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LAN & WAN Reviews

Introduction

NETGEAR GS724TR PROSAFE 24 Port Gigabit Smart Switch with Static Routing  

At a Glance
Product NETGEAR PROSAFE 24 Port Gigabit Smart Switch with Static Routing (GS724TR)
Summary 24 port Gigabit Advanced Smart Switch with VLAN static routing
Pros • 255 VLANs
• Inter-VLAN routing
• Gigabit ports with Jumbo Frame support
Cons • Loud fans
• Packet Capture lockout
• SNTP Hassle

I'm looking at the Netgear GS724TR Advanced Smart Switch in this review, a 24-port Gigabit switch from Netgear's Advanced Smart switch product line.  Before going into features and performance, a little Netgear "101" will help understand the GS724TR. 

Netgear has four switch product lines under the categories of Unmanaged, Smart, Advanced Smart, and Fully Managed, comprising dozens of different models.  Switches in these product lines range from 5 - 48 ports, have port speeds of 10/100 Mbps or 10/100/1000 Mbps (Gigabit) and list prices from under $100 to over $3000.

Unmanaged switches are "dumb" switches that forward data without any configuration options.  Netgear's JGS524 is a 24-port Gigabit switch from their Unmanaged switch line, with a list price of $269.99.  This is a good choice for the network needing basic plug and play functionality.  We covered several Unmanaged Gigabit switches in this roundup.

Moving up to the Smart switch line, Netgear's GS724T is a 24-port Gigabit switch that adds key functions such as support for jumbo frames and up to 128 VLANs for a list price of $299.99.  At only $30 more than the JGS524, the GS724T is a good starting point if you're in the market for a 24-port Gigabit switch with room to advance the technology in your network.  We covered Netgear's 16 port GS716T Smart switch in this review

In the Advanced Smart switch line, Netgear's GS724AT and the switch I'm reviewing here, the GS724TR, are 24-port Gigabit switches that add many networking functions over the GS724T such as Voice VLAN capability and security features including 802.1x/RADIUS authentication and Access Control Lists (ACL).  The GS724AT and GS724TR have list prices of $419.99 and $679.99. 

Key differences between the GS724AT and GS724TR are the GS724TR's greater VLAN capacity (255 to 128) and the GS724TR's ability to route traffic between VLANs without connecting to a router through the use of internal static routes.

There are two other 24-port Gigabit switches in Netgear's Advanced Smart switch line that differ by adding Stacking and Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality.  Stacking allows for combining multiple switches into a single manageable device, and PoE allows for providing electrical power to VoIP or other network devices via the Ethernet cable.

Netgear devices in the Unmanaged, Smart, and Advanced Smart switch lines are designed to be Edge switches, meaning they are primarily connected to end devices such as PCs and VoIP devices.  Core switches are typically connected to high traffic network devices such as servers, switches or routers on larger networks.  Netgear's Fully Managed switches can serve as both Edge and Core switches. 

If we look at Netgear's Fully Managed switch line and focus on similarly priced switches to the GS724TR, the GSM7224 and GSM7224R are 24-port Gigabit switches with list prices of $699.99 and $859.99.  Note that the GSM7224 doubles the GS724TR's VLAN capacity to 512 VLANs, but doesn't support internal static routes.  The GSM7224R is essentially the same as the GSM7224 plus provides internal static routing.

I put together the below chart to summarize my "101" on Netgear 24-port Gigabit switches.    Please note that this chart itemizes some key differences and by no means fully lists all feature differences. 

Model Type VLANs Voice VLAN Routing 802.1x & ACLs List Price
JGS524 Unmanaged 0 N N N $269.99
GS724T Smart 128 N N N $299.99
GS724AT Advanced Smart 128 Y N Y $419.99
GS724TR Advanced Smart 255 Y Y Y $679.99
GSM7224 Fully Managed 512 Y N N $699.99
GSM7224R Fully Managed 512 Y Y Y $859.99
Table 1: Switch Feature Summary

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