QNAP QSW-1105-5T 5 Port 2.5Gbps Switch Review – The cheapest way to get multi-gig Ethernet right now

Being an unmanaged switch, this is a short review, but the QNAP is finally available, costing just £108 for five 2.5gbps copper Ethernet ports it is the most affordable solution for a multi-gig network on the market.

Multi-gig Ethernet has been frustratingly slow to go mainstream and become affordable. With Wi-Fi 6 we started to see routers implement 2.5gbps and 5Gbps ports, and motherboards have finally started to adopt them too.

Sadly, 10gbps remains just a dream; while it is affordable to implement, the best solution is via SFP, which is less than ideal for many home users.

With a lot of motherboard and some routers using 2.5Gbps, this is your best (affordable) solution to go multi-gig.


QNAP QSW-1105-5T, 5 port 2.5Gbps auto negotiation (2.5G/1G/100M), unmanagement switch

  • Affordable network upgrade – 2.5GbE connectivity provides immediately noticeable improvements compared to standard 1GbE
  • Instantly build a plug-and-play high-speed network
  • Features network loop detection and blocking
  • Cool and quiet operation
  • 2 year manufacturer warranty

Features & Specification

QNAP QSW-1105-5T 5 Port 2.5Gbps Switch Review – The cheapest way to get multi-gig Ethernet right now 2

This is an unmanaged switch, so features are slim, to say the least.

  • Fanless switch
  • Completely unmanaged
  • 5 x 2.5GbE (RJ45) backwards compatible with 1000BASE-T and below
  • 12W max power consumption
  • 16K MAC address table
  • 12.5Gbps total non-blocking throughput
  • 9K Jumbo frams
  • 25gbps switching capacity
  • LED indicator per port for speed, link and activity
  • Loop LED warning indicator

Design and Build

QNAP QSW-1105-5T 5 Port 2.5Gbps Switch Review – The cheapest way to get multi-gig Ethernet right now 3

This is a chunky utilitarian switch with not much exciting to say about it. The two main things are:

  • Its fanless so you can place it anywhere
  • The power brick is external, and it plugs in at the front side with the Ethernet ports.

Performance

For testing, I used the onboard Realtek 2.5gbps port on the  MSI MEG X570 UNIFY motherboard with my drive being the Kingston KC2500 NVMe. My server uses the ASUS XG-C100C 10 Gbps Ethernet PCI-E Network Card (which can auto-negotiate 2.5gbps) and an older Crucial MX300.

I also tested with the TerraMaster F4-422 10GbE which I have set up as RAID 5 with a cheap SSD cache drive.

Sadly, the StarTech Intel X550-T2 can’t negotiate 2.5gbps so will only to gigabit.

Using Crystal Disk, read speeds to both my server and the TerraMaster NAS were happy to max out the 2.5gbps connection. Write speeds dropped off to 150Mbps but I suspect that is more a limitation of the SSD drive on the server.

Similarly transferring large MKV files, both Windows Explorer and Task Manager reported the connection remaining consistently at 2.5gbps for reads and a lower 1.5gbps for write

So the results were as expected, I would have said the Realtek NIC would have been the weak link in the chain if I had experienced poor results.

Price and Alternative Options

This is currently available on Amazon for £108. There is nothing else with a like for like spec, or anything that is a viable alternative really.

The Zyxel XGS1010-12 has two 10GbE SFP ports and two 2.5GbE priced at £129.99 making it one of the most affordable options for 10GbE but I find that port combination a little restrictive.

The Mikrotik Cloud Smart Switch 326-24G-2S+RM is a fantastic managed switch with two 10GbE SFP ports. I have been using this as my main switch for over a year, and if you just need to connect two computers together at multi-gig speeds, this is a superb solution.

The Netgear GS110MX unmanaged switch has two 10GbE ports for £162 which is the cheapest solution I can find if you want 10GbE RJ45.

QNAP QSW-1105-5T 5 Port 2.5Gbps Switch Review – The cheapest way to get multi-gig Ethernet right now 6

Overall

There is nothing I can fault about the QNAP QSW-1105-5T, it is the cheapest (only) device on the market for what it does, and it performs as advertised.

It is frustrating that we the best we can do is £21 per 2.5gbps port for an unmanaged switch, but with nothing else coming close to this price point I can hardly criticize QNAP too much.

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