On a tip from one of our readers, we managed to get what can only be described as an insane 48-port 2.5GbE switch. For just over $400 plus shipping we got a switch that also included 10GbE SFP+ and 25GbE SFP28 ports. It is also a managed switch designed for e-Sports Internet Cafes, hotels, and other high-port count destinations. Given this pricing, it is perhaps the lowest-cost per port 2.5GbE managed switch on the market, and it is surprisingly a lot better than we would have expected.
48-Port 2.5GbE Managed Chinese e-Sports Cafe and Hotel Switch Overview
Something fun with this one, we wanted to first discuss pricing and how we even got the switch. We went into it in some detail in the accompanying video:
We always suggest opening the video in its own tab, window, or app for a better viewing experience.
To get the switch, we had to purchase it via Taobao as it was not on AliExpress. This is similar to how we purchased the second lower-cost TP-Link TL-SH1832 we reviewed as the cheapest 24x 2.5GbE and 8x 10GbE switch. The price ended up being $640 all-in, which is cheaper than a Cisco SMB 48-port 1GbE switch (see Amazon Affiliate link.)
That $640 included various Superbuy fees, a not great exchange rate, and $140 of shipping costs because we got this switch rushed. That rush shipping still took 3 weeks to get to the US.
All told, we went from a switch that was closer to $400 on Taobao and to get it to the US it cost us around $640. Sometimes, our readers in China have told us this is a sub-$400 switch retail in China.
Of course, we wanted to see how this worked. At the end, we were frankly shocked.
48-Port 2.5GbE Managed Chinese e-Sports Cafe and Hotel Switch External Hardware Overview
The front of this 1U switch tells us something important. This is a surprisingly well-thought out switch designed for a step up from the lowest-end configurations.
Perhaps the biggest feature is the 48-port 2.5GbE port array. We also tested these at 1GbE speeds.
On the side of the switch, we find pairs of SFP+ 10GbE and SFP28 25GbE ports.
There is even an out-of-band management port as well as a console port. When we get inside, we will see the switch chip being used and the management interface. It was shockingly good.
On one side, we have a sticker and some vents.
On the other side, we have three loud fans.
The rear of the switch has a power input with a power switch and a grounding point.
On the bottom we do not get certifications and regularory markings, but we do get the 192.168.1.234 management interface IP and the admin/ admin logon credentials.
What is perhaps more notable is what is inside the switch. Let us get to that next.