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Cheap 2.5GbE & 10GbE Switches Come to the U.S., Starting at $130

TP-Link
(Image credit: TP-Link)

TP-Link has announced a new family of multi-gigabit switches designed primarily for homes and small offices. The 2.5GbE and 10GbE switches are reasonably priced — one 2.5GbE model is only $130 — and are designed for advanced users that need faster wired network speeds as they use multi-gig NAS, Wi-Fi 6 access points, and other bandwidth-hungry devices.

The newly announced family of switches includes the TL-SG105-M2 5-port 2.5GbE desktop switch, the TL-SG108-M2 8-port 2.5GbE desktop switch, and the TL-SG3210XHP-M2 JetStream managed switch that has eight RJ45 2.5GbE ports as well as two SFP+ 10GbE ports.

The switches are backward compatible with 100Mbps and GbE over CAT5 copper cables, yet to hit 10GbE speeds, the highest-end model requires SFP+ cables, which are not common at homes or SMB offices.

(Image credit: TP-Link)

The 5-port TL-SG105-M2 and the 8-port TL-SG108-M2 switches are rather basic fanless devices that can automatically sense link speeds and intelligently fine-tune for compatibility and optimal performance for all devices. The switches come in metal chassis and will fit almost any home design (assuming, of course, that they are not hidden). 

TP-Link

(Image credit: TP-Link)

The 5-port switch is immediately available for $130, whereas the 8-port model carries a $200 MSRP.

(Image credit: TP-Link)

Being a managed switch, the TL-SG3210XHP-M2 JetStream is of course inherently more advanced than its cheaper counterparts. The unit has eight 2.5GbE 802.3at/af-compliant PoE+ ports, two 10 Gbps SFP+ slots, and two ports for management (an RJ45 and a mini-USB). TP-Link positions this switch for relatively large networks employing both wired and wireless clients. Since it is supposed to have rather serious switching capacity, it uses up to 240W of power and has active cooling.

The switch supports a host of security capabilities, including IP-MAC-Port binding, ACL, Port Security, DoS defend, Storm control, DHCP snooping, 802.1X and radius authentication. L2/L3/L4 QoS and IGMP snooping for voice and video applications. In addition, the switch is Omada SDN compatible and features Zero-Touch Provisioning and intelligent monitoring.

The TL-SG3210XHP-M2 JetStream is of course not exactly cheap, but for $350, it is certainly not expensive.

 

  • InvalidError
    Slightly more affordable, sure. Cheap? $100+ is still way too expensive for that. The price needs to be at least proportional with performance before I'd be willing to call them that, so they need to come down another ~50% before I get remotely interested. I doubt I'll have 2.5GbE in more than my next PC for another 5-10 years, plenty of time for prices to trickle down.
    Reply
  • Soaptrail
    InvalidError said:
    Slightly more affordable, sure. Cheap? $100+ is still way too expensive for that. The price needs to be at least proportional with performance before I'd be willing to call them that, so they need to come down another ~50% before I get remotely interested. I doubt I'll have 2.5GbE in more than my next PC for another 5-10 years, plenty of time for prices to trickle down.

    Agreed, but I am guessing 90% of Tom's readers will "need" this. I have 2 desktops, 2 work laptops, 2 tablets, 2 phones, and 2 UHD TV's I stream movies and shows on but I still do not think I have a use case for this. Even if I got gigabyte internet I bet I could do without this.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    Soaptrail said:
    I have 2 desktops, 2 work laptops, 2 tablets, 2 phones, and 2 UHD TV's I stream movies and shows on but I still do not think I have a use case for this. Even if I got gigabyte internet I bet I could do without this.
    My sister has 1Gbps FTTH and her home is all-WiFi, nothing plugged into her ONT, not even the STB for her living room TV which is 6" from the ONT. I suspect this is the prevalent setup for non-enthusiasts at least as long as everything is within the modem-router's range. I might be doing wireless myself if my main PC wasn't 3' from the modem and router and I already had plenty of cables.
    Reply
  • gggplaya
    If they make switches like this, they should put holes on the sides to make it easy to add rack mount brackets. I mean common.
    Reply
  • revjim23
    This must be a joke. 3 weeks ago TP-LINK released far better 10GbE switches for the rest of the world (Anton even wrote about them here).

    So the rest of the world can get a 5-port, fanless, 10GbE switch. All five ports are RJ-45, twisted pair, 10GbE for somewhere around £200 GBP. Why does the US get this incrementally awful deal with 2.5GbE?

