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Written by Carl 'lowlight' Nelson [07.14.00]
Manufactured by: ZyXEL, Umax, Netgear, Linksys, and D-Link
Suggested Retail Price Price: Varies - $100-200
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Linksys BEFSR11

At just pennies more than the D-Link part (Using IBuyer of course; here's a link to the product page), the Linksys is also an excellent deal.  I guess you could say the Linksys and D-Link are the closest in competition, since some of the other products in this shootout are up to and over twice the price of them.

So, how does the Linksys compare to the D-Link?

1. Ease of Installation

Unlike the D-Link, the Linksys can be set up using your browser.  Simply point your browser (IE or Netscape 4.x and up) to the router's IP, which is preset to 192.168.1.1 Once there, you will be prompted for a password.  Enter the default password, and you're in! This is the first screen you'll see:

Again, all you do is type in the 'Router Name' and Domain.  Set it to "Obtain IP Address Automatically, unless you have a static IP (uncommon).  You can also set up your PPPoE (PPP over Ethernet) settings if required (some cable ISPs require this).  After you enter this info, reboot your PC, and you're ready to go! Again, plug the Cable modem into the router before powering it up! =)

2. Value

Compared to the D-Link, the contents of this package are pretty sparse.  Is that a bad thing?

You'll notice that no crossover cables are included.  That led me to think that I had to supply my own crossover cable! However, if you look at the back of the unit, you'll see a little switch.  With this switch, you can set the router to crossover internally, or run straight through.  Depending on what you are connecting the router to (a hub or a PC) you'll use different settings.  You can use either type of cable this way.

Besides that, what else do you need? No software is required, since you set it up entirely through your browser.  Also, you will not need a serial cable, since you can't TFTP to the router (this shouldn't matter to me or you). 


Want to see the full picture? Click for higher resolution.

3. Virtual Server Setup

The Virtual Server setup threw me off a bit... Linksys calls it 'forwarding' in their system... Either way, it's the same thing...

Again, a simple technique here; just type in the port you want to open, and the IP of the computer you are opening on.  Note that there is a list of commonly used ports.  Even better would be a way to select these ports without having to type them in... Also note that there is no IP browse function.  That only really matters if you have a lot of PC's running under the router though...

4. Flash Upgrading

No serial cable required here! Just head to Linksys' page, download the latest firmware, run the EXE, and enter the IP of the router, and path to the firmware file.  Done!

5. Taste Test

  • Ease of Installation: A Easy as it gets: Plug the unit in, browse to it, enter your userid, and you're on! Plenty of settings to change as well.
  • Value: B No cables are included, but that should be reflected in the price.
  • Virtual Server Setup: B Better than D-Link's, but there is till room for improvement.
  • Flash Upgrading: B Almost as simple as it gets.  No Serial cable required either, which is nice.

Overall: B / 85%

All these images can be clicked on for a high- res version!

    

Next: Netgear RT311

Page 1: Introduction
Page 2: D-Link DI-701
Page 3: Linksys BEFSR11
Page 4: Netgear RT-311
Page 5: Umax Ugate 3000
Page 6: ZyXEL Prestige 310
Page 7: Conclusions

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