|At a Glance|
|Product||TP-LINK Gigabit Smart Switch [TL-SG2216]|
|Summary||Value priced, but fully-featured Layer 2 managed switch|
|Pros||• Easy to configure
• Relatively inexpensive
|Cons||• No IPv6 support
• 5 year vs. limited lifetime warranty
TP-LINK is an international company headquartered in Shenzhen aiming to establish itself, according to its website, as “one of the top three networking brands in the world”. The TP-LINK brand was established in 1996. The name TP-LINK derives from “Twisted Pair Link,” implying a focus on Ethernet connectivity.
In its listing of milestones, one of the first products TP-LINK cites is an Ethernet switch in 1998. Today, TP-LINK sells a wide array of network products including routers, modems, wireless devices, IP cameras, print servers, and other network devices in addition to switches.
In this review, I'm going to look at the TL-SG2216 switch. The TL-SG2216 shares software with TP-LINK's TL-SG2424 switch, so this review essentially covers both devices. The key differences between the two switches are a greater number of ports and switching capacity on the TL-SG2424.
The TL-SG2216 is a 16-port Gigabit switch, new to TP-LINK's Web Smart Switch product line. The Web Smart Switch product line falls between TP-LINK's two other switch product lines, their L2 Managed Switches and Unmanaged Switches. Let’s take a look.
The TL-SG2216 has a grey metal case measuring 17.3”W x 7.1”D x 1.7”H. It comes with hardware for rack mounting as well as adhesive rubber feet for desktop/shelf placement. Indicator lights, a reset switch, and the 16 RJ45 and 2 SFP ports are on the front, shown below. Note, the last 2 RJ45 ports are shared with the 2 SFP ports, thus it has a maximum usable port capacity of 16. Similarly, the TL-SG2424 shares its last 4 RJ45 ports with 4 SFP ports, giving it a maximum usable port capacity of 24.
TP-LINK TL-SG2216 front
The TL-SG2216 is fanless and therefore silent, making it useful in a work area as well as a closet. The power connector is on the back, shown below. A standard AC cable, not wall wart, connects to an AC outlet for power.
TP-LINK TL-SG2216 rear
Below, you can see the internal mainboard and power supply. The switch devices reside under the large heatsinks, which I did not remove. But TP-LINK said both devices are from Broadcom. Below them are 256 MB of DDR SDRAM and a 16 MB of flash.
TP-LINK TL-SG2216 board
The feature list below is based on the TP-LINK's TL-SG2216 specification listing. Note, I've listed the TL-SG2424's specs in brackets to the right where the TL-SG2216 and TL-SG2424 differ.
- 16 10/100/1000Mbps RJ45 Ports [TL-SG2424 = 24]
- 2 Combo 100/1000Mbps SFP Slots [TL-SG2424 = 4]
- 32Gbps backplane [TL-SG2424 = 48Gbps]
- 8k MAC Table
- 23.8Mbps packet forwarding [TL-SG2424 = 35.7Mbps]
- 10240 jumbo frame support
- IEEE802.1Q with 512 VLAN groups and 4K VIDs
- 802.1p CoS/DSCP priority
- 4 priority queues
- Queue scheduling: SP, WRR, SP+WRR
- Port/Flow-based Rate Limiting
- IGMP Snooping V1/V2/V3
- LAG (Up to 6 aggregation groups, containing 4 ports per group)
- Spanning Tree STP/RSTP/MSTP
- BPDU Filtering/Guard
- TC/Root Protect
- Loop back detection
- 802.3x Flow Control
- Port Security
- Broadcast/Multicast/Unknown-unicast Storm Control
- Web-based GUI and CLI management
- SNMP v1/v2c/v3,compatible with public MIBs and
- TP-LINK private MIBs
- RMON (1, 2, 3, 9 groups)
- CPU Monitoring
- Port Mirroring
- Firmware Upgrade: Web
- System Diagnose: VCT
- SYSLOG & Public MIBS
The TL-SG2216 is configurable via a web GUI and command line via Telnet. Although rather basic and plain, I found the GUI easy to navigate. Below is a screenshot of the System Info page.
TP-LINK TL-SG2216 System Info
The web GUI has eight menus listed vertically along the left side of the screen, each with multiple sub-menus organized with various tabs of configuration screens. To give you an idea of the configuration options, Table 1 summarizes the menus and sub-menus.
Table 1: TP-LINK TL-SG2216 menu summary
Once you apply a configuration, it becomes active on the switch, but isn't saved permanently. You have to also click Save Config to ensure all configuration changes won't be lost if the device is power cycled or shutdown. Some devices I've worked with that require a save, such as the Cisco SG200-26, remind you to save the configuration . It would be nice if the TL-SG2216 did as well.
English is my only language, so far be it from me to knock someone who can speak or write multiple languages. However, I think if TP-LINK wants to maximize market share in the US, they may want to engage someone to improve the English translations in the web GUI. For example, the menus written as User Manage, Device Diagnose, and Saving Config would more typically be written as User Management, Device Diagnostics and Save Config. Translation issues are relatively minor compared to performance and functionality, but they can affect the overall impression one gets on a product.
TP-LINK provides a datasheet, User Guide, CLI Guide and Installation Guide for the SG-2216 and SG-2424. I found the 130 page User Guide provided useful explanations of configuration options and was impressed that it included several configuration examples.