Are Zyxel switches good? (GS1900)

Hi,
I need a gigabit switch with more than 10 ports with VLAN functionality.

Preferably it should be:

  • Small
  • Quiet (i.e. fanless)
  • As cheap as possible (I have no need of PoE)

My budget is around $150.
Zyxel GS1900-16 generally suits my needs. From where I live I can buy a new one at $136.
I also see that some Zyxel GS1900 models are supported by OpenWRT (not sure about GS1900-16 though).

Questions:

  • Are Zyxel switches reliable?
  • Any other good switches that are within my budget?
  • Is installing OpenWRT on switches a good idea?

Image size is limited to 6'976 KB, that's the only 'issue' with them. Apart from that, it's a reliable device and one of the few specimens where you can be sure what to get, without having to check hardware revisions - and in used conditions you will find them for a third to a quarter of your budget.

I recently added support for this switch and it was merged into the latest Release Candidate 22.03.0-rc2.

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I actually found one in eBay that is about 70% cheaper than a new one.
Not sure if I should take the risk though. Are used switches safe to buy?

For one, if you're flashing OpenWrt on it, then even if someone had tampered with the firmware on the switch, you'd be overwriting any such tamperings anyway, so that's not really a concern. Secondly, devices like switches typically either fail very soon after purchase, if they're to fail, or else they'll be perfectly fine for several decades. If the seller isn't selling it as a broken device or for parts, then I wouldn't worry about that, either.

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I've acquired most of mine as bargains on ebay! I did purchase the GS1900-16 new from amazon.com however.

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I am very happy with mine.

If it's a passively cooled one I wouldn't worry too much. The fan (when present) is more prone to fail than any of the internals I'd say. That and your power brick.

Thanks everyone for your inputs!
I am not sure what are the benefits of flashing OpenWRT onto switches (beside security updates), but I will consider it.

Also, I need one last purchasing advice:
In my local secondhand market, I can find two Cisco 8+2 switches:
WS-C2960CG-8TC-L ($42.6, EoL)
WS-C2960CX-8TC-L ($136.4)
They are also small and fanless. Unlike the Zyxel, these two are fully managed.

Do you think I should go for one of these two instead of the Zyxel model?
I don't know how to compare switches, but Cisco seems to be the more popular brand.

You know what is supported by OpenWrt - and can infer from that what isn't, everything beyond that is your decision only.

If I were to buy a managed or VLAN-capable switch today, I would go with one that is supported by OpenWrt. Aside from the fact that this will most likely give you the longest possible support cycle (in terms of security updates), the main reason for me is a simple one: Manageability or not needing to deal with yet another web interface or terminology. If my managed switch would run OpenWrt, I would already be familiar with the configuration, terminology and syntax. That would make my life easier already.

I currently own a small Cisco switch. My reasoning for getting this one was this: 1) At the time I bought it, OpenWrt did not support real switches (aside from the switch chips in router devices). 2) It offered manageability over SSH or a command line which reduces the attack surface (if you turn off the web interface and use strong athentication mechanisms). 3) It receives regular security updates, at least for a certain time. And while it is a nice little device that works well, I always need to look up the command line syntax for the switch whenever I need to change something because I just don't need it that often that I could remember it. That is slightly annoying and I would prefer a switch that runs OpenWrt if I were in the market for a new one.

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