Is it okay to buy used Network parts?

Hello Guys,

I’m on way to build a new NAS from scratch and I’m looking to buy some transceiver but the new one is either too costly somewhere or they are out of stock where the prices are normal. My only hope is to buy a used transceiver.

As I’m new to optic world, I’m afraid of using a used transceiver due to the issues it may create or might fail before expected or it may generate heat.

Can anyone guide me, please?


I’d rather buy a new third party transceiver such as one from FS, but…

It’s fine to buy used. Many people buy used enterprise NICs and there is no harm in buying a known working used transceiver. Buy it and test that it works, if not return it. But if it works chances are it will continue to work a long time.


Sounds good!

What are the transceiver and/or NIC failure rates?

Transcievers are extremely reliable in my experience. Especially optical versions. I wouldn’t hesitate at all to purchase / use used versions. That said generic ones are very cheap, so once you bundle shipping … it might not be significant savings. PS if your lengths are short … use DAC cables over transcievers and optical cables. They are cheaper, faster, use less power, and put up with a bit more abuse.

NICs are a bit more complicated in that there are fakes kicking around. But those are available new and used so … Personally, I ONLY buy used (enterpise) NICs to be honest, they are just so much cheaper.


I fully agree with you. Its my first experience with the NICs and transceivers.

Recently, i got a pair of Chelsio T6225-CR. Have created the post yesterday:

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Some fancier, more recent transceivers seem to be more prone to failure, e.g. through overheating. This seems to be a concern at 100 Gb/s and up, though, which is probably part of why the first-generation 100GBase-LR parts are so dirt cheap on the used market.


Really, I bought almost all the hardware on my network used, with the WiFi access points and cables as the only exceptions that come to mind. Router, switches, NICs, and at least some of my SFP+ optics–but the latter I mostly buy new from, along with the fiber patch cables.


I should have added that I have no experience with 40 or 100 gbps devices, although I bet folks looking for those specific items will have :slight_smile:

Now, i know why those used transceivers are cheap.

To sustain the heat, do you think its a good choice to use Extended Temp variant rather than normal one? What do you suggest?

As much as possible, i try to buy new for the sake of reliability and authenticity cause a lot of counterfeit HBAs, NICs and what not.

However, i do have some genuine used parts and those are working absolutely fine so its not like i have a problem with used parts. Just the counterfeit and reliability is what makes me worried.

if you plan to reprogram your transceivers, fs dot com r good.

but i noticed they are costlier than 10gtek which is what i went with. they worked great for my setup and cost way less than fs dot com.

only downside, they don’t have a tool similar to fs dot com to reprogram their transceivers. if later you need need a different firmware, you simply have to buy new ones. if you are doing this often, you may want to go fs dot com instead. if not 10gtek is good and value for money for a small homelab.

What do you mean by reprograming the transceiver?

10gtek doesn’t have that tool. there at least 2 other brands i forgot which, that also has a similar tool that can reprogram the transceiver, in case you run into compatibility issue then you resort to that to fix it.

Yep, that’s one of the downsides of fiber / SFP+, ie vendor locks.

While the fiber portion is agnostic, some vendors have shipped equipment where the transceiver and the equipment have to feature the same vendor ID. Hence the active market of faked vendor ID but new or genuine but used transceivers.

FS and 10Gtek both ship faked but new Transceivers, I find it a little less confusing to simply buy genuine used transceivers because the logo gives away what piece of equipment they belong into. Either way, do not expect to pay more than about $30 per drop.


Oh, vendor locking. I get it now

Yeah, i prefer using a switch that does not involve vendor locking and use the genuine modules whatever the NIC says. O think its bit costly but saves time and is hassle free.

there a few types of firmware. there is generic (which is what i am using for my 10gtek that works connect desktop to switch, and switch to true nas just fine).

And then you have specific brand firmware.

You will have 1 of these 2 on your transceivers. Some brands are fine working with generic, but some aren’t. And for those later, you need the specific coding in the transceiver for that brand. Hence the fs box (or whatever it’s called for other brands).

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If your budget is not extremely limited, I won’t recommend a used/retired NIC or other components. Used/retired ones sound like good options for HomeLabers, but those parts generally have issues, such as the quality, heatsinking, firmware updating, or even compatibility with newer systems.

But the latest and newer ones will bring you a better user experience.

Have to disagree here. Can they? Sure–and so can new gear, though I’d wager it’s considerably less common. But “generally” suggests this is the norm, and that just isn’t true.

Maybe. They’ll certainly lighten your wallet more. When you’re talking about SFP+ transceivers, which are the subject of this thread, the cost delta is pretty small: $8-10 for a used “brand name” optic on eBay vs. $20 for a brand-new “compatible” optic from When you’re talking about NICs and switches, the delta grows very rapidly.


If you know what you are looking for, it is usually more convenient to buy used server-grade hardware.
If you don’t know what you are looking for, ask this community.