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Linksys BEFSR41 Cable/DSL Router

The unit
  • Uses a DSL or Cable broadband connection
  • Supports 10/100 Mbps speeds
  • Equipped with a 4-port 10/100 switch
  • All PCs utilize one IP address
  • Built in firewall technology
  • Configured through your web browser

(+,-) $200 USD

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I discussed the problem I had with my ISP when it came to IP addresses in the Linksys 10 Mbps USB Ethernet adapter review. While my ISP was trying to hit me up for $60 for each additional IP address I began reevaluating my networking needs. While previously the Linksys 10 Mbps hub had served well I found myself wanting more bandwidth, more security, and the ability to show only one IP address for all the systems on my network to my ISP. What I found was the Linksys BEFSR41 Instant Broadband EtherFast Cable/DSL Router.

First Impressions:

Judging by its pictures I had expected the Cable/DSL Router to be larger. At 7" wide x 6" deep x 2" high it is quite compact. The unit is well laid out with the same pleasing color scheme of the USB10T ethernet adapter. An interesting design point is that its legs allow it to be stacked into recesses on the top of another identical unit. You could stack several on top of each other without having to worry about one sliding off and falling. How come other networking devices are just boxes? I'm not sure, but I'd expect that some of Linksys' competitors will be designing more appealing and functional cases for their units soon.

The rear of the unit houses the all-important connections. There you will find the power connector, one Uplink port, four 10/100 ports, and the WAN connection. Your Cable/DSL modem will plug into the Wan port. The Uplink port can be used to connect to a hub (or another switched router) that will be used behind this router. The unit supports up to four 10/100 connections at once. However, if you plan to plug another hub or router device into the Uplink port you will be limited to ports 2 through 4 as port 1 and the Uplink are shared. A nice feature I saw was that the power cable does not have a large wall-wart where it plugs into the outlet. I hate having one or two outlets blocked by a single large power cable plug. This makes hooking up the power cable to a surge protector, or UPS unit much easier.

The front of the unit houses several LED's. On most hubs you will find a blaring collision LED which is usually being lit intermittently. On this unit the collision light is actually shared with the full duplex LED. If lit constantly then the connection is running at full duplex. If it blinks then there are collisions. Collisions will be rare, if ever, due to the fact that Linksys has applied a switch to all four ports of this unit.


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