I am looking for an alternative to Cisco (too expensive for me !) for semi-pro utilization (at home but with advanced feature (I'm studying in IT)) and in small/medium enterprises. I think I will choose between LinkSys (Including Cisco Small Business), Netgear and D-Link, but I've never really used these products, that what I need is a manufacturer that make "almost" all type of networking equipment (Like Cisco but cheaper..), here are my needs :
- I need almost all my products to be rackable
- I need a good warranty (Netgear lifetime waranty rulez!)
- I need an "unified" network environment
I made a little comparison of the characteristics that interest me after hours of search on Internet (based on result found on many websites):
(Prices are based on the ldlc-pro.com french website)
- Netgear : Not so bad
- Linksys : Not so bad
- D-Link : Poor!
Most common Warranty:
- Netgear : Unlimited Lifetime Warranty!
- Linksys : Limited 3 years warranty
- D-Link : Limited 5 years warranty (Unlimited in US but I'm on France :(...)
VPN protocols compatibles with routers on endpoint mode:
- Netgear : Only IPSEC :(
- Linksys : IPSEC, PPTP, L2TP
- D-Link : IPSEC, PPTP, L2TP
Cheaper 8 ports Gb switch :
- Netgear : 30€
- Linksys : 47€
- D-Link : 30€
Cheaper 48 ports + 1Gb uplink(s) administrable switch :
- Netgear : 263€
- Linksys : 630€
- D-Link : 600€
Cheaper VPN router :
- Netgear : 100€
- Linksys : 80€
- D-Link : 60€
Cheaper rackable switch :
- Netgear : 50€
- Linksys : 87€
- D-Link : 50€
Cheaper rackable and administrable switch :
- Netgear : 120€
- Linksys : 370€
- D-Link : 171€
Netgear and D-Link are in the same range of price, where Linksys is more expensives.
I've searched for some other criteria ( the full comparison is here, in french with shop/source links: http://forums.jeuxonline.info/showthread.php?t=1072280 ) and made a final score for each manufacturer :
SCORE including IP camera sub-score:
- Netgear : 6.2/10
- Linksys : 7.3/10
- D-Link : 7.0/10
SCORE excluding IP camera sub-score:
- Netgear : 6.9/10
- Linksys : 7.0/10
- D-Link : 6.7/10
On both case, Linksys wins. So here is my little comparison, but because I've never really used these stuffs, I need your help to make a decision on witch manufacturer choose for both my personnal and corporate use.
So here are the questions :
What manufacturer do you recommend me (Not cisco (except Small business)) ? Why ?
Have you called the call center of the customer support of one of these manufacturer ? How it was ?
Did you had problems or bad experiences with these equipments ?
Any other advices ? ;)
Thank you !