ISB2LAN Router Reviewa hardware NAT solution with built-in firewall and DHCP
And very close it is. If you use the Net primarily for Web-surfing, ISB2LAN is your box. I had no problems loading web pages, streaming video and audio, downloading files and generally doing all these not quite productive, but oh, so entertaining things web surfers do must of their waking (and other) hours. Not a single glitch with RealAudio and RealVideo, secure sites, Quick Time 3 and 4, ShockWave and other popular plug-ins.
My other positive experiences included telnet, NTP (setting your PCís clock from one of the numerous clock-servers on the Net), reading Usenet news and, of course, IRC.
As you probably have learned from the above links, there are two types of protocols - "NAT-friendly" and "NAT-ignorant". Unfortunately, many protocol developers totally ignore the concept of NAT when designing their suites. This leads to limited support for such protocols by not only ISB2LAN, but all NAT solutions.
Of course, the good folks at NEXLAND have thought of that and have a recipe for handling such "rogue" protocols. One way to deal with them is defining a "special application". This option allows you to specify which ports and which protocols (TCP or UDP) certain protocol uses. It can be useful, but it comes at a price - only one computer on your network can use the special application at a time. This means that bandwidth or no bandwidth, you still will not be able to watch that soccer game if your teenage daughter is chatting with the current "great love of her life" using the same videoconferencing client. Oh, well. Imagine having to share a computer with her. :)
There are a few applications that refuse to work even if you make them "special". In that case, you will have to use your last weapon - "expose a computer". To quote ISB2LANís manual, "This feature, if enabled, allows one (1) computer on your LAN to be exposed to all users on the Internet, allowing unrestricted 2-way communication between the "Exposed Computer" and other Internet users or Servers". A powerful feature, but be aware, you are no longer protected by the firewall. Of course, the problem with the sharing remains - only one computer can be exposed at a time.
I did not test with any games, however most game clients should work either out of the box, or as special applications. If you have teenage children, youíre out of luck, but then, again, in that case you probably donít have time for multiplayer games anyway. :)