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Zyxel XS1930-12HP Review (vs Zyxel XGS1250-12): A Complete 10Gbps Upgrade

If you’re looking to upgrade your local network completely to 10Gbps, the Zyxel XS1930-12HP Multi-Gigabit Smart Managed Switch sure is the answer. It has everything you’d look for in wired infrastructure.

The new managed switch comes with twelve 10Gbps ports — including eight Multi-Gig PoE++ and two SFP+. For a home or small office, that’s as many ports as you might need.

On the downside, it’s expensive, currently costing $1000 — though some might say that’s comparatively reasonable for a full-featured PoE Multi-Gig switch. (There’s a lesser XS1930-10 model that sheds the PoE support and two Multi-Gig ports for a lower cost of around $600.)

As a managed switch, the Zyxel XS1930-12HP is far from perfect. Among other things, it has a less-than-refined mobile app and a primitive web interface that played hard to get in my trial.

But if you use it as an unmanaged switch, the default setting, it’s as good as can be and proved an excellent upgrade, or a nice partner, of the Zyxel XGS1250-12.

Again, if you’re ready for the next-Gen 10Gbps home network, I’d say get it. Just make sure you already have a 10Gbps-ready Multi-Gig router. Or you can wait a while for the price to go down.

The Zyxel XS1930-12HP Multi-Gigabit Smart Managed Switch
The Zyxel XS1930-12HP Multi-Gigabit Smart Managed Switch is quite large and heavy.

Zyxel XS1930-12HP Multi Gigabit Smart Managed Switch

$999.99
8.1

Performance

8.5/10

Features

9.0/10

Design and Setup

7.0/10

Value

8.0/10

Pros

  • Lots of 10Gbps ports of Multi-Gig and SFP+ standards
  • Eight Multi-Gig PoE++ ports
  • Plug and play out of the box
  • Excellent performance
  • Runs cool, and relatively quiet

Cons

  • Mobile app and web interface could use some improvement
  • Still expensive, for now
  • Two internal fans

Zyxel XS1930-12HP: A Multi-Gig switch that has it all (for a home)

Right out of the box, you’ll note that the Zyxel XS1930-12HP is much larger and heavier than XGS1250-12. And it’s so for a good reason: It has everything the older brother does and much more.

Indeed, this is a managed switch with a web interface, a mobile app, ten 10Gbs Multi-Gig ports, two SFP+ ports, and the support for Multi-Gig Power over Ethernet.

There’s nothing else a home or small business user could ask for from a switch other than more ports. (Let’s face it! We never have enough ports!)

But 12 is an excellent number for most homes and many small offices. That’s because chances are you don’t have many Multi-Gig devices anyway, and there are lots of low-cost Gigabit switches to handle the rest.

Standard design, relatively quiet fans

What you’ll also note about the XS1930-12HP is its two internal fans on the side.

These fans are larger than the one found in the XGS1250-12, but they appeared to be quiet in my testing. They did run all the time and produced a bit of noise though never to a point that bothered me. In a quiet room, you’ll notice a constant low-pitch hum.

Fans are never good, but chances are you won’t find any Multi-Gig switch without at least one. So this is the norm. Plus, you can replace them, though that’s a bit of work.

Other than that, the XS1930-12HP comes in a standard rectangle design and includes rack-mounting accessories. Like most high-end switches, it has a built-in power supply and uses a standard power cable, like a desktop computer, via a port on its back.

All the switch’s ports are on its front, where you’ll also find a separate panel with the legends of its ports — the XS1930-12HP shares color codes of the XGS1250-12 and then some.

