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If you're looking for open source routers that don't require a key for every feature look at ClearOS. Load on any PC and add a second NIC card. It does unlimited PPTP VPN or IPSEC VPN, content filtering, intrusion detection, antivirus, and bandwidth management--all things your SOHO routers won't do.
If you're looking for a nice middle of the road router, look at Zyxel USG100. It does all the above plus does a good job with dual WANs and VLAN routing.


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Originally posted by aweaver:
If you're looking for open source routers that don't require a key for every feature look at ClearOS. Load on any PC and add a second NIC card. It does unlimited PPTP VPN or IPSEC VPN, content filtering, intrusion detection, antivirus, and bandwidth management--all things your SOHO routers won't do.
If you're looking for a nice middle of the road router, look at Zyxel USG100. It does all the above plus does a good job with dual WANs and VLAN routing.
Its interesting you should mention Zyxel. MY old Qwest DSL modem was a Q100. It was basically a Zyxel 100, or at least the same OS. I was impressed with how many features this little router had.


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Some of what routers cost is for the name. Cisco will always be a premium cost cause it says "Cisco" on it. Even if they are manufactured by someone else and rebranded.

But the real cost of a router boils down to a few things:
1) Fixed vs Modular chassis/interfaces
2) Routing Performance (packets-per-second)
3) Extended features like VPN, QoS, etc
4) Scalability and Reliability of design

Your cheapest router provides only a basic NAT with port forwarding. These are your average $20-$60 routers used in homes all over america. More then adequate for your average family surfing youtube and playing games or your SOHO.

The next level is SMB class routers. These usually add extra features like VPN connectivity, QoS, intrusion detection, dual-WAN, etc. Something of this caliber is usually what you see at a place of business like a doctor's office or auto parts store (or should see). These are usually in the $1-500 price range, sometimes more, depending upon capabilities and brand. The Cisco ASA devices are a good example of what goes here. Most OpenSource router implementations like Untangle, IPCop, DD-WRT, etc, are usually in this class feature wise.

Then comes Enterprise where all bets are off. These usually start around $1000 and go up to $20K or so. This is what the internet is built on. Something like a Cisco 2800-series router would arguably be entry level in this class. You will probably never deal much with these unless you start doing work for an ISP or need to network large campuses together.

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I've been looking for a hospitality router. The ClearOS and PublicIP look interesting, I still like the Valuepoints, now up to the 3560 and EnGenius just announced a new router that is being intro'd for a good price. Valuepoints have a choking problem on VPN's greater than 10, and I only have to deal with that once a season when the Microsoft boys come to stay.

From the guy who owns 3 Guestgates, none of them ever installed for more than 14 days, I'm ready to take a chance on a Linux box. Now if I can just find the right location for field trial....

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In my book, James nailed it hard:

PPS and scalability are the key factors. A hundred MB is only a hundred MB if you don't look carefully at how payload is managed (use PPS as one gauge). And scaling usually breaks down at powers of two (sixteen users may be a max, for example).


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Quote
Originally posted by Kumba:


Then comes Enterprise where all bets are off. These usually start around $1000 and go up to $20K or so. This is what the internet is built on. Something like a Cisco 2800-series router would arguably be entry level in this class. You will probably never deal much with these unless you start doing work for an ISP or need to network large campuses together.
Don't forget the Carrier class routers, that run in the $50K+ range.. The Cisco CRS-3 starts at $90K or so..

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Originally posted by Z-man:
It has some type of 10 user limit, but I can't quite figure out what it is. It seems to have good web filtering and all.
That’s also what defines a lot routers from say the big box store ones, and your watchguards and sonicwalls. They will come with limited client access, in order up sell different software packs and node connections. You can register your soho at watchguard.com, which should give you a free 90 day account in order to download any updates. I have programmed my fair share and personally don’t think they are worth the price, i like sonicwall much better, though seem to be pricier than watchguard.

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Z-man Offline OP
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Originally posted by rustynails:
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Originally posted by Z-man:
[b] It has some type of 10 user limit, but I can't quite figure out what it is. It seems to have good web filtering and all.
That’s also what defines a lot routers from say the big box store ones, and your watchguards and sonicwalls. They will come with limited client access, in order up sell different software packs and node connections. You can register your soho at watchguard.com, which should give you a free 90 day account in order to download any updates. I have programmed my fair share and personally don’t think they are worth the price, i like sonicwall much better, though seem to be pricier than watchguard. [/b]
its an older Watchguard, I think the quit supporting it in January. I might play around a bit with it and use it as a firewall for my wireless just to see if I can get it to work..


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They quit supporting a few years ago. However you should be able to get the latest release on the website. There is an area that lets you take ownership of a device by simply entering in the serial number. I'd give it a try.

~r

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