Ramp Networks WebRamp 350e
- 9.6 inches x
6.8 inches x 1.6 inches
- 253 (dial-out)
- 4 Port 10BaseT
- Serial ports
support up to 230Kpbs
Recently I took a look at the Ramp Networks WebRamp
700s firewall/hub unit. Today we are looking at the second product that Ramp
Networks sent for review: the WebRamp 350e analog hub. What makes this product
unique is that this is the first networking product I've come across that
allows you to bind three analog external modems together to allow greater
bandwidth. The unit features a built in 10 MBps hub that will allow users
of this network to share the bandwidth created by this pooling technology.
Don't have the availability of cable, DSL, or T1 in your area? This may be
a solution for you although I think you'll see that it is probably banking
on outdated bandwidth technology.
How does it Work?
At this point you may be wondering why not having
cable or DSL would be a good thing. Well, for most people who don't have the
common high-speed connections to the internet available there is still good
old ISDN available. ISDN certainly isn't cheap, especially when compared to
DSL and cable. But if ISDN is the route for you, what if you could splice
three ISDN connections for a big fat pipe? Since there are three serial connections
on the rear of the unit you could also use three external modems. If you are
lucky enough to get 53k (legal limit) with your 56k modem perhaps adding a
couple more phone lines connected to your ISP could be a bandwidth solution.
That can net you 159 KBps of bandwidth.
Now I'm not going to say that a 159k connection
is something to be extremely excited about. But considering the expense of
ISDN, it may be a good solution for a small office that just can't get cable
or DSL. If we figure in the max of 230 KBps for each serial port then we can
see we have a theoretical max of 690 KBps with ISDN. While it's nice to see
that possible number I wonder if the cost of three ISDN modems and service
wouldn't force people to a satellite modem much quicker. Again, those who
need a unit like 350e are in a very special situation and for them the 350e
will fit the bill perfectly. For everyone else, a normal hub would probably
be a better solution.
But the 350e is not just a tool to splice multiple
modem or ISDN connections. It has a built in 4 port hub.