Unifi Switch Vs. EdgeSwitch

Recently, Ubiquiti Network Switch is of prevalence for building and expanding home network. EdgeSwitch and Unifi Switch are two main switch series of the Ubiquiti Network Switch. For years, the EdgeSwitch and Unifi Switch are featured as cost-effective, robust performance, and this is why many people have special favour on them. For they both a good choice for growing networks, it is necessary to make clear their differences and decide which one to choose. In this article, we will mainly introduce the EdgeSwitch and Unifi Switch, similarities and differences as well as compatible SFP transceivers for them.


Figure1: This picture shows Unifi Switch US-8-150W

Introduction to Unifi Switch

The Unifi Switches provide 8, 16, 24, or 48 PoE Gigabit Ethernet ports to satisfy different requirement for expanding Gigabit Ethernet network and making your network cabling looks neat. They support IEEE 802.3af and IEEE 802.3at. And the operation is rather easy, you can directly connect your switch to a storage server through two SFP ports on each switch. The transmission rate can be up to 1 Gbps. For longer distance and higher bandwidth, you can use Unifi Switch with 48-port which additional added two more SFP+ port. The following picture shows a basic parameter of all the Unifi Switches models.

Chart1-Unifi Switch

Information About EdgeSwitch

As same as Unifi Switch, the EdgeSwitch have the same PoE Gigabit Ethernet ports and IEEE protocols. The most distinctive feature of Edgeswitch is that offers an extensive suite of advanced Layer-2 switching features and protocols, and also provides Layer-3 routing capability. There are 6 EdgeSwitch models, the accurate ports’ number are clearly shown in the below chart. You can use ES-8-150W, ES-16-150W and ES-24-250W as well as ES-24-500W switch models to achieve 1G Ethernet network connectivity. For SFP+ transceivers, you can choose ES-48-500W, ES-48-750W to arrive 10 Gbps connection.



Both Unifi Switch and EdgeSwitch have 8, 16, 24, or 48 PoE Gigabit Ethernet ports.

—Switch models

The two switch basically share the identical switch type (switch ports and Watts), the only difference lies in the EdgeSwitch does not have one with 8 ports for 60W.


The Unifi Switch and EdgeSwitch both support IEEE 802.3af and IEEE 802.3at.

—Supporting Gigabit Ethernet

They are both support 1G and 10G Ethernet connection and have both SFP and SFP+ ports.


The EdgeSwitch is black while the Unifi Switch is silver.

EdgeSwitch and Unifi Switch


The Unifi Switch can only be managed through the UniFi controller while the EdgeSwitch can only be managed through it’s CLI or web interface.

—Routing protocols

The EdgeSwitches only support static routing, and there are no routing protocols implemented while Unifi Switches don’t support routing at all.

FS.COM’s Compatible SFP Module for Unifi and EdgeSwitch:

Multi-mode and singlemode SFP models are available to Unifi and Edge switch. FS.COM is a leading manufacturer and supplier of fiber optic subsystems, components and solutions. Our optical modules are well known as the superior quality and high compatibility. Besides, all of our products are tested and 100% compatible to the major brands, such as Cisco, Juniper, Brocade, Arista, etc. You can rest assured to use them. For this Unifi and Edge switch, we offer the following compatible SFP module:

1000Base-LX: SFP1G-LX-31 1310nm (SingleMode SFPs).

1000Base-SX: SFP-1G85-5M (multi-mode).

1000Base-T: SFP-GB-GE-T Module.

FS's SFP+ transceiver


Ubiquiti Network Switch seems to be an irresistible trend for home network connectivity. Through this passage, we learned that Unifi Switch and EdgeSwitch are different in color, management and routing protocols. If you are looking for compatible SFP transceivers for those two kinds of switch, you can take FS.COM a try. In addition to SFP transceivers, we still offer many other optical products, such as patch cables, SFP+, QSFP and QSFP28 optical modules, network cables, switches, etc. If you are interested, you can visit www.fs.com.

