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Netgear Unveils Mid-tier SXK50 AX5400 Orbi Pro and PoE SMB Multi-Gig Switch

Netgear today announced a new Orbi Pro set, the AX5400 SXK50, and a Multi-Gig PoE switch, the MS108EUP — both for small and medium business (SMB) environments.

The company says these two will “provide optimized performance and security for small and medium businesses and work-from-home professionals.

Despite the statement and the timing, the two have nothing to do with each other.

Sure, you can use them together in a wired-backhaul Orbi setup, but that’d be a waste since the SXK50 is not a PoE device, nor does it have any Multi-Gig ports. Instead, it’s a Gigabit Wi-Fi system that needs a couple of wall sockets.

But separately, both are welcome news.

Netgear Orbi Pro SXK50
The Netgear Orbi Pro SXK50’s router unit

Netgear SXK50 AX5400 Orbi Pro: A sensible alternative to the SXK80

The SXK50 is the third Wi-Fi Orbi Pro variant after the top-tier SXK80 that costs an arm and a leg and the entry-level SXK30 that’s only suitable for a wired home.

And the new mesh lands right in the middle in terms of Wi-Fi specs, carrying the AX5400 Wi-Fi designation — it’s a Wi-Fi 6 broadcaster with a total bandwidth of 5400Mbps.

That said, while the SXK50’s performance will be different — likely significantly faster than the SXK30 — it’s safe to say it will share the same feature set and network applications as the other two.

Netgear says the SXK50’s key features include:

  • Easy Setup: Connect to your existing broadband modem to set up and customize in minutes through the local user interface.
  • Safe & Secure: Supports WPA3 wireless security protocols and includes VLAN management and four SSIDs for separate and secure admin, employee, guest, and IoT networks for different business purposes, as well as network segmentation.
  • Business Reliability: Dual-image in the flash, so it will never fail from firmware update disruptions or failures.
  • Supports More Devices: Mesh system provides coverage for up to 5,000 square feet and supports up to 75 devices simultaneously, helping you stay connected as you roam around the office with no dead zones.
  • NETGEAR Insight: Includes five years of NETGEAR Insight so you can monitor and manage your devices from anywhere and get insightful analytics on your network usage.

On top of that, per Netgear, the Orbi Pro SXK50 also supports the company’s Insight Business VPN, an add-on service that allows multiple Orbi Pro routers to be easily connected, via the Internet, to form a site-to-site or site-to-multisite virtual private network.

Among other things, Insight Business VPN allows the main office and its branches (including employees’ home offices) to share resources seamlessly. That includes using a single SSID — users can remain connected when roaming from one location to another.

Netgear Wi-Fi 6 Orbi Pro hardware specifications: SXK30 vs SXK50 vs SXK80

The SXK50’s dimensions and weight are not yet available, but it shares the same design as other Wi-Fi 6 Orbi Pro.

It includes a router unit (model SXR50) and a satellite unit (SXS50). After that, you can add more satellites to expand the coverage.

Physically, chances are it’ll be of the same physical size as the SXK80, or maybe slightly smaller. The SXK30 is an Orbi Pro Mini, so the SXK50 will likely be more substantial than that.

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Full NameNetgear SXK30
Orbi Pro Mini
Wi-Fi 6 AX1800
Mesh System
(model SXK30)
Netgear SXK50
Orbi Pro
Wi-Fi 6 AX5400
Mesh System
(model SXK50)
Netgear SXK80
Orbi Pro
Wi-Fi 6 AX6000
Mesh System 
(model SXK80)
Hardware ModelRouter: SXR30
Satellite: SXS30
Router: SXR50
Satellite: SXS50
Router: SXR80)  
Satellite: SXS80
Dimensions
(each unit)
5.8 x 2.7 x 7.4 in
(148 x 68 x 189mm)
TBD6.8 x 3.3 x 9.7 in
(17.27 x 8.38 x 24.63 cm)
Weight (each unit)1.06lb (0.48kg)TBD2.06 lbs (934.4 gram)
Wi-Fi SpecsDual-band AX1800Tri-band AX5400Tri-band 4×4 AX6000
1st Band (5GHz-1)2×2 AX: Up to 1200Mbps
(20/40/80MHz)
4×4 AX: Up to 2400Mbps
(20/40/80MHz)
4×4 AX: Up to 2400Mbps
(20/40/80MHz)
2nd Band (5GHz-2)None4×4 AX: Up to 2400Mbps
(20/40/80MHz)
4×4 AX: Up to 2400Mbps
(20/40/80MHz)
3rd Band (2.4GHZ)2×2 AX: Up to 600Mbps
(20/40MHz)
2×2 AX: Up to 600Mbps
(20/40MHz)
4×4 AX: Up to 1200Mbps
(20/40MHz)
Number of SSIDs444
ManagementWeb interface
Insight App
Web interface
Insight App
Web interface
Insight App
SecurityWPA/WPA2/WPA3 WPA/WPA2/WPA3 WPA/WPA2/WPA3
Target Wake TimeYesYesYes
OFDMAYesYesYes
MU-MIMO SupportYesYesYes
AP (bridge mode) SupportYesYesYes
Dedicated Wireless BackhaulNo Yes
(5GHz-2 Band)
Yes
(5GHz-2 Band)
Wired Backhaul SupportYes Yes
(5GHz-2 band not available to clients.)
Yes
(5GHz-2 band not available to clients.)
Gigabit PortRouter: 3x LAN, 1x WAN
Satellite: 4x LAN
Router: 3x LAN, 1x WAN
Satelite: 4 LAN
Router: 4x LAN 
Satellite: 4x LAN
Multi-Gig PortNoneNoneRouter: 1x 2.5Gbps LAN/WAN
Satellite: 1x 2.5Gbps LAN 
Link AggregationNoneNoneYes (2nd and 3rd LAN ports)
Max Mesh Hardware Units1x Router, 
6x Satellites
1x Router, 
6x Satellites
1x Router, 
6x Satellites
Release Date May 11, 2021January 2022September 3, 2020
Available 
Configurations
2-pack, 3-pack,
Add-on satellite,
Router only
2-pack2-pack, 
3-pack, 
4-pack, 
Add-on satellite
Suggested Retail Price
(at launch)
$300 (2-pack)
$400 (3-pack)
$160 (satellite)
$449.99 (2-pack)$769.99 (2-pack)
$1099.99 (3-pack)
$1489.99 (4-pack)
$419.99 (satellite)
Netgear SXK30 vs SXK50 vs SXK80: Hardware specifications

