Device recommendation + 400Mbps/1Gbps question


I need advice on two matters to expand my home network setup. Right now I have an ISP-provided Zyxel modem for optical fiber internet @ 100 Mbps. I am using a Belkin RT3200 WiFi 6 Router right behind this modem for all internet needs. This router has 4 LAN ports. Connected to 3 of these 4 ports are three Ubiquiti UniFi AC Pro. These three serve as dumb APs for my house. They all run OpwnWrt. I am making use of VLAN filtering through multiple Wifi SSIDs (Home, Guest, IOT, etc.) to separate home devices.

This setup has been working fine for me up until now. At the moment the fourth and final LAN port of the Belkin is set to the Home VLAN to any device plugged into it (using untagged primary VLAN id setting). The point is to connect my computer to this port for configuration of the network when needed.

However, I recently purchased a few additional devices that I want to put on to the other non-Home VLANs, but they all require plugging cable in (no wifi supported). One final LAN port of the Belkin is no longer sufficient.

  1. I am thinking of getting something like a managed switch to expand the number of ports further, and connect this switch to the fourth LAN port of the belkin. Is it possible to setup this switch and the belkin in a way that I reserve one of the switch's LAN ports for the Home network with untagged Home PVID, while all other ports automatically correspond to other specific VLANs (so similar to the current 4th Belkin port)? As a concrete example, the switch should be plugged into the Belkin, and any device connecting to the switch's first port should belong to the IOT VLAN, any device connecting to the switch's 2nd port should belong to Guest, etc. whereas the last port is reserved for trusted Home/Lan devices? How should I setup the Belkin and the Switch in this case?
  2. I am thinking of upgrading my internet to either 400 Mbps or 1 Gbps. Is my current hardware (linked above) sufficient? If not for 1 Gbps how about 400 Mbps?

With these pieces of information in my, can you recommend me a switch (or any other applicable device) that has 5+ ports for my purpose?


That is the whole purpose (at least one of the major ones) of any (smart-)managed switch, so yes - you can assign VLANs freely among the physical switch ports as needed/ desired.

Even if running OpenWrt on your managed switch isn't on your mind right now, I'd suggest looking at

to retain the option of doing so.

400 MBit/s should be doable, 1 GBit/s might be slightly more on the fence - depending on your additional requirements (e.g. VPN, SQM, PPPoE, etc.).

@slh Thank you for your reply. A few follow-up questions if you don't mind:

  1. Is Zyxel GS1900-8HP a good device for my task? I will be installing OpenWrt onto it, and the OEM installation tutorial seems easy enough.
  2. If I the GS1900's PoE ports for non-PoE devices, will that create any issue?


Yes, I have the non-PoE variant of it (gs1900-8) and am pretty happy with it, the only think to consider is the slightly limited maximum image size (6976 KB) - enough for a switch, but not much space left.

The installation is easy, two-step, but possible from the OEM upgrader. I do recommend having a 3.3V(!) usb2serial as backup though, if anything would go wrong.
ZyXEL's OEM firmware isn't bad either, so you don't need to install OpenWrt right away.

No, the switch supports IEEE 802.3af - meaning PoE capable devices need to request power, before it is delivered to them (poemgr, which is needed to enable it, is currently only available in master snapshots so far, not yet in 21.03.x).

If you don't need the additional features of the GS1900, I recommend the Zyxel GS1200-8. Here in Germany it's about 30 €.

I have several of these devices (8 and 5 port versions) and am fully satisfied.

The difference would be that the gs1900 has full OpenWrt support, while the gs1200 does not (and never will, not linux capable). Especially the non-PoE capable gs1900 models may be found rather cheap on the used markets as well.

May I ask a few things about the GS1900-8 (non HP)?

I'm contemplating on buying one. I intend to use it with OpenWRT, and have spent the last few days on reading up info on it, but some things are still not clear to me.

I've read that it's very easy to connect a serial cable to this switch, because the pins are accessible through the vent, but it sounds like as if this would only be the case with the V2. Is that correct?

If I buy a new one from a shop, is it likely that I'll get a non-V2 model?
Is it possible to identify the version somehow, for example from a serial number or some other information?

the port should be accessible through the vent on the PoE capable models, it's not accessible from the closed case on the non-PoE model, but still easy to use (open the case, three standard Philips head screws, pre-populated 3.3v/ 2.54mm header).

(top left, JP2)

You might even get a v3…

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These are good to know, thanks!

That doesn't sound good :confused:
Warranty void on disassembly applies here too, right?

I'm aware that even using custom firmware voids warranty in a lot of cases, but if it's possible to reflash the original system in a way so that it works, it's usually not a problem. Or at least I think so based on how this usually works with other kinds of technical equipment.

I'm confused, though.
I know you have a GS1900-8 (non-HP), and I trust what you say, but I see images of the non-HP version where it does have a vent (1,2, 3). Does this depend on the version too?

Wow, that is pretty recent. I had known I better not compose my sentence as "is it likely that I'll get a V1?" :smiley:

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