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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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ZyXEL Prestige 310

The Prestige 310 is probably the most unique router here for a couple reasons.  First of all, it is the biggest.  It is bigger than the Netgear RT310, though not quite as sturdy because of its plastic case and light weight.  The Prestige is also the most expensive of the bunch, costing $250 when purchased from the manufacturer (although they do cover shipping for a limited time).

You probably haven't heard of ZyXEL either.  I know I hadn't before doing this review... Believe me, if word gets out on this router, they will gain some recognition...

1. Ease of Installation

This router has the most extensive amount of configurable settings of all the routers in this review.  They can all be changed from this handy little app.  A serial connection is also possible, for direct TFTP setting.  Click on the pic below for a full screen shot of the setup page...

In addition to the awesome setup application, there is a mini version, called the Setup Wizard.  This takes you step-by-step through the (very few) settings you need.  This makes an easy installation absolutely idiot-proof.

Similar to the UGate 3000, the Prestige offers Dynamic DNS capability.  Again, this gives your PC an identity, rather than your ISP's domain.  This unit supports both DDNS and DynDNS.  This means that you can choose from a variety of domains (rather than just *.ugate.net).  Both services are available free of charge (although you are encouraged to donate).

2. Value

Here comes the toughest part of reviewing the ZyXEL.  It has great features such has dynamic DNS, logging and tracing, soft WAN renewal (you don't need to unplug it to update from the cable modem), a well written and VERY descriptive manual, it performs well, looks awesome, and is bundled with everything you need.

The thing is, it costs $250.  That is more than many 4 port Cable/xDSL routers... Overall though, it offers about the same basic performance as a $100 D-Link or Linksys... 

Here's my take as someone who just loves to have the best stuff possible.  Look at your video card.  Do you have a GeForce 2 GTS? Then this is probably for you.  For the power-user who wants the best of everything, I have no problems recommending the ZyXEL Prestige.  If you are a member of the Cheap Bastards club, it might not be fore you. 


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

3. Virtual Server Setup

ZyXEL is at it again, offering the best Virtual Server settings of all...

The Prestige has a drop-down box, with the more common ports to be opened.  Now, it doesn't list EVERYTHING, like a DNS server or an NNTP server, it does have the very most common ports (particularly FTP and WWW).  Combine this with the ability to set a default server (thus eliminating the need to enter the same IP over and over), and Dynamic DNS capability, and you have yourself a unique Cable/xDSL router!

4. Flash Upgrading

Like the UGate 3000, the Prestige (I love that name btw) offers the easiest way to upgrade your firmware.  Download the file from ZyXEL, point the application to the file, and voila! As you can see, you can also upload custom configuration files.  This router has it all!

5. Taste Test

  • Ease of Installation: A Software installation, with a step-by-step idiot-proof wizard.  You can play with the settings later...
  • Value: B I find it hard to give the Prestige a B.  I really want to give it an A, but because ZyXEL is a relatively small company in the mainstream market, you pay a little bit of a premium.  If you have the dough though, it is well worth it.
  • Virtual Server Setup: A Decent setup, with dropdown boxes with the common ports, and a default server function.
  • Flash Upgrading: A All you need is the file! Flash it from your configuration app.  You can also load custom config files.

Overall: A / 95%

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

    

Next: And the winner is...

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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