Netgear MS108UP Review: A Solid PoE Switch

ByFreda D. Cuevas

Jul 17, 2022 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


If you’ve been wondering, and maybe even annoyed, by the fact Netgear’s Wi-Fi 6 and 6E access points generally don’t include a power adapter, the MS108UP 8-port Multi-Gigabit (2.5G) Ultra60 PoE++ Ethernet Plus Switch would be a clear answer.

This latest 8-port Multi-Gig switch is designed to be the power source for those devices. And it’ll work with any PoE device from any company.

In a way, the new Netgear MS108EUP is a slightly larger and more expensive version of the compact TRENDnet TPE-TG350 I reviewed a while back. At the suggested retail price of around $400, it costs almost double and offers twice the amount of PoE ports, supposedly.

To cut to the chase, if you have half a dozen PoE devices, including those with the highest power demand, the Netgear MS108UP is an excellent choice. But if you have fewer or less power-hungry devices, the TRENDnet will dig a much smaller hole in your wallet with the same result.

And if you’re in the market for a non-PoE Multi-Gig switch, I’d recommend the TRENDnet TEG-S750, the Zyxel MG-108, or the Zyxel XS1930-12HP instead.

The Netgear MS108UP 8 port Multi-Gigabit 2.5G Ultra60 PoE Ethernet Plus Switch comes with a gigantic power supply.
The Netgear MS108UP 8 port Multi-Gigabit 2.5G Ultra60 PoE Ethernet Plus Switch comes with a gigantic power supply.

Netgear MS108UP: A straightforward PoE++ Multi-Gig switch that’s a bit odd

From the description, the Netgear MS108UP is a standard unmanaged switch. It’s a rectangular box with all its ports on the front end. But looking closer, it has a few things to call its own.

A few oddities

On the back, the MS108UP has a standard power port for you to plug its included power adapter into, and that’s where things start to get a bit strange.

Specifically, the power adapter is gigantic. It’s almost as large and — at 2.1 lbs (970 g) without the power cord — heavier than the switch itself.

To put things in perspective, this power adapter is the second largest I’ve seen in my life after the Tesla Mobile Connector.

The TRENDnet TPE-TG350’s power adapter is about the same size as that of a laptop computer and I was already irked by its bulkiness during the testing. The Netgear’s is about three times the size and weight, possibly even more.

But the Netgear MS108UP is also the very first PoE++ (802bt) switch I’ve tested, and this standard might require this type of extreme power draw, hence the extreme physical size of the equipment.

PoE: What Power over Ethernet is and why it’s cool

And the PoE switch is also interesting in its network ports. All eight ports feature PoE, four PoE+, and four PoE++. There’s nothing wrong with that other than the fact it’s redundant.

That’s because, in reality, you will need to use one of those ports to work as the uplink that connects the switch to an existing network, namely another switch or a router. And that port doesn’t need to support PoE — the idea is not applicable.

Netgear MS108UP vs TRENDnet TPE TG350 with Power Adapters
Netgear MS108UP vs TRENDnet TPE TG350: Note the former’s gigantic power adapter and the Uplink port (purple) of the latter.

All other PoE switches I’ve worked with, including the TRENDnet TPE-TG350, come with at least one non-PoE port for the uplink. While not dedicating any port as the uplink (hence non-PoE) doesn’t hurt, it boggles the mind. So, it kinda hurts.

Netgear MS108UP vs TRENDnet TPE-TG350: Hardware specifications

As 2.5Gbps unmanaged switches, the Netgear MS108UP and TRENDnet TPE-TG350 are very similar regarding network speeds and plug-n-playability.

They are different when it comes to Power over Ethernet where the Netgear is clearly more capable.

Full Name MS108UP 8-port Multi-Gigabit (2.5G) Ultra60 PoE++ Ethernet Plus Switch TRENDnet TPE-TG350 5-Port Unmanaged 2.5Gbps PoE+ switch
Model MS108UP TPE-TG350
Dimensions
(W x D x H)
8.27 x 5.51 x 1.58 in
(21 x 14 x 4 cm)
6.29 x 4.3 x 1.81 in
(16 x 11 x 3 cm)
Weight 1.98 lb (0.9 kg) 1.08 lb (.49 kg)
Gigabit-only Ports None None
Multi-Gig Ports 8x 2.5G BASE-T (100Mbps/1Gbps/2.5Gbps) 5x 2.5G BASE-T (100Mbps/1Gbps/2.5Gbps)
PoE Ports 4x 2.5G BASE-T
PoE++ (802.3bt)
4x 2.5G BASE-T
PoE+ (802.3at)
4x 2.5G BASE-T
PoE+ (802.3at)
PoE Power Budget
(total)
230W 55W
Switching Capacity 40Gbps  25Gbps
Packet Buffer  1.5MB  1.5MB
Features Fanless and quiet
Desktop and Wall mount
Fanless and quiet
Desktop and Wall mount
Supported Standards IEEE 802.3 Ethernet
IEEE 802.3ab
IEEE 802.3u
IEEE 802.1p
IEEE 802.3az
IEEE 802.3 CSMA/CD
IEEE 802.3x Full-duplex
IEEE 802.3af PoE
IEEE 802.3at PoE+
IEEE 802.3bt PoE++
IEEE 802.3ab
IEEE 802.3bz
IEEE 802.3an
IEEE 802.3az
IEEE 802.3u
IEEE 802.3af PoE
IEEE 802.3at PoE+
Operating Environment Operating Temperature: 0° – 40° C (32° – 104° F)
Humidity: Up to 90% non-condensing
Operating Temperature: 0° – 40° C (32° – 104° F)
Humidity: Up to 90% non-condensing
Power Supply Input: 100 – 240V AC, 50/60Hz
Output: 54V/4.7A
Input: 100 – 240V AC, 50/60Hz
Output: 55V/1.3A
Power Consumption
(rated)
16.58W
(No PoE device)
 7.83W max
(No PoE device)
Power Consumption
(per 24 hours)
≈ 580 Wh
(No PoE device connected)
≈ 235 Wh
(No PoE device connected)
LED Indicator Green: 2.5Gbps,
Yellow: 1Gbps or slower
Green: 2.5Gbps,
Amber: 1Gbps or slower
Warranty 1-year warranty 3-year
U.S Cost (at review) $399 $205
2.5Gbps PoE switches’ hardware specifications: Netgear MS108UP vs TRENDnet TPE-TG350

