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LAN & WAN Reviews

8-Port Web Managed PoE Gigabit Switch
At a glance
ProductZyXEL 8-Port Web Managed PoE Gigabit Switch (GS1200-8HP)   [Website]
Summary8-port Web Managed Gigabit Small Network Switch with 802.3at PoE support.
Pros• Simple configuration
• 802.3az power saving
• Loop Detection/Prevention
Cons• Inefficient port-based VLAN configuration
• No port mirroring

Typical Price: $80  Shop Amazon

Introduction

ZyXEL has two new switches it calls the "Extensive Featured Switch for Small Business." The GS1200-5HP is a five-port Gigabit switch and the GS1200-8HP is an eight-port Gigabit switch. Both switches have four Power over Ethernet (PoE) ports. Both switches also support 802.3az energy saving by reducing power consumption during low utilization. This review examines the GS1200-8HP.

Here's a quick summary of the GS1200 switch family features, based on ZyXEL's product page.

  • 1 Gigabit Ethernet port and 4 Gigabit Ethernet PoE ports (GS1200-5HP)
  • 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 4 Gigabit Ethernet PoE ports (GS1200-8HP)
  • Switching capacity = 10 Gbps (GS1200-5HP) and 16 Gbps (GS1200-8HP)
  • Maximum MAC addresses = 4,000
  • 9K Jumbo Frame support
  • Power, Per Port, and PoE Status LEDs
  • Up to 60W PoE power (802.3af and 802.3at)
  • 802.3az Energy Efficiency
  • 802.1Q VLAN (8 VLANs max)
  • Port-based VLAN (4 VLANs max)
  • 802.1p CoS
  • Broadcast Storm Control
  • Loop Detection
  • Weighted Round Robin QoS
  • IGMP Snooping

Inside

The GS1200-5HP uses a Broadcom BCM53125 chipset, while the GS1200-8HP uses the Broadcom BCM53128KQLEG chipset. Both use an IC Plus IP210W CPU. Below is a screenshot of the board in the GS1200-8HP.

GS1200-8HP Mainboard

GS1200-8HP Mainboard

The GS1200-8HP is housed in a gray metal case measuring 9.4" long x 4.1" deep x 1" high. It has no fan. The RJ45 ports and LEDs are on the front of the device, shown below.

GS1200-8HP Front Panel

GS1200-8HP Front Panel

The rear of the switch has the power port that connects to an external power supply, as well as an on/off switch, which is a nice feature. A lot of small network switches I've used don't have on/off switches.

GS1200-8HP Rear Panel

GS1200-8HP Rear Panel

Feature Tour

The GS1200-8HP has seven menus with well laid out screens for applying configurations. I ran through all of the menu options in my testing of the GS1200-8HP.

In the system menu, you can configure the GS1200-8HP's IP address and device name. The default is for the switch to have an IP address of 192.168.1.3, which you can change as desired, but only static IP addresses are allowed; DHCP is not an option. The other option in the system menu is to enable flow control on each port to enable the GS1200-8HP to send a signal to the upstream device to stop sending frames when the ingress buffer is full.

The GS1200-8HP has loop detection/prevention options in the Storm Control menu which I'll discuss shortly. If loop prevention is enabled and a loop is detected, the port will be disabled and display "Loop" in the system menu port status display. Otherwise it will display "Normal." You can click on "Loop Unlock" to re-enable a port where a loop was detected.

The below screenshot shows the port status display from the system menu.

Port Status Display

Port Status Display

A useful part of this menu shows the transmitted (TX) and received (RX) frames on each port, providing an idea of the amount of traffic on each port of the switch. There is simple point and click button to clear the counters at any time in order to measure traffic through the switch over a period of time.

Switch management configuration options are standard, allowing you to reset or reboot the switch, backup or restore switch configurations, and upgrade firmware.

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