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LAN & WAN Reviews

Introduction

NETGEAR FVS336

At a Glance
Product NETGEAR ProSafe Dual WAN Gigabit Firewall (FVS336G)
Summary Dual Gigabit WAN IPSec and SSL gateway router supporting 25 IPSec & 10 SSL concurrent tunnels with 4-port Gigabit switch
Pros • SSL VPN Support
• Gigabit WAN and LAN ports
• Dual WAN
• Internal Power Supply
Cons • Dynamic DNS slow to update
• Only 1 IPsec client license included
• No DMZ functionality (future release)

At the conclusion of my review on Linksys' RVL200 last month, unaware of this upcoming product, I wrote that "an SSL VPN router with gigabit LAN ports, dual WAN connections and multiple Gateway-to-Gateway tunnel capacity would be a very cool product."

Well, I feel like I just got a belated answer to a Christmas wish! NETGEAR has just released the FVS336G, a new product for small networks, with a compelling combination of features and capabilities. Primarily, I'm talking about SSL VPN capability and six ports (two WAN and four LAN) of gigabit goodness! Let's see if the FVS336G is that shiny new bike under the tree or a lump of coal, shall we?

Physically, the FVS336G is a compact 10" wide, 7" deep, and 1.5" high, with an On/Off switch on the back and no external power brick. It's a little bigger than other 4-port routers, but I like the fact that the power supply is internal. This makes for a neat installation and eliminates the hassle of bulky power bricks.

NETGEAR dressed it up in their business blue metal, with indicator lights for power, WAN, and LAN Port status. The FVS336G also gets NETGEAR's new look menus recently introduced in the FVX538.

To get a better look at both the insides and some of the menu pages, take a look at our slide show. Figure 1 shows the front panel and port indicators, and Figure 2 provides a look at the back panel of the FVS336G.

Front panel
Click to enlarge image

Figure 1: Front panel and port indicators

Rear panel
Click to enlarge image

Figure 2: Rear panel

There are quite a few options for the network administrator to configure to optimize the FVS336G, and for the most part, they are relatively intuitive. Table 1 below provides a matrix of the main and submenus,with each submenu containing one or more tabbed configuration pages. 

MAIN SUBMENUS
Network WAN Protocol Dyn DNS LAN Routing  
Security Services Schedule Block Sites Rules MAC Filter Port Triggering
VPN IPSec SSL Certificates Status    
Users Users Groups Domains      
Admin Remote Mgt SNMP Backup and Update Time    
Monitoring Router Status Active Users Traffic Meter Diagnostics Firewall Logs VPN Logs
Web Support Overview Knowledge base Documentation      
Table 1: FVS336G menu matrix

The bulk of the FVS336G's configurations are accessed via the Network, Security, and VPN Menus, which will be the focus of this review. Let's dive into the VPN capabilities first.

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