When we did out MikroTik CRS354-48P-4S+2Q+RM Review we called that 48-port PoE switch from MikroTik an “extreme value” with differentiated features such as QSFP+ 40GbE ports. After completing that review, we had several readers ask for a MikroTik CRS328-24P-4S+RM review. The CRS328-24P-4S+RM is a 24-port PoE/PoE+ switch that also has four SFP+ ports for 10GbE uplinks. In our review, we are going to see how this package compares at a sub-$399 price point (ours was around $360.)
MikroTik CRS328-24P-4S+RM Video
For those that are on the go and prefer to listen to the review rather than read it, we have a video version of this review:
Of course, we still have what is covered in the video and more in the article below.
MikroTik CRS328-24P-4S+RM Overview
The “28” in CRS328 means that there are a total of 28 ports. The rest of the model tells us that there are 24x 1GbE PoE (24P), 4x SFP+ (4S+) and that this is a rackmount form factor (RM.)
We are going to take a look at the switch from an external perspective before moving to the internal view. We are intentionally keeping this review very similar to the non-PoE version so our readers can do a comparison.
MikroTik CRS328-24P-4S+RM External Overview
The switch itself is a 1U form factor that is 300mm deep. This makes it deeper than some of the other 24-port MikroTik models we have seen, but still relatively short-depth.
The headline feature of this switch is the 24x 1GbE and PoE enabled ports. These ports support PoE and PoE+ (802.3at/af) along with passive PoE, and low voltage PoE. This is a newer breed of PoE switches designed to handle higher-power devices so we can get up to 26-30W of power per device. While the bottom row of activity lights are traditional data activity lights, the top row of indicators lets us know if a port is providing PoE power and at what voltage range. Here is an example using Hikvision cameras. The top indicators are showing higher-voltage power being supplied.
For older legacy PoE devices, this switch still has support. You can read more about PoE, PoE+, and PoE++ switches in our Key Differences of PoE vs PoE+ vs PoE++ Switches: A STH Guide piece.
The other big headline feature is the high-speed networking. One gets four SFP+ 10GbE ports.
While there is a console port for management, this switch does not have the extra 1GbE port for management we are seeing on many of the newer CRS switches. We would have really liked to see that here as it would be a big differentiator for MikroTik.
On the rear of the switch, we see a single power input with a wire retention bracket to keep the power input cable locked into place. Otherwise, the rear is just sheet metal and screws.
Unlike much of the CRS line, but like the PoE MikroTik CRS354-48P-4S+2Q+RM, this switch does not have redundant power inputs. This is common on lower-cost PoE switches. If you are accustomed to your CRS switches having redundant power, then this may seem different but as we will see the 500W internal PSU is already taking up so much of the chassis that there is unlikely room for a second one.
There are two holes for fan exhaust on either side of the chassis. One side has two fans installed, the other just has empty blanks for potentially adding fans but are currently being used as simple exhaust vents.
We do not normally delve into packaging, but like the CRS354’s, this switch comes with much nicer packaging than some of the other MikroTik switches. We have custom foam inserts here that help protect the switch during travel.
Also, as a fun fact, this switch actually came with rubber feet. If you were stacking this switch on a desk or the floor, then MikroTik has you covered. These were not mentioned on the spec sheet nor the product page, but they were in the box. One also gets rack ears, with the solution, but not rails which is common for this class of device.
Before we move to the internal overview, we wanted to discuss an important use-case that MikroTik has been building over the past few years. Many of their lower-end switches such as the MikroTik CSS326-24G-2S+RM, MikroTik CRS326-24G-2S+RM, MikroTik CRS309-1G-8S+IN, and MikroTik CRS305-1G-4S+IN (which won one of four 2019 STH Editors Choice Awards) have a single internal PSU but also offer PoE power input. This CRS328-24P-4S+RM can power those switches either for redundancy or as their sole source of power.
Now, let us move to the internal overview.