Netgear FS726TP 24 port 10/100 Smart Switch – Product review


The Netgear FS726TP is a 24 port switch that supports a bandwidth of 10/100 Mbps in all ports for connecting computers and other network components. It has two gigabit ports which can be used to connect devices that require high bandwidth (like servers) and also for interconnecting multiple switches to form a 1 GE backbone network. The main advantage of the FS726TP switch is its support for POE (Power Over Ethernet – 802.3af) on twelve ports. So, you can use this switch at home/business if you have some POE enabled devices (like IP phones, access points, IP cameras) to be connected to the network.

It is recommended to use Cat5E cables (min) for 10/100 Mbps connectivity and Cat6 cables (min) for 10/100/1000 Mbps (1 GE) connectivity to get the advertised speeds. If you are a business, the two optional SFP slots can help in the future when you decide to implement optical fiber cabling for the network backbone. Since this is a rack mountable switch, it is a good idea to buy a small network rack and place the switch safely within the rack. Structured cabling is an option with rack mountable switches. There is a web-based management interface for this switch, which allows one to manage it from anywhere using just a web browser.

The Netgear FS726TP 24 port switch supports a lot of smart features or manageable switch features. It supports port trunking, to combine two or more ports to make one bigger (logical) port, it supports VLAN for segmenting a network into smaller parts so that the broadcast traffic is limited to a smaller domain (in large networks), it supports traffic prioritization so that real time traffic and important data can be given a higher priority while forwarding, it supports SNMP for network monitoring using an Network Management Software (NMS), it supports port mirroring that allows for recording of VOIP calls and monitoring network traffic, it supports rate limiting to restrict the bandwidth supported by each port. In short, the Netgear FS726TP supports many manageable switch features that might be useful in small business/large home network environment.

Important features of Netgear FS726TP 24 port 10/100 Smart Switch:

  • 24 x 10/100 Mbps ports; 2 x 10/100/1000 Mbps ports (copper)
  • 2 x optional SFP slots for fiber connectivity (requires additional modules)
  • Switching capacity: 8.8 Gbps
  • POE: 12 ports, 100 Watts
  • Web-interface for management
  • LED’s on front panel to indicate switch status/per port status – link, activity, speed status
  • Rack mountable, comes with rack mount kit
  • Manageable switch features: VLAN, port trunking, port mirroring, rate limiting, QoS, SNMP
  • Dimensions/weight: 17.8″ x 8.1″ x 1.6″/ 3 Kg

Advantages:

  • Two gigabit ports for high speed connections; 2 SFP ports for optional fiber connectivity in future
  • POE on 12 ports to power up access points, IP phones, IP cameras along with sending data (on the same cable)
  • Non blocking wire speed architecture: Lesser network congestion problems
  • Rack-mountable architecture
  • Many manageable switch features included, web based management interface
  • Password access control for switch security
  • Good price, especially considering the 12 POE ports provided by it
  • Plug and play installation

Limitations:

  • Has cooling fans. So, switch operation may not be very quiet
  • Only 12 ports support POE and hence more than 12 POE enabled devices cannot be connected

The Netgear FS726TP 24 port 10/100 smart switch is a great option for homes/businesses which have some POE enabled devices to be connected, along with regular computers. The price offered by this switch works out very economical for the 12 POE (Power Over Ethernet) ports offered by the switch. If you want to buy the Netgear FS726TP in the United States, be sure to check the best price for this switch from Amazon.

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