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Linksys BEFSR41 Router

Linksys EtherFast Cable/DSL Router with 4-Port 10/100 Switch (Model BEFSR41)
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Date: 2000.03.01 12:16
Author: Brent
Category: Broadband Routers
Manufacturer: Linksys
Product/Model: BEFSR41
Price: $102.00
Online price: $59.95 at Buy.com
We would like to thank the following sites for their effort in this joint project review: SpeedGuide.net, Core Meltdown, G256.com and BrokenPixel.com. Both of us (Brent & Vorpal) have been very pleased with our Linksys EtherFast Routers and are excited to be doing a review on this product. When we started talking about merging our separate reviews, we felt the combined experiences of both a DSL subscriber (Vorpal), and a Cable Modem subscriber (Brent), would provide for a more thorough and informative review. We hope you enjoy this review and take notice, more WILL follow about this Router from us!

Broadband Internet: Everyone wants it, and they want it to be as fast and cheap as possible. Until recently, the only type of high-speed Internet Service available to most of us was a business level service (such as as leased T1 lines). This type of service is far too expensive for home users. Cable Modem or xDSL service has not been an option for many of us until recently.  Because of a lack of service coverage, or outrageous prices, many of use have been stuck with standard analog modem service for some time. This has now changed! Over the past year, Cable and xDSL services have exploded onto the market! Even though both services have been around for several years now, the price has gone down considerably, and the availability has increased exponentially. Major service providers are now advertising heavily, and offering incredible service packages that bring broadband Internet service into the reach of the average home user. One of the biggest problems with these services, was the need to buy or lease expensive Cable or xDSL modems. These modems have an average cost of $200. Now, many providers such as Southwestern Bell are offering those modems for 'free' with as little as a one-year service contract. Both services (Cable, xDSL) are FAST (for the most part ;-) compared to the standard dial-up connections that everyone is accustomed to, and a heck of a lot cheaper than those leased T1 lines. The overwhelming majority of consumers should now have the option of getting either Cable Internet Service or xDSL (maybe even both).

There has also been an explosion in the average number of PC's per household. People have been upgrading their computers, and, doing such things as giving their children or spouses the older systems. What if you have two or more computers in your home and want to share your single Internet connection?

If you have Cable modem, or xDSL service and you want to share your Internet connection within your home, this Router is for you!  If you have ever thought about setting up a home network (LAN) to share your Cable or xDSL connection with more than one computer the Linksys Router was made specifically for this purpose.   It is a Hardware Based DHCP Server that allows you to share your Internet connection with up to 253 client PC's. You can share out your single Internet connection to that many systems.  It also acts as a hardware Firewall, providing the best security and protection from Internet Hackers and Peeping Tom's (lurkers). And, to top it all off, it's the ONLY Router in it's class which uses a 4-Port 10/100 Switch, instead of a standard non-switching HUB! (in English: It's both fast and compatible). It also has a dedicated uplink port so you can easily add more switches or hubs.* This will allow you to expand your network beyond the built-in 4 port limit. Obviously, this Router provides for enough potential connections to satisfy the most insatiable tech-addict or small business! If you are considering this Router for a small business, it is capable of handling a fat (business level) 1.5MBps pipe!   ( A business level T1 is only capable of 1.5Mbps. This router can handle a connection 8 TIMES faster than that).

Note: On the Router's retail box it says "capable of handling up to a 1.5Mbps WAN connection" That is a type-o! (and not one in their favor at all - what a boo-boo). It should read "capable of handling up to a 1.5MBps WAN connection" (or it could say 10Mbps). Basically, because of that type-O, they are wrongly advertising the Router as 1/8 as fast as it really is on the WAN port (potentially). (We hope no one gets fired over there at Linksys :) Also, just to make sure you know at this point: The Router supports either 10Mbps or 100Mbps at Full-Duplex on the LAN side.

Note: if you use the uplink port it is shared with port#1 (you can only use one or the other). Also, you might need a crossover cable, depending on your configuration. For information on how to make a crossover cable (or what they are), check out these links: Make a crossover coupler for a standard cable Kan.org , buy a crossover cable locally or somewhere like CablesNMore, or make your own cable by putting on new ends - info here at the very nice site (and very nice guide) MakeItSimple.

It's been about three months since Linksys announced their new EtherFast Cable/DSL Router. Their press release proclaims:

"NEW LINKSYS CABLE/DSL ROUTER PROVIDES COMPLETE AND AFFORDABLE SOLUTION FOR HOME OR OFFICE BROADBAND ACCESS."

The EtherFast® Cable/DSL Router Offers Broadband Internet Sharing, Firewall Security, 10/100 Switching Capabilities, NAT, IP Routing and VPN capabilities for the Home or Office."

 

-Listed product features-

  • Connects to a Broadband Modem Or to An Ethernet Backbone
  • Equipped With a 4-port 10/100 Switch
  • Connects All of Your PCs to the Internet With Only One Purchased IP Address
  • Creates a Firewall to Protect Your PCs From Outside Intruders
  • Configurable Through Any Networked PC's Web Browser
  • The Switch Dramatically Speeds Up Your Gaming and Multimedia Connections
  • Can Act as Either a DHCP Server or Client
  • Compatible with All Standard Internet Applications
  • Administrators Can Block Specific Interior Users' Internet Access
  • Technical Support - 24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week
  • Full 1-Year Warranty or Small Office
  User Reviews/Comments:
    rate:
   avg:
by anonymous - 2006.04.13 16:56
I have had this router for about 6 years now, and can say I have had no problems with it. It is usually on 24/7/365, unless a storm is coming through and then I unhook everything. when I moved into my new house, a lightening strike killed my cable modem (cable company had not grounded the line yet - kudos to comcast, they replaced the modem at no cost to me), but the router is still going strong. I highly recommend this router.
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