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
IPv6 Management
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
12K jumbo frames
802.1p QoS
8 priority queues
Data prioritization (SPQ/WRR/WFQ)
v1, v2, v3 IGMP snooping
12K jumbo frames
Security Features MAC freeze
802.1X authentication
L2/L3/L4 ACL security filter
MAC freeze and intrusion lock
802.1X authentication
L2/L3/L4 ACL security filter
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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  • r3loaded - Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - link

    "Affordable" and for "home users". Yeah right.
  • Kjella - Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - link

    Yeah you could start at "Does the consumer even have *one* 10 Gbps capable device in their house?" I think only a few X99 workstation boards have a 10 GigE port, the rest is expensive server gear. And even if they have one they only need a 10 Gbps uplink port so it can serve wired/wireless <= 1 Gbps clients, not a 10 Gbps switch.
  • Joel Kleppinger - Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - link

    The MSRP of the XS1920-12 is $1,865, while the suggested retail price of the XS3700-24 is $3,860.

    I read the headline as affordable 10g switches to home users.
    The headline writer needed to go back to the drawing board on that one. These are managed switches with fiber uplinks, etc and definitely not affordable to home users.

    Of course, the headline really meant that UTM was for home users, though I don't think $250 is going to move many boxes.
  • Mushkins - Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - link

    $1800 for a twelve port switch?

    I'm not sure I'd call that affordable yet... Maybe in a serious corporate environment where only a handful of highly specialized devices needed to interconnect at 10G and the rest of the network can be 100M/1G and you could get away with only buying one of these, but as far as a full 10G network infrastructure? No way.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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