    I can't see how anyone is wasting time and money on 2.5 and 5GbE technologies when the world is obviously heading straight to 10.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    revjim23 said:
    I can't see how anyone is wasting time and money on 2.5 and 5GbE technologies when the world is obviously heading straight to 10.
    1GbE didn't become mainstream until it became baseline - you literally couldn't buy a new PC without 1GbE by the time 1GbE routers became prevalent.

    2.5GbE and 5GbE were created because most people and companies with in-wall/ceiling wiring don't want to replace wiring for 10GBase-T. It is the same reason why the more complex 1GBase-T ultimately won over the cheaper and more power-efficient 1GBase-TX. First-generation 10GBase-T is practically doomed beyond most people's networking closet and companies' network/server racks.
    Reply
  • BogdanH
    revjim23 said:
    I can't see how anyone is wasting time and money on 2.5 and 5GbE technologies when the world is obviously heading straight to 10.
    Can be more specific what you mean with "the world"? What part of the world (country) is that?
    Yes, 10G exists quite a while, but is mainly used for serious stuff and is still way too expensive for home use.
    I say: Finally! Affordable 2.5G/5G for home use. In that sense, kudos to TP-Link. Yeah, $130 is some money, but then, (good) single 2.5G PCIe card also costs $40+. Actually, I would be happier if there would be affordable 2.5G router (1G WAN+4x2.5G LAN) available. But they will come too...
    Now, the only thing that would convince me to go into 2.5G infrastructure (at home), is (again) affordable 2.5G NAS-es (2x1G doesn't count for me).
    Reply
  • revjim23
    InvalidError said:
    2.5GbE and 5GbE were created because most people and companies with in-wall/ceiling wiring don't want to replace wiring for 10GBase-T.

    Yep all of that is understood and agreed. There is a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem here where if you have older wiring that can't handle 10GbE you might want to do something midway and go with 2.5 or 5GbE.

    But for a small amount more (the prices are coming down quite a bit now on 10GbE gear) you can future-proof and have a 10GbE switch ready for some day replacing wires, or for using on the shorter runs.

    Also, we aren't talking about enterprise switches with 192 RJ45 ports where replacing the wiring would cost an exorbitant amount. We are talking about home and small business-sized 5 and 8 port routers. For such cases replacing the wires isn't usually going to be a huge expense. If it is even necessary... people have been installing CAT6 for many years now in both homes and businesses and those wires are all ready for 10GbE (for runs up to 55 meters, I believe).


    BogdanH said:
    Can be more specific what you mean with "the world"? What part of the world (country) is that?
    Yes, 10G exists quite a while, but is mainly used for serious stuff and is still way too expensive for home use.

    I linked the article in my original post about the TP-LINK TL-SX105 being released, I believe in the EU, UK and Japan as of now. Not yet available in the USA but the TP-LINK website says it is "coming soon" (link).

    I disagree that 10GbE is only for serious stuff or too expensive for home use. Big data centers are already on or migrating to 100Gb networks, and prices are coming down for home/small biz gear like the TL-SX105.... 200GBP is starting to get into affordable range. Motherboards are already shipping with 10GbE ports and it's only a matter of time before that speed is common.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    revjim23 said:
    But for a small amount more (the prices are coming down quite a bit now on 10GbE gear) you can future-proof and have a 10GbE switch ready for some day replacing wires, or for using on the shorter runs.
    The difference may be small now but that is only because 2.5GBase-T is only slightly less of a niche market than 10GBase-T currently is. Mass market will drive the price down to about the same as 1G once it becomes practically standard on all new chipsets and motherboards.

    Also, "future-proofing" has very subjective value. If I bought a 10GbE switch today, it will likely cost me more in additional power over the years that I only have it for "future-proofing" than its replacement will cost to buy by the time I may actually need it.
    Reply
  • BogdanH
    @revjim23
    Thank you for providing link (missed it on your first post).
    Checked price for TL-SX105 and is about 224GBP ("coming soon"). Mmm.. that's about 250-260€ (=US$). Yes, is affordable, but not that cheap either (for a switch). On the other hand, if 2.5G/5G switch cost 130$, then 10G sure looks better deal. And we will probably moan about "too expensive" anyway :) .
    As mentioned in my previous post, I hope we will see high speed routers soon too -just to avoid having a lot of devices and cable sallad.
    Reply