What 4-port and 6-port Switch to buy for OpenWrt router?


I admit it: I have too many Raspberry devices.

On the router I have only 4 Ethernet ports and should buy two switches. One for the lower floor (4 ports - router is also there) and one for the upper floor (6 ports).

What do I need to consider when buying a switch? What can you recommend me?

I ask you so that I do not buy crap.

Is it possible to run OpenWrt on a cheap switch? Or is this too advanced?

  • Consider buying a netgear or tp-link switch.
  • There are no 4 or 6 ports switches: you'll find 5, 8, 16, 24, 48 ports.
  • Yes it is possible to run openWrt on a switch, for example

I have the GS308T, and compile my own snapshots from master for it. The device works like it should apart from the LEDs, which are non-functional at the moment.

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if you don't need the "smart" features, I'd just buy any 8 or more port switch out there.


thank you very much for the answer. The GS308T looks good and is affordable.

But I would also like to have a 5 port switch. 8 is a bit much.

What exactly can you do with OpenWrt and GS308T? Is it not just plug in cable and Ethernet goes? What exactly can I configure etc?

what is that exactly? "smart" features? What is that supposed to be?

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You end up with a fully manageable switch, that has a 500Mhz mips cpu with a bunch of RAM hanging of the CPU-port of the Switch-Chip, running Openwrt@5.X-Linux, with all the goodies that entails.

It uses the newer Linux kernel DSA infrastructure for switch management, so all ports look like separate ethernet devices.

I'm also looking for a 5 port variant with that SOC.


But it will consume lots of power?
Is there switch without CPU and RAM you can recommend? Something very simple, but secure.

I've never seen a convincing argument, that the HW-NAT tables/rules, that (afaik) all switch chips support, cannot be in any way modified/influenced by in-band traffic, whether intentionally (debug-tool/backdoor), or not (HW-designer messed up the HDL for the switching silicon).

Because of that, I'd rather have a switch (chip/soc) I can control/supervise (as much as possible).

The GS308 comes with a 12V/1A PSU, similar to other/dumb switches.

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Yes you are right. I also prefer also Open Source

Maybe backdoor in Netgear GS105GE?

Seems a good device, expect the possible backdoor.

there are backdoors in every device/code, you just need to look long and hard enough to find them.

you can always get a dumb(er) switch, or put on a tin foil hat.


Grab a Zyxel GS19XX-series, if you want to run OpenWrt there's a possibility (1900-series at least) otherwise vendor firmware works just fine. Done


AFAIK the Realtek SoCs OpenWrt supports only come with 8 port switches, no smaller sizes (only bigger :wink: ).

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I'm not clear on the advantages of OpenWRT on a switch; other than the basic "it's securable, publicly audited and you can control exactly what's on it". But is there a clear win feature-wise? I have a GS1900-8HP that I rely on heavily. Tempted to put OpenWRT on it, but should I?


To be honest I'd keep vendor firmware until it's very outdated, I don't see the point in switching when it's maintained by vendor.


Look at the Linux kernel version used by your vendor firmware and then tell me again that it's maintained!

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Why would kernel version matter (which might not even work due to hardware restrictions)?

2 posts were split to a new topic: 16 port switch with OpenWrt support

What can you do that the default firmware can't ? Better VLAN management ?
At home I just have a basic switch that fit my need. At work we have managable switches, but I'm not the one who managed them.

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I would ask myself these questions to get little closer to the answer.

  1. Rack mounted or free standing?
  2. For long time environment support, choose managed. It will be cheaper and expandeble in the long run.
  3. PoE demands? Now and future!
  4. Noice! How is it cooled?

The big question here is: will you need a smart/managed/configurable switch (to handle VLANs, for example), or a dumb/unmanaged switch (no configuration at all)?

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