Specifically:

  • Port 1 to 10 (Multi-Gig): Solid = Link / Flashing = Activity
    • Blue: 10Gbps
    • Purple: 5Gbps
    • Sky Blue: 2.5Gbps
    • Green: 1Gbps
    • Amber: 100Mbps
  • Port 11 to 12 (SPF+) : Solid = Link / Flashing = Activity
    • Blue: 10Gbps
    • Green: 1Gbps
  • Port 1 to 8 have extra PoE status:
    • Orange: 802.3af
    • Light Green: 802.3at
    • Blue: 802.3bt
Zyxel XS1930-12HP vs XGS1250-12
The Zyxel XS1930-12HP is significantly larger than the Zyxel XGS1250-12.

Zyxel XS1930-12HP vs XGS1250-12: Hardware specifications

Full NameZyxel XS1930-12 Multi-Gigabit
Smart Managed PoE Switch
Zyxel XGS1250-12 Multi-Gigabit Switch
ModelXS1930-12XGS1250-12
Dimensions
(W x D x H)
12.99 x 9.06 x 1.73 in
(330 x 230 x 44 mm)
9.84 x 4.10 x 1.06 in
(250 x 104 x 27 mm)
Weight6.17lbs (2.8 kg)1.73 lbs (783 g)
AccessoriesPower cord
Rack mounting kit
Power adapter
Gigabit Ports12 (Multi-Gig)8
Multi-Gig Ports8x BaseT Multi-Gig (Poe)
2x BaseT Multi-Gig
2x SFP+
3x BaseT Multi-Gig
1x SFP+
PoE Ports8x IEEE 802.3bt (PoE++)None
Switching Capacity240Gbps96Gbps
Jumbo Frame SupportYes (Up to 12KB)Yes (Up to 12KB)
Packet Buffer2 MB1.5MB
FeaturesWeb-based management
Auto-MDI/MDIX in all ports
VLAN
QoS
Loop detection/prevention
DHCP client
Static Link Aggregation
Port mirroring
Support Zyxel One Network (ZON Utility)
Zyxel Nebula Cloud Management
Web-based management
Auto-MDI/MDIX in all ports
VLAN
QoS
Loop detection/prevention
DHCP client
Static Link Aggregation
Port mirroring
Support Zyxel One Network (ZON Utility)
Supported StandardsIEEE 802.3z 1000BASE-X
IEEE 802.3ab 1000BASE-T Ethernet
IEEE 802.3an 10G BASE-T Ethernet
IEEE 802.3ae 10 Gbit/s Ethernet over fiber
IEEE 802.3af PoE
IEEE 802.3at PoE plus
IEEE 802.3bt (60 W) PoE over 4 pair
IEEE 802.3x flow control
IEEE 802.3ad LACP aggregation
IEEE 802.1D Spanning Tree Protocol (STP)
IEEE 802.1w Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol (RSTP)
IEEE 802.1s Multiple Spanning Tree Protocol (MSTP)
IEEE 802.1p Class of Service (CoS) prioritization
IEEE 802.1X port authentication
IEEE 802.3 10BASE-T Ethernet
IEEE 802.3u 100BASE-TX Fast Ethernet
IEEE 802.3ab 1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet
IEEE 802.3an 10GBASE-T
IEEE 802.3ae 10 Gbit/s Ethernet over fiber
IEEE 802.3az Energy Efficient Ethernet
IEEE 802.3x full-duplex operation and flow control
IEEE 802.1p QoS
Power SupplyAC-to-DC internal power adapter
Input: 100-240V~50-60Hz
AC-to-DC external power adapter
Input: 100-240V~50-60Hz
Max Power Consumption493 wUnknown
Warranty5-Year5-Year
U.S MSRP$999.99$220
Zyxel Multi-Gig switches’ hardware specifications: XS1930-12HP vs XGS1250-12

Zyxel XS1930-12HP: Detail photos

The Zyxel XS1930-12HP Multi-Gigabit Smart Managed Switch
The Zyxel XS1930-12HP Multi-Gigabit Smart Managed Switch comes with different types of power cords for different parts of the words and rack-mounting accessories.