1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet Over Category 5 Copper Cabling

1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet over Category 5 copper cabling is an attractive option for network managers for several reasons. It addresses the exploding bandwidth requirements on current networks that are the result of implementation of new applications and the increasing deployment of switching at the edges of the network. Gigabit Ethernet leverages the organization’s existing investment in Ethernet and Fast Ethernet infrastructures, and it provides a simple, cost-effective performance boost while continuing to use the dominant horizontal/floor-cabling medium.

1000BASE-T Key Specifications

1000BASE-T is specified to run over four pairs of Category 5 balanced cabling. The 1000BASE-T standard leverages the existing cable infrastructure as it is specified to operate up to 100 meters on Category 5 cabling. The other key specifications of 1000BASE-T make it a cost-effective, non-disruptive, and high-performing technology. First, it supports the Ethernet MAC, and is thus backward compatible with a 10/100 Mbps Ethernet. Second, many 1000BASE-T products will support 100/1000 auto-negotiation, and therefore 1000BASE-T can be incrementally deployed in a Fast Ethernet network. Third, 1000BASE-T is a high-performing technology with less than one erroneous bit in 10 billion transmitted bits. This bit error rate of less than 10 – 10 is the same error rate as that of 100BASE-T.

Why 1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet Over Category 5 Copper Cabling?
  • Exploding bandwidth requirements

New bandwidth-intensive applications are being deployed over Ethernet and Fast Ethernet networks. These applications include the following:
Internet and intranet applications that create any-to-any traffic patterns with servers distributed across the enterprise, and users accessing web sites inside and outside the corporate network; these applications tend to make traffic patterns and bandwidth requirements increasingly unpredictable. Data warehousing and backup applications that handle gigabytes or terabytes of data distributed among hundreds of servers and storage systems. Bandwidth-intensive, latency-sensitive groupware applications, such as desktop video conferencing or interactive whiteboarding.

  • Significant investment in Ethernet/Fast Ethernet infrastructure

Ethernet is the dominant, ubiquitous LAN technology. According to industry analyst International Data Corporation (IDC) in Framingham, MA, more than 85 percent of all installed network connections were Ethernet at the end of 1997, representing more than 118 million interconnected PCs, workstations, and servers. The deployment of Ethernet/Fast Ethernet networks involves investment in network interface cards (NICs), hubs, and switches, as well as in-network management capabilities, staff training and skills, and cabling infrastructure.

  • A simple, cost-effective performance boost on existing Category 5 cabling

1000BASE-T offers a simple, cost-effective migration of Ethernet/Fast Ethernet networks toward high-speed networking and also has the following benefits:
1000BASE-T scales Ethernet 10/100 Mbps performance to 1000 Mbps. 1000BASE-T is the most cost-effective, high-speed networking technology available now. 1000BASE-T leverages existing, proven Fast Ethernet and V.90/56K modem technologies and will experience the same cost curve as the Ethernet/Fast Ethernet technologies. 1000BASE-T is significantly more cost-efficient than 1000BASE-SX (Fiber Gigabit) among all LAN technologies. 1000BASE-T preserves Ethernet equipment and infrastructure investments, including the investment in the installed Category 5 cabling infrastructure. There is no need to undergo the timeconsuming and high-cost task of replacing cabling located in walls, ceilings, or raised floors.

Fiberstore 1000BASE-T Copper SFP Transceiver

Fiberstore’s 1000BASE-T copper small form pluggable (SFP) transceivers are based on the SFP Multi Source Agreement (MSA). They are compatible with the Gigabit Ethernet and 1000BASE-T standards as specified in IEEE Std 802.3. For instance, HP J8177C X121 compatible 1000BASE-T SFP copper RJ45 transceiver for 100m reach over Cat 5 UTP cable uses the SFP’s RX_LOS pin for link indication and supports 1000BASE-T operation on the host system. Another example is Brocade XBR-000190 compatible 1000BASE-TX SFP copper RJ45 transceiver which offers the same function with Brocade E1MG-TX/XBR-000190 and fully compatible with Brocade devices.

