We do a lot of work with small-to-medium sized businesses who need to implement modern enterprise networking, but on tight budgets. Yet, when we mention NETGEAR switches, we often get incredulous responses like "But they're a consumer brand!"
In actually, they are quickly becoming respected in the business field as well, as a solid alternative for growing SMBs that need reliable but inexpensive networking.
Sure, NETGEAR doesn't have all the features that Cisco offers on their high end products, but they also cost a fraction of what Cisco does. Most don't compare apples to apples. Often, new NETGEAR equipment is cheaper than buying last-generation pre-owned Cisco hardware. Plus, NETGEAR has a few advantages of their own.
So, we wanted to talk about a few myths we've heard,and what the reality is from the perspective of a company focused on implementing good networks at low costs.
Five Things You Might Not Know About Business NETGEAR Switches
1 - NETGEAR is not just a consumer company.
Yes, obviously, they are best-known in the market for their consumer-grade hardware. There's a good chance many of you have NETGEAR products in your own home...but that's not all they do and for years now, they've been growing in the business community.
Today, they're used globally in small, medium, AND large-sized businesses. From our experience, NETGEAR ProSafe switches seem especially popular in the manufacturing industry and similar fields that need "workhorse" equipment with high reliability and minimal maintenance costs.
2 - NETGEAR is growing in business use.
While their shareholder report from last year shows an overall 1% drop in revenues (not a big deal) look at how well their business lines performed:
“We are very pleased with the fourth quarter performance of our Retail Business Unit and Commercial Business Unit. It was a record quarter for RBU in terms of net revenue, led by unprecedented demand for our high-end line of Nighthawk 802.11ac routers... Meanwhile, CBU grew on a year-over-year and sequential basis, benefiting from increased sales of our switching and storage products."
They will be putting more emphasis on their business divisions in the years to come. Their products are finding traction.
3 - NETGEAR has outdated technologies.
This is another myth we sometimes hear, that NETGEAR switches are behind the times. In fact, their SMB line is absolutely comparable with other brands on the market, including advanced and highly-reliable 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches. In fact, if you look under the hood of most of their products, they use the same chipset as Cisco and other big name brands!
Unless you're looking to run a Metronet or Cloud Service Provider, NETGEAR switches are as advanced as any other brand marketed to growing businesses. Plus, their PROSafe line of smart stackable switches are designed specifically for scalability, with simple stacking of up to eight 10GbE switches into a single virtual 80-Gigabit monster switch.
4 - "Inexpensive" does not mean "unreliable."
Yes, we do sometimes hear people say, in so many words, that NETGEAR prices are too good to be true. That their products must be unreliable, if they're so inexpensive.
In fact, what we're seeing here is a benefit of their extensive consumer adoption. They have access to huge manufacturing facilities and huge economies-of-scale in their purchasing. This gives them a big price advantage over other SMB-targeted brands who can't leverage the same manufacturing load.
NETGEAR is uniquely positioned to produce highly reliable equipment at prices most brands simply couldn't consider.
5 - NETGEAR is simple, not over-simplified.
Let's be honest: some IT folks can get a bit... zealous... when it comes to networking operating systems. And hey, if you've got a legitimate Unix Guru on staff who refuses to leave the command line, that's great.
But for everyone else... NETGEAR has taken their understanding of human-machine interfaces, grown through nearly two decades in the consumer market, and turned it to business interfaces. The result is a network OS that can be operated by anyone with basic Windows/Internet skills, while still giving them all the power they need to intelligently manage the network.
Want to talk about upgrading your network? Call Hummingbird Networks today for more information!