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NETGEAR FVS336G-200NAS ProSafe Dual WAN Gigabit Firewall with SSL & IPsec VPN 10000 Simultaneous Sessions 60 Mbps
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Decent feature set
Build Quality

Cons: Netgear support takes forever to fix simple firmware bugs
PPTP server broken on final 3.xx firmware
WAN throughput limit ~40Mb on 3.xx firmware
WAN throughput limit ~30Mb on 4.xx firmware
External power brick

Other Thoughts: For a supposedly current generation ~$300 business product, the processor in this router is either inadequate or Netgear's ability to code efficient firmware is suspect. I purchased this product to do simple PPTP VPN's, which crash within seconds of sustained data transfer with no tunnel disconnection. After laughably slow progress with Netgear's supposedly business level support on a simple tunnel cfg that could be created in their labs in 15 minutes, they finally produced a beta firmware after months which fixed the PPTP tunnel but capped the WAN at ~30Mb. The latest 3.xx firmware bottlenecked at 42Mb on my > 50Mb connection, and now 6 months later a 4.xx firmware has finally been released which again has the 30Mb WAN performance bottleneck but the PPTP server no longer supports the same type of configuration (PPTP IP range cannot be within the same subnet as the LAN) despite it functioning fine in the previous release. It also errors out constantly attempting to add machines from its DHCP table into a reserved list.

My conclusion is becoming that this router's hardware platform needs to be replaced with a competent v3 one, and Netgear's inability to write efficient or competent release firmware is probably going to move me to another manufacturer's VPN products. A seriously sad showing by Netgear.

HighPoint RocketRAID 2640X4 SGL PCI-Express x4 SATA / SAS Controller Card
  • Owned For: more than 1 year

4 out of 5 eggs Excellent value & compatibility 12/18/2013

This review is from: HighPoint RocketRAID 2640X4 SGL PCI-Express x4 SATA / SAS Controller Card

Pros: price for features
boots JBOD / single drive without any onboard BIOS configuration
easy firmware updating in Windows
small size

Cons: price for size / complexity of card
port #1 is in the furthest away / most hidden spot once card is installed

Other Thoughts: This product works excellent for adding into a functioning system as a temporary bootable SATA/SAS card to add drivers for other controller modes. My classic use for this is setting up the 2640X4 card, swapping the boot drive over to this card and changing an Intel SATA controller from AHCI into RAID mode for either coexisting an SSD with a RAID array or converting to an SRT mirror. Once the reconfiguration of the image's controller drivers is done while booting on this card, I can remove this card and boot with the drive on the original controller in whatever mode is required.

The Promise cards I have which I used to use for this purpose frequently will hang the system at boot when coexisting with Intel controllers in RAID mode (but not in AHCI mode) with all existing firmware versions. The 2640X4's stock 1.3 firmware worked perfectly, but firmware can easily be updated (1.4 at the time of this review) within Windows as well .

Saeco RI9752/48B Odea Espresso Machine
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggs So awesome, but some refurb chain yanks 12/01/2013

This review is from: Saeco RI9752/48B Odea Espresso Machine

Pros: amazing coffee
refurb value vs buying new
manufacturer refurb vs some random guy
simplicity of operation vs manual machines

Cons: missing some accessories vs new (normal)
learning curve vs single serve brewers
requires maintenance vs single serve systems & cannot be ignored
penny pinching included manual sours initial impression
sloppy factory cleaning after testing

Other Thoughts: I'd been planning to get one of these for years, and I also have the two main single serve machines for simplicity of mixed drinks decent maintenance free coffee if you can source single serve brews you like. I like the darkest & boldest end of the coffee spectrum pretty much exclusively, so finding coffee I enjoyed took me a while. This machine is a whole different level vs single serve, which I've always known from repeat Saeco experiences going back ~10 years. Unfortunately this quality comes at a cost in terms of your time, as cleaning it is essential and cannot be ignored. The machine estimates the intervals perfectly in my experience, as within 1 bag or so of beans the machine began sputtering (messy) and its descaling light triggered. My other machines virtually never trigger descaling, as I only use filtered water and clean them regularly using simpler methods so things never build up. Descaling fluid is not included, and vinegar mixes cannot be used (unlike some single serve systems). The process takes about an hour involving repeat sessions of cleaning and letting the machine rest, so these machines probably aren't ideal for those not "dedicated to the coffee craft".

I'm extremely happy with this purchase, the machine works perfectly but you won't likely figure out how to interpret the icons or possibly even use it unless you read the manual (which is a rather marginal duplex-printed copy of the manual, not an original. Some of the accessories included with new ones are also not included, so some of the chain yank cost cutting of this factory refurb was annoying. Expect your machine to come with virtually nothing other than the machine itself and some marginally printed documentation. Since the manual is essential and they package this lazy and penny-pinching version of it despite the machine still being hundred of dollars, I've dropped this product rating from 5 to 4 stars. It reminds me of econobox car manufacturers who don't give you a tach when you buy a base model in a manual transmission, just to annoy you and make you feel cheap every time you use the product--ignorant marketing tactics that do nothing but devalues the customer's positive impression of your brand.

The machines have coffee grounds on them from testing (all over the machine in my experience) but the chassis parts were mostly like a new machine. This isn't like buying some Cupertino-based company's refurbs which are like new but with boring packaging, but it is fantastic value--especially if you grab the machine on sale like I did. Be warned, they sell out fast!


CHARLES T.'s Profile

Display Name: CHARLES T.

Date Joined: 10/03/09

  • Reviews: 18
  • Helpfulness: 10
  • First Review: 08/03/11
  • Last Review: 03/25/14
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