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NETGEAR ProSAFE 5-Port PD Pass-through Gigabit Web Managed (Plus) Switch (GS105PE) - Lifetime Warranty
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3 out of 5 eggs Security not as important as ease of use 05/17/2016

This review is from: NETGEAR ProSAFE 5-Port PD Pass-through Gigabit Web Managed (Plus) Switch (GS105PE) - Lifetime Warranty

Pros: Without getting into all the technical details of this device, I will try to share a simpler use of it for those wondering if it may be right for them. This is my first use of a “switch” where I’ve only used hubs before. Being PoE, I thought might be nice for IP cams at the front and back doors. I’ve been up in the attic plenty running cables for the other dozen cameras up and thought how this device would make running IP cameras that much more simple. One cable up to the switch, and one cable out to each cam. This Pro however, comes with a con. The simplicity of it goes away when you start learning about the power requirements of different PoE devices and how much your device is capable of providing. I reckon for an electrician who is very familiar with the complexity of electricity, they may be fine with it all. But your average Joe just wants to plug stuff in and have it work! Lucky enough, a bit of searching on the products webpage can give you the education you need and google can fill in the rest of the blanks!

I learned that the switch is better than a hub on the aspects that it communicates better with the devices. Any back and forth between one port will not be picked up by the other. A hub shoots all the information to all the ports, where the switch only communicates with what it needs to. So if you unplug a camera and switch the port it was on, you will need to wait a few minutes (Up to five) for the switch to take a look at it and grab the info it needs to do its thing. (Or you can power cycle the switch to do it faster) This is important for those that never used a switch before and “want to test” the ports. It’s not like the hub with instant results!

Like the other reviews state, it’s strong as an ox! Built to last from the looks and feel of it! It may not get hot, but I still didn’t want to leave it just laying on a board up in the attic, so I took advantage of the mounting hole on the back to hang it so it is not touching anything. (Better safe than sorry!) At first it looks like a screw won’t fit; but whatever is behind the screw mount hole, it gives and a screw fits just fine. (I learned from previous lessons to predrill a hole first. Supplied screws aren’t what they use to be!) It seems to be fine holding onto just one screw. I did not want it flush with the beam up there in the attic. There is a grounding screw on the back which I guess is for those in a rackmount environment to take advantage of. Don’t really see it being of use in my attic!

Cons: I’m reading “How do I log into the switch if I lost my password?” on one of the ProSAFE Plus Switches support page on the manufacturers website. The answer they provided is “From the configuration utility, select the switch and use the serial number (printed on the bottom product label of the switch) as the password. Once logged into the switch, reset the password.”

Well this makes it easy! It also makes it easy for dishonest people too! There are many scenarios where this can be bad! Repair guy knows of this ‘Master Key’ on this product, has a moment alone with it, takes a snapshot of the bottom for the serial number and later that night he logs in and disables the security cameras used on this switch. It could be a relative, maid, anyone that has access to it! Why wasn’t the reset good enough for password recovery? At least that was secure! A master key makes it useless the second anyone gets it!

I’m beginning to feel VERY uncomfortable with using ANY netgear products. They go with ease of use over security. Previous products I’ve reviewed from them (Network Range Extenders for example) have also had security issues. With those, users set them up and get excited to have a bit more range in their network. If they fail to learn how to use their new toy, they fail to “change” the default ‘password’ for it. That allows for easy access to your network! Is this company hoping to end up on the news for publicity?

Some folks will need to add a PoE injector to their setup for this to work. (Alright. MOST folks will need to add a PoE injector!) If you have to ask, you are probably one that will need one! I would HIGHLY recommend going to Netgears main website, typing in the GS105PE model number, looking at what info they have to offer. In their troubleshooting section it gives a whole page about power requirements to power what. (Google search will help you learn differences between Class 0 and 1 and 2 devices and such.) Wish it was more plug and play, but it is not!

Only two PoE ports. Good for small projects only. (I am divided on if this is a con. With the small size, and pain in dealing with more PoE ports and power and requirements and such, having only two to worry about may be a Pro? I took a peak at the ones providing 8 PoE and they are huge and the power being supplied can get up there and it just doesn’t seem safe for a home environment. Those belong in a server room properly mounted and safe from mice and rats chewing the cables and possibly causing a house fire. I think this is the perfect size for me. I’d like more cameras, but not at the cost. Money, time, learning, and possible hazards if you fail to do something. It isn’t worth it to me.)

Need to ingest quite a bit of information to fully understand these things. I am cheap. I can’t afford the high end PTZ cams and choose not to really want them because I don’t watch the cams I have. They are a “Go To” thing if something is amiss. I can only imagine they draw more power though, and am grateful I do not have to research to find out if it would work with this switch. I’m also glad that the distance between front door and back door from the switch in the attic is probably some 25’ max, so I didn’t have to “learn” any lessons about the max length of the cable! Which would have led to “learning” about repeaters. “Learning” about how costly it becomes!

