FS.com 10GBASE-T SFP+ Transceiver Module Review – Convert SFP+ to 10 Gigabit RJ-45 Ethernet

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FS 10GBASE-T SFP+ Transceiver Module Review Review Rating

Summary

The FS 10GBASE-T SFP+ transceiver is a great way to convert your 10Gb SFP+ ports to 10Gb RJ-45. During my testing, it achieved the desired performance and was reliable throughout. With this shipping from Germany, the final price you may pay is not quite as attractive as the price advertised on site, as you may get stung with some import fees.

Pros

  • Affordable & easy way to get 10GbE for small businesses/SOHO
  • Much cheaper than genuine parts
  • Compatibility options for all major switch brands
  • Reliable performance

Cons

  • A little bit more expensive than some options on Amazon UK

Following on from my review of the FS S3150-8T2FP POE switch, I have also been trying out their 10GBASE-T SFP+ transceivers, which allow you to convert the 10 Gb SFP+ ports to 10Gb RJ-45.

These transceiver modules are relatively expensive, at £50, compared to a standard 10Gb SFP+ modules, which will set you back around £20. However, they are a great way to connect up a PC to a server in different rooms without the faff of running fibre.

In my work from home scenario, I use a small box room for all my networking gear with the Mikrotik CSS326-24G-2S+RM as one of my main switches. My server has a used Mellanox ConnectX-3 connect to the SFP+ via a DAC cable, but my office is two rooms over with Cat6a Ethernet run to it. Therefore, I need one of these transceivers.

I have reviewed three different options in the past, with mixed results. Many of the options you buy on option offer generic compatibility across brands of switches. While two of the transceivers worked with my Mikrotik switch, the 10Gtek model did not.

FS.com provide the option to buy transceivers for a specific switch brand, which should help ensure compatibility with your chosen switch.

For me, I think they just send a generic transceiver, but installing it on both my Mikrotik and Zyxel XGS1210-12 worked without issue.

FS.com vs QSFPTEK & H!fiber Transceiver

The FS transceiver is a touch longer than the other two models I own. You can also buy it for specific switch brands, whereas the cheap options on Amazon cover general brands.

Both the QSFPTEK and H!fiber are likely to be using white label hardware. I would have said they are the same pieces of hardware but it looks like the PCB is slightly different.

FS transceiver on the right

Performance & Heat

I tested these in a few scenarios, with them all working as expected.

The switches I tested were:

  • Mikrotik CSS326-24G-2S+RM
  • Zyxel XGS1210-12

Then various setups I tested with:

Work PC:

Server:

The transceiver will happily connect to 2.5GbE, and testing it using the built-in Ethernet port of my motherboard, I achieved 291 Mbits/sec or 2.37 Gbits/sec.

Switching to the 10Gbit adaptors, I achieved around 1180MB/s or 9.5 Gbits/sec.

The transceiver does run quite hot to touch, but this is normal for these and I have not experienced any performance issues when transferring data for prolonged periods of time.

Price and Alternatives

The FS transceiver is £50, and there are options to buy it for the vast majority of switch models, including Cisco, Arista, Juniper, Mellanox and more.

The model I was sent is rated for 30m, but you can get an 80m model for 65m. Alternatively, if you just want a normal SFP+ model, they cost as low as £19.

Shipping is free for orders over £79, but they will charge £14 shipping for orders under this, and it is shipped from Germany. You will, therefore, likely incur VAT and import fees. Technically, the current UK VAT rules state that you shouldn’t have to pay anything if the total value is under £135, it should be FS that take the VAT, but it doesn’t look like this is the case.

There are various options available on Amazon. Most of these claims broad compatibility rather than you buying a specific transceiver for your switch. I have had mixed results with these, the 10Gtek model I bought didn’t work at all, but the QSFPTEK and H!fiber models did.

The H!fiber 10G SFP+ RJ45 Copper Transceiver is the best price I can find at £51.99, available on Amazon.

Overall

The FS.com 10GBASE-T SFP+ transceiver works well, allowing you to gain access to 10GbE for a lower price than buying a 10GbE RJ-45 switch and a bit more convenient than running fibre cable around your office/home.

I wouldn’t want to fully populate an SFP+ switch with these, that would work out expensive, but it is good for connecting your work PC to a server in a networking room, for example.

Like all of these transceivers, it runs a bit hot, and the range is limited to 30M (for 10Gbps), but it is not something I have found problematic.

Pricing is awkward. In the UK, once you factor in VAT and potentially 2.5% duties these work out a bit more expensive than options on Amazon.

Overall, these are well worth considering especially if you are already buying gear from FS.com, or you need compatibility for specific brands.

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