Zyxel XS1930-12HP review: In a league of its own

A powerful switch with a network connection for every occasion and powerful PoE++ services

A photograph of the Zyxel XS1930-12HP

IT Pro Verdict


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    12 10GbE ports

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    375W PoE budget

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    Simple, flexible management


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    Seven-day network traffic and power consumption graph require NCC Plus license

Zyxel takes multi-gigabit switching to the next performance level with the deceptively small XS1930-12HP, which is positively bulging with features. Not only are all 12 ports on this desktop-sized unit the 10-gigabit (10GbE) variety, but the first eight provide 802.3bt PoE++ services.

The switch is incredibly versatile. All ten copper ports support 100Mbits/sec, 1GbE, 2.5GbE, 5GbE or 10GbE connections and you can easily see their operating speed as each one has a five-colour status LED. The last two are standard 10GbE SFP+ fibre ports for high-speed uplinks over long distances.

A generous power budget of 375W means the switch can easily provide 30W on all eight ports with enough headroom to power quite a few high-performance Wi-Fi 6 access points (APs) that need up to 60W. The LED status panel comes into play again here as it shows which ports are providing power, while a vertical light bar alongside reveals the total draw.

At its foundation, the XS1930-12HP is a Layer 2 (L2) switch with basic Layer 3 routing capabilities. Sometimes referred to as “Layer 3 Lite” or “Advanced L2+”, it supports static IPv4 and IPv6 routing, although not the dynamic routing found in more expensive full Layer 3 switches.

Standard L2 features are plentiful and include port and protocol-based VLANs, QoS traffic prioritisation plus static and LACP link aggregation groups. VoIP networks are covered since the switch identifies traffic from IP phones using their organisationally unique identifier (OUI) and prioritises it automatically by dynamically creating voice VLANs.

Then there’s management. You can opt for standalone mode or use Zyxel’s Nebula Control Center (NCC) platform to move it into the cloud. The local web console fires up a quick-start wizard that insists you change the default admin password and SNMP community name and, although it doesn’t provide any switch graphics, tables offer plenty of detail on system utilisation plus port and PoE usage.

A photograph of the Zyxel XS1930-12HP

If you’re concerned about exceeding the switch’s power budget, you can set priorities on individual multi-gig ports. Assign one of three priorities to each one and, if the drain reaches the total power threshold, those with the lowest priorities will be switched off first.

Moving the switch to cloud management is a cinch. We used the Nebula iOS app on an iPad to scan its QR code and assign it to our site. A minute later the switch appeared online in our cloud portal, received a firmware update and had configuration access in its local web console disabled.

Selecting the switch from the portal’s monitoring page presents a full status readout and location map, while a multicoloured graphic below shows all active ports, their connection speeds and those delivering power. Graphs are provided for network traffic and power consumption, but if you want more than a rolling 24 hours of data, you’ll need to upgrade the free NCC basic service to a Plus licence, which extends this to seven days.

The portal provides a range of global settings so any switch added to the site automatically receives them. These include QoS profiles, port mirroring and voice VLANs. Security can be stiffened up by limiting all management access to specific host IP address ranges and only allowing the switch to obtain its management address from authorised DHCP servers.

Individual ports on the switch can be configured from NCC, with options for enabling or disabling PoE services and fixing the connection speed, and a Plus licence enabling bandwidth controls. Up to five global PoE schedules can be created and assigned to selected ports so you can decide when powered devices such as wireless APs are active.

Its smart combination of high-performance multi-gigabit ports and generous PoE++ services puts Zyxel’s XS1930-12HP in a league of its own. SMBs that want to deploy the latest Wi-Fi 6 APs and team them with fast links to storage and servers won’t find a better alternative.

Zyxel XS1930-12HP specifications

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Chassis1U desktop/rackmount chassis
Ports12 x 10GbE (10 x multi-gig, 2 x SFP+) Ethernet
Total power budget375W power budget
PoE standard802.3at PoE++ on ports 1-8
Backplane capacity240Gbits/sec backplane capacity
Packet buffer2MB packet buffer
Total MAC addresses16K MAC addresses
PSUInternal PSU
ManagementWeb browser and Nebula management
WarrantyLimited lifetime warranty
Dimensions330 x 230 x 44mm (WDH)
Dave Mitchell

Dave is an IT consultant and freelance journalist specialising in hands-on reviews of computer networking products covering all market sectors from small businesses to enterprises. Founder of Binary Testing Ltd – the UK’s premier independent network testing laboratory - Dave has over 45 years of experience in the IT industry.

Dave has produced many thousands of in-depth business networking product reviews from his lab which have been reproduced globally. Writing for ITPro and its sister title, PC Pro, he covers all areas of business IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, network security, data protection, cloud, infrastructure and services.