Netgear GS710TUP Management
This is, perhaps, our most and least favorite part of the switch simultaneously. The Netgear 10-port 1GbE ULTRA60 POE++ switch is designed to utilize Netgear Insight cloud management. This is in many ways similar to a Cisco Meraki offering, with a twist: it is from Netgear. We wanted to test both local and Insight cloud management here. Upon using Netgear’s Switch Discovery Tool, we immediately saw a device registration feature. Little did we know, there is relatively little choice with an Insight managed switch.
In this section, we are going to look at local as well as remote management.
Local Management Unregistered
When we logged into the switch this is the admin splash page we saw in our browser. Before getting too far, we have V188.8.131.52 firmware here but we updated to V184.108.40.206 which was the newest version available at the time of this review. We tried both to get our noise readings but also checked the management features.
One can either log in via registering the product with Netgear or using a “Local Device Login”. We are focusing on the local option here. Immediately we see that we have limited access to features.
Upon logging in with the default password of “password” (no username) we are asked to change the password. This form does not accept “password” so it requires a change upon first login. We explain how California regulations are forcing this change in Why Your Favorite Default Passwords Are Changing.
Once we log into the switch, we are immediately prompted that effectively we are doing things wrong and we should be using Netgear Insight to manage the switch via the company’s cloud service.
After we get through that screen, we see a standard Netgear web GUI dashboard, except the first option is to change to the Netgear Insight Mobile App or Insight Cloud management.
We can also see the fans at 25% duty cycle here. We are going to get to why that is important later.
There are very few features available. As you can see, the two System screens Management and PoE have few features. The one important feature here is that one can turn on a feature called Uninterrupted PoE here. This is one of the best features of the switch. One can reboot the switch and the PoE lines stay online and active. If you are powering important equipment, you may not want to have that equipment lose power if the switch is rebooting so this is a great feature.
This is an almost amazingly low feature capability. It turns out, you must register this switch to unlock more functionality.
Local Management Registered
If you want a more standard Netgear management experience, you need to setup this switch in a fairly specific way. You need to download the Netgear app to your mobile device. Then register the switch with Netgear. Once you do that, you can request local-only management instead of Insight Cloud portal management. For some sense on how much registration unlocks, here is the dashboard with all of the features. Just see how many more menu options are available.
As an example, on the PoE side, we have the same ability to set the uninterruptible PoE, but we also now gain access to the PoE++ ports. As one can see, Netgear provides a simple interface for power cycling one or more ports as well so if you are relying on your switch for hard reboots, this is an easy way to make this happen.
With the registration complete, we get standard features such as being able to setup VLANs and link aggregation.
As a Smart Managed Pro switch, we also get routing features such as the ability to route between VLANs. You will notice the Switching, Routing, QoS, Security, Help, and Index top-level menu items were missing completely and the System, Monitoring, and Maintenance menus had very limited functionality.
Since this is a Smart Managed Pro switch, we also get features such as RADIUS and TACACS+ support. Netgear also has mibs available for monitoring and SNMP management available for the switch.
If you initially turn on a switch, then you are going to be sorely disappointed in what options are available without registering. Without registration, Netgear is not providing many of the features it advertises.
Moving up Netgear Insight Cloud
This is a switch we are using solely to power devices. Patrick our Editor-in-Chief will be using this switch for a project he wanted to do. As a result, I did not want to register the switch in my Insight account. We thought about making a third account for the switch but want our users to be sure to read the terms and conditions. There are provisions for Netgear to advertise to you as well as user content licenses being granted. With the new operating model around registration and Insight, Netgear is turning what should be a simple solution (providing 1GbE networking to a handful of ports with power delivery) into something that has IP implications and agreeing to advertisements.
The benefit of Insight is that you can manage the system via a cloud service. For a single device, this may not be a huge benefit. If you run a MSP, Insight allows you to set multiple organizations and manage networking hardware centrally. We will note that some of Netgear’s products, at the time of this review, come with a 1-year subscription included, including some ~$100 devices. Even at four times that, we do not get an included subscription here.
Subscription plans include Basic and Premium. With Insight Basic one can use a mobile app. Insight Premium adds cloud management. Insight Pro is the one that you will want as a MSP managing devices for clients or even for a business IT solution.
One can update the solution using a web app called Netgear Insight.
We will note there is a nuance here. If you use Insight Basic management on the phone, it is included for up to two devices with a $4.99/ year charge after that. If you want the Insight Pro web management interface, you need to pay $9.99/ year. Even at $4.99/ device/ year the costs is much higher. Since we need to register to use the mobile app Insight, you are also giving Netgear app data as well as data from your device which is giving Netgear marketing data as well as the annual fee.
The $4.99/ device fee most STH readers will easily cross over into at home with these switches if they use Netgear Insight products. These are 1GbE switches, and very costly per port due to PoE++. As a result, they are difficult to use as the only switch. Once a second switch, router, and WiFi AP’s are added one will quickly get to more than two devices which adds costs. You can get on Netgear’s site and find the Insight Pro management tools, but if you are not using those, then our advice is to stick with local management. The big downside here is that one needs to register.
You can see a list of features that are enabled by Insight versus local management here. We did not have a credit and did not see value in doing this for a single device installation, so we are not going to cover it here. We probably will end up using this switch along with a few other devices for an Insight management tour in the next few months. Stay tuned for that.
It is great that we have options in terms of managing this switch. At the same time, we think Netgear can do a bit to refine the Insight tiers and experience. Someone coming from Ubiquiti running their controller in a cloud instance may like not having to run, pay for, and manage the controller VM in an environment like AWS. Others that have their own VMs will see the added Insight management as a much more costly option. Our sense is that Netgear will refine their management strategy over time.
Next, we are going to get to performance, power consumption, and our final words.