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LAN & WAN Reviews

Introduction

Square One

At a Glance
Product Quad Micro Works Square One Personal Internet Server
Summary All-in-one Linux-based router, NAS, firewall, print server appliance with a suite of built-in Internet applications.
Pros • Easy to configure for basic functions
• Permits root access
• Very good routing performance
Cons • Web applications not documented – difficult to set up
• Pre-configured WAN port forwarding for Telnet creates a security issue
• Some functions such as NTP time set and LAN statistics didn’t appear to function properly.

A cluttered office is often the price you pay for living in the digital age. A look around many home offices reveals a broadband modem, a router, a NAS (Network Attached Storage) and sometimes a networked print server. And if you want to run your own web server, you might actually have another "dinosaur" from a previous system upgrade that you’ve converted to Linux. Quad Micro Works promises to eliminate some of that clutter with their Square One Personal Internet Server. 

Priced at $399.95, the Square One is an affordable multi-function server that provides most of the basic functions you might need. As the name indicates, the Square One has a square form factor measuring 7 7/8" W X 7 7/8" D X 2 3/8" H. 

The Square One functions as a four-port router and has a built-in user configurable firewall. On the right side of the unit, there are two memory card reader slots for sharing your memory cards on the network. CompactFlash (Type I/II/III), MicroDrive, SD/MMC, xD, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, and SmartMedia are all supported, though you can only insert one card at a time.

Rear view
Click to enlarge image

Figure 1: Square One rear panel showing WAN/LAN/DMZ ports, a reset switch, and a USB port.

The rear panel of the Square One (Figure 1) doesn't have the five ports (one WAN and four LAN) you might expect on a typical SOHO router. It has six ports. The sixth port is a hardware DMZ port. A software IP-based DMZ is also supported. Also on the rear panel is the USB 2.0 port used for sharing USB printers on the local network, as well as a reset switch. Power is supplied from an in-line "brick" power supply whose output is rated at 12VDC @ 4 amps.

In addition to being your Internet router, firewall, print server, networked memory card reader and 320GB NAS, the Square One enables a number of Internet services by default. Out of the box, an Apache Web server, FTP, MySQL, and Telnet are enabled. The router automatically routes Web, FTP, and Telnet traffic from the WAN port, so the consumer doesn’t have to add port forwarding rules for those services. However, since Square One allows root access via Telnet (SSH is not available), it would probably be a good idea to create a rule that blocks inbound port 23 traffic, or disable the service.

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