Setup and Administration
Let me preface the router feature walk-through with the following caveat: I struggled constantly while exploring its feature set for this review. Although I'm not the smartest guy in the world, I have tested more than a few SOHO routers. I definitely put the SL1000 in the "advanced" class in terms of features, but not in terms of ease of use.
I think the main reason for my struggle was that things that are normally done automatically by other routers must be done manually in the SL1000. I'll give examples of this as I go along so that you can judge for yourself.
The SL1000 comes set to 192.168.1.1 as its factory default, its built-in DHCP server enabled and WAN connection type set to PPPoE. Once you enter the default username and password, you'll be sent to the Setup Wizard page. The Wizard isn't that intelligent and just steps you through the Password, System Information, Date/Time, LAN IP, DHCP Server, and WAN configuration pages. The results of the setup are summarized in the System Information screen (Figure 2).
Sharp-eyed readers will notice that the IP address shown in the admin server screenshots is not 192.168.1.1. This is because I changed the SL1000's IP during IPsec tunnel testing with the SL500.
Figure 2: System Information screen
The Windows Explorer style interface is a familiar format and is a good way to let you see where you are and where you can go. But I found the time it took to refresh and travel between screens curiously long - considering the processing horsepower available.
I also found you really need to use Internet Explorer as your browser when accessing the admin screens. Using Mozilla (1.6b and 1.7b) to access the interface resulted in missing selector boxes in some screens. Also of note is that the interface uses a fixed font size - no problem for Mozilla's text scaling capability, but a disadvantage for the required IE.
Figure 3: Shell access via Telnet
There's also a command line interface available via Telnet (Figure 3), which includes the ability to drill down to Linux shell access. The interface commands aren't listed in the User Guide, but typing a ? at the prompt provides you with the available commands and experienced users will figure their way around the interface quickly.
As I mentioned above, the browser interface has a sluggish feel, although the reboots needed to save the changes made on each page are relatively quick. Multiple admin logins are allowed, with no warning given when more than one admin logs on. Once you're logged in, there's no idle timeout and you can use the logout button when you're done.
Internet access (Figure 4) options are limited to dynamic IP, fixed IP and PPPoE (the default).
Figure 4: PPPoE WAN setup
PPTP connection is not supported, nor can you set a static IP in the PPPoE screen. You can't set the MTU value either, which could present problems with some ISPs' systems and / or certain applications. MAC address cloning is available, but only for dynamic IP connection types.