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LAN & WAN Reviews

Setup and Administration

The 8200 comes set to 192.168.1.1 and with its LAN DHCP server enabled. So as long as you have a client computer set to obtain its IP address automatically, you'll be connected to the browser-based admin interface in no time.

I'm pleased to report that the first thing the 8200 does is force you to set an admin password. Yes, you can always set an easy to guess one, but you can't set a blank one, and at least there won't be a well-known default password known to every cracker trolling for 8200s to get into.

WAN connection setup is handled by the Connection Wizard on the Network Connections screen. I can appreciate that USR is trying to make things easy for less-knowledgeable users, but I found the organization of this section hard to navigate.

The first screen is simple enough, presenting choices of Internet Connection, Connect to a Virtual Private Network over the Internet and Advanced Connection. Once in Internet Connection (Figure 1), the choices seemed easy, but in reality ended up being confusing due to missing configuration options in the Wizard screens.

USR8200 - Internet connections

Figure 1: Internet Connection
(click on the image for a full-sized view)

And to make things even more confusing, the common option of Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet (PPPoE) is located in the Advanced Configuration section along with Network Bridging and PPTP and IPsec setup wizards. Turning to the HTML-based User Manual for help proved fruitless in most cases, since it tends to contain the "What" of each feature and little to nothing of the "Why", "How" and "When".

At any rate, I think most common WAN configurations are handled but I couldn't find options to enter domain or host names and I suspect SingTel RAS and BigPond authentication isn't supported.

In general the Admin interface is pretty responsive and I didn't find any settings that required long reboot cycles for saves. If you do reset the 8200, however, it takes about a minute. But at least the admin page auto-refreshes when the router comes back up. And of course it automatically checks an NTP time server (you can't select which one, however) for the correct time once it gets connected to the Internet.

Multiple Admin logins are supported but no warnings are issued. Remote admin via Telnet (you get access to an OpenRG command-line interface) and HTTP can be enabled and disabled with selection of only Ports 80 or 8080 for HTTP and 23 and 8023 for Telnet. You can also enable / disable incoming SNMP, ping, and traceroute queries. Everything I mentioned is disabled by default. Missing in action is the ability to restrict access to remote admin features, but a big plus is that I found I could access the admin interface via a VPN connection.

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