VLANs, Multiple SSIDs, and unmanaged switch

I just purchased two TP-Link EAP615-wall devices and successfully flashed with OpenWRT. My intention is to use these two APs as dumb access points with three SSIDs, using VLANs. However, the two EAP615-wall APs are powered by PoE and I am using an unmanaged TrendNet TPE-TG44g to provide power and connect them to my main router.

Am I able to use two (or more) of these EAP615-wall APs, all connected via ethernet to the unmanaged TPE-TG44g switch, the switch connected with one ethernet cable to the router, and have the ability to use VLANs? Or do I have to get a managed switch with 802.11q support?

I am new to networking, so I apologize if I've missed something.

Unmanaged switches are not designed to carry 802.1q tagged networks (i.e. VLANs). The behavior is undefined. Some switches may be okay, others may cause problems. There are a handful of oher reasons not to use an unmanaged switch which have been covered in other threads, so I won't repeat them here (just search the forum).

I would recommend that you change out your unmanaged switch for a managed one. But you can certainly try the unmanaged switch if you're willing to take the risk that it could cause serious problems on the network and/or you could have minor issues that are difficult to troubleshoot.


Just to add to what @psherman wrote, there are inexpensive managed switches with POE. For example I own the TL-SG108PE. They are not the epitome of security, but for a home network you can make some sacrifices.


Thank you. I have just ordered one.

Although you just ordered a switch, I cannot recommend the cheap TP-Link series - I have nothing but bad experience with the TL-SG108E (I assume it's the same as the TL-SG108PE just without PoE).

I upgraded to ZyXEL GS1900-8HP and ZyXEL GS1900-10HP devices, both supported by OpenWrt and with PoE on 8 ports.


I agree with @andyboeh that the entry level TP-Link TL-SG1xxE/PE series devices are terrible. I would recommend staying away from those particular devices (and also apparently the entry level netgear managed switches, too)... Zyxel seems pretty good from what I've heard, and TP-Link and Netgear (among others) make good devices once you get up above the entry level.

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Thank you everyone for this insight. Although the TP-Link is already on the way, I can return it and order a ZyXEL. There is a ZyXEL GS1200-8HP for the same price, I will check out that one.

On this particular topic though, aside from the OneMarcFifty videos on youtube, are there any other resources you would recommend for configuring openwrt devices on a home network with a couple of VLANs? I am digging through tutorials, forums and documentation but still feel I need to learn more.

Is it managed? If you'd like your switch to run OpenWrt as well, do note just the GS1900 models mentioned here support OpenWrt. As for the VLANs, practice works better than theory. It will be easier to grasp stuff once you see for yourself how it does (not) work.

It is managed, but doesn't look to have openwrt support, so I'll just stick with the TL-SG108PE that arrived today. Hopefully it doesn't give me too much grief.

Don't know about the 8 port version but i have the 16 port poe and non poe and 2 x 5 port versions of those easysmart tp-link switches ... no issues at all.

You just have to know what you're doing


Just curious. I also have the Zyxel GS1900-8HP and wonder if the there are great benefits by putting OpenWRT on it ? I ask this because the switch and its firmware is still supported and I wonder if the proprietary firmware might not be better optimized for it. Especially for things like LACP. Up till now I use OpenWRT on routers and AP's only. Would you mind to elaborate and perhaps convince me to also flash my Zyxel ?

The two most important reasons for me are:

  1. Unified configuration interface on all my devices
  2. No nonsense going on in the background, especially on Cloud-managed switches. That's not so much of an issue on the GS1900 series, but it is on the Netgear S350 series (I also own a Netgear GS308T which is such a cloud-managed solution).
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