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      Netgear FS-524s Stackable Fast Ethernet Switch Review

     
     Date:April 1st, 2002
     Type:Review
     Supplier:Netgear
     Author:mayhem
     R.R.P:$2,199.00 AUS

    As the size of many networks are ever increasing there is more and more call for flexible networking products that are reliable, affordable and most importantly upgradeable. The Netgear FS-524s is a stackable Fast Ethernet Switch that provides 24 10/100 ports with the ability to increase network capacity via the use of its firewire stacking ports.

    NETGEAR’s FS524s Stackable Switch connects multiple PCs together with web, print, file, and e-mail servers, as well as routers. The 2 dedicated stacking ports on the back of each switch allow you full use of the 24 Fast Ethernet ports on the front. You can grow your network up to 192 ports with additional switches, using a robust backbone bandwidth of up to 4000 Mbps.

    Key Features:

  • 24 10/100 Auto-Sensing Ports
  • 2 Stacking Ports (FIREWIRE)
  • Stacking Cable
  • 4Gbps Stacking Throughput
  • Self-Healing, Load Balancing, Hot Swappable Stacking
  • Powered by Intel Switch Technology
  • With the two firewire stackable ports on the back of the unit you are able to connect up to 8 units together, giving a total of up to 192 ports. The front of the unit is covered in not only 24 ports, but also a vast number of LEDs. The two LED's embedded in the ports represent, on the left the presence of a valid link, and on the right the duplex mode. A separate section of LEDs displays the Rx/Tx/Collision status, the Presence of a 100Mbps or 10Mbps link and stacking status.

    The switch is designed to hold up to 8,000 MAC addresses in the internal packet forwarding table, this is far more than anyone could possibly use. The table is automatically updated saving any manual configuration and is protocol independent. Being an unmanaged switch there is no facility to control the bandwidth management, establish VLANs, control packet forwarding tables or machine access, or to enable and disable ports remotely.

    As with all Netgear products the build quality is second to none with this unit having a solid metal housing. The PSU is housed within the unit itself, this removes the need for any large clumsy power packs to be lying around and thus makes the unit easier to mount.

    The FS-524s also comes with brackets that allow the unit to be rack mounted and thus is usable in many rack-mounted environments.

    Standards Compliance:

  • IEEE 802.3i 10BASE-T Ethernet
  • IEEE 802.3u 100BASE-TX Fast Ethernet
  • IEEE 802.3x Flow Control
  • Dimensions:

  • W 330 mm (13")
  • D 207 mm (8")
  • H 43 mm (1.7")
  • Weight:

  • 2.3 kg (5.0 lbs)
  • Warranty:

  • Switch - 5 years
  • Power supply - 1 year
  • Setting Up:
    If you wish to rack mount the unit(s) then you will need to attach the mounting brackets supplied to the switch so that it can be securely mounted into a rack. To do this simply screw the brackets using the supplied screws, making sure that they are firmly in place.

    To setup the unit is rather simple, as expected, all you need to do is simply plug in the power and then plug in the CAT5 cable, connected to each machine, into a port on the front of the switch itself, the status lights will then light up confirming the connection. Once this is complete then your network is ready to operate.

    The following diagram is of a typical network configuration using stacked units:

    NEXT: Stacking, Testing and Results

     

      Supplier Information

     
    Netgear are suppliers of a vast range of networking solutions from simple hubs to large scale switches and routers. For all your networking needs contact Netgear Australia or visit their website for more information: http://www.netgear.com.au/.

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