this one?
Don't know if Cisco really gets me anything over TP-Link ?
Not much these days.
The managed TP-Link switches have a easy to read fast GUI (and CLI) and includes STP and reasonably priced.
BTW testing new IP HD camera boards and noticed that the camera boards have Gb interfaces...first time I have seen this.  This is the combo RTSP, ONVIF and cloud app smart cams.  Very modular with standard add on boards for POE or WiFi or SD cards.
Geez you have an extensive network there Mike. 
pete_c said:
Geez you have an extensive network there Mike. 
Yes, I don't really know how that happened. Looking across the room at my A/V rack where I used to have a single network jack for a Roku box I now have a 16 port Gigabit switch with 13 ports in use.
Roku box
FireTV box
Amazon ReplayTV box
AV Receiver
DirecTV box
Blueray player
Echo Link
Sonos ZP120
Sonos ZP90 (on a separate household so needs its own network connection)
HTD Matrix Controller
Next to me at my desk is another 16 Port Gigabit switch with 11 ports in use
3 Computers
Hubs for Hubitat, Weatherflow, Hue, and Z-Net
Google Voice and Echo connect
Vortexbox Music Server
NAS and Printer
Blue Iris
So in this one room I use 25 wired Ethernet ports fed from 3 ports of my main switch. Other concentrations would be anyplace that has a TV because there is usually also a streamer or Satellite box (or both) and a Blue Ray player. The Phone room has Stargate, Elk M1, PBX, Voicemail, etc. then there are the 6 cameras and 6 access points on POE... it adds up quick!
I don't see any back plane bandwidth spec on these. With 52 ports the back plane could be a huge bottleneck as the most important speed rating.

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For TP-Link's 28 port switch see these specs which are OK...
True Physical Stacking technology supports up to 8 units and 320Gbps backplane bandwidth for high scalability and efficient redundancy
Maybe...just the web interface...dunno..long time ago only preferred to use the cli...nowadays all of the web interfaces are fast...
I think you will be fine...
First off, don't buy new.  Unless you are willing to spend $$$$, everything in a normal price range is going to be consumer grade equipment. There are so many used devices being sold on ebay for really cheap, it is much better to buy some used commercial equipment which will have a lot more management options.
I recently bought some used Aruba network switches.  a 48 port POE managed switch for my house and a Aruba 24 port POE managed switch for my parents house - both with a couple 10Gb ports each.  I think the 24 port switch was about $75 and the 48 port switch was $110.  Having POE is great for all my CCTV cameras and IP phones.
I haven't even gotten into breaking my network into different VLANs as I don't really see the need.  But all my equipment can handle it if/when I'm ready to do it.
Check out this forum for some good deals.  You may have to be a little patient to find a good network switch deal, but they come up pretty regularly and the people on their know what they are talking about.
I just migrated from Netgear (a Cisco brand) unmanaged to Ubiquiti managed. I like that I can see what my network's doing, even from work, and the cloudkey offers simple network management from anywhere, with very granular control.
A couple of thoughts:
1) If you try to buy the cheapest hardware possible, you might get what you pay for.
2) If you're thinking about Ubiquiti, depending on the size of your implementation and what you want to do with it, you may want to consider the dream machine. It has both a wireless access point and cloudkey and USG built in. I got the cloudkey gen 2 plus only because of added NVR function.
3) I have a US-24 24 port non-POE switch, and was surprised how much heat it produces. I would not have been able to install it in the Legrand 28 inch enclosure in the garage where I keep my unmanaged 24 port Netgear switch, both because of heat production and because of physical size.
Wow.  I had no idea that it's been a year since I bought those Aruba switches.  They have been working great and I haven't had any issues with them.  I run pfSense and have a half dozen VLANs configured.  I also have several POE cameras, a half dozen POE phones, and a couple Ubiquity USW Flex Mini switches being powered by the switch without problems.  There is still ample power available to add more.