Mikrotik Switches Review

lMikrotik Switches lineup of switches, particularly the CRS328-24P-4S+RM, CRS112-8G-4S-IN, and CRS326-24G-2S+RM models, cater to a wide range of network infrastructure needs, offering both versatility and reliability for business and tech-savvy home users.

Here’s a detailed review of each model:

CRS328-24P-4S+RM

Key Features:

  • 24 Gigabit Ethernet ports with PoE (Power over Ethernet) support, ideal for powering PoE devices such as IP cameras, VoIP phones, and wireless access points without the need for extra power cables.
  • 4 SFP+ (Small Form-factor Pluggable) ports for high-speed uplinks or connecting to storage networks and other switches, supporting up to 10 Gbps per port.
  • Rack-mountable design fits standard server racks, making it a good choice for centralized network deployments.
  • Dual boot feature allows you to choose between RouterOS or SwOS, giving you the flexibility to use the switch as a fully featured Router or a straightforward network switch.

Pros:

  • Versatile PoE capability greatly simplifies wiring for multiple devices.
  • High-speed SFP+ ports allow for easy expansion and connection to other networks or high-speed servers.
  • Dual boot functionality offers great flexibility for various networking needs.

Cons:

  • The complexity of RouterOS can be a barrier for new users unfamiliar with MikroTik’s system.
  • Power consumption with PoE enabled on all ports can be significant, impacting energy costs in larger deployments.

CRS112-8G-4S-IN

Key Features:

  • 8 Gigabit Ethernet ports for reliable high-speed connectivity.
  • 4 SFP cages to accommodate fiber modules for long-distance networking or connecting to high-speed internet services.
  • Compact and silent design, making it suitable for office environments or small server rooms.
  • Managed switch capabilities with RouterOS, offering extensive features such as VLAN, QoS, firewall, and MPLS configurations.

Pros:

  • Flexibility with fiber optic connections thanks to the SFP cages.
  • Compact design allows for deployment in limited spaces.
  • Extensive manageability with RouterOS for detailed network control and security settings.

Cons:

  • The learning curve for RouterOS if not previously familiar.
  • Limited port count may not suffice for expanding networks without adding additional switches.

CRS326-24G-2S+RM

Key Features:

  • 24 Gigabit Ethernet ports for extensive connectivity options.
  • 2 SFP+ ports for uplinking or connecting to high-speed networks, supporting up to 10 Gbps.
  • Dual boot system lets users switch between SwOS and RouterOS, offering simplicity or advanced features as needed.
  • Rack-mountable design for easy integration into existing network infrastructures.

Pros:

  • High port density is ideal for businesses with a large number of wired devices.
  • Dual boot provides flexibility for different network roles and user expertise levels.
  • The presence of SFP+ ports allows for high-speed networking beyond gigabit Ethernet limits.

Cons:

  • As with other MikroTik products, RouterOS can be complex for newcomers.
  • The switch does not support PoE, which may be a limitation for environments relying heavily on PoE devices.

Conclusion: MikroTik’s CRS series switches offer robust solutions tailored to diverse networking needs, from small office setups to larger enterprise environments. The choice between these models depends largely on the specific requirements of your network, such as port density, PoE needs, and whether fiber connectivity is a priority. Despite the steep learning curve associated with RouterOS, its comprehensive feature set allows for highly customized and efficient network configurations. Overall, MikroTik provides cost-effective, powerful, and flexible networking equipment suitable for a wide range of applications.