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golferinfr's Full Review: Cisco Linksys EtherFast Cable/DSL Router with 4-Po...
I was upgrading my office 2 weeks ago and was looking for the best way to be online at the same time with all my computers and on the same page. The simple math was positioning each computer and applying enough work area around each computer while not trying to bump heads if any of my help or friends were using any other computers. Well, I got them all settled in and found out I needed to get me a bigger router to accompany my cable modem. I went to Staples and found this Linksys 4 port Etherfast Cabe/DSL router. I looked at the box to make sure it would be able to handle my networking operation. I bought it and proceeded to go to my friend Petey to make me four Ethernet cable lines to make sure I had even cable so I wouldn't have to move any of the computers.
When I got home I spread out each cable and hooked the cables in the proper holes in my computers and I'm very procedural that I wire tie all my cables from each computer making them look neat. This way you have no wires at your feet and it makes it look like a professional hook up your systems. I ran all the cables to this Linksys router, then I ran the major line back to my modem. I put this router in the middle so I can look at it if anything goes wrong.
The Proper way of installing. Like I said align all your Ethernet cables and insert them in the router, then run the router cable to your modem. Then insert your DSL cable into the modem followed by your power adapter plug. Let the modem establish your Internet Address ( ISP) this is the last light on your modem box and let it run for a minute. Next you want to plug in your power adapter from your Router and let it run a minute or so establishing addresses to all of your computers. When all the computers are set the Ethernet light will blink, then turn on all your computers to set up connectivity inside your computer Internet connections.
One note. It may take two or more times if you have one computer that has Linux Operating System, it took my Ubuntu OS three times on Auto Ether Setup to establish a full mainstream connection.On the labeling box for this Linksys router that have a few variations on what operating system that you have at home. This meaning they have routers for just Windows XP and then another that is Windows XP and compatible with Windows Vista. With this version, it connected to my new HP Pavilion 410 Elite with Windows7 and no issues came up. I even got a 75 foot Ethernet cable to run into my laptop so I can relax on my couch and watch the television and converse with Steffie.
What is included in the box. Your Ethernet Router, network cable ( 6 feet ), power adapter/ with 6 foot plug in wire, set-up CD-ROM with user guide, quick installation preview. System Minimum Requirements. Broadband connection and Cable/DSL modem, TCP/IP Protocol, Network adapter, CD-ROM drive, Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher, and/or Firefox 1.0 for web base configurations. Along with the CD you insert they is a 60 free trail version of Norton Internet Security plus 60 days of virus and firewall updates. On 3 of my computers I have Norton 360 and the others have AVG 9.0 Security Suite and the main thing is that they all get along specially with the Ubuntu/Linux computer. But saying this with Norton's 360 searching for new virus definitions every 4 hours when it communicates with the router and modem the Ubuntu does have periods of lag in between going from one task to another or writing emails there is a 5 second delay in seeing your written words.
Specifications. Model number BEFSR41, IEEE 802.3 10 base T, IEEE 802.3u 100 base TX, one main 10/100 RJ-45 port for your modem, four 10/100 RJ-45 switch ports. The LED lights are power, Ethernet and the Internet and the dimensions are 7.32 width x 1.88 height and 6.16 in length.
Overall, I'm very pleased about the outcome of what I truly wanted to make my office look like with every station having it's own unique purpose. Sadly to say in my rural town the trees are never trimmed by the electric company and when the limbs mess with the electric lines it causes power surges and failures. When this happens, ( at least once a day ) I have to reset the modem and the router, so this is my only let down to set-up. But really am one happy camper for how things turned out !!!
Thanks for reading!!!
Amount Paid (US$): 53.00
Damn good and easy to use. I couldnt be arsed reading some of the long winded reviews so mines going to be brief. I had mine up and running in a couple of hours after carefully checking everything. Then it only took me 10 minutes to get any other PC online including my mother in laws who happens to live across the street (about 80 meters away) although I do have to put the unit on the window ledge so as not to go through walls. Only got the B rated (11mps) but as others have mentioned - your broadband is only about 1/2 mps. The 54mps is only useful if you transfer very large files around the house. Price is very reasonable - I got mine off ebay with a USB adapter (the Linksys WUSB11) for £60. Linksys were a PC PRO A-Listed product till recently.
