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ASUS Internet Security Router

ASUS Internet Security Router
Summary - 50 tunnel IPsec endpoint router with amazing IPsec tunnel throughput. Also available as 5 tunnel SL500
Update 7/15/2004 - Product is now available from U.S. web retailers
Pros • 30Mbps IPsec tunnel throughput
• Flexible multi-NAT support
Cons • Firewall is very difficult to configure
• Must use IE for web interface

ASUS is trying hard to establish itself in as a force in the U.S. networking product market. I've previously looked at its WL-300g and WL330 wireless access points and found effective hardware design with a number of thoughtful features, but definite room for improvement on the software side of things.

The SL1000 seems to echo the theme - impressive hardware, not as impressive software - I saw in the wireless products. This time, though, the User Interface seems to be more of a barrier to getting the most from the product.

NOTE!The SL1000 is also available as the less-expensive SL500. The only difference is that the SL500 supports only five IPsec tunnels, while the SL1000 handles twenty five.

Basic Info

The SL1000 comes in a silver plastic enclosure that has the footprint of a software programming softcover book, but isn't quite as thick. The enclosure has wall-mounting screw slots on the bottom, and a built-in desktop stand that's formed from two pieces of the case that snap out. I give ASUS points for innovative design on the stand, but advise care in its use. Since the stand isn't very wide, cable weight could easily cause the case to topple over, possibly sending your SL1000 crashing to the floor if it were sitting on a high shelf.

All indicators are on the front of the box and are bright and easily viewable from a wide angle. You get Link / Activity lights for each of the single WAN and four LAN ports, plus Power and Alarm.

Four 10/100 LAN ports, one 10/100 WAN port, power jack and power switch are on the back panel along with the Reset-to-factory-defaults switch. Note that all LAN ports are auto MDI / MDI-X, though ASUS doesn't spec or mention this. There's also an RJ45 jack labeled Console on the rear panel. ASUS told me that it's there for internal debugging purposes and not functional for customer use.

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