Home Enterprise Netgear M4250-10G2F-PoE+ Switch Review

Netgear M4250-10G2F-PoE+ Switch Review

by Nathan Dragun
Netgear M4250 ports

Launched in the fall of 2020, the M4250 series network switches by Netgear focus on the professional audio and video industry that need audio video over IP solutions.  The M4250-10G2F-PoE+ is the entry-level device that provides PoE for this series, but don’t let that dissuade you.  Its impressive capabilities match and exceed many demands of today’s AV requirements with an average street price of $499.

Launched in the fall of 2020, the M4250 series network switches by Netgear focus on the professional audio and video industry that need audio video over IP solutions.  The M4250-10G2F-PoE+ is the entry-level device that provides PoE for this series, but don’t let that dissuade you.  Its impressive capabilities match and exceed many demands of today’s AV requirements with an average street price of $499.

Netgear M4250 front

Netgear M4250 10G2F PoE+ Switch Specifications

Hardware
Ports 12 ports:

  • 8 – 10/100/1000 RJ45 /w PoE
  • 2 – 10/100/1000 RJ45
  •  2 – 1G SFP
Management Ports 5 Management Ports

  • 1 – 1G RJ45 OOB (rear)
  • 1 – RS232 RJ45 (rear)
  • 1 – Console USB-C (rear)
  • 1 – Storage USB-A (front)
  • 1 – LED Ext USB-C (front)
8 PoE+ Ports @ 32W each (up to 125W total)
Acoustic Noise Profiles
  •  Fan off mode – @41.8C : 0.0 dBA, Fan duty: 0%
  • Quiet mode – @35.9C : 27.38dBA, Fan duty: 25%
  • Cool mode – @27.2C : 55dBA, Fan duty: 100%
CPU 1.25GHz ARM A9
Memory 2GB RAM
Other
  • 24Gbps switching fabric
  • 17.86 Mpps of throughput
  • <= 2.271μs latency @ 1G
Dimensions (W x D x H) 440 x 200 x 43.2 mm (17.32 x 7.87 x 1.7 in)
Weight 2.85 kg (6.28 lb)
M4250-10G2F-PoE+’s features
  •  MTBF
    • @25C: 778,769 hours (~88.9 years)
    • @45C: 530,659 hours (~60.6 years)
  • Energy Efficient Ethernet (IEEE 802.3az)
  • 16Mb packet buffer memory
  • 16K MAC Address database size
  • Desktop and rack-mount (kit available)
  •  Port security via RADIUS authentication
  •  Link Aggregation (LACP)
  • PoE Timer and Scheduling
  • Port Mirroring and Cable Test

First Impression

The M4250-10G2F-PoE+ was designed with the AV professional in mind.  Physically, the switches form factor conforms to traditional AV rack equipment.  And just like typical AV rack-mounted equipment, the network activity indicators are located on the front panel while all cabling is managed from the back.  But, just in case cable management from the front is desired, a special bracket is included which allows port and cable management from the front.

The switch comes pre-configured with IGMP Plus, which allows for simple plug-and-play of multicast presets.  Additionally, it comes with a configuration wizard that aligns with industry best practices which require minimal configuration effort from field technicians and engineers. The included software-controlled fan adjustments enable the fans to be turned off when ambient temperature and Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) loads are appropriate for fanless operation. This powerful feature provides new opportunities for the M4250 series of switches to be deployed and is perfect for use in sound-sensitive environments such as conference rooms, recording studios, and residential installations.

Netgear M4250 ports

The NETGEAR ProSAFE Limited Lifetime Hardware Warranty on the M4250 series is an example of Netgear’s commitment to the Pro AV community. This comprehensive warranty includes 90 days of technical support via phone and email, Lifetime Technical Support through online chat, and Lifetime Next Business Day hardware replacement.

Netgear M4250 10G2F PoE+ Switch sample deploymen

While many will use just one switch, more complicated deployments are supported. One example of a deployment configuration can be seen above.

Netgear M4250 Management

The M4250-10G2F-PoE+ can be accessed by several methods for management.  While it supports the traditional web browser-based GUI over HTTP/HTTPS, it also supports console, telnet, and SSH access for device administration.  There is even a dedicated out-of-band ethernet port available for isolating management traffic from production traffic.

Web Browser GUI Overview

True to their word, Netgear has definitely refined the web GUI for Audio Video Professionals.  The layout has been completely refreshed and updated visually.  Unlike traditionally managed router web interfaces where the management and configuration options are geared towards networking technicians and engineers, the menus and layouts focus first and foremost on visibility into how the switch is operating and configuring for audiovisual content delivery.  The simplification of the management layout removes confusion for users who are unfamiliar with the complexities of networking found in traditionally managed switches.

Netgear M4250 10G2F PoE+ Switch management landing page

The landing page greets users with a very clean and detailed snapshot of what is happening on each network port.  In the event advanced technical information needs to be collected it is easily made available on this same home screen.

