For anyone in the market of a managed switch for home(lab) or small office use, the DGS-1210 is likely to pop up as a possible consideration. While it is not the latest and greatest, it certainly checks off a few potentially important checkbox items.

For my use case I wanted a switch that had enough ports (12 would have sufficed, but a few extra wouldn't hurt), and most importantly had support for certain features I intended on using or at least trying out, like link aggregation. Price was also important, as I was building out my homelab on a budget and wasn't ready to spend more on a router than I had on any single server thus far.

And so, I stumbled upon and settled on the DGS-1210-28. The following article will be a brief overview of what is in the box and an overview of the hardware. I will cover parts of the software in upcoming articles and/or videos over time, such as with the Learn With Me video series.

Note: Even though D-Link describes this as a "24 port Gigabit Smart Managed Switch", it in fact has 28 total ports that can be used. They list out four ports separately as "Combo GE/SFP ports," as for those ports you can either use a SFTP port or the traditional network port, but not both at the same time.

Amazon had shipped the actual packaging directly, without putting it inside another box.

The box the router comes in is a sturdy and very basic looking box — the way I like it. A sticker on the lower left-hand corner of the top describes some of its key features, along with its model number.

The simplistic packaging continues on the inside. There's very little packaging waste, fortunately, while the unit is still well packed and unlikely to get damaged during shipment.

The getting started guide and info flyers included with the unit.

The unit comes with several typical information booklets and flyers, along with a CD that I believe contains the same information in digital form.

The installation parts included with the unit.

Included are several parts for installing the router. It comes with "wings" you can attach to the unit to make it rack-mountable, rubber feet you can stick on in case you want to put it down on a desk or inside a closet, and a cable strap that can be used to ensure the power cable can't be yanked out of the unit by accident. The included screws for the rack mount wings are typical Philips screws.


The unit itself.
Close-up of the first 8 ports. Note that the activity lights are all at the top, and indicate by their arrow-shape which port it is for.
The four "Combo GE/SFP ports"
Side view, you can see the four mounting screws for the rack-mount wings, and a peek inside through openings for air flow.

The power supply is a Channel Well Technology (CWT) F024F01, rated at 100-240V, 50/60Hz, and outputs 12V at 2A. Power consumption is low, as can and should be expected for a router without PoE.

Note the hole under the power plug where the power cord retainer would be attached to.

The unit with the rack mount wings installed.

As you can see, the DGS-1210-28 is a full-width switch, so the rack mount wings don't have to be excessively long, as was the case with the DGS-1016D pictured above for example — although I don't have its wings as I just had that unit on loan until my own router arrived. It is however less deep as the DGS-1016D, making the unity very shallow, which is nice in case you want to rack-mount it as it will allow you to install something behind the router as-well.

The DGS-1210-28 is very shallow, even when compared to the already very shallow DGS-1016D.

This covers the basics of the hardware. It's not much to go on, but that's expected with routers I think. As I mentioned before, I will cover certain features or functionality in future Learn With Me videos, and might highlight certain features in future blog posts as-well, it kind of depends on what I end up learning from using this thing.

Overall I think it's a solid choice if you're in the market for a more-than-unmanaged switch with plenty of ports and solid Gigabit performance. While UniFi's offering is often recommended (and rightfully so, I'm sure), for those who are looking for something more in the ~$150 range, this D-Link is a solid contender, even if its Web UI is a little clunky.