10 Gbit switches are very popular, but still cost well over $100. Apple users also always need copper-based RJ45 ports, which drives the price up even further. Qnap has a whole range of switches on offer that provide a practical port combination at a reasonable price.
For users of Mac Pro, iMac Pro or Mac mini with a built-in 10 Gbit interface, there is unfortunately the obligation to connect the device via a copper-based Ethernet cable. While this is convenient if you have an existing network, it has the disadvantage over SFP+ fiber that it consumes significantly more power and the switches are more expensive. We would therefore recommend buying a switch with just as many copper RJ45 10 Gbit interfaces as necessary and running other fast devices over SFP+ if possible. The idle power consumption of the switches increases significantly with each additional RJ45 port compared to fiber.
Qnap unmanaged 10 GBit switches with RJ45 and SFP+ ports
Unmanaged switches are switches where you can only connect the cables. I.e. you can’t configure how the traffic should flow, which ports should be connected etc. This also eliminates the possibility to create or forward VLANs.
Qnap QSW-308-1C: Amazon*
Qnap offers for this scenario for Mac users the interesting QSW-308-1C in white, which offers a 10 Gbit RJ45 port. There are also two usable SFP+ ports and eight normal 1 Gbit ports for existing devices. With this you can get your copper-based Mac quickly into the network, but you can also connect other devices like a NAS via fiber optics.
Qnap QSW-1208-8C: Amazon*
If you need significantly more ports, the QSW-1208-8C is the right choice: There are four SFP+ ports and eight freely combinable SFP+ or RJ45 sockets (therefore 16 slots). So you can choose per port whether you want to use the copper or fiber optic version.
A version with a few less ports is the QSW-804-4C*.
Qnap managed 10 GBit switches with RJ45 and SFP+ ports
If you want to have a managed switch because you want to tell your network how to behave, here are two examples of Qnap for Mac users.
Qnap QSW-M408-2C: Amazon*
One is the QSW-M408-2C. Like the unmanaged version, this one is also available in white and turquoise (no eye candy, but people with a sense of humor can listen to this :)) and offers eight 1 Gbit ports. Additionally there are two SFP+/RJ45 ports and two fixed SFP+ ports. This would connect at least two Macs, provided the rest is fiber optic and 1 Gbit.
Qnap QSW-M408-4C: Amazon*
If there are more copper ports with 10 Gbit, the largest variant QSW-M408-4C comes into on the short list. This means that there are four combo ports in addition to the conventional ports, so that four Macs can be connected – or four fibre-optic devices or any combination in between.
The Qnap devices have the advantage that, unlike many other devices on the market, they actually keep every possible port and actually provide the RJ45s with 10 Gbit/s – in addition to the slower speeds of 2.5 and 5 Gbit/s. As I said, this is especially interesting for Mac users, since Apple has fixed us on copper here and the switch always needs at least one port that is not based on fiber.
Qnap copper RJ45 2.5 GBit Switch
For beginners, Qnap has also developed a small 5 port switch that can handle up to 2.5 Gbit over copper. The QSW-1105-5T could be in the future what the 20 Euro Gigabit switches are today: a purchase that is made quickly.
Qnap QSW-1105-5T: Amazon*
However, it is still very new and also very expensive – it may be that the much more powerful devices mentioned above are a better choice depending on the price situation.