Netgear MS108UP: Detail photos

Netgear MS108UP 8 port Multi Gigabit 2.5G Ultra60 PoE Ethernet Plus Switch Port with Box
The Netgear MS108UP includes a huge power adapter and a CAT6A cable.

Netgear MS108UP 8 port Multi Gigabit 2.5G Ultra60 PoE Ethernet Plus Switch has a Huge Power Adapter
The power adapter is super big, and it’s pretty heavy, too.

Netgear MS108UP 8 port Multi Gigabit 2.5G Ultra60 PoE Ethernet Plus Switch on Table
The Netgear MS108UP comes with eight 2.5Gbps ports, all PoE.

Netgear MS108UP 8 port Multi Gigabit 2.5G Ultra60 PoE Ethernet Plus Switch Top
The Netgear MS108UP’s top

Netgear MS108UP 8 port Multi Gigabit 2.5G Ultra60 PoE Ethernet Plus Switch Bottom
And here’s its underside.

Netgear MS108UP 8 port Multi Gigabit 2.5G Ultra60 PoE Ethernet Plus Switch Behind
Here’s the back of the Netgear MS108UP. Note the ventilation holes and the power port.

Netgear MS108UP 8 port Multi Gigabit 2.5G Ultra60 PoE Ethernet Plus Switch Ports on Hand
The Netgear MS108UP has four PoE++ and four PoE+ ports. It has no dedicated Uplink port.

Netgear MS108UP 8 port Multi Gigabit 2.5G Ultra60 PoE Ethernet Plus Switch with Power Adapter
Here’s another picture to show just how ridiculously massive the Netgear MS108UP’s power adapter is.

Overall still a straightforward switch

Besides the crazy power adapter, the Netgear MS108UP is a simple switch.

It’s unmanaged, so there’s no need to worry about setting it up. There’s no app or web user interface to fiddle with.

All you have to do is plug it into power (that’s if you can find space for the power adapter) and into your network using one of its ports, and you’re ready.

Now you can use it as any regular Multi-Gig switch — all PoE switches can host non-PoE devices like any traditional non-PoE switch — or you can use it also to deliver power to up to seven PoE devices. The actual number will vary depending on what PoE devices you use.

That’s because the switch has only four PoE++ ports, suitable for high-demand devices, such as the WAX630E Wi-Fi 6E access points. The rest of the ports can only handle PoE+ clients, such as the WAX214.

Netgear MS108UP 8 port Multi Gigabit 2.5G Ultra60 PoE Ethernet Plus Switch Powering two APs
Here’s the Netgear MS108UP hosting a WAX630E (PoE++) and a WAX214 (PoE+) Wi-FI access points.

On top of that, the switch has a PoE power budget of 230W, meaning it can handle only three full max-demand PoE++ simultaneously. However, if you use PoE devices, chances are they can all draw power from this switch at the same time.

Netgear MS108UP: Solid performance, runs warm

I intensively used the Netgear MS108UP for a couple of days with a few Wi-Fi access points, and it performed well.

The switch’s network throughput was as fast as expected from its 2.5Gbps Multi-Gig grade. In fact, it was the fastest 2.5Gbps switch I’ve tested by a small margin (within the margin of error).

Netgear MS108UP 8 port Multi-Gigabit 2.5G Ultra60 PoE++ Ethernet Plus Switch's performance, compared with others.
Here’s the Netgear MS108UP 8 port Multi-Gigabit 2.5G Ultra60 PoE++ Ethernet Plus Switch’s performance compared with others.

Having no fan, the Netgear MS108UP was completely silent even during heavy load. But it did run a bit warm — I could rest my hand on it infinitely without getting too uncomfortable. Still, like all network devices, it’s recommended that you use it in an open and cool environment.

In all, the Netgear MS108UP proved to be an excellent performer.

Netgear MS108UP 8 port Multi Gigabit 2.5G Ultra60 PoE Ethernet Plus Switch out of Box

Pros

Fast 2.5Gbps performance, lots of PoE power

Plug-n-play, PoE++ support

Fanless, sturdy design, wall-mountable

Cons

Entry-level Multi-Gig (2.5Gbps), no dedicated Uplink port, no SFP+

Super-bulky power adapter, a bit pricey

Conclusion

If you don’t mind the crazy bulky power adapter, the relatively hefty price tag, and have a few Multi-Gig power-hungry PoE++ (or many PoE) devices — that’s a lot of ifs — the MS108UP 8-port Multi-Gigabit (2.5G) Ultra60 PoE++ Ethernet Plus Switch is an excellent buy. Get one today.

On the other hand, casual users will find the TRENDnet TPE-TG350 a much better deal in terms of cost and practicality.

So, for a suitable situation, either of these PoE Multi-Gig switches will work well. You only need to figure out what you need before pulling the trigger.

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