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ZyXEL ZyWALL USG50 Internet Security Firewall with Dual-WAN, 4 Gigabit LAN / DMZ Ports, 5 IPSec VPN, SSL VPN, and 3G WAN Support
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Reliable, Highly configurable, Dual WAN support, good Tech Support, good value.

Cons: User interface may be a intimidating.

Other Thoughts: I'll echo what the previous reviewer said. Let's understand exactly what this is: a reasonably low cost, business-class router/firewall. We needed one that had dual-WAN support, and it came down to this and a couple of Cisco's lower end offerings. Given the relatively poor reviews of the Cisco's, I decided to give the USG50 a whirl. After several months of continuous service, I'm glad I did.

Job One: Reliability. The USG50 passes this with flying colors. In the months it has been in service, it has not rebooted or required rebooting once. It has not dropped a connection that I can see, nor has it cough, hiccuped, sputtered, or otherwise misbehaved. It just functions reliably and with no attention from me.

Job Two: Handling Dual WANS. Yep. We have a cable modem that carries most of the weight, with DSL as a backup and overflow. It handles the spillover fine, when I have induced failovers, it handles those quickly, and when the failed WAN is restored, it comes back quickly.

Job Three: Configurability. Yep. My needs are few, and it handles all of them. I have certain IP addresses (an outgoing mail server) that has to go through the DSL line for authentication. That took about two minutes to set up, 75 seconds of that finding the IP address of the mail server. I have other addresses I want to ensure always go through the cable modem (WAN1) unless it is down (video streaming). Again, it takes as much time to look up the IP address of the sites as it does to enter the routing rule. I could also just assign the IP address of the internal streaming devices to WAN1 (again, unless it is down), but I am too lazy to do that (and it would probably be a better solution).

Factor Four: Tech Support. Check. When the cable modem was installed, I was having a problem that appeared to be the USG50 defaulting to the DSL speed. I called Zyxel Tech Support twice, and although they were scratching their heads, they at least knew what they were doing and understood their product. Had I bothered to check the error log, I would have found the USG50 was working exactly as it should when the patch cable on the cable modem is faulty.

Add to that the firmware upgrade process is relatively painless.

It takes a bit to get used to the object oriented user interface. But, once you figure out what exactly each of the fields wants and the logic of how it works, it is pretty easy to work with. I've messed with the command line interface, and it is cryptic, but they all are.

I can't speak to the VLAN capability or some of the deeper functions. I have not tried the UTM features, although I had thought about the anti-virus. I may rethink that reading the previous review.

At this price point, I think I'd be hard pressed to find a better router/firewall. Given the cost, just using it as a basic, reliable, dual-WAN router/firewall is a decent value. The fact that it offers flexibility beyond that for more advanced needs and wants is a bo

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: - Plug it in and it works
- I got it at $15 off, so it was a good bargain

Cons: - None I can think of

Other Thoughts: This is plugged into a Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3, which recognized it fine (although I had to manually set the clock, but that is expected). Basically, I plugged it in, ran a memory text, installed Windows, and it has been running without issue since.

I normally use the CL9 (red) versions since I don't need the fastest, greatest memory for my purposes, but this was on sale and it works fine. When I have to build another system, I'll certainly consider it again.

I pretty much always use G. Skill or Crucial these days, and never have any problems with RAM.

MSI R7770-PMD1GD5 Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB 128-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: - Easy installation
- Runs fairly cool
- Quiet
- Smooth and responsive on a 24" display at 1920 x 1200

Cons: - A second DVI connector might have been nice

Other Thoughts: Let me state up front, for most of my use, this card is the equivalent of driving a nail into the wall with a sledgehammer. Every now and then I do something that pushes it, but otherwise it's biggest challenge is Google Earth.

The card is a little shorter than the average video card these days, I think. It is quiet, runs cool, and is not a power hog. Setup was easy, Windows 7 liked it, and it has been rock solid, both card and driver, since.

Like I said, I am not pushing this card. Someone in a heavy gaming environment may want to opt for something more. But for run of the mill applications, photo editing, video streaming, etc, it seems more than up to the task.


Mark S.'s Profile

Display Name: Mark S.

Date Joined: 07/28/04

  • Reviews: 48
  • Helpfulness: 18
  • First Review: 09/21/04
  • Last Review: 11/07/13
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