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Tuesday, 18 November 2014

ZyXEL ES-1552 - removing ports from the default VLAN

Edit: As of January 2015 the ES-1552 has been discontinued.

The ZyXEL ES-1552 is a 48 port 10/100 switch that's become horrifically good value recently, at the time of writing Ebuyer has it in stock for £27 (including delivery.) (Sorry, it's now out of stock and discontinued.) Granted, it's not gigabit, but still - a fully managed, fanless 48 port switch at that price? (And actually, it does have 2 gigabit ports included, so it's really a 50 port switch, and 52 if you include the two SFP slots. Anyway, I digress.)

However, one of the downsides I keep seeing mentioned is that the web interface annoyingly doesn't let you remove ports from the default VLAN, even when the PVID of that port is set to a different VLAN! This would make it practically useless in a VLAN setting, but fortunately there's an easy workaround which I'll document here.

I'll be using Chrome here, but any other browser with similar developer functionality should work just as well. For demo purposes, I'll be removing port 4 from the default VLAN. This may seem a bit long-winded, but it's really rather quick once you've done it for the first time.

So without further ado:

  1. Fire up Chrome and plug in the switches' address, and log in.
  2. Make sure you have at least one other VLAN - if you need to, create a second. (This is trivial, just click on "VLAN" in the left hand menu, click "Create new VLAN" and give it an id.)
  3. Click on the "Port" link in the left hand menu, and check the port that you want to remove from the default VLAN has a PVID that's not 1:

    In this case, port 4's PVID is 1, so we need to change it. Click on "04", change the PVID field to "2", and hit "Apply".
  4. Click on the VLAN link in the left, you'll be greeted with something like this:

  5. Right click a VLAN ID that is not 1 (so we right-click on 2 in our case), and select "Open link in new tab". Opening it in a new tab is important! You should see the VLAN table on its own in a tab (not with the normal left and top banner) like the following:

  6. Click on the icon under the port you want to remove from VLAN 1 (port 04 in our case) until it's untagged
  7. Press ctrl+shift+i to open the Chrome developer toolbar.
  8. Hit the "console" button, then type in (exactly as here, no quotes) "cur_vid=1;" and press return:

  9. Close the developer toolbar, then hit "Apply", and that should be it! Now when you click on "VLAN" in the left menu, then "01", you should see that the port has been removed:


Any questions, comments or suggestions regarding the above process then do feel free to leave a comment. It's possible ZyXEL may fix this in an upcoming firmware update so ports can be removed from VLAN 1 without such a hack, but since the last firmware release was a number of years ago this does (unfortunately) seem unlikely.

Still, for a £27 switch I can live with firing up Chrome's developer toolbar and writing one line of Javascript when I need to perform a relatively rare operation!