Netgear ProSafe XS708E switch review

Driving prices down to affordable levels

Netgear ProSafe XS708E switch
Netgear ProSafe XS708E switch

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We liked

The XS708E heralds an era where 10GbE is finally affordable, in relative terms at least. The required expenditure is now at the point where it's an affordable option for just about any business with high bandwidth requirements.

It's also fast. I'm certain it will go faster than my results show, but even the speeds I did see were faster than both single-port Gigabit Ethernet and combined, aggregated ports.

While I had little use for the SFP+ port in my office environment, that single addition will make it easier to deploy on large premises where 10GbE connectivity between departments positioned far from one another is needed.

And a lifetime warranty on an expensive piece of networking equipment is great to see.

We disliked

I've used this term before in reviews, and readers are quick to point out it's only relative, but yes, I found the XS708E a bit large. As I said earlier, when you're used to eight-port desktop switches that make no noise, and take up tiny amounts of space, the XS708E is a bit of a step change.

It was also noisy. The fans spin constantly – again, something you don't get with traditional desktop switches. This isn't a problem in a crowded server room, but it's a constant irritation when used in home offices.

The configuration software is rudimentary at best. There are no options to configure LAG connections, and it all feels a bit clunky. Netgear's good hardware products often seem let down by software and the XS708E seems to follow this trend.

And finally, I believe I speak for everyone by wishing that 10GbE hardware was even cheaper than it is now. While prices have dropped from the stratospheric levels they were once at, this is still not a mainstream product.

Final verdict

The XS708E is powerful and fast, but also large and noisy considering that it's just an eight-port switch. However, it is one of the lowest priced 10GbE options available, and it comes with a very nice lifetime warranty. The software is a weak point, though, and we still can't help but wish that prices of 10GbE hardware keep falling even more swiftly.