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The Ultimate Cheap Fanless 2.5GbE Switch Mega Round

Jun 07, 2023Jun 07, 2023

Today we are embarking on a fun project. At STH we have been pushing for, and have started to see 2.5GbE become much more commonplace in devices. Those devices include PCs, but also WiFi APs, cable modems, routers, and more. One of the biggest challenges today is that getting 2.5GbE switches is too expensive and there are not enough good options. As a result, we decided to buy every cheap 2.5GbE switch we could find on Amazon, and a few on AliExpress and do a round-up. Now, we have the Ultimate Cheap 2.5GbE switch guide.

Here is the video that goes along with this piece.

Over the next few weeks, we are going to have formal reviews of each unit in the round-up on STH. One of the biggest challenges with reviewing 15 switches (plus a bonus) for something like this is that by the time we had received all of the units, tested them, aggregated results, then recorded the video, new units have come out. We will add those to this guide as we go, so feel free to save it for future reference.

We are going to introduce a few main categories:

We are also going to note when we find switches in each category that are managed. At this point, most are unmanaged, but we had two in our first 15 already that are managed switches. The prices change, so we are using what we paid in Q1 2023 when we purchased the initial set of units.

Notes: Our pick here is the QNAP QSW-1105-5T. It has the best balance of initial cost, power consumption, and regulatory markings/ certifications. The Netgear MS105 and MS305 are virtually identical, except for the paint job and warranty.

Notes: The TRENDnet TEG-S380 is a better value than the TEG-S350 (5-port) often. There was only a $5 difference between the two switches when we recorded the video. The TP-Link TL-SH1008 we only found on AliExpress and lacks common NA/ EU regulatory markings. The TP-Link is the better price, but the TRENDnet is better if you are looking for regulatory markings and certifications.

Notes: These two switches appear to be identical internally. QNAP has a more power-efficient AC adapter and is usually found for 20% less (or more) than the TRENDnet making it the easy recommendation.

Notes: This is a funny one. The QNAP QSW-2104-2S-A is the TRENDnet TEG-S762 except with SFP+ instead of 10Gbase-T. For $130 and with regulatory markings, the QNAP is a solid value. The MokerLink 2G05210GSM and Hasivo S600WP-5GT-2S+_SE are the two managed switches and have very similar chassis and management interfaces. The Hasivo adds PoE/ PoE+ and is priced lower so that gets our recommendation. Still, some users have reported that the switches, on some firmware versions, can lose things like DHCP settings on reboot.

The new 8x 2.5GbE and 1x SFP+ switches came out after we did the original guide. The Horaco is the least expensive, but it is also the only one we had an issue with and it took more than two weeks longer to arrive than the Amazon ones. Video for those four switches above.

Notes: The Netgear MS108UP has four PoE++ ports and four PoE+ so this is perhaps the most capable PoE switch. The Hasivo S1100P-8GT is perhaps a better value than the 8-port non-PoE switches. The S600-5GT is a pass given its cost/ features.

This is a larger switch, but it is also the lowest cost per port in our review.

Hopefully, this guide helps folks narrow down which switch is the best in a given class. We are going to keep adding to this. Folks may notice that the video released on the same day as this Buyer’s Guide has one fewer switch, and we also now have two more switches that are not on the list above. Our plan is to make this a guide over time and then to have the reviews of the individual switches. Bookmark and share this as we are making a big resource here.

A quick note that we have seen with various lower-end switches over the years is that internal components can change over time. We are going to try keeping this fresh, but if you saw our Netgear Making Simple PoE Switches too Complex you will see the challenge.

5-port 2.5GbE Unmanaged Switches8-port 2.5GbE Unmanaged Switches10Gbase-T Capable 2.5GbE SwitchesSFP+ 10GbE Capable 2.5GbE SwitchesPoE Capable SwitchesOur ChoiceQNAP QSW-1105-5TTRENDnet TEG-S350 Review Netgear MS105 Review Netgear MS305MokerLink 2G041GZyxel MG-105Asustor ASW205THasivo S600W-5GT-SENotesOur ChoiceTRENDnet TEG-S380 ReviewTP-Link TL-SH1008 ReviewNotesOur ChoiceQNAP QSW-2104-2T-ATRENDnet TEG-S762QNAP QSW-2104-2T-ANotesOur ChoiceQNAP QSW-2104-2S-AMokerLink 2G05210GSMHasivo S600WP-5GT-2S+_SEMokerLink 2G08110GSSodola 8x 2.5GbE + 1x SFP+NICGIGA 8x 2.5GbE + 1x SFP+8x 2.5GbE + 1x SFP+ NotesOur Choice:Hasivo S1100P-8GT ReviewHasivo S600-5GT ReviewNetgear MS108UP ReviewNotesOur ChoiceTP-Link TL-SH1832 Review