8 port Gb/s vlan-aware home switch for $20? ($16.99 on 2020-01-27)

I found out about this from ChessMck on the Ubiquiti forums. Amazon currently has the NetGear GS908E vlan-aware 8 port (plastic case…) switch for $19.99 ASIN B076H9RQTW Tom, you should put an affiliate link to it.

I bought 2 and 2 TP-Link SG108Ev4 and am replacing all the dumb switches at home with vlan-aware switches.

Compared to the TP-Link SG108E v4

TP-Link SG108E advantages: a bit more flexible mirror port (but still rudimentary compared to MikroTik CSS106-5G-1S) If you want port isolation with a single uplink port, the SG108E has what it calls MTU vlan (Multi-Tenant Unit vlans), GS908E does not. Metal case, and smaller size. Easy to get to RJ45 ports.

NETGEAR GS908E advantages: You can name ports, which is useful when configuring vlans and for documentation. More “wife friendly” look (in case you want to put a switch in your bedroom on the nightstand). Has two USB charging (power only) ports. Power supply is beefy 12V 2.5A to support up to 20W for charging devices, but there were some complaints about it getting pretty warm, I assume when charging devices). You can turn the LEDs off, for example if in a bedroom. You can limit access to a specific IP address (but that really isn’t a security feature, more of a deterrent, since it is trivial to change a PC’s IP address.)

Neither of these inexpensive switches is good for a business where you don’t want exposed ports to have access to the management plane, but for learning about vlans, or in a home environment, I don’t see any big disadvantage over dumb switches (but do change the passwords). And neither supports CLI, and no secure communications (only http).

Neither support SNMP or allow you to view the MAC address table, which is a really useful feature when you don’t know which port and cable goes to another device you know the mac address of (from a bundle of cables, all looking the same), so tagging the cables with labels is still a good thing to do.

Both handle vlans, and the setup is similar and not well thought out in my opinion.

See Tom’s youtube video for SG108E vlan setup, here are some screenshots of the vlan-setup on the GS908E

First my chicken scratch diagram I used to setup the lab. Then the screen shots.





The above is an example of poor design, it shows vlans that the port is not a member of, but it offers all defined vlans.


but then gives an error if you choose one that the port is not a member of.

For $20 it gets my “buy for home or learning” recommendation (especially if you are on a budget).

Edit: 2020-02-01 Per @ChessMcK’s suggestion, Here is a photo with some of my lab network devices.

Back left to right: EdgeRouter X SFP with box and power supply, MikroTik RB260GS/CSS106-5G-1S with box and power supply, 11.5 oz (340 ml) beverage can for size reference, TP-Link SG108E with box and power supply, Netgear GS908E with box and power supply

Front left to right: EdgeRouter X box and power supply, Raspberry Pi 4B 4GB with box, 12 inch stainless steel ruler for size reference.

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Thanks! I bought the tp link happy with it so far. It was for home use and learning. So for $27 not bad at all. I like the $20 price point more but I am set for now.

That is a good price at $20

Oh, and if you are using vlans, and connecting to multiple dhcp servers, save yourself headaches and define a static ip address on these cheap switches (GS908E and SG108E). I am sure the SG108E broadcast DHCP discover on at least all untagged vlans, and sets itself to the first offer it gets (which can seem random). I didn’t do too much testing with the GS908E, I just set it to static ip before configuring vlans.

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@BuckeyeNet - Great write-up!

I’m not sure I could do as extensive of writeup as you, however I bought in a pinch a [DGS-1100-08] as a managed switch for home for one of the rooms. If was $42 – so about double the price of the switch mentioned here. There is no power ports, however the switch support SNMP and allows you to view the MAC address table. Its 802.1q aware and I don’t believe it supports CLI however I’ve never tried. I like the VLAN identification table better on the SG108E, however that’s probably b/c I find the VLAN identification tables so much different on DLink products compared to Unifi profiles.

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These cheap switches are good for segregating the “crap network” from the rest of the network with vlans, but they are not a replacement for a managed switch. But at the current price, I don’t see much advantage of getting a dumb switch (other than it is easier to set up, doing nothing is easier :slight_smile: ). It potentially could be less secure if you only take it out of the box and plug it in and don’t at least change the password (someone could use it to tap the port of another device using the mirror port feature).

TP-Link makes a better switch too, but it is around $50 (ssh, mac tables, snmp, https, standard RSTP) I don’t have one. My Lab switch is MikroTik CSS106-5S-1G, and it is very nice for network tap. It has no secure protocols though, and no cli. If you really want to learn something useful in the workplace, you should be using a switch you will find in use. And you really need to know at least basic Cisco IOS, since you will find that in many places. These can be picked up on ebay used cheap. You can even get Gb L3 3750s pretty cheap, but they are power hungry, loud and not something you would want in a living area.

How low can they go? Now $16.99. These appear to be closeout prices. I won’t be surprised it they will be dropping them soon. They (Netgear) have to be loosing money at that price.

I added a photo to the OP showing the relative size of the Netgear GS908E compared to several other networking gear I use in my lab. Other items include SG108Ev4, CSS106-5G-1S, ER-X, ER-X SFP, and Raspberry Pi 4B 4GB.

Price back up to $19.99 as of 2020-02-09