Cisco Small Business Switches -- there is no competition
July 07, 2019

Cisco Small Business Switches -- there is no competition

Patrick Plaisance | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Cisco Ethernet Switches

We use Cisco Small Business (SG) switches at almost all of our client sites. They provide all of the features that we need at an attractive price point, plus have the advantage of Cisco's support, both in official and community-based forms. They provide basic network connectivity, the functionality to segregate networks for different tasks (VLANs), and power to IP phones and other network devices (Power over Ethernet).
  • Easy setup and configuration. While the web UI has its quirks, setting up VLANs and other tasks which can be exceedingly complicated on other switches, are much easier on Cisco SG switches. You also have the ability to upload an existing configuration to switches, which can speed up the task of deploying many identical switches.
  • Features for the price. Getting a 48 port L3 switch with PoE+ for less than $2,000 is a great value.
  • Reliability. We have hundreds of the SG switches in dozens of client sites, many in harsh conditions, and they just keep going.
  • The web UI has taken a turn for the worse with the latest firmware on the SGx50 models -- the bifurcation between basic and advanced modes and the changes to the way VLANs are modified is a step backward in my opinion.
  • The power bricks on smaller models are enormous. I'm sure, however, keeping this circuitry external to the switch is what keeps my switches running year after year in hot environments.
  • Fans can be a bit loud on larger switches -- this is true of pretty much any 1U device though.
  • Switches are extremely reliable, haven't had to replace many (if any I can recall) due to multiple failed ports, saving annual network maintenance funds.
  • Convenient VLAN configuration has kept multiple networks safely segregated, helping to keep guest and other undesired traffic off of office networks.
We used to implement a lot of NETGEAR ProSafe Managed Switches before the Cisco SG Switches. They were also inexpensive and offered basic management, VLAN, and PoE features. However, management was beyond quirky, VLAN setup was a chore, and we had lots of reliability issues. We do implement some UNIFI switches for smaller clients, but they have major issues with reliability (both hardware and firmware) and while the "single pane of glass" interface along with their wifi and gateway devices is good in theory, often finding important settings in the UI can be confusing.
In my field, I honestly can't think of a scenario I wouldn't want to use an SG switch. Even if someone needed a simple desktop switch, I would advise they purchase a $150 8 port SG350 over spending $50 on a SOHO Netgear or similar switch. The flexibility of functionality offered by these switches in unmatched.