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Frank F.

Frank F.

Joined on 12/29/07

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 4
Most Favorable Review

Consistently Excellent

ZyXEL ZyWALL ZWUSG20W 802.11n Wireless Internet Security Firewall with 4 Gigabit LAN / DMZ Ports, 2 IPSec VPN, SSL VPN , and 3G WAN Support
ZyXEL ZyWALL ZWUSG20W 802.11n Wireless Internet Security Firewall with 4 Gigabit LAN / DMZ Ports, 2 IPSec VPN, SSL VPN , and 3G WAN Support

Pros: As an update to my review posted several months back, the USG20W guy just keeps on trucking, consistently and reliably. Deployed in a home office environment for a client, a small business which really doesn't have the time or the first-hand knowledge to be troubleshooting their networking gear. They just need something that simply works and works well -- and that's exactly what you get with a USG -- provided, of course, that you've updated to a new enough firmware version. This particular unit has been working well on version 3.00(BDR.2)C0 for quite some time now. The only thing that seems to bring it down are occasional power surges, which plague the electrical circuitry of the old house where it's installed. If it were not for the surges, I would expect to see several hundred-day uptimes from this thing between resets - no joke. It's nice to have a mission-critical option at the ready for clients who demand it, but would prefer not to spend into the high hundreds or low thousands for Cisco, Juniper, etc.

Cons: The sheer magnitude of the interface along with its heavy browser weight is often enough to deter many novices -- myself included at first. It *definitely* takes some time getting used to, regardless of your knowledge level, as a first-time user. Once you get the hang of this thing, though, routine actions and deployments become much faster, if not outright automated (settings export/import, command-line, etc).

Overall Review: Reviewers who knock this thing for being too complex or having poor this or that (much of which is completely mitigated with proper setup) could perhaps gain quite a bit of insight by stepping back and understanding the level of device that they're getting themselves into here. This is *not* a consumer-class product series (at least it doesn't appear to be the goal with the USG series). As such, in the world of networking especially, newbies need not apply, or if they do, they must understand and be ready to invest the time into actually learning networking terminology, proper networking setups and how they are achieved with the USG. Once that is done, I would anticipate many 1-egg and 2-egg reviews would turn into 4 or 5-egg reviews.

Simple, solid little wireless bridge

Edimax CV-7428nS N300 Universal Wireless Bridge for Smart TV, Blu-ray, NAS, and Gaming Console, With iQ-Setup for Hassle Free Installation; Green Technology for Energy-Saving
Edimax CV-7428nS N300 Universal Wireless Bridge for Smart TV, Blu-ray, NAS, and Gaming Console, With iQ-Setup for Hassle Free Installation; Green Technology for Energy-Saving

Pros: - Easy Setup - Instant recognition of G network broadast by a Linksys WRT54G - Once initial setup was complete, the unit was set-and-forget and has been operating without a single reset since day one (roughly 2 weeks now) *knock on wood*.

Cons: - Cheaper Realtek chipset and not a whole lot of memory (16MB), so don't expect to be able to pile on the devices here - be reasonable! - The interface is extremely basic -- next to zero room for customizing settings. I suppose that this could be translated into some strengths, though: ease of setup for novice users and fewer firmware bugs (hopefully). - Relating to the point above, most manual alterations to IP, DNS, etc. don't sit well with this little guy -- perhaps it's best just left "as is" -- ie. if it works, it works, and I just left it at that...

Overall Review: First off, this unit is *not* a repeater or access point, nor does it really blurt out any attempt to suggest it is or could be turned into either one -- so please understand that before buying, and/or do some self-educating as to exactly what the differences are! I deployed this unit for a client wanted to supplement dial-up with DSL for a credit card processing machine, allowing the fax line to be freed up and the speed of the transactions increased, plus redundancy added, as the unit is now set to use internet as primary and dial as secondary/backup. It's worked a treat and they couldn't be happier, so it works for me! I'm caught between 4 and 5 stars with this little guy -- ideally I'd give it a 4.5, as I think even for $30 it should be able to accommodate a full-manual setup by someone capable of doing it, as opposed to the obvious novice-bias they've built into it. That can be somewhat overlooked, though, because the core functionality has been spot on, at least for this project. So I'll round up to a 5. Well done, Edimax. =)

Solid AP

EnGenius ECB350 N300 High Power (29 dBm) Wireless Gigabit Access Point/CB/WDS/Repeater with Network Management Software
EnGenius ECB350 N300 High Power (29 dBm) Wireless Gigabit Access Point/CB/WDS/Repeater with Network Management Software

Pros: - Solid connection - Rebootless performance now for months - Friendly and easy-to-navigate web interface - PoE is very convenient and works well

Cons: None

Overall Review: Have this unit setup as a repeater in a house one floor below the main wireless router. Very thick walls and floors and the signal penetrates through all with relative ease. The only unit I have to compare this to previously is an Asus RT-N12 rev A running DD-WRT, which worked and had a good signal but was flaky, so I resolved to go back to a factory firmware and I'm glad I chose enGenius. Very nice product.

Rock Solid

ZyXEL ZyWALL ZWUSG20W 802.11n Wireless Internet Security Firewall with 4 Gigabit LAN / DMZ Ports, 2 IPSec VPN, SSL VPN , and 3G WAN Support
ZyXEL ZyWALL ZWUSG20W 802.11n Wireless Internet Security Firewall with 4 Gigabit LAN / DMZ Ports, 2 IPSec VPN, SSL VPN , and 3G WAN Support

Pros: Well laid-out UI Stable Very feature-rich for the price point ZyXel tech support is efficient and knowledgeable

Cons: UI is fairly heavy for remote management if using a slow connection Enclosure is predominantly plastic, but I guess at this price I feel better knowing the bulk of the investment is going towards good internals and quality firmware

Overall Review: I've had this unit deployed in a home-office environment now for several weeks and it's been rock solid, serving 3 desktops, 2 laptops, 2 smartphones, a USB network drive, and a myriad of wireless guests. I'm not sure what exactly was causing problems in the setups of the previous couple reviewers, perhaps older firmware issues that have been resolved since the last few updates? Compared to the plethora of garbage I've used before (consumer-level stuff from Linksys, D-Link, Netgear, etc. just to name a few), it's finally nice to have something that just works reliably and has the processing power, flash and ram to be able to swallow up heavy network traffic and/or routing policies and not miss a beat. Basically, this a Cisco or Juniper for half the price with hardly any downfalls. Well done, ZyXel!