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Ramp Networks WebRamp 350e

The Board
  • 9.6 inches x 6.8 inches x 1.6 inches
  • 253 (dial-out) max users
  • 4 Port 10BaseT Ethernet hub
  • Serial ports support up to 230Kpbs


(+,-) $849USD

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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 This may be a solution for you although I think you'll see that it is probably banking on outdated bandwidth technology.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.

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