ZyXEL has a track record of making affordable networking equipment for both home users and service providers. Post-CES, the company has made a couple of product line announcements that warrant perusal from those keeping track ofdevelopments in the wired networking space.

Affordable 10G Switches

The first product line targets enterprise users thinking about shifting to 10G. With platform advancements bringing down the price and power consumption for 10GBASE-T switches, we have seen a host of affordable switches enter the market from various manufacturers. Netgear took the lead a couple of years back with a number of ProSafe 10GBASE-T switches starting at $1400 for the 8-port model. A couple of years down the road, the prices have come down considerably (slightly more than $800 for the 8-port model).

ZyXEL is now entering the affordable 10GBASE-T market with two switches, the Web Smart XS1920-12 and the L2 Managed XS3700-24. The two models are compared in the table below

ZyXEL XS1920-12 vs. XS3700-24 Comparison
Aspect XS1920-12 XS3700-24
Switch Class Smart Managed Layer 2 Plus (Layer 3 Lite)
Port Distribution 10x 10GBASE-T
2x 10G (SFP/RJ-45)
8x 10GBASE-T
12x 10G SFP+
4x10G (SFP/RJ-45)
MSRP (USD) $1865 $3860
Switching Capacity (Gbps) 240 480
Forwarding Capacity (Mpps) 178.6 357.14
Packet Buffer (Byte) 2M 4M
MAC Address Table 16K 16K
IP Address Table - 512
Routing Entries - 64
Routing Domains - 128
Management IPv6 Management
Web GUI
IPv6 Management
CLI
Web GUI
Out-of-bound Management Port
Static IP Routing - Yes
VRRP - Yes
Spanning Tree (STP/MSTP/RSTP) Yes Yes
QoS Features 802.1p QoS
8 priority queues
Data prioritization (SPQ/WRR/WFQ)
v1 IGMP snooping
MVR
12K jumbo frames
802.1p QoS
8 priority queues
Data prioritization (SPQ/WRR/WFQ)
v1, v2, v3 IGMP snooping
MVR
12K jumbo frames
Security Features MAC freeze
802.1X authentication
TACACS+/RADIUS
L2/L3/L4 ACL security filter
MAC freeze and intrusion lock
802.1X authentication
TACACS+/RADIUS
L2/L3/L4 ACL security filter
sFlow
Power Supply and Features 100 - 240V AC, 50 / 60 Hz
Max. Power Consumption - 95.6 W
100 - 240V AC, 50 / 60 Hz
Redundant Removable Power Supply Modules
Max. Power Consumption - 143.1 W (Single PSU), 161 W (Dual PSU)
Physical Aspects 17.32 x 12.99 x 1.75 in.
9.27 lbs
326 BTU/hr Heat Dissipation
17.32 x 17.24 x 1.73 in.
16.3 lbs
488 (single PSU) / 549 (dual PSU) BTU/hr Heat Dissipation
Removable fan module

ZyXEL is also touting their ZON management platform which enables IT administrators to have a unified view and streamlined control of various devices in the network. The new 10G switches are obviously compatible with the ZON platform.

UTM for Home Consumers

Towards the middle of last year, ZyXEL updated their UTM (Unified Threat Management) solutions for SMBs. In what we believe is a first from any home networking equipment vendor, ZyXEL is marketing the 4-port solution in the home consumer market too. Security is becoming an important aspect of home networks (with the rise in popularity of home automation devices and other online activities making home consumers vulnerable to cyberattacks) and ZyXEL is hoping to latch on to this opportunity with the USG40HE.

The USG40HE has a WAN port and 3 LAN/DMZ ports. There is an additional port that can be configured as a secondary WAN or another LAN port. Claimed firewall and VPN throughputs are 400 Mbps and 100 Mbps respectively.

This UTM device / home network security product provides firewall capabilities, content filtering, traffic prioritization depending on application recognition, intrusion detection and prevention and optional anti-virus / anti-spam capabilities. Similar to the tradition in the SMB market, ZyXEL is bundling a 1-yr license for the UTM services. Street price seems to be around $250, while the business edition is closer to $300. The latter comes with anti-virus and anti-spam licenses for 1 year, while the home edition makes them optional.

As home networks become more and more powerful, we believe the trend in the market (at least for power users) will be to move from an advanced Wi-Fi router to a gateway / wired router + Wi-Fi access point. The USG40-HE does fit into that scenario. That said, the 1-yr licensing for UTM capabilities works well in
business use-cases, but it might create a negative mindset for home consumers who are not used to such business models. It will be interesting to see how this product fares in the market.

