for a home user, you probably don't need most of the fancy features. However, they are there, and the ability to do things such as VLANs are a very nice feature of a managed switch. They allow you to segment and more carefully define your network rather than just having one large network, as many home users do. You could, for example, have a separate VLAN for your own home office, for your kids,and for guests to use. I believe that the 5524 has a web management interface, which would make configuring the unit substantially easier than working from the commandline interface.