|The ISB2LAN (one port
version) was the very first router to support PPPoE. What does that
mean? PPPoE is what many cable ISP's use to allow users to log on
to attain a dynamic ISP. Most still use DHCP servers to assign an IP address to each user, but you might need PPPoE support
in your router.
If you look at Nexland's site, you
will see that they heavily push the fact that they support PPPoE.
This tells me that they haven't updated in a while, because EVERY
other router supports it now, some with a firmware upgrade.
My question to Nexland is how they
justify the $350 price tag. This is a basic 4 port hub unit,
with the same basic html setup used by Umax and Linksys. I
see nothing special here... It may have been the first Cable/xDSL
router ever, but prices are dropping a lot lately, with
1. Ease of
Like most of the newer routers, the
ISB2LAN supports html configuration. A word of warning though, there
is no default password when you first start the router up. This
doesn't pose much of a threat to most users at home, since the
configuration can't be reached from outside your own network, but just
make sure you set a password when you're finished setting it up!
This is a setup screen in its simplest
form, huh? Please excuse the resize... Here you have a choice of entering
the IP, Netmask, and Gateway your ISP gives to you if you have a static
connection, or the Device Name if you have a dynamic connection and are
using DHCP. There is also a simple PPPoE setup screen. The
only thing I didn't like about this setup is that it wasn't on the first
page. In fact, you have to go through 2 pages, then enter the
advanced menu to be able to set this up. Newbies may need to use the
manual to help them through it...
|$350. This is the
most expensive router we received. Furthermore, we could NOT
find a better price anywhere else; nobody seems to carry these!
You can buy them directly from Nexland, but you will have to pay
their suggested retail price.
Why is it so high? I don't know!
It is a basic router that offers the same basic functions as any
of the other better ones. The thing is, it contains a 4 port
NON-SWITCHING hub. This could be problems with bigger
networks, as you'll find some collisions, and bandwidth hogging.
It does come with some good Ethernet
cable though. Included are both a crossover cable, if you
want to attach it to a hub, and a REALLY long straight CAT 5 Ethernet
cable. The quality of the cables rivaled those of Netgear
To sum it up: We're giving the
ISB2LAN a "C-" in value.
3. Virtual Server
The ISB2LAN-H4 had one of the more
advanced virtual server configurations out of the bunch. There are
two sections to set up your virtual servers, one with the basic ports
listed (http, ftp, telnet, etc), and one where you can specify your own
ports. I don't know why they made it two separate screens, but they
This is the "Basic Virtual Server"
It's great to be able to specify whether
you want to open the UDP or TCP port. Advanced virtual server setup
is great, but it seems a little over-complicated. You can't browse
the network for the IP you are setting the server on, so make sure you
have your IP's memorized!
And this is the "Custom Virtual
Server" screen. Notice that you can choose the protocol of the
port you are opening, something we are seeing more and more often with
4. Flash Upgrading
Good news: No serial cable needed! You do
have to download a separate software utility (contained with the firmware
release) and use that. Overall, using the program was very
easy. Specify the BIN file, specify the target router, and
download. After that, you can uninstall the utility.
5. Taste Test
- Ease of Installation: B No
software required; just fire up the ol' browser! You do need to look
around to find the main setup screen, though.
- Value: C- The price seems VERY
outdated to me, but that is indeed what they are charging today.
Maybe you can find it cheaper elsewhere; if you do, tell me, and I'll
update this page. As it stands though, $350 is WAY too
much. You can get PPPoE support in any other routers, and IPSec
passthrough in most of them with a firmware upgrade.
- Virtual Server Setup: B They do
complicate things a little, but you get to control everything you
- Flash Upgrading: C No serial
cable required, but you do need to install software.
Overall: C- / 55% (Not scaled to out
normal grading system)
XRouter Pro MIH-130
Cable/xDSL Router Shootout Part 2 Table
Page 1: Introduction
Page 2: Nexland ISB2LAN-H4
Page 3: MacSense XRouter PRO MIH-130
Page 4: Linksys BEFSR41
Page 5: Security!
Page 6: ZyXEL and Netgear: Twin Brothers?
Page 7: Features/Comparative Matrix/Conclusion