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Branded And Compatible SFPS: Is There Any Real Difference?

HomeInsightsBranded And Compatible SFPS: Is There Any Real Difference?

If you’re an IT professional, there’s no doubt that you’ll be used to making big, important decisions, especially when it comes to money with IT being such an expensive department for most businesses. If your department is having to save money, you might have considered changing from branded SFPS to compatibles.

If you’re aware of the capabilities of branded and compatible SFPs, it’s likely that you won’t find it difficult to choose between the two options. However, if you don’t know the differences and similarities between the two devices, you might have put yourself off buying compatibles without even knowing about them.

In this blog post, we’re going to take a look at both branded and compatible SFPs to find out which of the two options is the best for your business. If you’re interested in saving vast amounts of money for your IT department, you’re sure to find this article very informative.

What are SFPs?

A small form-factor pluggable, which is probably better known as an SFP, is a small transceiver for networks. The SFP plugs into the SFP port of a network switch, connecting to fibre channel and gigabit ethernet optical fibre cables at the other end.

To correctly set up a network, you’re going to need an SFP.

Comparing branded and compatible

If you’re going to be deciding which is the best SFP for you, you’re going to have to take some time to compare the two. Although you might not have the time in the day to compare both of these devices, that’s no problem. So you don’t have to, we’ve compared branded and compatible SFPs here based on two important criteria: price and quality.


Branded SFPs aren’t known for being the cheapest of devices, so comparing the two on price might not seem relevant to you. However, there is such a significant difference that comparing on price is actually one of the more important things to do. There is one clear winner when it comes to choosing which of these devices is going to be kinder to your bank balance.

Although this might come as a shock to you, compatible devices can often be hundreds of pounds cheaper than their branded opposites. Yes, you read that right: they can be hundreds of pounds cheaper than branded devices. So, if you have a budget that you need to stick to, compatible devices are truly the way to go.

Why is there such a large disparity in price? We don’t actually know. For some reason, the manufacturers of branded SFPs have always charged a fortune for their products. If we had to make a guess at why their so expensive, we’d probably guess that it’s because you could only buy an SFP from them until compatibles came around.


After what we’ve just told you about the price of compatible SFPs, would you be surprised if they were a significantly worse quality than their branded counterparts? We wouldn’t be surprised if you were, as that would be logical. Shockingly, however, there is no difference between the two devices!

With even the smallest amount of research into compatible and branded SFPs, there are a couple of things that stand out of note. One, compatible SFPs are made in the same factories that branded devices are; this means they all come from the same place. Two, both devices meet the same regulations for product quality; this means that both devices are more than capable.

To further demonstrate the fact that compatible devices are as good a quality as their branded opposites, most suppliers of compatible devices offer a lifetime guarantee for every compatible device that you purchase. This means that if you bought a compatible that stopped working, the business that you bought it from would happily replace it free of charge! If the seller has that kind of faith in their product, you’ve nothing to lose!

This article is written by Rebecca Kilburn with useful information from Compatible SFP. Rebecca is a self professed geek with a love for all things in technology.

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