Cheapest 10gbe switches

[Update for 2024] I originally wrote this post back in 2020 when affordable multi-gig switches were somewhat of a rarity. It was then updated in 2022 as the market had changed a lot, and I stated that Wi-Fi 6 was driving the need for multi-gigabit.

As we approach 2024, we have reached the point where I think multi-gig is becoming mainstream. Of course, your average Internet user will have little need nor interest in it, but it is no longer prohibitively expensive and increasingly common on laptops and motherboards.

Multi-Gigabit Internet

Furthermore, in the UK, we have reached the point where many of us can get gigabit Internet. Virgin Gig1 will exceed what is possible on a gigabit Ethernet connection, and they are trialling 2Gbps connections. CityFibre is rolling out 2.5Gbps with suppliers offering this for around £50 pcm which I think is quite reasonable.

Wi-Fi 7 can saturate 2.5GbE

Netgear Nighthawk RS700S with 10Gbps WAN and LAN ports

WiFi 6E is well established, though I imagine the market penetration is still quite low. This was the first time I was able to achieve multi-gig speeds with me seeing up to 1.5Gbps.

In 2024, we are going to see a lot of WiFi 7 products launched. In my recent review of the Netgear Nighthawk RS700S, I was able to achieve speeds up to 3.5Gbps, and this is equipped with a 10Gbps WAN and 10Gbps LAN port.

Most AMD AM5 and Intet 1700 Socket Motherboards have 2.5GbE

Geekom Mini IT13 has 2.5GbE but the IT11 was gigabit

A quick look on Scan, shows that the most affordable AMD B650 Socket AM5 ATX motherboards are equipped with 2.5GbE, and you can pick up an MSI PRO A620M-E for under £90 with 2.5GbE. Similarly, with Intel, the cheapest (£190) ASRock Z790 PG Lightning has 2.5GbE, as does the (£120) MSI PRO B760-P II.

Even my (£450 – £700) Geekom Mini IT13 and £329 Geekom A5 have 2.5GbE

Do you need multi-gig LAN speeds?

A common counter-argument for multi-gig LAN and WiFi is that there is no need for it. Most Internet connections are well under gigabit and Netflix 4K HDR caps out at 18Mbps depending on your location and the content. AppleTV+ goes up to 36Mbps.

So for day-to-day use, we don’t need gigabit let alone multi-gig. But there is a growing requirement for it. Gaming is a mainstream activity that benefits from it. Having to download multi-gig updates for games is frustrating, and downloading a full game can take a long time. Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is 175 GB!

We also have a shift in the ways we work, many of us work from home and use video conferencing. That doesn’t require very fast Internet speeds, but a household of users connecting to demanding services can push up the bandwidth requirements.

Being a content creator has become a popular profession, everyone wants to be a YouTuber and the constant drive to be the best has led many to produce their content in 4K or higher. This all requires huge files, leading many to invest in NAS storage or servers, but being limited to around 120MB/s over gigabit can be frustrating with very large files.

Muti-gigabit copper RJ45 switches

Mixed 10GbE / 2.5Gbe Switches

TRENDnet TEG-S762 with 10GbE

[amazon box=”B09LNLMH9Y,B076P9CTSD,B01N5QOK0K,B087XD1J88″ template=”table” filterby=”price”]

Switches offering 10-gigabit connections were previously disproportionately expensive compared to 2.5GbE, but in recent years there has been a grown number of affordable options especially if you only need a couple of 10GbE ports with a mixture of other ports.

[amazon box=”B0C5D4MYRF”]

Random brand, Vimin, has four options on Amazon with the most affordable being £60 and has 4×2.5GbE and 2x 10G SFP ports.

In 2022, TRENDnet came out with a couple of quite affordable unmanaged 10GbE switches:

  • TRENDnet TEG-S750
    • 5 x 10G RJ-45 ports
  • TRENDnet TEG-S762 (Reviewed Here)
    • 4 x 2.5G RJ-45 ports
    • 2 x 10G RJ-45 ports

There are currently no UK suppliers, but you can buy and import them from Amazon US.

Then Netgear GS110MX has just 2 10GbE ports then an additional 8 Gigabit ports. In my 2024 update, it is not sold by Amazon UK but you can import it for the Amazon EU store £187.

