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ZyXEL NBG5715 Simultaneous Dual-Band Wireless N900 Media Router IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

2 out of 5 eggs Poor Support, Complexity without flexibility, Overpriced for features provided 11/08/2012

This review is from: ZyXEL NBG5715 Simultaneous Dual-Band Wireless N900 Media Router IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n

Pros: Performs the basic functions expected of a dual-band router. Decent range and throughput. Based on open source software (openWRT) and can be accessed with SSH.

Cons: - The "easy" web GUI us useless.
- The advanced web GUI has the look-and-feel of ZyXel's USG series, which will intimidatingly complex for the average home user.
- Firewall looks powerful, but can only be configured to drop packets.
- No SSL for administration page
- IPSec VPN not fully interoperable with other Zyxel routers (ZyWall USG100 & 2WG).
- Incoming TCP connections, including VPN, are set unreasonably low - 10 packets every two minutes - and are not configurable. Which means that accessing a local server or a single web page (including the router login page) by a VPN client or site, causes all traffic from that client to be dropped for five minutes.
- Some configuration (e.g. iptables) can be changed via SSH, but these changes are not persistent.
- Poor support: I contacted ZyXel about the incoming TCP connection issue on September 9. On September 10, "Ronald" replied that he would forward the issue to the engineers and get back to me. I've heard nothing more. My subsequent emails to "Ronald" have been ignored, as have my the support tickets I opened asking what has become of my request.

Other Thoughts: I have used ZyXel SOHO routers for years (Zywall 2WG, 5, USG20W, USG100) and been very satisfied. I put this one at a remote home office site. A decent home office router can be had for much less, but we paid more for the additional features of the NBG5715. Specifically, I wanted a more flexible firewall, and planned to setup IPSec VPN tunnels between the NBG5715 a 2WG and USG100 at other sites. The price, specs and GUI lead one to expect that this will be a "home router on steroids" or a low end SOHO router. But the capabilities it provides can easily be had in dual band routers costing $50-$100 less.

I've had great experience with ZyXel routers and support over the years, and I'm surprised this one fell so short. It appears to have been crippled to avoid competition with the low end of the USG series.

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LSI MegaRAID Internal Low-Power SATA/SAS 9261-8i 6Gb/s PCI-Express 2.0 w/ 512MB onboard memory RAID Controller Card, Single
  • Owned For: more than 1 year

Pros: I've had this HBA running a 7-drive RAID 6 array of WD RE4 drives in a Xen host running OpenSUSE (12.1 currently) for 1.5 years. It's been stable and trouble-free throughout on a decidedly non-server class MBA (MSI 890GXM-G65).

Cons: -1 egg because LSI took unreasonably long - until April 2012 - to release management tools compatible with the 3.0 linux kernel (it worked without issue but couldn't be monitored in the interim). Battery backup units, without which performance defaults to painfully slow write-through, cost ~$150 and last around a year.

Other Thoughts: Bought this HBA after ones from Areca (ARC-1680IX-8) and Highpoint (4310?) proved unstable.

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TRENDnet TEW-670AP 300Mbps Concurrent Dual Band Wireless N Access Point
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Very cheap for concurrent 2.4 and 5 ghz 802.11n coverage.

Cons: Unstable with WPA2 (AES/TKIP/Mix) enabled. On reboot, and unpredictably thereafter, the access point will go into a state of constant rebooting every 15 sec. - 2 minutes. Then eventually it stops, sometimes after a couple of hours. The wireless connection is effectively unusable during this time. These symptoms were not observed with encryption disabled. I did not test WEP encryption.

Other Thoughts: The only firmware available at the time of writing is the initial release.

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Shantikumar K.'s Profile

Display Name: Shantikumar K.

Date Joined: 11/03/05

  • Reviews: 3
  • Helpfulness: 2
  • First Review: 02/16/11
  • Last Review: 11/08/12
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