**Update 27/04/2018 – after using the switch for a few weeks now, I have updated the review in regards of its reliability. I have had no issues with it since set up, but I do find the app a bit slow to load and recognise my devices**
During my trip to MWC in Barcelona this year, I was made aware of Netgear’s new Insight switches. This is a new range of switches aimed at the SMB market that offers intelligent management of your network in a similar manner to the popular Ubiquiti products or the expensive but fantastic Meraki range of hardware which is owned by Cisco.
If you are not aware of those brands and what this class of networking hardware does then it aims to simplify networking hardware deployment by managing everything under one hood. If you have multiple Insight products, each device knows what is connected to it and you can use a mobile app to manage them all in one place.
This will have advantages for anyone with multiple devices, but the larger the network gets, the more time and money you can save. With one POE switch and 3 POE access points you can, in theory, deploy the network in a matter of minutes all within an app, compared to what could be hours if you were to set-up each device manually. A network admin can then manage the network completely remotely, so with a company that has multiple locations, or a 3-rd party network admin you can fix network issues on the fly without a site visit.
Unlike other brands, there is no need for a cloud controller or a paid subscription.
At the moment there is a small but growing range of Insight devices. On the switch side of things it starts off with the 8 port + 2 SFP GC110 switch which can be normal or POE, then GC510P which is the same but PoE+. The switch options top out at the GC728XP which is a 28-port PoE+ 4 10G SFP+ switch.
There is then an option of 2 wireless access points with the WAC505 and WAC510.
Thanks to a recent Amazon Business promotion I managed to pick up the Netgear GC110P for £111.99 but it costs £161.99 typically, the switch without POE costs £107.99.
This is about triple the price of the Netgear GS108Tv2, so it is a relatively large investment, but not really the same product comparison. A better comparison would be the UBIQUITI US-8-60W UniFi which costs £116.49 from Amazon, but if you want all the functionality, you need the cloud controller which costs £68.36. You can save money by installing the free Cloud Controller software on a device like the Raspberry Pi3, though this is another set-up step, its good for home users, it is something that business is wanting to avoid if they are thinking about devices like these.
The access points cost £86.99 and £98.22 for the WAC505-10000S and the WAC510. The switches appear to have the same WiFi spec but the WAC510 has 2 ethernet ports, once being POE compatible. They both offer Multi-User MIMO with aggregate speeds up to 1.2 Gbps. Sadly, these do not support a mesh networking option, but using WDS, you can get something similar.
Netgear has a range of NAS products that are also compatible which include the ReadyNAS 2000, 3000 and 4000 Rackmount Series and ReadyNAS 420, 520 and 620 Desktop Series that run ReadyNAS OS 6.0 or newer
Sadly, as I am poor, and I paid for this myself, I am only reviewing the GC110P with my existing hardware which is not Insight based. I hope Netgear may lend me some of the other hardware and which will allow me to review the Insight features thoroughly. Alternatively, I may end up investing in the access points myself.