Not so much an opinion on the Linksys Cable/DSL Router, after all, it's a blue box with twinkling lights, but more what you can do with one! Many people are cutting over to a broadband Internet connection of some kind, either courtesy of their cable TV company, or, if the prevailing conditions are right, through their BT telephone line using a service called ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line). The 'asymmetric' bit relates to the fact that downloads speeds are higher than those of uploads. As you can imagine, symmetrical DSL lines, i.e. with the same speed both ways tend to be for business use, and much much dearer. If you have more than one PC at home, it is then a logical step to share this new faster connection between the PCs, since, unless they both make a demand on the Internet at EXACTLY the same time, there is no real loss of speed to either, thereby maximising your 'investment' in telecomms. It is possible to create a minor home 'network' by keeping the existing primary broadband connection in place, and simply linking the two PCs together, either by wire or as in more commonly the case when starting from scratch, by radio link (also called wi-fi). This approach has one advantage - its cheapness. Its disadvantage is the fact that the main PC must be running to allow the second one access to the web. This is where a Cable/DSL Ethernet Router/Switch like the Linksys comes into its own. My own version, called the BEFW11S4, looks exactly like the one pictured above, with one notable exception - it has sprouted ears, or rather a pair of radio antennae. This model is all of the "Cable/DSL Ethernet Router/Switch", with the added complication of being called a Wireless Access Point too. Quite a mouthful. In reality, it means that I can connect my cable company's modem to up to four wired-in PC's via the router/switch bit, and to practically as many as I like wireless-linked PC&
#39;s as well. That's some network capacity there for a four-bedroom house! I'm writing about this now, rather than eight months ago when I bought it for two reasons. One is to alert you to how cheap this stuff has gotten, and two to keep you up to date with new developments since I bought it. The box itself can now be had if you shop around for a mere 50 quid. What has happened in the meantime is that a new higher speed standard for 'wi-fi' has been established of 54 megabits/second compared to the original 11, now known as wireless-G and B respectively Bear in mind, that even the original 'slow' version is still 22 times faster than most people's basic broadband connection, so this needn't be a problem. FIRST STEPS So what have I done with mine? Firstly came the installation, which involved loading some software, following the step-by-step instructions for connecting a first machine. This involved breaking the link between your broadband modem and PC network card (note: if your modem only has USB outputs, you'll need a new one). My, or rather Telewest's Motorola modem had both types of connection so this was not a problem. Then you restore the link, by reconnecting the modem, this time to the router instead. The router, in turn, is connected back to the first PC's network card, so instead of one single cable from modem to PC, you now have two, one leading INTO the router from the modem, and the other leading OUT of the router to the PC. They give you the extra bit of cable that you'll need to carry this out. If you've ever connected a VCR somewhere in the aerial lead to a TV, then this 'daisy-chaining' concept will be familiar to you. You then return to the software set-up, and bingo, your first PC can still talk to the Internet - 'whoopee, it could do that before!' I hear you say. Ah yes, but I can add in another three PCs as long as the ca
bles from the back of the Linksys box will reach. OK, I didn't have three PC's but I did have an old one sitting around gathering dust, which has now been pressed back into service as a back-up 'server' for all those items that we spend huge amounts of time creating - documents, address books and the like. I don't run it all the time, just when a back-up is (over)due! Thanks to Windows' ability to identify shared drives AND printers, I am able to drag-and-drop files from one PC to another using the Linksys' switching and routing facilities, and seamlessly too, I might add. Connecting the second hard-wired PC merely involved running the set-up disk again under the banner of 'Install extra PC'. All that sharing stuff is a Windows function - the Linksys box merely supplies the route between terminals, and to be honest, you don't really have to get too involved. CONNECTING VIA WI-FI Where you do have to get involved is when setting up a wireless link, in my case to a PC in the dining room. Wireless brings with it advantages and disadvantages in equal measure. On the one hand, you've got flexibility, and the lack of damage to the decorating. However, the downside of having something in the house that can be picked up from 500 yards distant is exactly that - you don't know who's trying to eavesdrop on your 'traffic'. The first thing you DON'T do is give your network an ID like '15AcaciaAve'. That's tantamount to saying 'hey guys, come and burgle me, I've got a house full of gadgets!' The other 'must do', is to set up the digital encryption to block overhearing, preferably the 128-bit variety as this is much harder to hack. There is however a slight speed penalty. Let's assume that you've already fitted a wireless network attachment to your distant PC and have installed it as a piece of hardware. It's own set-up has
