Does the job, but it's shaky.

Jan 22, 2009 (Updated Jan 23, 2009)
Review by  
Rated a Helpful Review

Pros:Lots of features, good POE, good price.

Cons:Unreliable HTTP management, very limited SSH management.

The Bottom Line: I might recommend this switch, but with serious reservations.

         I searched high and low for reviews on this switch - found none, so hopefully this will be helpful. I've been testing with this switch for a couple weeks now - I was very excited to find a low-priced POE switch with these features, and for the most part, I'm satisfied. It can supply active POE power to all 24 ports, 180mW total, it can be accessed administratively via http, https, ssh, and console, and it has continued to pass network traffic reliably. I installed a series of Orinoco AP's for a small hotel using the active POE, and the intent is that if ever I have a problem, I can remote into the switch and power-cycle their ports in order to reboot them. It works and I believe that the switch will be reliable, but here are the problems: 

        1) Web login (http) can be TERRIBLY laggy and sometimes completey inaccessible. HTTPS can take even longer. I returned the first switch to the vendor after talking with Cisco tech support (yes, Linksys tech support is now Cisco - yay!) They didn't even try to fix it - they said they've seen it a few times and just to send it back. I was afraid that the new one would be the same way - and it is. It's not a faulty switch - its a faulty design. The bootloader is from 2006 and the newest (and only) firmware is from 2007. BTW, I did try reloading the firmware anyway - no fix. C'mon guys, lets get this fixed. 

           2) SSH - I reasoned to myself, "ok, well at least SSH will be better". Well, in terms of always being able to access it, yes - it is. But many of the key features AREN'T available. It's very frustrating - for example, you CAN'T reboot, you CAN'T power cycle POE on the ports (as you can via http), and many other features - these were the key reasons I bought the swtich! The Cisco tech said he'd never heard of this problem - well, it was the same on both switches I received, so again - its not faulty hardware, its faulty design. Also, there is one certain option in the SSH session menu, (using PUTTY), that every time I tried to acces it, it said "packet was garbled" and it disconnects the session. This is very aggravating too. 

            3) This last complaint isn't as important, but still very strange and annoying - I've never seen this before on any other piece of gear. In Internet Explorer (yes, other browsers are better - don't get off topic!) I like to create groups of tabs under "favorites" to be able to open every piece of gear in a network with one click. For example, when I manage this remote network, I open a window and immediately my router and 4 AP's display on the screen. I've done this through port binding (forwarding) from the public IP address to the private IP addresses. For example, I access the public IP address, 5501, 5502, 5503, etc., where each port number forwards off to a different piece of hardware in the network. Here's the problem: in an IE window, if ANY tab is opened to that IP address on ANY port, the switch will not let you login. You can access the login screen, but it absolutely will not let you login. You MUST open a completely seperate IE window, (and clear your cache) to access the switch. I've never seen this before, and I've been doing this for awhile now! Both units did this. Very odd. 

           All in all, I haven't had the switch long, but I have not yet had a problem with it actually passing network traffic (even when I couldn't log in), and I guess that's technically the most important thing. But I am afraid that being 2 hours from this location, I may find myself unable to login and manage this switch, which might cause me to have to schedule a trip onsite. This switch has more features than you can shake a stick at, but I believe Linksys didn't put enough effort into the simple things - like the http access and functionality of SSH.

Recommend this product?

Read all comments (2)

Share this product review with your friends   
Share This!