The Zyxel XS1930-12HP Multi-Gigabit Smart Managed Switch
The Zyxel XS1930-12HP Multi-Gigabit Smart Managed Switch includes twelve 10Gbps ports, including eight Multi-Gig PoE ports.

The Zyxel XS1930-12HP Multi-Gigabit Smart Managed Switch
All of the Zyxel XS1930-12HP Multi-Gigabit Smart Managed Switch’s ports are on its front.

The Zyxel XS1930-12HP Multi-Gigabit Smart Managed Switch
On the back, you’ll see the standard power port.

The Zyxel XS1930-12HP Multi-Gigabit Smart Managed Switch
The underside of the Zyxel XS1930-12HP Multi-Gigabit Smart Managed Switch.

Zyxel XS1930-12HP's fan
Despite having two fans, the Zyxel XS1930-12HP runs quietly in my testing.

Responsive web interface, good feature set, (almost) standard setup

As a managed switch, the Zyxel XS1930-12HP has a host of features, including VLAN, QoS, Link Aggregation, and so on.

However, similar to its peers, out of the box, the switch has none of its features turned on — it works as an unmanaged switch. (And that’s a good thing.)

Zyxel XS1930-12HP Web Interface
The Zyxel XS1930-12HP’s web interface is relatively simple.

That said, all you need to do is connect one of its ports to an existing network, preferable a 10Gbps port of another switch or a router, and you’re all set. Now the rest of the ports will be part of the existing network.

And in most cases, that’s all you’d need anyway. That’s because chances are you already have a router at home that handles other features of the network.

I personally didn’t try out most of its features since I had no use for them, nor did I have enough equipment to test them out. The Link Aggregation, for example, requires a device that supports a bonded 20Gbps connection — that’s really overkilled.

So I used the Zyxel XS1930-12HP mostly as an unmanaged switch. And this review is based on that experience.

But if, for some reason, you want to configure the switch to your liking, getting to do that can get interesting.

A bit of IP hiccups

Like all switches, you get to the Zyxel XS1930-12HP by pointing a web browser to its IP address from a local computer.

This IP is given to it by the existing router — it’s not a fixed one. In most cases, including the XGS1250-12, you can find this IP via the existing router’s interface, as I detailed in this post on IP address.

(If you follow the manual, the switch does have a fixed IP for this, but only if you set it up before hooking it to an existing network, something most of us won’t do.)

The Zyxel XS1930-12HP proved to be a bit different in my testing. For some reason, it automatically picked another address of the same pool that’s different from the one initially assigned to it by the router. That was quite odd.

Zyxel One Network Utility
For home users, the Zyxel One Network (ZON) Utility is the best way to figure out the switch’s IP in real-time.

As a result, you can’t use the initial address to access its interface. If you wait a couple of minutes or so, the new and real IP will be registered at the router’s end, but most of us aren’t that patient. Consequently, you might feel something is wrong since the seemingly correct IP doesn’t respond.

That said, the best way to figure out the switch’s IP in real-time is by using the Support Zyxel One Network (ZON Utility).

Unfortunately, before you can download the app, Zyxel makes you jump through hoops and surrender your email address. You can either do that or lick on this link and thank me later.

The point is if you run into issues figuring out the switch’s IP address yourself, be patient or use the ZOn Utility to figure out its real IP address.

Unpolished mobile app

Apart from the web interface, the Zyxel XS1930-12HP uses Zyxel Nebula Cloud as its remote managed solution via a mobile app of the same name.

Zyxel Nebula App
The Zyxel Nebula app is terrible. Note port #8 is being used to host a PoE device, yet it shows no PoE power is being consumed.

In my trial, the Nebula app seemed like an afterthought. The requirement for an online account (and, therefore, the privacy risks) aside, the app was clunky in all of its functions.

Specifically, to add the Zyxel XS1930-12HP to the account alone, I had to try three times. And after that, the app didn’t even show the true status of the switch.

