Buffalo Technology BS-GS2024P review: Switching on the charm

A well-featured PoE+ Gigabit switch that delivers plenty of power controls and static L3 routing at a good price

IT Pro Recommended
Price
£323
  • Flexible PoE profiles; Capable built-in monitoring; Great value
  • Web console is slightly basic; Power budget could be bigger

Best known for its extensive family of NAS appliances, Buffalo Technology stakes its claim on the SME network switching market with the launch of no less than 13 new products. These start with simple unmanaged Gigabit switches offering a choice of port densities, ranging up to managed PoE+ models - and we have the top-dog BS-GS2024P on review.

Costing a very affordable 323, the BS-G2024P provides 24 copper Gigabit ports along with a pair of Gigabit fibre SFP uplink ports. The latter are the dual-personality variety and share a connection with the last two copper ports.

The switch's power budget of 180W isn't huge but it's enough to power a good range of PoE and PoE+ devices. The switch also supports up to four power profiles which can be used to ensure critical infrastructure devices such as wireless APs aren't starved of power if you plug too many PoE devices in.

The BS-G2024P is a Layer 2 switch with a trick up its sleeve, as you can enable a Layer 3 mode. Much like HPE's 'Layer 3 Lite' feature, this supports 32 static routes, inter-VLAN local routing and ARP (address resolution protocol) but not the dynamic routing found in more expensive full Layer 3 switches.

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We found deployment a swift process as Buffalo's handy Switch Configuration Tool discovered the switch on the lab network and offered options to change its IP address and go straight to its web console. Your first job should be to change the default admin account and password as these are very easy to guess.

The switch's web console is a simple affair that opens with a basic status page but doesn't offer any graphical views of the switch or ports. This information is accessed from the Basic menu which provides a simple table showing the status of each port and its connection speed.

The PoE menu provides all you need to know about power usage and displays an overview at the top showing the power budget, total draw and remaining available power. A table below reveals the ports supplying power, their priority, the detected class of connected PoE device and individual consumption in milliwatts and milliamps.

For testing, we connected one Class 3 and two Class 0 PoE IP cameras along with two PoE+ Class 4 dual-band 11ac wireless APs. From the switch's web interface, we could see the total draw for all five devices was 31.2W, leaving us with 148.8W still to play with.

Buffalo's PoE profiles are very flexible as they can be used to enable power on selected ports, assign low or high priorities and decide whether they can supply the full 30W of PoE+. If the power budget is breached, power to the low priority ports will be turned off first.

An integral scheduler allows power profiles to be enabled and disabled during specific periods. You could, for example, run a main profile with all ports enabled during working hours and run another outside these times to turn off power to ports with wireless APs attached.

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Buffalo also provides its free Network QuickView software which can manage and monitor all its switches and TeraStation NAS appliances. We loaded this on a Windows 10 desktop and watched it automatically discover the switch and present details of all active ports.

Event alerting for the switch is limited to sending an email if it doesn't respond to a Ping but you can back up its configuration and restore it from the utility. We also used it to check for firmware upgrades and remotely applied the latest version to our test unit.

Competition in the SMB network switch sector is intense but Buffalo's BS-GS2024P compares well on price with HPE's OfficeConnect 1920S and Cisco's 250 Smart Switch alternatives. If want to team up L3 static routing for your VoIP deployments with good PoE+ features and controls then the BS-GS2024P is a great value choice.

Verdict

Competition in the SMB network switch sector is intense but Buffalo’s BS-GS2024P compares well on price with HPE’s OfficeConnect 1920S and Cisco’s 250 Smart Switch alternatives. If want to team up L3 static routing for your VoIP deployments with good PoE+ features and controls then the BS-GS2024P is a great value choice.

1U rack chassis 24 x copper Gigabit with PoE/PoE+ 2 x dual-personality Gigabit SFP 180W power budget 802.3af/at PoE L2/static L3 routing 48Gb/sec backplane capacity 1.5MB packet buffer 16K MAC addresses Internal PSU Buffalo Network QuickView software Web browser management Limited lifetime warranty

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