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Linksys Etherfast Cable/DSL Router

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Linksys Etherfast Cable/DSL Router BEFSR41

Linksys Etherfast Cable/DSL Router BEFSR41
Price: £50
Site: Linksys
Buy UK: Amazon | Currys/PCW | Dabs | eBuyer | John Lewis | Novatech |
Buy Int: Amazon.com | Compsource  Compare prices: Kelkoo
Uses: Allows you to share your cable/dsl connection between PC's

Linksys Etherfast Router

Why buy a router, well it makes it simple to add other clients to make a network and share a cable/dsl connection. With this model you can have 253 PCs connected via additional hubs etc. NAT & Packet checking firewall built in adds to the security factor, and with VPN technology you can enable secure access to remote networks.

Firstly thanks to Linksys for providing these product for review and to the site here for allowing me the opportunity to look at it and tell my story.

I have had broadband for nearly 2 years now, before broadband I wasn't that firewall or virus aware I of course used virus software and had started using Zone alarms and other firewalls but had never really taken much notice.... Until a friend of mine who had gone on to broadband just before me started to experience many problems including constant Spam and events such as lockups and random shut downs, he didn't use any firewall or anti-virus software at all.

After I ran a scanner and Trojan checkers etc on his system there were several connections that had been used to 'play' with his system. Once these were removed, the system returned to normality. Obviously you can never be 100% secure (especially using Microsoft products) but with being aware and using a firewall you can help to keep your system secure obviously of added importance if you can leave your system on 24/7 connected to a always on net connection.

A short time after the above incident I decided to buy a router so that I could connect more PC's and form my own network with a gateway to the net, and also the added firewall protection did make it very appealing, In short rather than rambling on if you have a always on connection think long and hard about getting a decent amount of protection, if using occasional access ensure to use a well known and updated virus checker and use a software firewall.

What you get in the box:

Contents of the package

  • 1x Firewall Router
  • 1x Setup CD Rom & User Guide
  • 1x Power Adapter
  • Start guide and reg card

Features:

  • Protects PCs from Ping of Death, SYN Flood, Land Attacks, IP Spoofing, and other DoS (Denial of Service) Attacks
  • Support for up to Two IPSec VPN Tunnels, IPSec & PPTP Pass-Through
  • Supports URL Filtering and Time Filtering
  • Blocks Java, ActiveX, and Cookies
  • Simple to configure via web browser from any networked PC
  • Traffic & Event Logging
  • Support includes SNMP V2.0 & SNMP MIB 1 & 2
  • NTP Network Time Protocol for use with Real-Time Server
  • PPPoE Connection Support
  • Dedicated Port for DMZ

Specifications:

  • IEE 802.3, IEEE 802.3u Standards
  • CSMA/CD Protocol
  • 1 x WAN 10/100 RJ45, 4 x LAN 10/100 RJ45 Ports
  • WAN 10/100 (Half Duplex), 20/200 (Full Duplex)
  • LAN 10/100 (Half Duplex), 20/200 (Full Duplex)
  • Dimensions: 7.31" x 6.16" x 1.88" (186mm x 154 mm x 48mm)
  • Weight: 13.6 oz (0.38 kg)
  • Power: 12V DC, 1000mA

The Unit:

It is very light and compact the Layout and the dimensions of the units seem to follow through the whole Linksys range, this is partly due to keep them common and distinctive and to also allow them to be stacked if needed.

At the front of the unit has the LED indicators on the left hand side, with the other ports and connections located at the rear of the unit.

Installing:

If you've never installed a router then don't be put off they really are the easiest things to install. I will assume that you currently have a broadband modem connected straight to a PC. All you need to do is disconnect the cable and connect the modem to the WAN port of the router and then another cable from port 1 (or 1-4) to the connection of your PC. Boot up and that's it, you may need to release the IP if it held it via ipconfig etc.

Then you should be online, you can then access the admin section of the router by using the following IP http://192.168.1.1/ from here you can administer any ports and allocate user rights and connections.

above view of unitbelow view of unit
close-up viewrear view of router

Other routers I have used have been Nexland, Netgear, and now Linksys. All of which were priced a lot higher than the £50 price for this unit. I do really like the Linksys router although I'm not keen on the plastic casing. The layout of the router is fairly standard but the ports and overall layout is good. For £50 it's a bargain.

The Built in Firewall is an additional feature, which can be locked down completely, or set-up strict port rules for programs. This will provide a great a service for the home user and also for the business user this has the expandability to connect to additional hubs.

Conclusion:

The bottom line is if you have a broadband connection and would like to benefit from using it between several PCs then look at this, I think the arrival of Wireless Routers has helped to push the price down for this unit.

It is simple enough for the home user to use but also still feature packed for a network manager or IT person in an office to enforce any restrictions and filters.

If your not going down the Wireless route then look at this for £50 you cant go wrong.