Tenda was founded back in 1999 and has since created some great networking products. We’ve tested a few already and it’s a pleasure for me to take a closer look at the Tenda TEG1210P WebSmart Gigabit PoE Switch that comes with 8 Gbit RJ45 ports and two additional Gigabit SFP ports.
A switch doesn’t equal a switch. Although most people can make do with what any cheap switch, a lot of us want more. More control, more features, and more possibilities and that is what smart switches bring to the table.
The TEG1210P supports port mirroring, port bandwidth control, port traffic statistics and power save mode, and more. It is user-friendly and works as plug-and-play without the need for configuration.
The switch is only 210mm deep and will easily fit into any 19-inch rackmount that you might have. It comes with mounting brackets and screws for that as well as four rubber feet with adhesive in case you want to use it as a desktop model.
The rear side only features a power plug for 100-240V and a power switch to turn the switch off. The power switch is a nice feature in an office environments where you don’t need it all the time and it is something my own current switch is missing and that I’m missing on it.
On the bottom we can clearly see the four markings where you the feet for desktop use are placed. You’ll also find a sticker with details on the router.
Tenda added two 40mm fans to keep the unit cool by sucking the air in on one side and blowing it out on the other, thereby creating an air flow through the entire unit.
The eight RJ45 ports support 10/100/1000Mbps connections as well as 802af PoE with 15.4W per port. There are two more ports, but these are SFP MiniGBIC with a speed of 1000Mbps and automatic switching between metallic and optical interface. The SFP ports allow you to easily extend the range of your network from 100meters to over 80 kilometers.
The LEDs on the front of the switch will let you know what is going on. There is Link/Act, Speed, and PoE LEDs for the eight RJ45 ports as well as LEDs for the two SFP, Power, and System. The reset switch is hidden between the Power and SYS LED.
Tenda also added a grounding screw in case your unit doesn’t get that through the power connection or you just want an extra security or ground something else via the switch.
When we take a closer look at the sticker mentioned earlier we see that it contains all the relevant information from power usage to default IP and administrator details.
The TEG1210P complies with IEEE 802.3, IEEE 802.3u, IEEE 802.3ab, IEEE 802.3z, and IEEE 802.3af ethernet standards. It adopts store and forward scheme and is integrated with an 8K MAC address table with MAC address learning and auto-aging support.
The smart switch supports port aggregation and trunking with up to three groups each of which is allowed to include a maximum of 4 members. It further supports up to 10 groups of Port-based VLANs and up to 128 groups of IEEE 802.1Q Tag VLANs with VLAN IDs ranging from 1 to 4094.
You also get features such as port storm control, statistics, bandwidth control, QoS, IGMP snooping, and 802.1x support. The total switching capacity of 32Gbps should prevent any bottlenecks.
A Look Inside
Some smart switched can be tricky to open, to find every single screw and then get it apart, but not so here. Although there isn’t any real reason to open it, it is nice to know that one can – may it just be for cleaning after extensive usage.
To the left, seen from the rear, we find the two small 2-pin 40mm fans that keep this unit cool. Looking at them we already know that this won’t be the most silent device, but just how loud is yet to be seen.
The power supply is built-in and works with power connections from 110V to 240V, making it usable everywhere.
The motherboard itself isn’t very big and it is split up into two sections. On the bottom we see the CPU, RAM, and Flash that make everything run.
By default this switch comes with a static IP setting, so there is a chance that you might need to change your settings and connect to it directly when setting it up the first time. You’ll find all the default login information on the sticker on the bottom of the device itself as well as in the manual.
When you connect to the switch and login, you’ll be presented with a little function intro. This is pure information and there aren’t any features on this page, we’ll find them once we start to select things.
The System information is the first page and it provides information on the hardware and firmware revisions as well as IP status.
The port management section is pretty self-explanatory, you can configure the ports, their speed and mode as well as flow control and admin abilities.
Port mirroring is a cool function that can copy and forward the frames of one or more monitored ports to the monitoring port, allowing you to easily police the internet access in enterprises.
The Rate Limit configuration allows you to set throughput limits in 5Mbps steps from 5Mbps to 155Mbps for each of the 10 ports.
In the storm control settings, you can define the broadcast rate, multicast rate, and unknown unicast rates and set them with no limit or in 11 steps between 1k and 1024k.
The statistics page doesn’t need much explanation, what you see is what you get.
The PoE feature in this switch is awesome and it allows you to easily connect low-powered devices such as access points with just an ethernet cable and removes the need for a power adapter. In the shot below I have connected my Netgear ProSafe Wireless access point and everything worked as it should. You can see the power draw and temperature of the PSE.
The port trunking, or link aggregation, call it what you want, is probably the place users will go most besides the VLAN area. More and more systems come with dual or more LAN connectors and so do NAS devices. This switch supports them all and you can create 3 groups with up to four members each.
The QoS service is relative simple, but it is effective. It helps so your important traffic stays prioritized, this could be your mail, web, or streaming servers, while keeping everything else on a lower priority.
Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is a popular protocol for network management. It is used for collecting information and configuring network devices.
The Tenda TEG1210P supports both port-based VLAN and 802.1Q VLAN, but you can only choose one method.
The VLAN port and tagging pages are another couple of those self-explanatory pages. Select a group or ID and add ports.
MAC Address Settings
With the 8K MAC address table, the TEG1210P can store a long list of MAC addresses. You can define the aging time and also disable this feature if you do not wish to use it.
The Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol (RSTP) 802.1w provides significantly faster spanning tree convergence after a topology change, introducing new convergence behaviors and bridge port roles to do this. RSTP was designed to be backwards-compatible with standard STP. Where STP can take up to 30 to 50 seconds, RSTP does it in mere seconds and even milliseconds, depending on setup.
IGMP, or Internet Group Management Protocol, is a communications protocol used by hosts and adjacent routers on IPv4 networks to establish multicast group memberships. IGMP is an integral part of IP multicast.
EEE 802.1X is a standard for Port-based Network Access Control (PNAC). It is part of the IEEE 802.1 group of networking protocols and provides an authentication mechanism to devices wishing to attach to a network.
IEEE 802.1X defines the encapsulation of the Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) over IEEE 802 which is known as “EAP over LAN” or EAPOL.
The last part of the settings panel is designed around the switch itself. You can change the admin password which is highly recommended. An admin/admin combination is far from safe, but a normal default password, you really should change it to something else.
You can enable the power save mode to conserve energy, but I suspect most users will leave this disabled as they want to make sure they get the maximum performance that they can get.
There is no online update feature, which is a little bit sad. You can however manually download and install a new firmware to the switch, if some should be released.
By default the switch is set to a static IP, a smart choice for such an important part of the infrastructure. If your DHCP server on the other hand already handles everything by MAC address or you don’t care which port the admin interface runs on, then you can enable the DHCP client and get an automatic IP address.
If you messed everything up or just want to start from scratch, restore it to factory defaults.
Or you could make sure to create a backup once you have all your settings made.
And then have the ability to recover and restore the configuration at any time later.
- Supermicro C7Z97-OCE
- Intel Xeon E3-1230Lv3
- Corsair Vengeance 16GB 1866MHz
- Kingston HyperX 240GB SSD
- Sapphire R7 240 2GB
- BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 850W
- Thermaltake Water 3.0 Performer
We would like to thank our sponsors for supplying us with the equipment needed to perform these tests.
- Gigabyte Z79X UD5H-BK
- Intel Core i7-4790K
- EVGA GTX 980 SC
- Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB 2400MHz
- Kingston HyperX Savage 240GB SSD
- Lan Speed Test
- PassMark PerformanceTest Suite
When testing a switch like this, we want to know the total throughput. How much can it handle and does it perform as advertised. Just because it supports Gigabit Ethernet doesn’t mean that it will run at that speed – we already know this from our normal PCs.
To get a view on the performance, I’ll be testing the switch by sending traffic through it and measuring the results, then compare these results with two other switches, one being another smart switch and the second being an automatic switch without any interface as most people will have at home.
LAN Speed Test
LAN Speed Test is a very simple tool for benchmarking network connection. It allows me to specify both the filesize to be sent and what amount of times that I want it to be sent. To get a good view on actual performance, I’ll be sending 10 packages with 1GB of size each.
PassMark PerformanceTest Suite
With PassMark PerformanceTest I can define the block size and send both fixed and variable sizes over the network connection. I’m using 16384 byte sized blocks for the fixed test and the variable test will run from 32-byte block sizes to 16384.
Fixed Block Size
To test the maximum throughput speed that a connection can handle, a fixed block size of 16384 Bytes is sent from the client to the server over a period of five minutes. The higher block size will allow the transfer rate to stay as high as possible – in the same way that large files transfer from one drive to another quicker than lots of small files of the same total size.
Variable Block Size
In a real world situation, the blocks of data that pass through a network adaptor are not of the same size each time, so to give a more realistic impression of how an adaptor performs, the adaptor is once again tested for a period of five minutes. This time however, the block size will vary from 32 Bytes up to 16384 Bytes in increasing steps of 148.7 Bytes each time.
At the time of writing, the Tenda TEG1210P WebSmart Gigabit PoE Switch will set you back $175.29 on NewEgg, £134.85 at Amazon UK. German readers can find a deal through Geizhals where it starts at €169.11. Those who shop around a bit might find really great deals on this switch, ITboost.de for example has it for just 54 Euro with shipping. Maybe it’s a typo or wrong price, but worth a shot.
I quite liked the Tenda TEG1210P, it is a solid piece of work that does as it should and supports everything you’ll want from it. The 210mm deep unit easily fits into any 19-inch rack mount and also comes with four adhesive feet, allowing you to use it as a desktop model.
Most smaller offices or homes can do make due with eight RJ45 Gbit and two SFP Gbit ports. You can create up to three groups for link aggregation. Get the best out of your connected devices that support the same. Connecting it to the rest of your network isn’t any problem either as SFP supports kilometer long connections. I used the SFP port to connect it to my Netgear ProSafe PoE smart switch and both units found each other right away just as link aggregation worked as advertised.
Having a Power over Ethernet (PoE) switch is awesome when you’re connecting devices that support it. My Netgear ProSafe wireless access point supports this and worked like a charm when connecting it. When you don’t need power adapters everywhere, you get a lot more options where to place your devices.
There are plenty of features for advanced users too, with VLAN tagging, both port-based and 802.1Q VLAN, 802.1X port authorization, IGMP snooping, RSTP, SNMP, QoS, and more.
Sound wise it most likely won’t be a deal breaker, but it is audible. It is about the same sound level as my ProSafe switch and normal for most smart switches. It could probably be compared to a high-powered workstation on air cooling.
- 802.1Q VLAN and Port-based VLAN
- Support Link Aggregation
- Mirroring, QoS, SNMP, Authentication, DoS Defense, and much more
- No fan control, one speed setting
“The Tenda TEG1210P would be a great switch for any smaller office or branch, and it would do well in a SOHO environment too. It is a little loud, but performs great.”