Switch purchase advise

  • Hi,

    This past spring I decided I'd outgrown my ASUS AC68U home router/access point.
    Research led me to decide to use pfSense. I read the forums for a while and decided
    to build a QOTOM i5. Since then I have swapped out the ASUS for the QOTOM and at the
    advise of some of the senior members here added a UniFi AC-Pro access point.

    I feel I now have a level of familiarity with pfSense and the UniFi AC-Pro to take
    the next step. I wish to replace my old Cisco SLM2008 switches with current technology.
    While I'm told these switches can do the job they are going on 11 years old and are
    far beyond being supported by Cisco. I've read thse forums and the UniFi forums until
    my eyes bleed.

    I'm asking for advise on 8 port smart switches with at least one POE port per switch
    preferably 4. I will need the firmware to be somewhat "idiot" proof when setting up
    VLANS and such. After all this reading I've done I realize I probably qualify for
    this requirement. I'm  leaning towards Cisco SG200-08P or the Ubiquiti US-8-60W.
    Both of these are within my price range and I can implement then one at time rather
    than purchase all at once.

    Thank you for your advise.


  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    If your going to go unifi for your AP.. why not go with the unifi switch, this way the controller you run for your AP you can also manage your switch with.

    Saying that I am a huge fan of the cisco sg300 line.. But prob a bit more than your willing to pay.. But the sg300-10 (not poe) can be had off amazon for $135..

    If you only have the 1 AP the need for POE is not really worth it.. Just use the power injector.  If your plan is adding more POE devices like more AP or Video Camera's etc..  Then yeah POE might be worth the extra $ they cost.

    Also keep in mind that the 60W does not do passive (24v) poe.. Some the unifi products use this..  Now from my understanding the LR and Lite models have been updated to be be capable of dual poe and support both the 802.3af or at..  Have to look for the little blue triangle on the box if your going with LR or Lite in the future.

  • The Zyxel GS1900-HP is a good intermediate switch between consumer and business.

    You can search forums for more info.

  • @johnoz, @belt9,

    Thank you for your time and input. I do appreciate it.


    I will be adding another AC-Pro downstairs and did want to power it via the POE. The existing AC-Pro is currently powered by the injector that came with it and I can power it either when when the project is done. The odds of me powering anything else via POE are slim but would like the have that option to start with.

    Is passive POE (24v) just a Ubiquiti thing or is this some new emerging standard?

    I did look at the SG300-10 and the cost is at the high end of my budget but not out of the question. I did read up on it but eventually decided against is as I wondered why I'd need a L3 switch. The thing is I need 13 ports upstairs and 5 downstairs. So I'd either need to purchase two 8 port switches and the SG300-10 or just the three 8 Port switches.

    I am planning to replace the Intel NUC I dedicated for the UniFi controller with one of their Cloud Key devices as the Intel NUC is just overkill for that purpose. So I'd be heavily invested in the Ubiquiti brand.


    Thanks for your input but I have narrowed it down to the two vendors mentioned in my OP.


  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    The 24passive is not really an emerging standard at all.. Unifi had a lot of their devices that used it.  But going forward I think they are going more to standard.. So you can power their devices with any normal poe switch.

    As to the SG300 and L3 support, maybe you don't need it - but then again 6 months down the road you never know.  Does not hurt to have more features in your switch then you currently need.  I don't currently use the L3 of my sg300.  But its nice to know its there if I want to leverage it at some point or even just play with it to help someone else do some.. IE it increases your lab capabilities.

    You will be hard pressed to find a switch at that price point that has the feature set of the sg300 line..  But if budget is your concern, and your going to have limited need of poe.. Getting something like the unifi 60w and then just their non poe switches prob a good solution..  And if your going to go their cloud key, might as well be able to manage all your switches and AP from there..

  • Thanks again for the advise @johnpoz, @belt9. I decided to start with a Cisco SG200-08P and a SG200-08. I can add another SG200-08P or SG300-nnP later. Boxes are on big brown truck. I've no doubt I'll have further questions once I open them.


  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    I would of went with the unifi US-8-60W.. Looks like the sg200-8p is more expensive by a few bucks on amazon and only supports 32w vs 60w for poe.  And only supports 16 active vlans?

    But there is an old saying "Nobody ever gets fired for buying cisco" ;)

  • John,

    I did look hard at the Unifi-8-60W. I did note that the extra cost of the Cisco and less POE power.
    The deciding factor was that I got a deal on these at about 40% than what Amazon was advertising
    them for. If I do decide to get the SG300-10PP later and it looks more like I will go that route my
    contact can get it for about the same discount.

    I'm upgrading the firmware as I type this. I will say this, there's a LOT more stuff in the WEB GUI
    than was on  my old SLM2008's.


  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    That is a big discount ;)

    How much of a discount can you get on the sg300?  Any way to help out a fellow pfsense user ;)

  • @johnpoz:

    But there is an old saying "Nobody ever gets fired for buying cisco" ;)

    … or IBM :)

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