Source: ZyXEL

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  • baii9 - Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - link

    Don't see 10gbps gonna get popular at all in home segment until WiFi/w.e wireless they have catch up. Reply
  • CuriousHomeBody - Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - link

    With most homes in North America Unable to buy 1GB service how can anyone expect to sell the home user a 10GB managed switch? Reply
  • Railgun - Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - link

    It's not about connectivity to the Internet, it's about internal services. Home servers/storage, etc. That's the only feasible use case. There's a latency component, but for the purposes of these discussions, it's mostly irrelevant. Reply
  • Deelron - Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - link

    Not to mention the number of home users who would benefit from 10GbE is minimal at best, they just don't have enough data to transfer at a given time.

    I find the Internet access speed comment very relevant, while its not directly related to home network throughout the likely driver for faster connections is the slow transition to 4k video, and the likely driver to home networking speeds will be the eventual ability to drive multiple 4k streams at the same time to different parts of the home, while still maintaining a reliable, quick web browsing and network experience.
    Reply
  • Railgun - Thursday, February 26, 2015 - link

    Well, that's an interesting topic, but I still don't think that will matter in the long run. Redray, Red's player claims a 2.5MB stream. That's ~20Mb, which is easily achievable by most ISPs. Netflix claims 15.6Mb. I can't find what Amazon will do, but the point is that compression improvements will reduce what would be perceived to be a huge requirement at the expense of quality (IMHO). Instead of higher troughput, data caps will need to be removed, but that's going way OT. Reply
  • Gigaplex - Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - link

    This is about internal networking, not internet performance. Gigabit networking is definitely the bottleneck when I transfer files between computers on my home network. Reply
  • azazel1024 - Thursday, February 26, 2015 - link

    Yeah I was kind of expecting awesome prices when mentioning "home users" in the headline. The UTM is vaguely "home priced" if you have a nice budget. $1800 for the 12 port switch is not a home price. That is someone with too much bloody money, or an SMB. For $1800, the price is deffinitely right if you need that many ports and 10GbE (if you need fewer, the Netgear 8 port 10GbE at only $800 is a significantly better deal per port).

    We are still a few years away from 10GbE being "affordable" in the home. That said, you CAN get TwinAx SFP+ modules and and some 10Gbps NICs for them to go in to for only around $150-200 total if all you need is a couple of machines with 10Gbps and they are reasonably close.

    I am honestly more interested in 2.5/5GbE, which MAY come around this year. Last I checked they are working on coming up with a concrete spec and standards based on existing chipset manufacturer specific 2.5/5GbE gear. The goal is to support either speed to 100m on Cat5e as well as something lower cost, heat and power than 10GbE.

    Part of it is the faster wifi, without link aggregation, 802.11ac, especially once 160MHz channels FINALLY come around, is going to be pushing more bits through the air than the wired connection to the AP/Router can actually handle. So bumping to a minimum of 2.5GbE for the time being until 10GbE becomes truely affordable makes sense, especially in a business/enterprise environment.

    I still wouldn't expect shipping 2.5/5GbE products until the end of the year at a MINIMUM and will of course be at a premium to 1GbE. Still and all, if I can get 2.5/5GbE at $25 a port, instead of $100 a port of 10GbE, I am all in.
    Reply
  • Lucky Stripes 99 - Saturday, February 28, 2015 - link

    The $800 Netgear 10GbE network switch is more appropriate for home users, with its much lower price and fixed UTP ports. Few home users need the modular SFP ports of the XS1920-12 and the higher price point that comes with it. I see the ZyXEL switch being used more for small offices, branch offices and small buildings within a campus.

    What I'm waiting for is an industrial/hardened (-10C to +60C, 48VDC power) 10GbE managed switch with either five SFP+ ports or two SFP+ ports and a couple of copper UTP ports that support 802.1AX aggregation, 802.1Q tagging and 802.1aq paths. I can toss something like that in a warehouse or on a telephone pole and have fault tolerant SM or MM fiber uplinks.
    Reply
  • mattlach - Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - link

    "Affordable" sure is a relative term.

    Six years ago I bought a Procurve 24 port managed layer 2 gigabit switch for about $300 for my basement. It's been a great investment. I'm still using it today.

    Six years is a long time when it comes to tech though. I certainly expected 10gig to have taken off by now, to the point where I could at least get a $300 managed Layer2 24port gigabit switch with a few 10gig uplink ports (preferably 10gBaseT so I don't have to deal with fiber and transducers that break) but this has yet to happen.

    The cheapest 10GBaseT switches are 8 port units for $750. 24port GigE with 10Gig uplink ports exist, but are usually SFP+ units and cost $1200+

    Once there is a ~$300 24port GigE + 4 port 10gBaseT or better managed switch, I'm going out and buying it right away, but at this rate that seems a LONG ways off.

    I guess it is to be expected though, as consumers have pretty much shunned wired Ethernet in favor of the vastly inferior WiFi solutions. The truth is most people just don't care about networking speeds as long as its fast enough to not bottleneck their internet connection, which means 10Gig will never see mass consumer adoption like gigabit Ethernet has, and thus it will always stay in the Enterprise with occasional trickle down to pro-sumer market, and be way too expensive :(
    Reply

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