SmallNetBuilder

Follow SmallNetBuilder
Follow SmallNetBuilder on TwitterConnect On Facebook Google+Get the SmallNetBuilder RSS Feed
You are here: LAN & WAN LAN & WAN Reviews An Old Standby Reborn: NETGEAR FVS318G Reviewed

An Old Standby Reborn: NETGEAR FVS318G Reviewed

Print E-mail
Prev - Page 1 of 5 - Next >>

Introduction

NETGEAR FVS318G

At a Glance
Product NETGEAR ProSafe 8-Port Gigabit VPN Firewall (FVS318G)
Summary Updated FVS318 w/ Gigabit ports and hardware DMZ port supporting 5 IPsec tunnels
Pros • 8 port Gigabit switch
• Switchable DMZ port
• Bandwidth throttling
• Reasonably priced
Cons • No Jumbo frames
• No VLANs
• Doesn't meet 7 Mbps IPsec tunnel throughput spec.

NETGEAR has finally improved its mainstay FVS318 Firewall / VPN router, in the form of the FVS318G. The 318G has eight Gigabit LAN ports and new hardware DMZ capability.  And it's even smaller than its predecessor, while offering more features.

Physically, the 318G has undergone a few changes.  It measures only 7.5” x 4.9” x 1.4”, while the 318 was 10” x 7.4” x 1.4”.  All ports are now on the front and NETGEAR has gone with a gray metal case on the 318G versus the "business blue" on the 318. (NETGEAR says that "business grey" is the new "business blue" for its SMB products.) The power switch is gone from the back of the 318G, but it still has an external power wall wart. 

The FVS318G at work

Figure 1: The FVS318G at work

Figure 2 below provides a listing of the front indicators.

Front panel indicators

Figure 2: Front panel indicators

Figure 3 shows the spartan back panel.

Rear panel

Figure 3: Rear panel

My test version came with firmware 3.0.5-25, which isn't released yet. So I downgraded it to the latest production firmware 3.0.5-24.  I found the 318G's software very similar to the software on the NETGEAR FVS336G which I reviewed in January 2008. 

The 318G's menu response seemed slower than the 336G's, which  I assume is due to the processor differences between the two routers (more shortly).

The focus of this review will be to look at the 318G's strengths and what is new or different from previous models.  Functionally, the 318G is more similar to the 336G than the FVS318, minus the 336G's dual WAN ports and SSL VPN capability. So I'll be making frequent comparisons between the 318G and 336G.

Internal Details

The photo below shows a Star (now Cavium) STR9102 as the "250 MHz" processor that NETGEAR specs, which is supported by 32 MB of RAM and 8 MB of flash.

NETGEAR FVS318G board
Click to enlarge image

Figure 4: FVS318G board

A Broadcom BCM53118 9-Port GbE Switch with 8 Integrated 10/100/1000 PHYs is hidden under the large heatsink and what appears to be a Broadcom Gigabit Ethernet PHY connected to the single router WAN port is under the smaller heatsink.

The 318G is midway between the 318 and 336G in terms of processor, RAM and flash as shown in Table 1.

Component FVS318 FVS318G FVS336G
Processor Samsung S3C4510 Star (Cavium) STR9102 300 MHz 32-bit RISC
RAM 8 MB 32 MB 64 MB
Flash 2 MB 8 MB 16 MB
Switch Broadcom BCM5317 Broadcom BCM53118 Vitesse?
Table 1: Key component comparison



Related Items:

NETGEAR FVS318N ProSafe Wireless-N 8-port Gigabit VPN Firewall Reviewe
LAN Section
NETGEAR Intros Gigabit VPN Router
New To The Charts: NETGEAR FVS318G ProSafe 8-port Gigabit VPN Firewall
New To The Charts: NETGEAR FVS318N

User reviews

View all user reviews

Average user rating from: 12 user(s)

NOTE! Please post product reviews from actual experience only.
Questions, review comments and opinions about products not based on actual use will not be published.

User Rating    [Back to Top]
Overall: 
 
2.8 Features :
 
3.6 Performance :
 
2.9 Reliability :
 
1.8
 
Ratings (the higher the better)
Features*
 
Performance*
 
Reliability*
 
Comments*
    Please enter the security code.
 
 

Here is why I tossed this.

Overall rating: 
 
2.0
Features:
 
1.0
Performance:
 
1.0
Reliability:
 
4.0
Reviewed by Mark Salem
January 24, 2014
Report this review
 

I had fiber brought into our business. Before fiber we had 1-3 megs up and down. After fiber it went to 5-6 up and down. COX promised me 20 megs up and down. I replaced this firewall with a NetGear Firewall FVS336G and WOW I am now at 20megs up and 24 megs down. Apprarently my old one had a limit of what it allowed thru.

 

Don't bother for gaming or torrents

Overall rating: 
 
3.0
Features:
 
4.0
Performance:
 
4.0
Reliability:
 
1.0
Reviewed by Matt
September 29, 2011
Report this review
 

Daily reboots, and when torrenting... forget it. Can't download CentOS or Ubuntu without rebooting router 2 to 3 times.

 

Forget about it

Overall rating: 
 
2.7
Features:
 
5.0
Performance:
 
2.0
Reliability:
 
1.0
Reviewed by Lars J. Helbo
January 14, 2011
Report this review
 

I bought it because I wanted to upgrade my network to gbit all through and because I wanted a better firewall with more options. But after two weeks I have now given up. The WAN-LAN connection is lost at random times. In average about two times a day (it may depend on the load).

I contacted support, which offered me a beta-version of the coming firmware. With that it may not freeze quiet as often (maybe only once a day). On the other hand it also reduced the speed of the Internet-connection with more than 50%.

I dont think this joke should be used in a live system. :-(

 

Not for P2P and torrents. Unreliable. Level 1 support useless.

Overall rating: 
 
2.7
Features:
 
4.0
Performance:
 
3.0
Reliability:
 
1.0
Reviewed by Tapnavillus
January 14, 2011
Report this review
 

I have been battling this Netgear FVS318g for three of months. The product either self resets or locks up completely forcing a manual reset. I have received a couple of firmware upgrades from Netgear, but this has not helped. I have now given up and returned the product. After 90 days Netgear wants to charge you for more support on a product that has obvious firmware defects. They dropped me like a hot potato on day 91in mid stream even with an unsolved open warranty issue. Buyer beware!!! Purchased the Cisco RVS4000 gigabit VPN router and all my network problems and headaches are gone.

 

Freezes all the time

Overall rating: 
 
2.3
Features:
 
3.0
Performance:
 
3.0
Reliability:
 
1.0
Reviewed by ID
December 01, 2010
Report this review
 

I agree with Bob. Gerry has the one good model of this device produced. I have had this product for four months. The first month it froze a few times. By the fourth month it freezes and needs to be reset at least once a day. It is not an early production model and the software is up to date.

Do not buy

 
 
View all user reviews