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LAN & WAN Reviews

Performance

Given the 4000's wealth of features, I hoped to find routing speed that would put it near the top of our Router Charts. But the story here is surprisingly mixed. I started by running an IxChariot simultaneous up and downlink test, the results of which are shown in Figure 6.

RVS4000 Simultaneous Up and Download throughput
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Figure 6: RVS4000 Simultaneous Up and Download throughput

The upload (LAN to WAN) throughput of 516 Mbps(!) is a new high for the SmallNetBuilder test bench, and was obviously obtained using gigabit connections on both WAN and LAN sides. But the 14 Mbps download (WAN to LAN) throughput, while sufficient for many cable, T1 and DSL connections, isn't on par with latest-generation products like the Buffalo WZR-AG300NH that provide >100 Mbps wire speed for both up and download.

Actually, to get the results shown in Figure 6, I had to change the default settings and disable the Firewall and IPS features (of the two, disabling IPS had the bigger effect). With the Firewall and IPS enabled, download speed fell to around 11 Mbps. I checked with Linksys to make sure I was seeing expected performance, and they confirmed the speeds that I was seeing. Checking the forums over at DSLReports also turned up complaints of the RVS4000 limiting download speed on fiber connections.

The results for number of simultaneous connections supported won't make P2P users very happy either. I was able to get at best 48 simultaneous connections, and that was with the Firewall and IPS disabled. With those features enabled, the number dropped to 32.

IPsec tunnel performance was even more disappointing. Linksys wasn't able to provide a pair of RVS4000's so that I could test gateway-to-gateway tunnel throughput. So I had to resort to testing client-to-gateway speed. Figure 7 shows simultaneous tests in both tunnel directions yielding a total throughput of around 1.6 Mbps. I also checked each direction separately and got about the same results.

RVS4000 Simultaneous Up and Download IPsec throughput
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Figure 7: RVS4000 Simultaneous Up and Download IPsec throughput

This is pretty disappointing, particularly for a "business class" product that might be expected to have multiple telecommuters connecting in simultaneously. Checking email and doing small file transfers might be ok, but any large file transfers or bandwidth-hungry applications would probably notice the lack of bandwidth.

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