1000BASE-T – an Essential Technology in Gigabit Ethernet

Due to more and more internet users, the new applications become more various, such as Storage network, Internet data center, CAD/CAM, Multimedia and video order programs, Tele medicine, Distance learning course and other applications, all these applications need a lot of bandwidth. It is quite strict to the bandwidth of MAN and access network at the first kilometer. High speed data transmission means that the speed of a PC or server LAN ports need to be improved to meet the new applications. At the same time, because of the rapid developments of semiconductor, 1000Base-T instantly become a boom.

Once we talk about 1000Base-T (also called IEEE 802.3ab), is a standard for Gigabit Ethernet over copper wiring. Each 1000BASE-T network segment can be a maximum length of 100 meters (330 feet), and must use category 5 cables or better (including Cat 5e and Cat 6). 10Base-T and 100Base-T are required to be mentioned, 100 Base-T, also Fast Ethernet, is simply 10Base-T running at 10 times the bit rate. Related product: 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet SFP. Since we know that 100Base-TX standards are compatible with 10Base-TX networks, the Fast Ethernet can make 10 Mbps and 100 Mbps bit rates on the line. Nodes with 100Mbps capabilities can communicate at 100 Mbps, and they also can communicate with slower nodes at 10 Mbps, so Fast Ethernet is the natural process of standard ethernet, and then make the existing ethernet to be easily updated.

Fast Ethernet has been developed to 1000 Mbps (Gigabit Ethernet) on UTP cables. Gigabit Ethernet, specified as 1000Base-T, operates today over category 1 and category 5e cabling. When the ratification of 1000Base-T was done, migration of the installed base of category 5 to a higher speed Ethernet was the primary concern for network managers because they wanted to future proof their network infrastructures. While 1000Base-T was specified to run over category 6 cabling, most of the cabling installed that time was category 5. So the IEEE has to ensure the operation of 1000Base-T standard over the category 5 cabling systems installed according to the specifications of ANSI/TIA/EIA 568 A. The mainly goal of the IEEE 1000Base-T standard is to support the legacy category 5 cabling so that there should be no need to replace existing category 5 cabling to use 1000Base-T. According to the tack force, any link that is currently using 100Base-TX should easily support 1000Base-T. Related Product: 1000BASE-T SFP

fast ethernet
How 1000BASE-T Works in Gigabit Ethernet Applications

As an extension of standard Ethernet technologies to gigabit-level network speeds, 1000BASE-T is normally implemented using the commonly installed category 5 cabling or enhanced category 5 cabling version of UTP cabling (for example, category 5e). Unlike using only two pairs of wires in 10BASE-T and 100BASE-T networks, 1000BASE-T uses all four cable pairs for simultaneous transmission in both directions through the use of adaptive equalization and a five-level pulse amplitude modulation (PAM-5) technique.

In the process of transmitting a 1000 Mb/s data stream over four pairs of Category 5 twisted pair cables, there are certain associated problems caused by factors as attenuation, crosstalk, and echoes arising from full-duplex transmission over single wires. To solve these problems, special filters, the PAM-5, forward error correction techniques and pulse shaping technologies are specified to make 1000BASE-T a functional and reliable networking technology. The special filters are for hybrid circuits used in full-duplex transmission over single wires. The PAM-5 provides better bandwidth utilization than binary signaling. Forward error correction techniques provide a second level of coding that helps to recover the transmitted symbols in the presence of high noise and crosstalk. Pulse shaping technologies match the spectral characteristics of the transmitted signals to those of the channel in order to maximize the signal-tonoise ratio.

Nowadays the 10 Gigabit Ethernet Alliance has been held in order to promote and accelerate the introduction of 10 Gigabit Ethernet into the fiber optic networking market. It was built by fiber optic networking industry leaders, such as 3COM, Cisco Systems, Extreme Network, Intel, Nortel Networks and other famous companies. Related product: Cisco GLC-T 1000BASE-T. Additionally, the alliance support the activities of IEEE 802.3 Ethernet committees, more force the development of the 802.3 ae (10 Gigabit Ethernet) standard, and promote interoperability among 10 Gigabit Ethernet products. The IEEE standards association unanimously approved the IEEE 802.3ae specification for 10 Gigabit Ethernet as an IEEE standard. I believe that in the near future, Ethernet will have a more comprehensive development as with continuous improvement of the system.