Altrenatively there is the QNAP QSW-2104-2T 2-port 10GbE RJ45 and 4-port 2.5GbE RJ45 unmanaged Switch for about £166.

[amazon box=”B07695FD9Q,B0974XNGJL,B09G8ZP7DF,B087XD1J88″ template=”table” filterby=”price”]

Ubiquiti has the Flex 10 GbE for around £308

The Zyxel XS1930-10 NebulaFlex is available for around £465, but with 8 x 10GbE RJ45 ports, then 2x 10-Gigabit fibre SFP+ ports.

2.5GbE Switches

TRENDnet TEG-S350 vs QNAP QSW-1105-5T

In 2021, we started to see quite a few genuinely affordable 2.5GbE switches. I have reviewed quite a few, and if you are happy with a 5 to 8-port unmanaged switch, then they are a bargain.

Options include:

Additionally for the 2024 update I found:

[amazon box=”B097RC8ZF2,B097RD15N8,B08CKT147N,B09S8WH7S1,B09QDRH616″ template=”table” filterby=”price”]

2.5GbE POE Switches

Engenius ECS2512FP

[amazon box=”B08SJTPJH7,B08Q7WZFYP” template=”table” filterby=”price”]

Multi-gig POE switches used to be quite rare, but with the growth of Wi-Fi 6 and 6E, more access points have 2.5GbE or higher ports and, therefore benefit from an equivalently capable switch.

I have previously recommended:

  • TP-Link TL-SG3210XHP-M2 – £362 from Broadbandbuyer
  • Netgear MS510TXPP – about £400 from Amazon
  • Netgear MS510TXUP – about £667 from Amazon

I use the excellent EnGenius ECS2512FP, but it is around £860 in the UK so it hardly belongs on the list of cheapest multi-gigabit switches.

[amazon box=”B09P77J9G2,B09BDBNGCY” template=”table” filterby=”price”]

Ubiquiti has a growing range of good options. The Ubiquiti USW-Enterprise-8-PoE (120W) has 8x 2.5GbE POE+ and 2x 10G SFP+ ports .for £460 from Ubiquiti or £485 from Amazon. Or, the larger Enterprise 24 PoE is £766 from Ubiquiti but cheaper via Amazon at £742.

10GbE POE Switches

These are even more rare and more expensive. I’d say these are not really needed for the vast majority of people, the only practical application I can think of at the moment is if you plan to roll out WiFi 7 access points, but I am not sure the price of the switches are worth it for the potentially increased throughput on the 6GHz band.

[amazon box=”B08Q7WZFYP,B07Q56NSM3,B087XCJS5J,B0BPDHZ9S9″ template=”table” filterby=”price”]

The Netgear MS510TXUP has ports 1G/2.5G and 4 ports multi-gig/10G with 2 dedicated 10 Gigabit fiber ports with all 8 copper ports supporting PoE++ (802.3bt) with a 295-watt budget which is available for around £667 from Amazon.

The TP-Link TL-SX3206HPP has Four (4) 802.3af/at/bt PoE++ 10G ports with up to 60 W PoE output plus 2x 10 Gbps SFP+ slots for £478 from Broadbandbuyer also on Amazon but priced higher.

Ubiquiti had the US-XG-6POE (170W) with (4) 10 GbE, PoE++ RJ45 ports and (2) 10G SFP+ ports, it is no longer sold by Ubiquiti, but you can get it on Amazon for £606.

The Zyxel XS1930-12HP has has eight 10GbE RJ45 Ethernet PoE++ ports, then two 10GbE RJ45 Ethernet ports and two 10GbE SFP+ ports.

EnGenius has the ECS5512FP which has 8x10GbE + 4 x 10G SFP+ uplink ports and 802.3af/at/bt PoE++ capable on all copper ports with a 420W PoE budget which is available for around £1500.

Overall

While most people don’t need multi-gigabit LAN networks, it is something that has become quite affordable and there is a growing need for it due to a change in habits and the increasing availability of multi-gigabit Internet connections.

[Original Post 30th July 2020]

[Updated on 20th June 2022] Added several new switches for 2.5GbE, 10GbE and added two new POE categories.

[Updated on 30th December 2023] Refreshed content with new product options and prices

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