|NETGEAR ProSafe GS110T Gigabit SmartSwitch|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Network|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Tuesday, 08 January 2013|
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NETGEAR ProSafe SmartSwitch Setup
The NETGEAR GS110T Smart Switch uses embedded Web server and management software for configuring and monitoring its functions. The GS110T acts like a simple switch in its base configuration. The management software uses a standard Web browser to access more advanced features, which allows you to monitor the performance of your switch and optimize its configuration for your network. When the switch is powered up for the first time, the provided Smart Control Center software is used to discover the switch and view the default network information that is loaded into its flash memory. If a DHCP server is present on the network, the switch may get an IP address assigned to it; otherwise it will use the static network ID that it has stored in its configuration file. Here's what it looks like when you first log in; you will probably only see one device on your screen. If you make any changes to the network, just press the "Discover" button on the lower right, and any new devices will show up in the list.
One of the first decisions that need to be made is whether to use DCHP to assign IP addresses or to use static IP addresses. If you're used to unmanaged switches, this is going to be all new to you, unless you went through this process with your router. A router is typically the first piece of network equipment a homeowner acquires, simply because it comes as part of the package their ISP sends to them. Without prior knowledge or experience, the typical user just leaves them on the default settings. Only about half even do the simplest step of changing the SSID. I live in an urban area, so I pretty much have to set mine to a unique name, as I' m within signal range of at least eight other wireless routers in my neighborhood.
Once you've logged in, the next step is to configure the ports that you will be using. There are two different views available, a basic tabular version or a more graphical device view. This truncated view shows some of the configuration options for each of the ports. Ports with a device connected to them will show up with an entry in the Physical Status column. In this case, two GbE devices are connected to ports 1 & 4, and a Fast Ethernet (100 Mbps) device is attached to port number 3.
Looking at the "Device View", there is easy access to the variety of configuration options which can set up on each individual port. There are also menu items for retrieving detailed or summary statistics on port usage.
If you just click on the front panel portion of the diagram, then the system-level configuration options are available in a cascading menu structure. There is a comparable menu structure that uses the tabs, the dynamic menu bar directly below them, and a sidebar to provide the full range of menu selections, so you're spoiled for choice. Modern users expect to be able to access software functions in a variety of methods, and NETGEAR has obliged them throughout this entire software package.
Now that we've covered the basics for setting up the SmartSwitch, let's investigate some of the many security features that NETGEAR includes with the ProSafe models.