February 01, 2004
While just about every company has a connection to the internet in one form or another, not everyone has a failover option to go back to dial-up or ISDN. Fewer still have VPN or indeed a proper firewall to ensure the lines of communication are secure.
The X2300 from Nuremburg-based BinTec is a router with an embedded ADSL modem and an additional ISDN dial-up backup.
The box itself is very sturdy and when accidentally dropped, came off unscathed.
The physical set-up of the box is a no-brainer. The cables supplied fit with no problem and installing the suitably-named Brickware was the main obstacle to getting the product up and running. Like most software set-up routines, it offers two modes – basic and advanced.
To get the device operating quickly, we choose the configuration wizard. After completing the boxes and restarting the device, we tried to gain internet access – but to no avail. We knew our ADSL line was working so the connection could not be the problem. We were beginning to worry that the device would turn into a very expensive brick, but at least a very robust one.
This is when most people consult the manual – a thick and meaty tome, continuing the brick theme. It is well-written and presented with plenty of diagrams and hints.
We traced the problem to the cable between the ADSL filter and the box. Had we used the cable supplied we would not have been in this situation. The green light on the device fooled us into thinking all was well, but it turned out it never got on with the cable we used from another ADSL modem. We cannot work out why this happened, and we are worried that this cable is a special one that will attract a special price should it need replacing.
Aside from the failover to ISDN, the box also includes a stateful inspection firewall and an IPSec VPN. Neither of these are covered in the basic configuration manual, but there is some documentation on the CD provided, albeit difficult to navigate.Overall, the box's build quality is evident and it works well, once the initial confusion is cleared. The configuration software is not intuitive enough, though, and could do with a polishing. The documentation in paper form is excellent, but is severely overcast by the dearth of material provided on the CD.
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