confirm ed that it can see a network or two, one of which is 15AcaciaAve (OK, so ignore my advice - see if I care!). You confirm that this is the default network, and get the basic unencrypted system working, making sure that the remote PC has Internet access - this is always a good test of your link. Back to your 'main' PC you go from where you access the Linksys router's setup. This is done from Internet Explorer by accessing the network address 192.168.1.1. You type this in where you would normally insert a URL. Then up comes a security screen with the default password of 'admin' - you are free to change this. Once you are 'inside' the Linksys box, it is an easy step to switch on the 128-bit encryption for the radio link and to create your own encryption code. You achieve this by typing in a favourite secret password, and letting the machine evolve a code, which is usually a tedious string of 'hexadecimal' characters like ae12f27....blah blah blah. Be sure to write this down correctly. Once you've turned on the encryption, this will be vital to getting the remote PC at the end of your radio link working again. Then with your code in your sweaty mitt, you rush back to the remote PC (good exercise, this networking lark, innit?), where you re-input the code, which then permits an encrypted radio link to begin working just like the un-encrypted version, only much safer, if a little slower. THE END RESULT Our main PC, back-up server and Linksys box are all in the 'little bedroom over the stairs', whereas the remote wi-fi PC is downstairs in the dining room. All three PCs can connect to the Internet (and to e-mail, if you must, but then it ends up spread amongst several in-boxes), irrespective of whether the others are running. The only real snag we have run into is that the Linksys box looks like it's lit for an early Christmas. As I sit here, I'm looking straigh
t at ten LEDs, one of which is flickering non-stop. This is not normally a problem, unless we have a guest sleeping here, then the whole shebang needs shutting down so they can get to sleep! If they like a lie-in, we can't surf the web from the dining room - drat and double drat, Muttley! FURTHER EXPANSION To connect more than four hard-wired PCs to this setup, you need to add another Linksys router/switch box, although one with radio access is not necessary. All Linksys router equipment seems to share a common blue/black stackable body shell, so the siting of the extra box needn't be a problem, but don't expect to get a expansion of four more PCs - you lose one connection in joining boxes together, so this is one case where 2x4=7. Don't forget, adding extra 'wi-fi' PCs is not an issue unless you intend to connect dozens of the things. Another interesting gadget coming on stream at around £150 is the Linksys WMA11B Wireless Digital Media Adapter. This is a Wireless-B adapter for connecting a TV and a hi-fi back to a PC where media files are stored. The implications are great. Not only could you show all your jpeg digital photos stored on the PC as a slide show on the TV, but mp3 music files stores similarly can be played elsewhere in the house through a decent hi-fi, not the PCs speakers. Not only that, you get to hear music away from the constant background hum of the PC. Navigation of the mp3 files uses the TV screen as a substitute for Windows Explorer. The only downside I can see is that I'll need to run upstairs to boot up the PC just to listen to music, but on the plus side, I'll be able to reclaim some more lounge from CD racks. Mind you, it means another bloody remote control in the lounge - that's makes about eight so far. Note: I had previously tried, and written about a similar device called SliMP3, but this required either hardwiring from lounge to PC, or a clumsy add-on wireless bri
dge. This new Linksys kit covers the lot in one, and is 100% compatible with my existing wi-fi kit. For those of you who are still awake but befuddled by this stage, I've added a link to a diagram of my home network. http://www.billynibbles.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/Nibbleslan_files/slide0001.htm That'll teach you to be nosey!
