|At a Glance|
|Product||TRENDnet 16-Port Gigabit Web Smart Switch with 2 Shared Mini-GBIC Slots [TEG-160WS]|
|Summary||Value priced 16 port Layer 2 managed switch with a few key missing features|
|Pros||• Easy and quick to configure
• Good configuration examples in manual
|Cons||• No ingress / egress bandwidth controls
• Can't view LAG status or MAC table
• No MAC filtering
TRENDnet and TP-LINK both focus on producing "value" products with attractive combinations of features and price. A few months back, I looked at TP-LINK's version of an aggressively-priced 16 port Gigabit "smart" switch in the form of its TL-SG2216. So today I'm going to give TRENDnet a chance to see what it can do with 16 smart Gigabit ports for about the same $150 or so.
TRENDnet has three lines of switch products. The first line includes 22 different models of unmanaged switches with 5-24 ports. The second line includes five different models of "Web Smart" switches with 16-48 ports. These switches support layer 2 technologies such as VLANs, yet are designed to be easy to configure and manage.
The third line has three models of managed layer 2 switches with 8-24 ports. These switches have multiple configuration options, greater switching capacity and can be a bit more complex.
In this review, I’m going to look at one of TRENDnet's second line switches, the TEG-160WS 16 port Web Smart switch. TRENDnet also offers a 24 port version, the TEG-240WS.
The TEG-160WS is enclosed in a 17.3”W x 8.3”D x 1.73”H. dark metal case with rack mounting brackets and adhesive rubber feet included. All its 16 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, two mini-GBIC fiber ports and indicator lights are on the front of the switch. Ports 15 and 16 are shared with the 2 fiber ports, so you get 16 total ports, not 18.
TRENDnet TEG-160WS front
The rear of the device, further below, has the power connector and a reset button.
TRENDnet TEG-160WS back
The internal view below shows a Marvell-based design with a Marvell 98DX163-A2 16-port GE L2+ SecureSmart switch at its core (large device at top center). Three 88E1240 Alaska Quad Gigabit Ethernet transceivers connect the switch to twelve of the 16 ports with four 88E1112 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet Transceives with Auto-Media Detect handling the other four ports, plus the two Mini-GBIC ports.
An 88E6218 Gateway SoC runs the whole show with the power of a 150 MHz ARM9E CPU with 2 MB of flash and 8 MB of RAM, if I'm not mistaken. Firmware version 3.02.01, which is the latest version, came loaded on the review sample.
TRENDnet TEG-160WS inside
This is not a Power over Ethernet (PoE) switch, so it has lower power and cooling requirements. Its power supply is internal and there is no cooling fan for silent operation.
The feature list below is from TRENDnet’s product page for the TEG-160WS.
- 16 x 10/100/1000Mbps Auto-MDIX RJ-45 ports
- 2 x 1000Base-SX/LX Mini-GBIC slots (shared with Gigabit ports 15-16)
- 32Gbps switching capacity
- IEEE 802.3x Full Duplex Flow Control and Back Pressure
- IEEE 802.3ad Port Trunk
- IEEE 802.1D Spanning Tree Protocol
- IEEE 802.1p QoS
- IEEE 802.1X Authentication and SNMP v1
- Supports port based IEEE 802.1Q VLAN Tag and Asymmetric VLAN
- Store and Forward switching method
- Front panel diagnostic LEDs
- Supports Jumbo Frame packets (max size up to 10Kbytes)
- Integrated address look-up engine supports up to 8K absolute MAC addresses
- Supports 512Kbytes RAM for data buffering
- Easy configuration via Web browser
- Standard 19” (1U) rackmount size (rackmount kit included)
- Power consumption 30 watts (max)
- 17.3”W x 8.3”D x 1.73”H
- 3-Year Limited Warranty
Take note of that last bullet, warranty. The TP-LINK TL-SG2216 that I'm using for a comparative product carries a five year warranty. But the warranty for both products is much shorter than the lifetime warranty NETGEAR and D-Link offer on many of their switches.
Configuration on the TEG-160WS is via a nicely organized web GUI with three main menus as shown below. I liked how nearly all of the menus were point and click. Most configurable options are in dropdown menus, minimizing the need to enter values via the keyboard.
The GUI is also responsive and quick. For example, the TEG-160WS supports jumbo frames up to 10240 bytes. On other switches I've tested, such as the Cisco SG500, enabling jumbo frames requires a device reboot. On the TEG-160WS, simply click enable and click apply, and jumbo frames are enabled. Once enabled, the TEG-160WS was able to pass jumbo frames up to my PC's 4000 byte limit.
The TEG-160WS’ 81 page user manual is brief but useful. The section on VLAN configuration had several nice examples, including a detailed description of how to use and configure port-based VLANs.