Cisco 300 vs. Cisco 500- Which SMB series of Managed Switches is better?

Interested in Cisco SMB Managed Switches series? Take a look as we review the Cisco 300 and Cisco 500, both of which are older generation SMB series members. Focusing on product line highlights, and how each series differs from its counterpart, we hope to help you decide which of these Managed SMB collection of switches is better.

Both the Cisco 300 and the Cisco 500 are housed under the SMB Switch Portfolio. These Series are part of the upper echelon of devices within the SMB collection: offering the most advanced Switching technologies. In fact, they are the only Managed series of Switches within the collection, not including the newer generation 350 and 550X series.

Below, you will find the comparison review for both of these series of Switches. Included is an elaborate review of what each of these product lines has to offer. Using their major differences and product highlights, we should be able to determine which of these is better.

What are the differences between the Cisco 300 and the Cisco 500?

Cisco 300
Cisco 500
Type of Switch
Managed Switches
Stackable Managed Switches
Ports Available
24-48 FE, 10-52 GE ports
24-48 FE, 24-52 GE with optional 10GE uplinks
Yes  Up to 8 units
Layer 2/Layer 3 Switching
Yes with IPv4 support
Yes with 1pv4/IPv6 Support
Management capabilities

Cisco 300 vs. Cisco 500- How do they compare?


Scalability on networks refers to expansion/network growth. Since the Cisco 500 models include true stacking power, they are well suited to grow networks compared to the Cisco 300 family. Stacking on the cisco500 allows for users to mix any of this collection’s models to allow unified control on a single plane.

Connectivity ports

The number of ports on a switch often influences capacity on these networking devices. Both series feature models with the same number of Fast Ethernet ports. However, the Cisco 500 gains an upper hand as it features models with more ports for GE connectivity.

Features and capabilities

While these series hail from the same family, they differ quite a bit in terms of the kind of features enabled on the respective collections. Cisco 300 models are designed with limited Layer Networking access with advanced Layer 2 and basic Layer 3 functionality. Alternatively the Cisco 500 features more advanced Layer 2 and Layer 3 access offering the business network more efficiency features.

Similarly, both collections support POE, however, only the Cisco 500 are enabled with high powered version of Power Over Ethernet/ PoE+ which extend the energy efficiency function on this collection’s models. The POE capabilities present on the Cisco 300,while enough for some power and operational cost saving is not as efficient as PoE+.

These additional features on the Cisco 500 offer a wider selection of capabilities, allowing better performance on business networks compared to the Cisco 300 collection.

Cisco 300 vs. Cisco 500- A comparison review

Cisco 300

The Cisco 300 is a collection of easy to use, well developed switches. These devices are tailored to form a reliable foundation for your Small to Midsized business network needs. In fact, Cisco describes this collection as an affordable line of devices, all of which are capable of providing sufficient support to your network.


Technically speaking, this series is a fixed configuration managed Ethernet devices. All of these not only support advanced security but also come with network management capabilities and features necessary for your business. These network features deliver business class data, security and tech.

Moreover, the collection is available in Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet connectivity. Models with FE are designated the tag SF while those with GE are tagged SG. Either way, these models offer a wide variety of features and benefits including: impressive performance over various deployment options, Easy set up, highly secure connections and more.

Some of the deployment options available to you include: desktop connectivity, wireless connectivity, Unified communications with advanced network traffic management and secure guest connectivity.

Since the Cisco 300 is an energy efficient line of devices, users can rely on it for high performance with reduced power consumption rates. Useful Advanced Network Management features incorporated into the Switch designs include L3 switching over VLANS, Static routing: both of which allow segmentation of the network without degrading the performance, IPv6 support and even SNMPs which allow users to manage the switches remotely.

Cisco SG 300 20 port Switch

The Cisco SG 300-20 managed switch features 20 network ports and supports a switching capacity of  40 Gbps and a forwarding performance of  29.76 Mpps.  This model offers a very simple design that helps to increase the ease of configuration and management. It features the Cisco Discovery Protocol,  Cisco SmartPorts and a FindIt Network Discovery system to help you streamline your set up, configuration and network management.

This Cisco 300 will support some features such as IPv6 connectivity, while still retaining value for IPv4 networks. An additional advanced 3 layer traffic management system with a LAN 3 layer routing system to helps you segment your network into workgroups and target communication across VPNs without affecting your quality of output. Cisco designs this model for efficient output, with support for an IEEE 802.3az efficient Ethernet standard and automatic shut off combining with a fan-free design and embedded intelligence to ensure great power efficiency levels.

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Cisco 500

Cisco’s 500 series is a wide range of Stackable Managed Switches, equipped to meet all the needs in a growing network set up. In fact, they describe this collection as the ideal option for growing businesses.  The collection includes many advanced features tailored to at competitive costs. This great news for any users looking to upgrade their network performance, without breaking the bank.


As part of the Small to Midsized business collection, this series is particularly designed to suite high demand business networks. With a Switch from this collection, users can ease network complexity within their operations while eliminating sluggish performance.

The Cisco SMB 500 features devices with Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet connectivity available on models with 24-48 and 24-52 ports: respectively. These offer extensive connectivity options with an optional 10 gigabit uplink

Since this is a collection of Stackable Managed switches, you can easy configure and manage the Cisco 500 devices as one unit. Specifically, this is known as true stacking. With this features, users can access, manage, configure and control all switches on a stack as one entity. This unified control on a single plane is responsible for the flexibility and scalability of the 500 collection.

Other benefits of this line include: easy deployment thanks to the included tools. In fact, this collection accommodates end-end voice deployment. Reliability and resiliency on SMB 500 switches significantly improves productivity and these ensure the network stays up as needed.

Built in features on this series maintain simple and streamlined operations across the network. Moreover, there are many security features set up to deliver advanced security on the whole network.

Cisco SG 500-28p

The Cisco sg 500-28p features 24 network ports, with 4 expansion slots in addition to the network ports. These 24 network ports support POE, with a maximum allocation of 180W.  They are designed to handle 802.3at,  802.2af, and Cisco legacy POE+, and support different efficiency efforts to minimize consumption levels.  The features also include support for dynamic VLAN management with voice, guest, private and multicast TV VLAN systems all supported.

This model is available with enhanced Cisco security levels, with the unit offering IP source guard, DHCP snooping, dynamic ARP protection and secure core technology to help protect your network against a variety of attacks.  Moreover, it features enhanced quality of output, with rate limiting and congestion avoidance features enhancing the quality of output. The Cisco sg 500-28p is made for easy use, featuring multiple protocols that detect ports and optimize output for everyone.

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Now, Let’s compare the Cisco SG 300 20 port Switch to the Cisco SG 500-28p

Cisco SG 300 20 port Switch
Cisco SG 500-28p
Number of ports
Switching capacity
40 Gbps
50 Gbps
Efficient power consumption
Integrated security



In conclusion, both these series offer elaborate features dedicated to improve you growing demands and business networking needs. Some of the capabilities available of the Cisco 500 may be absent from the 300 portfolio. However, both collections offer well featured devices for business class networks.

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