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LAN & WAN Reviews

Introduction

5 March 2010: Note added about improved performance

Linksys 4-Port Gigabit Security Router with VPN

At a Glance
Product Linksys 4-Port Gigabit Security Router with VPN (RVS4000)
Summary Multi-featured router w/ gigabit WAN and LAN and supporting 10 IPsec connections, but unbalanced up and download speeds
Pros • Up and download QoS w/ bandwidth mgmt
• Level 2 gigabit managed switch
• Full set of routing features
• IPv6 support
• IPsec client included
Cons • Grossly unbalanced up and download throughput
• Enabling IPS function cuts download throughput by ~40%
• IPsec settings for QuickVPN clients are not shown in the admin interface
• Low IPsec tunnel throughput

5 March 2010: Readers have reported that current firmware has fixed the unbalanced up and download speed problem and improved performance.

This is our first Linksys review since fall of 2005 and we're happy to welcome them back. So with the niceties taken care of, let's dive into a look at the RVS4000. The 4-Port Gigabit Security Router with VPN is part of the company's "business series" product line. This line is aimed as small businesses who are ready to move beyond the consumer networking products available at their local retailer, but who are not quite ready to move up to Cisco "big iron".

The RVS4000 comes in an attractive silver and black squarish box that's 6-7" on a side. It has screw mounting slots on the bottom and indentations on the top to allow stacking of similarly-sized products. The front panel indicators are shown in Figure 1 and the rear panel connectors are found in Figure 2. Nothing out of the ordinary for either one.

RVS4000 Front Panel
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Figure 1: RVS4000 Front Panel

RVS4000 Rear Panel
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Figure 2: RVS4000 Rear Panel

Figure 3 provides a look at the 4000's board, which is based on a Star Semiconductor STR9202 Broadband Home Gateway Processor SoC. The product description says that the 9202 includes a "Layer-7 Content Inspection Engine, which is a powerful hardwire in-line signature matching accelerator". This engine apparently provides the 4000's IPS (Intrusion Prevention System) features.

RVS4000 Inside view
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Figure 3: RVS4000 Inside view

The gigabit switch is safely hidden under a heatsink, which I didn't disturb. But a little sleuthing outed it as a Vitesse VSC7385. 64 MB of RAM and 8 MB of flash are the other major components.

Check out the slideshow Check out the slideshow for a detailed admin interface tour of the RVS4000.

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