Since 2001, I had run BigPond Cable Internet and shared it into a computer network with 3-4 computers using Win98SE Internet Connection Sharing. It was terrible using ICS. I wouldn't be sure that, when I boot up my PC, ICS would work as it should or not. When it wouldn't work, it would dish out IP addresses, but wouldn't pass any traffic to the Internet. I often had to leave the computer up all the time and, if there was a power failure or a system crash while I was away, I would have to talk people through uninstalling and reinstalling ICS just to get it going. So I had to bite the bullet and have us buy a Linksys 4-port router which was going at a very cheap price of AUD $169. Once it arrived, it didn't take long to set it up. The only thing I had to do was flash up some special firmware for BigPond Cable's strange login and authentication arrangement, supply my login parameters and set the IP address and DHCP pool from Linksys' defaults to what I wanted as a standard for any small network that I set up. This was all done using an easy-to-use Web-based interface that is used to control the router. It certainly moves the data quickly to the Internet and has certainly taken a load off my mind regarding sharing my Internet connection, especially if there are people who aren't computer-literate. This unit is future proof because it supports UPnP for applications such as MSN Messenger / Windows Messenger and any DirectX 9-based network games. I would suggest to look towards implementing these routers in any small network like a home network
The other opinions for the LinkSys Ethernet Cable/DSL router already give an accurate description of this zippy and easy to use piece of kit, so I won't dwell too much on that side of things! I'd been looking to share my broadband Telewest/Blueyonder connection with other computers in the house and had grown fed up with the Internet connection sharing software (just about all of them!) which had often proved tempermental and - of course - meant that the PC connected to the modem had to be 'always on'. After reading articles in PC magazines about other routers, and difficulties in setting them up with Telewest accounts (especially when you have to 'spoof' a MAC address) I was a little reluctant to splash out - until I saw the LinkSys Ethernet Cable/DSL router on sale at just £85 for the four port version. So I took a gamble, ordered it, it arrived the next day and had it installed in ten minutes and have never had to look back. It's fast, easy to set up (instructions for 'spoofing' your MAC address are given and will have to be followed if you use Blueyonder/Telewest) and at a price which isn't much more than some of the software sells for. If you've several computers in your house and want to share your Blueyonder connection then this is the ideal way to do it!
Having just imported a Linksys Etherfast Cable/DSL router with 4-port switch I have just overtaken all but the very latest NASA rocket hardware. Well maybe not, but nearly. Having orignally bought the product in the US (for £101), having returned to the UK (retail £140ish), I was told by the Linksys rep, that the US is a different build to the UK (9 volts instead of 5), and getting a transformer would be difficult. However he did suggest a couple of retailers. Anyway, eventually the thing is up and running faster than Linford Christie. Alot easier to set up than a swedish flat-pack. And its running at lightning quick speeds, with full duplex connections to three PC's (200Mbps) With a 10Mbps capable WAN end, the router is unlikely to become old incapable in the foreseeable future, and to me is outstanding value for money. Using the IP address system to configure the router is as easy as pie, and for a novice to netwroking such as myself, I know feel an expert having read the User Guide which explains everything in some detail. All RJ-45 sockets are plug-and-play as such, and the whole setup is easy to use. For such a little box of tricks, its amazing what it achieves, from a single 512kbps connection WAN side. So far, we havent had any major problems, and I will definitely consider buying more Linksys products if I ever need to in the future.
This in my opinion is the best and easiest way to set up a home network and share a high speed cable or DSL connection. This is even a great solution for small to medium sized business as well. This router comes in 2 main versions, a single port version for using with just one computer, or combining with other hubs and switches, or a 4 port version which has a 4 port 10/100 switch built in. This thing is very simple to set up.....to get going, you need not enter more than 3 lines of information in its very simple web-based configuration utility. It can support up to 253 clients on the internal network, acting as a DHCP server assigning each computer an IP address and handing out internet to each one. I myself have the single port version and have built a network of 7 computers in my home with this product. We even use this router at my place of work, administering to almost 20 computers. The great thing about this router is that it comes with a built-in hardware firewall which uses NAT technology and TCP/IP port inspection leaving you impervious to all but the most ambitious of hackers. Internet sharing software can often be mucky and troublesome, and adding more than one network card to a system can render it more unstable and slow to boot up. This router eliminates all need for that. Just one network card in each computer, and no sotware running in the background to slow things down. I have found this to be a very reliable product as I have personally sold more than a dozen of these units, and the store I work for has sold literally hundreds and all but a very few have been extremely pleased with this router and its performance. The only downside I have found is the price. The single port version sells for between 149 and 169 Canadian, and the four port sells for between 199 and 229 Canadian. I would still highly recommend this prodect to anyone serious about home networking.