February 20, 2004
This type of ADSL router is becoming more popular as branch offices look for all-in-one boxes that provide access to the wire and wireless user.
The device is the size of a hardback book and provides a 4-port dual Ethernet switch, an integrated ADSL router and a serial port for connecting a hub or ISDN terminal adapter/analogue modem.
Setting up the box is simple and should be very easy for both experienced IT professional and novice alike. The documentation is short and sweet and the paper-based compact guide takes the user through connecting a computer to the device via DHCP and getting into the web-based configuration menu, called the "Configurator".
We used the Configurator to set up the rest of settings. The device comes with a DHCP server which can be easily turned off should the network already have one of these running.
The box itself is quite small and light, so can be hidden away without to much trouble if needed. To the side of the box is a slot where a wireless PC Card can be fitted to upgrade the device to provide wireless access to the network and internet. It recommends the use of a ZyAIR wireless card, which was not shipped with the unit. While this gives choice to the user when initially purchasing the product, there are many similar devices already on the market that give wireless access out of the box for around the same money or cheaper.
Aside from that we delved into the browser-based GUI and entered in the various IP addresses needed to set up our test network. The menu is pretty straightforward and comprehensive enough for the security professional to feel instantly at home with. We think however that the novice user may struggle a bit with setting up firewall rules and VPNs but this is not because of the layout of the interface, which is probably one of the best we have seen.
However, the default rules of the firewall are good enough to work efficiently and safely so there should not be too many worries. It should prove easy enough for the IT professional to set up and configure new rules The VPN is an IPSec one and again there is a table for setting up different VPN tunnels to various destinations and policies. It uses
Overall this device is not bad value for money and can be set up for basic access quite easily. There are enough options for configuration to keep the professional happy. We would have preferred wireless access to be offered as standard instead being a bolt-on at extra cost.
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