The SXK50 uses the 5GHz-2 band as the permanently dedicated backhaul, making it suitable for homes or offices with no network cable.

Looking closer, you’ll note that it seems a much better alternative than the SXK80 — it has the same 5GHz bands and yet is significantly more affordable.

Like previous models, the SXK50 supports wired backhauls — you can use a network cable to link the hardware units to deliver the best performance.

In this case, it’s a bit disappointing that its satellite doesn’t feature power over Ethernet (PoE), considering, again, it was introduced alongside Netgear’s latest PoE switch, the MS108EUP.

Netgear Orbi Pro SXK50 Ports
The network ports of the Netgear Orbi Pro SXK50′ hardware

Netgear MS108EUP: Compact, silent, with lots of power

Netgear’s Ultra60 PoE++ Multi-Gigabit Ethernet Plus Switch (model MS108EUP) is the first Multi-Gig switch from Netgear that features the latest PoE standard.

It’s a compact fanless 8-port 2.5Gbps Multi-Gig switch with four PoE++ ports (Port 1 to 4) and four PoE+ ports (port 5-8). Each port of the former set can deliver up to 60W and the latter up to 30W each.

The entire switch can deliver up to 230W of power at any given time, enough to power up to eight existing PoE devices simultaneously — most devices require less than 30W.

According to Netgear, the MS108EUP’s key features include:

  • Future-Proof: Connect multiple devices to your network with a single wire for connectivity AND power. Eight ports of multi-gig 1G and 2.5G speeds connect devices instantly, whatever their speed, and automatically provide the speed they need.
  • Easy Management: Plug-and-play Plus switch with essential network management features. No need for an IT expert or a complicated user manual, just configure your network with the user-friendly web interface.
  • Advanced Per Port PoE Controls: Manage power of connected PoE devices by enabling and disabling PoE power per port, prioritizing PoE needs, limiting PoE power per port and more. Simplifies management of Wireless APs, IP security cameras, LED lighting, secure access door locks, IoT devices and more.
  • Fan-less & Wall-Mountable: With a wall-mount feature, NETGEAR MS108EUP can be placed either on a desktop or wall, and it is fan-less for silent operation in any environment.

Ideally, it’s a great switch to host a PoE Wi-Fi 6 access point with a 2.5Gbps PoE port, such as the Netgear WAX630, EnGenius EWS850AP, or EnGenius ECW230. But the switch will work with any PoE device.

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Netgear MS108EUP PoE Switch
The Netgear MS108EUP PoE Multi-Gig Switch

Pricing and availability

Netgear says the Orbi Pro Wi-Fi 6 AX5400 Mesh System (SXK50) will be available as a 2-pack later this month with the suggested price of $449.99, or some $300 less than the SXK80, making it one of the most friendly priced Netgear Orbi Pro to date.

On the other hand, if you’re interested in the Ultra60 PoE++ Multi-Gigabit Ethernet Plus Switch (MS108EUP), you might have a bit of a sticker shock. The switch is available now at $439.99 — it’s not exactly crazy expensive but definitely not affordable.

Considering it’s an entry-level switch that doesn’t feature 5Gbps or 10Gbps speed grades, you’ll likely find a better deal, at least in terms of speeds, among these alternatives.

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