Netgear ProSafe Plus GS105PE review
Netgear’s new ProSafe Plus switches offer plug-and-play simplicity to small businesses, plus PoE expansion and handy traffic-management features. The GS105PE is the smallest of the family and provides five Gigabit ports.
The switch isn’t a standalone device: it can be powered only by connecting its fifth port to a PoE switch or power injector. The idea is that the GS105PE extends the PoE capabilities of the main switch to those places in the office it can’t reach. The switch provides PoE passthrough services on ports 1 and 2, but it prioritises port 1, so it will shut power to port 2 if consumption reaches the maximum power budget.
There’s no web browser management, so the GS105PE can be configured only by using Netgear’s Windows Configuration Utility. This discovers the switch on the network and provides a simple UI, with a basic read-out on all ports showing their link status and speed. There’s a table of throughput statistics, but it doesn’t provide any details on connected PoE devices.
Port mirroring lets you send data from selected ports to others for network monitoring, as well as run basic cable tests and flag up faults. The switch can manage up to five port-based VLANs and apply one of five QoS priorities to each port for prioritising data such as voice and video.
Take care powering the switch, since the input source determines its power budget and the device class it can support. Our HP ProCurve 2626-PWR switch supplies 802.3af PoE, which limits the budget to 8W and Class 1 and 2 devices. This meant we could power a small Axis 216FD camera, but didn’t have enough juice for our D-Link business wireless APs or Axis Q1755 Class 3 IP camera. Connecting the GS105PE to a TP-Link TL-SG3424P 802.3at PoE+ switch increased the budget to 20W and support for Class 0 and 3 devices, but there was still only enough power for one of those devices.
The ProSafe Plus GS105PE is a cheap way of extending PoE to far-flung devices, and it provides useful traffic-management features, but it’s too limited to recommend.