I’ve been extending a network, where the baseline requirement is for a comparatively cheap, POE-compliant (802.3af), gigabit, VLAN-capable switch.
A (now EOL) Netgear GS724TP is great! You need to be open-minded about using Firefox v3 Portable to talk to the web UI because it’s so old, but aside from that it’s got 24 ports and is functionally bang on the money.
Except for the noise.
It sounds like a Dyson vacuum on turbo mode. This thing is cheap. Like, £60 on eBay cheap. And there’s the reason!
Except, is that a reason? Really?
I’ve tried to order replacement fans – there are blog posts and videos about silencing these things, usually by hacking an ugly 12cm hole in the case and putting in a different fan altogether. I opted for near-silent 40mm fans to fit like-for-like, but I’m damned if I can find anything that matches the wattage (12V @ 0.18A).
But there is an elegant solution if you’re willing to wave a soldering iron about for a few minutes: add an in-line 200ohm resistor (£0.04 each) and those stupid fans will slow down to be near silent yet still pump through enough air. (Into the red-wire if you’ve Googled this looking for a solution).
And this is my gripe with Netgear. They produced a pretty neat piece of kit costing hundreds and couldn’t be bothered to put in 12p of resistors to make it right. Like the airline saving pennies by scrimping an olive from the in-flight meal on a £10k F ticket, they’re cheap bastards.