Convert a SFP+ Port To Copper Multi-Gig 2.5/5/10Gbps with a 10Gbase-T Adapter

The EnGenius ECS2512FP Multi-Gigabit 2.5GbE PoE++  switch has 4 10Gbps SFP+ ports available. If you are not using them for fiber you can still utilize these ports.

For one you can connect a desktop or uplink to another switch at 10Gbps using a inexpensive twinax cable like this one.

Another way you can use your  enhanced small form-factor pluggable tranceiver generally called SFP+ ports is with a copper 10Gbase-T Adapter I tested several and found that the Wiitek SFP+ to RJ45 Copper module works well with the ECS2512FP. The switch detects it as a 10Gbps adapter but it will internally reduce rate until it gets a link.

I tested with my laptop and a cable creations 2.5Gbps USB adapter and got link at 2.5Gbps I did throughput testing with iPerf.

Depending on your cabling this adapter will link at different speeds for a 2.5Gbps 2.5GBASE-T connection you can use Cat5e at 100 meters . If you have Cat6 you can do 5Gbps 5GBASE-T or Cat6A will do 10Gbps 10GBASE-T.

In conclusion there are ways to utilize your switches SFP+ ports even if you do not have fiber. Especially with PoE switches you want to reserve the copper ports for powered devices and use SFP+ for uplinks whenever possible.

More information on the EnGenius ECS2512FP Multi-Gigabit 2.5GbE PoE++  switch here

EnGenius ECS2512FP Multi-Gigabit 2.5GbE PoE++ Switch Review

Many Wi-Fi 6 Access Points were released with 2.5GbE ethernet ports this standard lets you more than double the speed of gigabit ethernet over cat5e. This lets you use your current cabling which can be the most expensive part of the network while boosting speeds.  It is also a great way to increase uplink speeds between switches and traffic to PC’s and NAS devices.

Up until now multi-Gigabit PoE switches were out of reach for most SMB’s they were either too expensive or only featured PoE on some ports. With the release of the ECS2512FP there is now a solution with 2.5GbE and 802.3af/at/bt PoE++  on all ports and a price below $750! The ECS2512FP can also be cloud managed via the no cost EnGenius Cloud anyone can set up a account here even and view the features. This makes remotely deploying, monitoring and configuring your switches easy either from a web browser or the EnGenius Cloud app..

Wired Testing:

There are not many PC’s with built in 2.5Gb adapters yet but this is a easy upgrade via the cable creations USB 3 to 2.5G adapter This adapter even worked on my Synology NAS. Using this adapter you can add a 2.5Gb port to any desktop or laptop with a USB 3.0 port . I connected my laptop to a switch port with the cable creations adapter. On my desktop I have a 10Gb SFP+ adapter like this one lastly I connected a twinax cable like this one from by desktop to the ECS2512FP via one of its four SFP+ ports.

I used jperf to test the throughput and here are the results very close to 2.5Gb sustained

Wireless Testing:

Next I tested two of the fastest Wi-Fi 6 Access Points available right now The EnGenius ECW230 and the Ruckus R750 these are both have 4×4 spatial streams with 2.5Gb capable ports. For the client device I used a laptop with a 2×2 Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6 adapter. There are not many 4×4 Wi-Fi 6 client devices available yet but I saw speeds over 1Gb even during single client testing.

First I tested the ECW230 and got these results

Next I tested the Ruckus R750 this AP requires PoE++ for maximum performance and features. Here are the results.

In conclusion the ECS2512FP is a great way to increase your network speeds both wired and wireless while keeping your existing cabling.

Click here for more information on the ECS2512FP The ECW230 and the R750

Do you need multi-gigabit switches to deploy Wi-Fi 6 access points?

Today, most business and enterprise-class switches have one-gigabit access ports and there are not many multi gigabit switches yet on the market. The ruckus ICX7150-C10ZP-2X10GR is a compact switch that can support 1/2.5/5 and 10Gb and also the new PoH power standard with up to 90W per port.

A 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) AP has the potential of more than one-gigabit throughput. Therefore, a 1 GbE access port could now possibly be the bottleneck to performance for Wi-Fi users. So many of the Wi-Fi 6 AP’s released will support up 2.5 Gbit/s using the multi gigabit ethernet standard NBASE-T / 2.5GBASE-T. Basically you can use the same Cat 5e or Cat6 ethernet cabling at higher speeds up to 100 meters.

All Wi-Fi 6 AP’s will fall back to standard 1Gbit/s and usually feature a second 1Gb only port. There are not many Wi-Fi 6 clients out in the world at this point so saturating a 1Gb port would be very difficult with legacy clients. There is no issue with deploying Wi-Fi 6 AP’s using your current gigabit switches and then plan to upgrade to multi-gigabit at a later time.

One other thing to plan for is PoE most Wi-Fi 6 AP’s require full power 802.3at or PoE+ like the engenius EWS377AP and ruckus R750 . There are a few like the engenius EWS357AP that only need half power 802.3af PoE. And some like the ruckus R730 ultra high density AP need PoH for full 8×8 stream function but will fall back to 4×4 streams with PoE+ power.