Earlier this week I got my hands on a Ubiquiti Unifi USW Flex Mini Switch…. and i love it.
If you’ve read any of my other Ubiquiti posts you know i’ve been pretty harsh or realistic from a business prospective on the Unifi products. And those critiques still stand, but hopefully this product bugs the big vendors to wake up and update their options.
What is it?
The Ubiquiti Unifi USW Flex Mini Switch is a simple 5 port gigabit switch that can be powered over PoE or USB C. The switch is managed by the Unifi Controller software and has a limited feature set compared to the larger models.
Why do I love it.
For a long time there has been many situations where you need to add network connectivity to a location. Most of the time it’s a simple situation of you have 1 network port and now you need 2. Generally your options are as follows
- Bring in a cabling company to run cabling
- Install an 8 port enterprise grade “managed” switch
- Install an 8 port “smart” switch
- Install an unmanged switch from best buy
The first 3 options are the most expensive options. Running cables costs money, Buying a managed switch is expensive, and deploying a smart switch is administrative annoyance because it will most likely have a difference management interface then the rest of your networking equipment. The unmanaged switch option is that is usually done because its cheap, but could lead to other issues if you need to worry about VLANs.
The USW Flex Mini Switch is flexible and manageable for $30.
This switch is perfect for temporary field work or simple additions to the network. It’s small, compact, and can be powered over PoE to save on power issues.
Right now my only 2 concerns are that it doesn’t support Spanning Tree and the memory usage seems high. Other then that the product is great, it does support flow control and jumbo frames.
Cisco and Aruba take note, some times something like this is all you need.
If you need to provide PoE power to a device connected to the switch there is an upgraded model for $99 that can do that as well