Review: UniFi Switch 16

As my loyal readers have probably been able to tell, I’ve become a huge fan of Ubiquiti Network’s UniFi line of access points and switches. I’ve previously written about the UniFi Switch 8 which Ubiquiti sent to me for testing. Over the last few months, the switch has continued to perform well and I decided to see about simplifying my network and get a UniFi US-16-150W to replace a Cisco PoE switch and a common place Ethernet switch. While the 16 port switch and the 8 port switch would mean a loss of total ports (with SFP modules, I could get 4 more ports yielding a total of 26 ports; 1 port on each for connecting switches), all my devices would just barely fit.

I didn’t need the switch, but moving to more UniFi gear would make management easier on my network. The main features I use on the switch are PoE for my cameras and bandwidth monitoring on each port. They don’t justify replacing working equipment, but simplification can’t be overstated.

My one hesitation on getting this switch was that it has 2 fans unlike the 8 port version. The ambient temperature in my server closet ranges from about 76° F to 86°F which is a bit warm for equipment. I have 6 PoE cameras attached to the switch (drawing very little power) and I expected the fans to come on repeatedly. To my delight, I’ve only heard the fans at startup. Granted I’m not home all day, but when I have been home, I haven’t heard them. Other than that, the switch performs as well as the 8 port switch.

Moving to the UniFi switch for the rest of my network caused 1 problem that didn’t occur in the previous configuration; 2 of my 3 Squeezebox devices weren’t connecting to the network. This had me quite concerned, but after some futzing, I set the ports for the devices to be 100 Mbit (instead of auto negotiation) and turned PoE off on those ports. These changes fixed the issue.

There isn’t a whole lot to say about the switch except that it is easy to manage, but for most home networks it is overkill.

Pros

  • Integrates well into the UniFi line
  • Powers all the UniFi access points (802.3af or passive PoE)
  • Controller software is easy to use (but utilitarian)
  • Rack mountable

Cons

  • No combo RJ-45/SFP Ports
  • A little pricey
  • Fans could make it noisy

Summary

Just like the UniFi 8 port switch, I’m quite happy with this switch. It isn’t for everyone or even most home users. However, if you’re standardizing on UniFi gear, this switch will fit well into your network. The price is decent for a managed PoE switch, but if you don’t have a bunch of PoE devices and don’t have a use for a managed switch, I’d keep looking for network gear.

I purchased this switch from Ubiquiti’s store and judging by my other UniFi gear, this is going to serve me well.

2 thoughts on “Review: UniFi Switch 16

  1. Borgie

    Hey there again Scott, Still doubt between USG ore USG Pro on the moment.
    But then I’ll came back on your blog while searching for information about the US-16-150.

    My choice will be 2 US-8-150 fanless (using more energie then one US-16-150) ore the US-16-150 with has fans. Have read more posts and blogs where people replace the fans because they are loud on the US-16-150.

    But is it, get a grumpy mood with fan noise and there is the WAF factor with noise.
    Hope you say more on this item after using the US-16-150 for a while.

    Reply
    1. Scott Gruby Post author

      Hi Borgie,

      The US-16-150 has 1 fan as far as I can tell and up until a month or so ago, I had never heard it come on. There were a few really hot days and after a firmware update, it cycled on and off a few times over the course of a day or two. Since then, I haven’t heard it. I also have a US-24 (non-PoE) and never hear the fans on that either.

      I think the complaints you’ve read about are for the USG Pro and the US-24-250. I have a 24 port switch with fans sitting in storage that was super noisy with nothing plugged in and the volume was unacceptable to me.

      If where you place the US-16-150 is cool enough, then I don’t think the fans will come on. My equipment closet hovers around 82°F and there is space above and below the switch in my rack. Your results, of course, may vary depending on temperature and placement of the switch.

      Good luck!

      Reply

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