SmallNetBuilder

Follow SmallNetBuilder
Follow SmallNetBuilder on TwitterConnect On Facebook Google+Get the SmallNetBuilder RSS Feed
You are here: Security Security Reviews Cisco RV180 VPN Router Reviewed

Cisco RV180 VPN Router Reviewed

Print E-mail
Prev - Page 1 of 4 - Next >>
VPN Router
At a glance
ProductCisco RV180 VPN Router   [Website]
SummaryPPTP / IPsec VPN router with Gigabit ports and high routing throughput
Pros• Fast routing throughput
• Decent IPsec throughput
• Gigabit ports
Cons• Slow admin GUI
• Low PPTP throughput
• Basic web filtering features

Typical Price: $105  Check NewEgg  Check Amazon

Introduction

Cisco's small business router lineup has quite a few models.  I've reviewed the RV120W, the RV220W and the RV042 over the past 18 months. This review will cover the RV180 wired version.  The is also an RV180W, which is basically the same as the RV180, plus a 2.4 GHz 802.11bgn radio. It supports four VLAN-based SSIDs, WDS bridging/repeating and WEP/WPA/WPA2 consumer and Enterprise wireless security.

In terms of features, the RV180/RV180W falls between the RV120W and RV220W.  Like the RV120W, the RV180/RV180W provides firewall functionality and supports up to 10 VPN connections, but has faster interfaces and higher throughput with its Gigabit WAN and LAN ports.  The RV180's 10 VPN connections are fewer than the RV220W's 25 connections and it does not have SSL VPN capability.

Cisco positions the RV180 for small businesses, remote office, and home networks looking for security, remote access and simple configuration.  Figure 1 depicts a high level view of the RV180 and its intended uses.

RV180 in use

Figure 1: RV180 in use

The RV180 is enclosed in a black plastic case measuring 5.9 in x 1.2 in x 5.9 in.  It is passively cooled so runs completely silent.  On the front of the device are the indicator lights (Figure 2).

RV180 front panel

Figure 2: RV180 front panel

On the back are the Gigabit WAN and LAN Ethernet ports, power port, and power button (Figure 3).

RV180 rear panel

Figure 3: RV180 rear panel

Inside

The RV180 is based on a Cavium Econa 300MHz CPU along with 64 MB of RAM and 16 MB of flash memory.  Ethernet ports are provided by a Broadcom BCM53125 7-Port Integrated GbE Energy-Efficient Ethernet Switch.

RV180 board

Figure 4: RV180 board

Configuration

The RV180's configuration menus are similar to the other members of the Cisco RV series.  Menus are selectable from a menu bar running down the left of the web GUI, each with multiple sub-menus for viewing status or applying configurations.  I've laid out the configuration options in Table 1 below.

RV180 menu structure

Table 1: RV180 menu structure

There is a single configuration wizard that simplifies initial setup, and I appreciated the help screens available from the RV180 menu.  I found clicking help in the top right corner of any screen brought up some useful information.  The manual provides more configuration support, but could use configuration examples.

Booting the RV180 takes up to three minutes before the device is fully functional.  Also, I found navigating between screens and applying configurations a bit slow with Figure 5 often appearing.

Waiting

Figure 5: Waiting



Related Items:

TP-LINK TL-R600VPN SafeStream Gigabit Broadband VPN Router Reviewed
Cisco Bulks Up Small Biz Product Lines
Linksys LRT214 Gigabit VPN Router Reviewed
TP-LINK TL-ER6020 SafeStream Gigabit Dual-WAN VPN Router Reviewed
NETGEAR FVS318N ProSafe Wireless-N 8-port Gigabit VPN Firewall Reviewe

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: 
 
2.4 Features :
 
2.5 Performance :
 
2.6 Reliability :
 
2.2
 
Ratings (the higher the better)
Features*
 
Performance*
 
Reliability*
 
Comments*
    Please enter the security code.
 
 

Excellent Device!

