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This review is from: ZyXEL GS1100-16 Unmanaged 16 Port Unmanaged Gigabit Rackmount Switch
Pros: - Inexpensive
- Dual Backplane Gigabit Speed
- Metal Housing
Cons: None for the Updated Design.
Other Thoughts: I was considering getting another unmanaged switch and saw this ZyXel switch on sale. I had previously written a review about this switch where I had problems with the indicator light design and the spacing between the ports.
I noticed that this is an updated model that addressed the issues I had with this switch. First, the indicator lights are in two rows that are clearly marked as to which light corresponds to which port. The position of the lights in the row seems to directly correlate to the port which the light is associated with. This makes troubleshooting very simple. An excellent improvement over the model that I have currently.
The picture of the new GS1100-16 seems to show that the top and bottom row of ports are spaced slightly farther apart. This is also a great improvement to be able to more easily change out the cables when the switch is mostly, or completely, populated.
The current ZyXel switch that I have is still functioning flawlessly. I have the switch completely populated and the traffic on the switch is heavy. This switch has never dropped connections, diminished connection speeds, or done anything except work in more than 18 months of heavy use.
If you need an unmanaged, 16-Port, Gigabit switch, I recommend this one. The updated model looks to be a distinct improvement over the previous one. I hope it is as reliable.
This review is from: ASUS RT-AC68W Dual-Band Wireless-AC1900 Gigabit Router
Pros: - USB 3.0 Ports (Qualified Positive - See Cons Below)
- Increased 5GHz Radio Signal Strength Over RT-AC66
- Easy Firmware Upgrade
- Large Community of Active Firmware Support to Give a Very Reliable Router With Many Features.
Go to smallnetbuilder.com for in-depth reviews of this router with comparisons to other high end routers. T Higgins does an excellent job of complete router analysis with equipment that is not readily available to most people.
smallnetbuilder.com also has excellent forums which are a great for open-source firmware. The Asus-Merlin 374.43_2 ver. 4 fork by John9527 is the firmware that I evaluated this router with. I found that the RT-AC68 is a very reliable router with no dropped connection, adjustable power levels to FCC maximum, Open VPN capability, acceptable QOS, reasonable Firewall for both IPv4 and IPv6, and tools to monitor the health of the router (radio and CPU temperatures).
Cons: - USB 3.0 Port is poorly shielded so Transfer Speeds are Slow (USB 2.0 Speed).
- NO Wireless Transfer Speed Gain Over RT-AC66
- Stock Asus Firmware is Limiting the Router Capability.
- CPU Temperature is 87C which is very High and may be a Failure Point.
Other Thoughts: I have purchased and evaluated RT-N66's, RT-AC66's, and now the RT-AC68W router. I have had D-Link (825) and Buffalo WZR-1750DHP routers. With every upgrade before now, from N600 to N900 to AC1700 I have seen an increase in signal quality, router reliability, and wireless transfer speeds. I have tweeked my RT-AC66 routers with high gain antennas and open source firmware to be very reliable, with no dropped connections, and excellent signal quality/strength. I was, and am still happy with the Asus RT-AC66 routers I have that I purchased for US$100 each here at Newegg.com.
Even though I didn't purchase the AC68W for increased speed (I purchased it as a backup for a potentially failing AC66 router), I hoped to continue the trend and get a further speed increase with the AC68W. I didn't see that wireless speed increase in my testing.
While I did see an increased signal strength coming from the AC68W, that did not translate into an increased download or upload speed between my servers and clients compared to the AC66R router.
Quite frankly, the only two features that are an "improvement" over the RT-AC66 router is A.) a USB 3.0 Port and B.) The ability of the Firmware to monitor the CPU Temperature. The USB 3.0 port on the RT-AC68 is poorly shielded resulting in defaulting to speeds no greater than USB 2.0 speeds. This is well documented and comparisons show the AC68 is in last place for this feature among AC1900 routers.
The ability to monitor CPU temperature is great. This ability only comes with the open-source firmware, not the stock firmware. Unfortunately, the knowledge of the CPU temperature made me concerned about router CPU longevity. The AC68 router that I purchased has a CPU idle temperature of 87C. Under high load, the CPU temperature exceeds 90C. The high CPU temperature is also well documented in the forums. I have not heard any reports of router failure from this - yet. The router hasn't been out that long.
I debated the rating to give this router. If you are upgrading from an N600 or N900 router, you will probably be extremely pleased with the wireless speed increase and the connection reliability. If you have another brand high end router AC1700 or better, the only thing I can think of as an advantage is the open-source firmware and the GUI. I have nothing against Tomato or DD-WRT. Shibby and Kong builds are the way to go for Netgear or D-Link routers. IMO, the Asus-Merlin Fork firmware is very hard to beat for the reliability and ease of installation/updating.
I paid US169.99 for the RT-AC68W. I didn't really see any advantage over the US$100 RT-AC66R routers I already have. The lack of performance increase and the USB 3.0 Port problem are the reasons I gave the router 3 eggs.
Pros: - Inexpensive on Sale
- Metal Latch For Positive Lock
- Flexible Enough to make tight radius bends
- Stiff enough to snake through access points
- SATA III speed
- No Failures
Cons: - Limited color choice
Other Thoughts: These SATA III cables have worked for me without problems. I buy several at a time when they go on sale to have around for computer builds. The latches are positive lock so they do not come loose but are easy enough to take off when the latch isn't engaged.
The only complaint that I could possibly have is that there isn't a lot of color choices if you want to have all matching colors in your build. This doesn't matter at all to me since I mainly build servers and only go in the box for maintenance or install of different hardware.
These cables do the job. I recommend them.