My Netgear Insight Setup

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My Netgear Insight Setup

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I just wanted to post my story and review in case in could help others in setting up their devices.

I own and operate a small law firm which operates out of a 6000 sq ft building I own but also has separate tenants. I have requirements for separate, secure networks for each business, isolated voip traffic, and reliable wifi access. There are approximately 80 ethernet drops and I do not need a VPN. I have no IT staff and no formal IT training. However, I like technology and am an avid DIYer.

I wanted an IT solution I could manage, be reliable, and not be outrageously priced. I compared insight with cisco layer 2+ switches and the Meraki lineup. I also considered the Unifi products.

I deployed a 52 port insight non-poe switch, a 28 port insight poe switch, BR500 router, and 3 WAC510 access points. I also subscribed to the premium insight subscription for easier setup on a PC. Everything is rack mounted with a UPS and separate NVR for video surveillance needs. We use polycom vvx500 poe phones with Skype for Business.

The whole line of insight products look and feel great. The fit and finish is professional. Registration was simple for each device and I just scanned the QR code and walked through the insight setup for my newly created network location. Everything has ears for rack mounting.

The BR500 seems to be a great router with ability to customize QOS and the products have a preset VOIP VLAN which makes setting up that a breeze. One downside is the ability to create only 4 subnets which essentially limits me to 4 VLANS without getting way too techy with the routing table ... Though I believe it can be done on the BR500. The other really weird missing feature in the insight app for the BR500 is IP reservations. My simple Google Wi-Fi puck at home does this intuitively, but with this, I need to log into the router's GUI to get it done. Not a deal breaker, but it's a weird oversight (pun intended!). Alternatively, entering port forwarding rules to allow voip traffic through was easily accomplished, albeit too via the router's GUI. Works great with SfB.

The switches connected easily to the network and I have them connected to each other with the SFP+ ports which is way overkill but very cool. Everything connects nicely and reliably to the cloud.

Being able to view each port on the very user friendly insight app is great. No CLI is needed which was a requirement for me, because I didn't want to get anywhere close to learning CLI. I can see and configure traffic, POE power, VLANS, LAG, etc with the app. It's pretty cool and sometimes I just look at all the "stuff" and marvel.

VLANS were a must for me but I struggled getting them set up on this system. I believe most of the issues were me just being a rookie at this, but I learned mostly through watching YouTube videos and reading. It's very interesting stuff when you figure out it. The one thing that is still screwy to me is being able to have the default VLAN for a port different than the access (untagged) VLAN for the port. So essentially it allows two VLANS of untagged traffic in the port which was causing me problems. Once I realized this and ensured the PVID and untagged access VLAN were the same, the VLAN setup was smooth. I'm probably not understanding something correctly about that, but it works for me so that's all that matters. We also have a number of POE phones with gigabyte passthrough and I've assigned untagged (access and PVID) traffic for the VLAN the PC is on and tagged (trunk) traffic for the VOIP VLAN, and things work great!

The WAC510s are really powerful devices and I probably didn't need 3 but with the extensive brick interior I erred on the side of caution. This however caused interference but I got a notice of this on my insight app and simply turned down the power of the radios with a simple swipe in the app. These are super, super easy to configure.

Overall I'm very happy with my setup and with insight. I feel it was made for me and my small business setup. Since I wear many hats as a small business owner and one of them is IT, I'm so happy I can manage my entire network anywhere in the world.

I would recommend this setup to any SMB!

Thanks,
Chris

 

Note: Image added by Admin - Thanks for providing Chris!Note: Image added by Admin - Thanks for providing Chris!

 

Comments

Chris, - KUDOS!

This review is really great! Thank you for the recommendation of Insight. I loved to see your experience setting up Insight Network Management from the perspective of a "techy DIY'er".  Would you consider posting any photos of your setup? You can also edit your post and add them into the thread if you like.

Let us know if you have any other questions or suggestions for Insight or Insight products and the NETGEAR community will certainly help.

-BretD

Insight-Blue-Light-Bigger.png

Attached are some photos of my setup. This is my first "professional" setup. The setup we previously used was just a router and small unmanaged switch sitting on a filing cabinet.

I didn't rack mount the BR500 because the ethernet ports would be front facing and the WAN cable was already patched in. It doesn't look as clean but still works. I use lan 1 for my switch connection, lan 2 for connecting a laptop, lan 3 for my Philips Hue hub, and lan 4 for my Lutron hub

Most of our phones are POE so they're on the 24p POE Switch and most of the traditional PC data drops go into the 52p switch. Our building isn't at capacity so many ports aren't used.

I used different color cabling to differentiate tenants.

Any feedback on my setup would be very welcome.

**I can't figure out how to add multiple photos so just 1 is attached

Thanks so much! You can add one photo per reply if it's an attachment. Otherwise, you can click the Photo button above and then add as many photos as you like in-line whit your comments. 

Your feedback is fantastic. We can't wait to see more photos from your Insight setup. 

-Bret

Smithclarkson

Let me know if you have any questions for your setup. I've been running this setup for almost a year now and love it. Zero problems and the initial setup was very user friendly. 

I have zero IT experience and figured everything out myself with the tutorials and youtube videos about vlans. We also have a bunch of polycom VOIP phones and again, everything is working great. 

I did have a problem with one WAP but a call to customer service resolved that. 

I also was thinking about the Ubiquiti setup as that seems to be the standard for SMB, but I'm very happy I went with the netgear. I think setup is easier and there's more banf for your buck with the Insight products. 

 

Good luck!