Other Thoughts: Because of the serial number on the bottom being a ‘Master Key’ to this, that is a huge security issue with me. Ironic that this thing has a Kensington lock on it and they manage such a major fail on securing the device digitally! With the limitation of only 2 PoE ports, many users will want to use this for IP cameras. This security issue should be made known to anyone using it for cameras with a nice big sticker on the box like the one they put their explaining it will only work as PoE and not with a power brick.

If someone feels the need to get introduced into using a PoE switch for a few IP cameras, I would highly recommend using this for a professional install look. (Providing security is not in question.) If you want security, you will have to destroy the label on the bottom where nobody else can read the serial number. I would not recommend this to a small business or office environment unless they do not care in the least about their network being secure.

I’m sure down the road, I may have to learn some of the settings but I’m not messing with them now. It reminds me of half the settings you see in the router! If you don’t have to mess with them, then don’t! If I were asked to buy this, I would pass. Setting it up was easy enough, but there was just way to much learning involved with getting what you need to set it up to work properly. I hope it was worth it, with the way everything seems to be heading toward wireless.

I was thinking having a bigger switch with more PoE ports for more cameras would be nice. However, with all the education I had to go through just to get this far, I’m going to pass. It is not for the faint of heart. If I ever need a hub again, I may choose a switch instead just because I believe they run better than a hub. I’ll just stay away from the PoE part of them.

Power Input: 37-57 VDC, 600mA max @42.5V (Useful if someone has a bunch of power supplies laying around and knows how to “hack” the Ethernet cable.) I would recommend getting a PoE Injector though for safety sake.

CORSAIR CX550M 550W ATX12V / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
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Pros: Enough power and amps to take care of a discrete graphics card. Rather than ramble on with how the supplied 45amps can take care of this and that, it is safe to say that it should be fine to run any discrete graphics card you throw at it. This is a PSU for a moderate PC, not a high end gaming center! The energy efficiency is much better than cheaper power supplies and Corsair has never failed me on its name. I only had to use the warranty once for memory, and the process was as easy as one can expect.
5 and ¾” front to back and less than 6” from side to side and 3 ½” height makes this great for smaller cases! The 140mm measurement will be more precise at 5.5118” and 150mm at 5.9055” and 86mm at 3.3858”… The reason I took a tape measure and did a physical measurement instead of just using the converted numbers is this is very important information for someone who is trying to fit the PSU in a specific case. Model CX550M. I’ve gotten different numbers from different sites.
The included cables are configured as the 8 pin PSU connector gives both 6+2 Pin PCI Express Powers. A tad over 23” + 5 and ¾” of ribbon for second 6+2 Pin connector. A top mount PSU case may work great where a bottom mount may stretch it too far for you to be able to use. These measurements are important! The confusing part is how the 8 pin connector on the PSU states 6+2 PCI-E and 4+4 CPU when the unmodded cables have an 8 Pin CPU connector for the mainboard. Right next to it’s 24 pin one. Both should stretch with no problem up to 23”. While this may get some people excited about the possibility of SLI, remember the 45amp limit of the PSU. I wouldn’t use this PSU for more than one discrete graphics card. I believe that a PSU works great when it stays under 80% of its rated limits. Even better at 60% or less. Like an automobile engine, works great at a certain point even if it is capable of going much faster!

The 3 molex and FDD or if you have a case fan that supports using the FDD power connector are all on the same cable. You are looking at 17” from PSU to first Molex. 3 ½” from each one after the first.
The two Sata Power cables are as follows. 1’st one is 19” to first connector and 4 ½” to the second. The second cable has 4 connectors on it. 14” to the first and 4 ½” between each of the other 3 connectors.

The 9 little zip ties and 4 screws to mount it to the case was a nice bonus! As the five year warranty!

Cons: There was plenty of space in the PSU case to have more connectors. While the number vs. max capacity is very important, I’d much rather have seen 3 PCI-E power cables with 2 connectors on them. The one with 4 can be difficult to deal with in certain cases. HTPC style cases mainly. I’m certain that 2x 2 molex would have served much better than 1x 3. In a day and age where floppy drives are extinct, why was that even included?

Those are the only cons I can think of. If I were to want to complain about the size, that means you’d have to use a 92mm fan instead of a 120 to cool it, and I rather it be more silent so the 120mm fan is a pro for me. I wanted smaller in the living room, so I got a nice little pc that was only 6” by 6” and less than 2” high. You can’t buy something and expect it to be something it is not. This is a great PSU for a budget friendly build.