For example, even when I used the switch with a PoE device, the app still shows that the PoE power is not being used. (And yes, it did show the connected PoE device!)

Overall, there were a lot of inconsistencies and more bad coding than I could stomach.

But, here’s the deal-breaker: The app is available as a trial. To continue using it, it seems you’ll need to buy a license for each hardware unit in the account. So ready to write it off, I didn’t bother to find out the license cost.

Update: On August 24, 2021, Zyxel told me that “Nebula has a Base Pack license that is free of charge, and it’s a standard offering.” Well, that’s great, but it sure makes the “trial” notion a bit odd.

The point is, skip all the Nebula nonsense and use the Zyxel XS1930-12HP as an unmanaged switch, and you’ll be happier with your life.

Zyxel XS1930-12HP: Excellent performance

So, the Zyxel XS1930-12HP did bother me quite a bit with its esoteric mobile app, but it more than made up for that in performance.

Before publishing this review, I used it for more than a week and was totally happy with the numbers.

For testing, like the case of the Zyxel XGS1250-12, I used new testbeds that run super-fast NVMe internal storage, such as the Samsung 980 PRO and Crucial P5 Plus, in an attempt to eliminate the bottleneck.

On top of that, I upgraded all testbeds to 10Gbps networking capability via Base-T adapter cards, including a few TP-Link TX401, ASUS XG-C100C, and Gigabyte GC-AQC107.

And for the actual testing, I used both CAT5e and CAT6A cables and transfer 100GB of data between the test machine to get the sustained copy speeds as you can see in the charts below.

10Gbps Switches Performance

So compared with the Zyxel XGS1250-12, the Zyxel XS1930-12HP was mostly faster with a small margin. But both proved to be high-speed 10Gbs switches.

Clearly, the Zyxel XS1930-12HP has a huge advantage considering all 12 of its ports are 10Gbps.

Zyxel XS1930-12HP Multi Gigabit Smart Managed Switch in action
Here’s the Zyxel XS1930-12HP Multi-Gigabit Smart Managed Switch in action, powering the EnGenius ECW230 Access Point.

I also tried out the PoE function, and all eight ports worked well. They could handle multiple non-Zyxel PoE access points and IP cameras with no issues at all.

In all, when used as an unmanaged switch, the Zyxel XS1930-12HP just worked. You can count on it.

Conclusion

If the Zyxel XGS1250-12 is a gateway to the next-Gen 10Gbps home network, then the Zyxel XS1930-12HP Multi-Gigabit Smart Managed Switch is the full upgrade. It has nothing but superfast ports.

And while its $1K price is not easy to stomach, that’s actually quite reasonable compared to other 10Gbps that cost the same or more yet to offer fewer ports and without the support for Multi-Gig PoE.

That said, if you want to dabble into 10Gbps wired networking, the Zyxel XGS1250-12 is a good buy to start with. On the other hand, if you’re in for a complete migration to a 10Gbps BaseT home or office, the Zyxel XS1930-12HP is an excellent buy, even at its current full price.

Just make sure you have gotten your home wired (preferably with CAT6A cables) and already have a Multi-Gig router. Also, think of this switch as more of an unmanaged switch, and use it as such — you won’t have any problem at all.

See also  Multi-Gigabit Wi-Fi 6 Routers of 2021: Get Ahead of the Speed Curve Today!
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4 thoughts on “Zyxel XS1930-12HP Review (vs Zyxel XGS1250-12): A Complete 10Gbps Upgrade”

  1. Who comes up with such poor design of having all LED indicators bunched together on the left? Why not let each port have it’s own LED like Cisco or Netgear? They should not cheap out on such convenient features especially at such pricing.

    TBH, I still feel that this switch is overpriced by quite a bit.

    Reply
    • That’s personal preference, D. I actually like this design better since the cables do not obscure the lights. But you’re right about the cost. Hopefully, that will go down over time. 🙂

      Reply

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