Netgear M4250 10G2F PoE+ Switch port statistics

When hovering the mouse over each port we are provided with a summary of statistics about that port.  This is a great way to verify that things are working as intended before diving into deeper troubleshooting.

Netgear M4250 10G2F PoE+ Switch landing page continued

On the bottom of the main landing page, we are able to see what configuration profiles are in operation as well as CPU and memory utilization in a graphical representation.  Located to the right are system cooling details and configuration changes for fan modes.

Network Profiles

The Network Profiles configuration page is where the deep configuration starts for audio and video purposes.

At a quick glance, we can see which ports are configured with a profile and which profiles are currently deployed on the M4250-10G2F-PoE+.

Netgear provides several pre-defined configuration templates to speed up the deployment of the M4250-10G2F-PoE+ in the field.  This also eliminates the need to get too deep into the details.  Custom template creation is also made available for those looking to tailor options specific to their needs.

The template deployment screen is also simplified, presenting minimal options so that device deployment doesn’t get over complicated with network configuration choices.

Power over Ethernet

The Power over Ethernet configuration landing page displays a clean and informative view of both configuration and load for the Netgear switch.

The PoE settings allow a nice range of configuration options for Power over Ethernet on a per-port basis.  Unlike a wide range of other switches, the M4250-10G2F-PoE+ provides options to configure port priority, detection type, power limit categorization, manual power limiting, and linking with time schedules (explained below).

Power management has never been more energy efficient than with the M4250-10G2F-PoE+’s ability to deliver PoE services based on pre-defined schedules.  No longer does the switch, and connected devices, need to be on 24/7 consuming energy even when not in use.  Scheduling is simplified through the “Create Schedule” option on the PoE configuration page.  Recurring timeframes can be set for daily, weekly, or monthly repetition.

Security

To ensure that rogue devices cannot simply be plugged into the network and used, the switch provides port authentication and the ability to link authentication with a RADIUS server.  Individual, or all, ports may be selected for authentication requirements.

AVB Licensing

While not provided by default, Audio Video Bridge licensing is available across a wide range of codecs from 1Gbps to 10Gbps.  A list of part numbers for AVB licenses is tabled below.

Cable Testing

Physical cable testing is provided through the Cable Test option under the diagnostics section.  The above screenshot shows an example of a performed cable test.  Left-clicking each port selects or de-selects a port to be analyzed for the hardware connection test.  Additionally, in the event of a problem with the connection, it will attempt to diagnose how far down the connection line the problem is in distance.

Port Mirroring

In some cases, it is necessary to mirror traffic to more than one destination.  The M4250-10G2F-PoE+ delivers once again by providing the ability to define port mirroring configurations.

Model and License Information

NETGEAR AV Line M4250 series:

  • NETGEAR AV Line M4250-10G2F-PoE+ 8x1G PoE+ 125W 2x1G and 2xSFP Managed Switch (GSM4212P)
  • NETGEAR AV Line M4250-10G2XF-PoE+ 8x1G PoE+ 240W 2x1G and 2xSFP+ Managed Switch (GSM4212PX)
  • NETGEAR AV Line M4250-10G2XF-PoE++ 8x1G Utra90 PoE++ 802.3bt 720W 2x1G and 2xSFP+ Managed Switch (GSM4212UX)
  • NETGEAR AV Line M4250-12M2XF 12×2.5G and 2xSFP+ Managed Switch (MSM4214X)
  • NETGEAR AV Line M4250-16XF 16x1G/10G Fiber SFP+ Managed Switch (XSM4216F)

AVB licenses:

  • NETGEAR AVB4212P AVB License for M4250-10G2F-PoE+ (AVB4212P)
  • NETGEAR AVB4212PX AVB License for M4250-10G2XF-PoE+ (AVB4212PX)
  • NETGEAR AVB4212UX AVB License for M4250-10G2XF-PoE++ (AVB4212UX)
  • NETGEAR AVB4214X AVB License for M4250-12M2XF (AVB4214X)
  • NETGEAR AVB4216F AVB License for M4250-16XF (AVB4216F)

Conclusion

The M4250-10G2F-PoE+ is well designed for AV applications.  With a physical form factor that conforms to traditional AV rack equipment, it can easily drop into existing setups.  The switches’ pre-configured options, such as NETGEAR IGMP Plus™, allow for simple plug-and-play of AV equipment.  Additionally, the included configuration wizard aligns with industry best practices which require minimal configuration effort from field technicians and engineers.

The provided software-controlled fan adjustments enable the fans to be turned off when ambient temperature and Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) loads are appropriate for fanless operation. This powerful feature provides new opportunities for the M4250 series of switches to be deployed and is perfect for use in sound-sensitive environments such as conference rooms, recording studios, and residential installations.

The NETGEAR ProSAFE Limited Lifetime Hardware Warranty on the M4250 series is an example of Netgear’s commitment to the Pro AV community. This comprehensive warranty includes 90 days of technical support via phone and email, Lifetime Technical Support through online chat, and Lifetime Next Business Day hardware replacement.

Product Page

Netgear M4250 at Amazon

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