Overall rating: 
 
5.0
Features:
 
5.0
Performance:
 
5.0
Reliability:
 
5.0
Reviewed by D.A
June 19, 2014
Report this review
 

I have deployed about 30 of these devices, and every single one of them works, period. All of them are in heavy usage environments. Looking for a device that you can configure, and just let it run? This is it. I've deployed them for VPN (IPSec, PPTP, QuickVPN), VLANs, as well as used all of the rest of the options. I have many of them with pretty much every feature enabled.

There was only one time that I ran into an issue with a VLAN & VPN tunnel that was in the 10.X.X.X range that I felt I waited too long for a solution from Cisco support. I e-mailed the President's office, and a wonderful lady contacted me within 2 hours. She immediately had a top-level tech call me, and from there I spoke with a guy in the group that writes the firmware. My issue was resolved within 8 hours, total. Cisco was able to recreate my scenario, and published a firmware upgrade within a very acceptable timeframe. I've used many non-Cisco routers with similar feature sets, but none of them worked as well as the RV180W. I replaced a Watchguard XTM22-W with an RV180W. The Watchguard had constant issues. It dropped WAN, WiFi, and even LAN numerous times daily! I went through 3 Watchguard replacements, and numerous firmware upgrades before I took the thing to a gun range and blew it apart.

 

No IPv6 firewall

Overall rating: 
 
2.7
Features:
 
1.0
Performance:
 
4.0
Reliability:
 
3.0
Reviewed by Doug
October 19, 2013
Report this review
 

It advertises itself as having IPv6 and a firewall. In fact, the firewall can only filter on IPv4 and is very limited. Which means, unless you get and additional firewall, you can't safely use it for IPv6.

 

Crap firmware

Overall rating: 
 
1.0
Features:
 
1.0
Performance:
 
1.0
Reliability:
 
1.0
Reviewed by Dan
August 29, 2013
Report this review
 

This is by far the worst router I have ever used. It doesn't even work right when using it just as a basic 4 port router. For example, even with just ONE computer running, if open a lot of tabs in the web brower it starts blocking or losing content. And the only fix seems to be to just remove the RV180 from the loop.
Very slow and very buggy firmware. And the router is very easily overloaded.

Pure crap!

 

Disappointing - not a firewall

Overall rating: 
 
2.3
Features:
 
1.0
Performance:
 
3.0
Reliability:
 
3.0
Reviewed by frank
July 26, 2013
Report this review
 

I bought this because it was advertised as a firewall that has vlan support. Only when you actually try to set it up you realise that it DOES NOT support VLAN to VLAN firewall settings. Not only that, it doesn't even allow you to set different WAN firewall settings per VLAN. The only firewall functionality is an overall WAN in/out setting, and even that is clunky.

 

Good value and features.

Overall rating: 
 
4.0
Features:
 
4.0
Performance:
 
4.0
Reliability:
 
4.0
Reviewed by steve powell
May 21, 2013
Report this review
 

I bought this based on the review here, but not user reviews. I additionally read a ton of reviews on Amazon.com which varied widely. I get that some reviews are old and based on earlier firmware.

After a few weeks, I am still happy and impressed with this router. I got it on Amazon and it was really inexpensive for the feature set and very compact.

- the Slow UI - I don't get it - sure, it is not blazing fast, but getting around the menus is perfectly functional and no big deal.
- VPN - no idea, we don't need VPN so I have not set it up - can't comment on that.
- Port Forwarding/triggering - I had to open a few ports for XBOX360 and it worked immediately with no fuss. That said, ultimately I enabled UPnP fod the XBOX and that works even better.
- Sonos - we have 5 Sonos devices on the net - they work fine. 3 wired, 2 wireless.
- ISP is Comcast, but we are not using IPv6 so lack of IPv6 DHCPv6-PD support has not affected us.
- Ooma Telo connected - working fine. Have this on a VLAN with QOS and it works great.
- Several PCs, Droid RAZRs, iPad, Blu-ray players, AVRs, Security Camera, etc. connected and working well.

WAN connections seem quite fast; Internet speed tests easily get the 50/10 that Comcast is providing.

For a home business router, this router is working well - and its compact size fits well in the structured wiring center. For those who like the features and are scared off by the negative reviews, I recommend giving it a try if business level gear with less consumer friendly configuration doesn't bother you. The features and the speed have been impressive so far.

 
 
View all user reviews