What to Recommend for Home Switching

Hello Tom and everyone here in the Forum!

I hope this message finds everyone well!

I’m about to start into a rebuild project at home of the home data network. I’m doing this because here in Ontario, Bell Canada has finally delivered Fibre Optical Ethernet to everyone’s home in my region. I think in the end I’m ready to make the jump to 8.0GBps fibre. It’s only $120/month CDN - so it’s pretty decent pricing for what we are getting (full, synchronous 8.0 GBps - that’s a lot of seed for a house the two of us).

So that’s what’s driving the reasons that I’m coming to the Forum with my questions. At work we only sell HP/ProCurve/Aruba. It’s just good stuff. We do sell D-Link in situations that aren’t too big and where budget is a major issue. Data switches have REALLY gone up in price over the decade.

I was just curious what switches people would recommend?

Here are the requirements that I can think of right-off-the-bat:

  1. I will probably need a 24 port switch
  2. Minimum 1GB interfaces
  3. I will need ~12 of those interfaces to be either PoE or PoE+/+
  4. I would like some option for fibre GBICs or away to connect the fibre directly to the switch using an uplink port.

I can’t think of anything else I would want. I obvious want to add a WiFi (6) WAP to the network, preferably from the same switch vendor. I will probably have 4-10 VLANs on the data switch and several of those VLANs will need to be broadcasted (i.e., VLAN 10 - VoIP Wireless Phones). Or a VLAN for Guest Access (I usually call this SSID/VLAN “Hotel Guests” and people instantly go to it). Ideally because I’m getting 8.0 GBps from Bell, I wouldn’t even object to having a separate VLAN & SSID for “Guest Off Property”. Because I have hide speed, I can add in a credit card processor on that VLAN and SSID and may some of my neighbours wouldn’t mind paying for access to that incredible Internet access speed. This last point is just an odd thing to maybe do, but just trying to find a decent switch that handles all of that.

So as I say, I’m looking for suggestions. I’m pretty sure I will have a pfSense firewall. Not sure if it will be the Community Edition right away or if I’ll just buy a full hardware box, licensing and T-Support? I don’t mind spending money if, if it’s for a good reason.

The question all comes down to this:
Q: What data switch(es) would you recommend for a residential property? I’m very attached to Aruba’s 2600 and 2500 series, but I don’t know if I should be looking at D-Link or Ubiquiti? Ubiquiti seems to have a nice story, but when I spoke with some folks at distribution about warranty they said “it’s better to trash them and buy new ones then to try and repair the issues in most cases.” Just wonder what people are thinking and what they would suggest? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated…

Thank you so much!

You could probably buy a real nice Cisco switch on eBay unless you are wanting new hardware.

If you are looking at ubiquity then I can say that i have deployed this at different customer locations and if the device is in warranty then it’s really simple to submit an RMA and it hasn’t failed us yet. But you will need a controller to configure it.

Just a few suggestions.

Netgear doesn’t get any love in this forum, it has an ancient GUI and doesn’t get many new models. However, if you buy the Pro version most have Lifetime warranties ! This saved me last summer, the fans packed up in the UK heat, within four days I had a new unit.

It will meet your stated needs, once configured you’ll hardly ever look at the GUI.

Personally if this is going to be your main switch I’d opt for a 48-port then you can wack in multiple LAGGs and not worry about running out of ports. Though I have seen in the last few years prices have gone up, my switch has gone up by 50%.

Have to admit after buying that switch I had found FS.com they have nice looking switches with a modern GUI but a touch expensive for my budget.

I’d say if you like Aruba and can afford them, stick with it. There’s a lot to like in that product line.

I think next time I redo my switching, I’ll be looking hard at Mikrotik. There’s a steep learning curve, but their RouterOS is ridiculously powerful. I’m running one of their 10Gb switches at work and I love it.

Mikrotik, Netgear, FS depending on money.

Old Cisco 2960s with the D option will have 10gbps connections. 2960s 24 or 48 PD-L this gives POE+, two 10gbps SFP+, and gigabit ports. There are some Mikrotik and Netgear that might have multigig also with a couple SFP+ that might be nicer (newer).

All the said, you will want a 10gbps capable firewall/router or you won’t be able to enjoy the speed.

Compared to the Extreme XOS I’m working with right now, Mikrotik Router OS simple and logical. The only issue I have is the CPU in all Mikrotik stuff is underpowered compared to stuff that costs 3-4 times more, same with RAM. But I have two of the CRS309-something-something 10gbps SFP+ switches, and can’t complain about function or programming ease.

Ubiquiti is probably going to be the easiest to find help, so maybe that’s a choice.