Other Thoughts: I am a huge believer of the importance of a good power supply! Far too many people believe that power is power, and I would love to educate every single one of them! You can’t just grab a plug from one laptop and try to use for another. Even if you do manage to get it to work, you could be causing serious damage to the unit. The brick of a laptop is the PSU like this that you find in a PC.
You can take a cheap $20 550 PSU and build the same PC setup as you would with the only difference being the other PC would use this Corsair PSU instead of Cheap-O. I say this with experience beneath my belt as I’ve used plenty of cases with ‘Free PSU’ included. (Those would be cheap-o’s!) From a crazy amount of blue screens, crashes, and errors to parts in Cheap-o PSU burning out and smoking up the room, I can’t stress enough the importance of using a decent PSU. You would be surprised how one piece of equipment in your setup not getting the proper power will cause failures that results in errors and blue screens! It may cost you a bit more for a decent PSU, but it is so well worth it in the end! If you can avoid the countless hours of troubleshooting, returning what you believe to be defective parts, and so forth.

The bottom line is always the same. If you want a more enjoyable PC experience, then you will need to start with a good PSU. If you like constant struggling and trying to MacGyver your build all the time, then go ahead and spend less and get a cheaper solution. I personally value my time and find getting a proper PSU in the first place the cheapest route to go!
I did find that 550w is enough for me. I am usually always under 200w. Even with my most demanding apps, I don’t usually go over 300w. Only time I ever creep over 300w is when I’m playing a graphic intense game. That is however with a video card near the six year old range! A nVidia GTX 560. At the time, it required a 300w PSU, so I would double that for my build. 550w appears to be plenty enough however. This is an interesting PSU. I did not expect as much, but it delivers everything I needed it to!

ASUS RT-AC68U Wireless-AC1900 Dual Band Gigabit Router IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n AiProtection with Trend Micro for Complete Network Security
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Pros: This thing was packaged beautifully! It had lots of details on the box, and the RJ45 cable included was really nice, three well-constructed antennas. My first router with USB 3.0, and reading a dual core CPU in it makes transfers really nice and I was getting really excited about this! I was really looking forward to enjoying it and writing this review!

The design, while different, I believe it to be very nice. It gets great airflow and that leads to better cooling! I accidently hit a button while carrying it and thought “Oh no!” I thought I hit the wi-fi button and may have turned it off. Turns out it was a power button! So instead of having to unplug it and possibly lose the cord behind your entertainment system, you have that button to power cycle it should you ever need to.

The specs are really nice and I would love to say more, but I don’t want to repeat everything everyone else has already said. So now to the cons.

Cons: First, it is really a horrible idea to have the WPS button right next to the Wi-Fi off button. No details needed on that one, as that sentence alone speaks for itself!

Second, the webGUI. Had this worked properly, I’d have given it a great pat on the back in Pros. While I’m sure my Xfinity XB3 router is to blame for the issues, such issues should have been worked out by Asus before putting this out on the market! I can connect laptops and tablets to the Asus router, but nothing would let it get on the internet. I really liked how simple the wizard was, but what good is it if it does not work? I understand they wouldn’t be able to account for every setup, so I can’t bash the product. I’m just really disappointed is all. Too many settings are overwhelming for most people, so this one has a positive on the easy to use setup wizard. Either it will work, or it won’t. My case was the latter.

I spent a long time doing some research and even if I could have found an answer, the webGUI had VERY limited options as a repeater. That research has led me to believe the Xfinity needed some settings changed for it to work, but I shouldn’t have to give it up or get a degree in networking to hack the Asus to work as a repeater. After working on it for over five hours today and trying to research everything I could on it, I give up. Nobody should have to go through that much trouble, period!

Other Thoughts: I am really sorry that this product has failed to work properly with the Xfinity XB3. Had it worked, the only con I would be able to give this was the WPS button being so close to the Wi-Fi on/off button. I was all excited to give it a great review, but as the hours passed and I couldn’t get any of the iPads to work… I’ve reviewed many routers, and this is the first that I have failed. I’m sure if I gave it a few more days of tinkering, I could possibly get it to work, but I got to stop that! Not everyone has the patience to put that much research into a product, and they shouldn’t have to either. As a normal router, it would probably be a great device. Certainly easy to setup with the wizard. I just happened to try another advertised feature and it was a fail.

iPad Air 2, iPad Air, Sony Vaio Duo, and my regular PC was used in trying to get this going on both the 2.4 and 5GHz bands. I believe that is fair effort. Not everyone would try to use this as a range extender, not at the price point it is at. There are cheaper and better solutions, so my review shouldn’t be taken into account if you are looking for a quick and simple way to get a router in your home. If you want to tweak settings, this is certainly not the router for you! (Though I didn’t want to tweak settings, I just wanted it to work!)


Kenith H.'s Profile

Display Name: Kenith H.

Date Joined: 05/26/05


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