|U.S. Robotics Secure Storage Router Pro (USR-8200)|
|Summary||SPI-based router with IPsec and PPTP VPN endpoints and ability to file share up to 30 external USB / Firewire hard drives. Runs on OpenRG / Linux software platform|
|Update||10/28/2003 - Corrected processor type|
|Pros||• Near wire-speed routing
• Supports SMB-based file sharing & FTP with optional USB or Firewire hard drive
• Good UPnP integration
• Has both PPTP and IPsec VPN endpoints
|Cons||• No schedulable firewall features
• Firewall and VPN configuration can be confusing
• Documentation doesn't do justice to the feature set
It took only a few years for broadband routers to move from slow, expensive ($300 or so), hard-to-configure beasts with small feature sets to zippy, (almost) auto-configuring, full-featured and even physically attractive products that are commonly available for under $50. You can imagine what this price drop has done to manufacturers' margins, and they're all on a quest to get you to part with more of your money.
Adding VPN "endpoint" features has been one way to squeeze more out of our wallets and has met with moderate success. But U.S. Robotics' USR8200 Secure Storage Router Pro has another "value proposition" to offer. It remains to be seen, though, how successful it will be at customer cash extraction.