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LAN & WAN Reviews


Adtran NetVanta 3120

At a Glance
Product ADTRAN NetVanta (3120)
Summary Full-featured small business router with built-in managed 10/100 switch, QoS and 5 IPsec VPN tunnels
Pros • VLAN and Switching Functionality
• Integrated reporting and monitoring tools
• Multiple Routing Protocol Support
• Integrated Access Point Control
Cons • Web GUI doesn't access all functions
• No bundled SSL VPN or IPSec Client Software
• 10/100 vs. gigabit LAN

ADTRAN's NetVanta line is a range of business-class network products designed to securely support multipurpose networks in home, medium, and large enterprise networks. In this review, we're looking at the NetVanta 3120, which ADTRAN refers to as a fixed-port router and is the company's entry-level router.

The sweet spot for the 3120 is in a smaller network, such as that depicted in Figure 1 below. The 3120 has a single WAN port to connect to Internet cable or DSL services and (4) 10/100 LAN ports to share that connection to multiple devices.

NetVanta 3120 in use

Figure 1: NetVanta 3120 in use

Physically, the NetVanta is rather unassuming. It is housed in a white and blue plastic case, measuring 9.25”W x 6.6”D x 2.25”H. The power supply is external, but there is a power switch on the back panel.

Front panel
Click to enlarge image

Figure 2: Front panel

Rear panel
Click to enlarge image

Figure 3: Rear panel

Internally, the 3120 runs a Broadcom BCM6349 residential gateway CPU with 64MB RAM and 32MB Flash. We've put together this slideshow with a good look at the internal components and screenshots.


The 3120 is configurable via both a web GUI (Figure 4) and command line interface (CLI, Figure 5). I found ADTRAN's Web GUI about average in terms of web utilities for a router, although documentation on the GUI is limited.

Web Admin GUI

Figure 4: Web Admin GUI

For those comfortable with CLI configurations on a router, the ADTRAN Operating System (AOS) is similar to Cisco's IOS, with a lot of the same commands and key stroke combinations. ADTRAN provides a 2600+ page PDF manual covering the CLI-based ADTRAN Operating System (AOS) in detail.

The ADTRAN CLI is less taxing on the router's CPU for configuration and management of the device. Further, using the CLI for configuration is also considered a security best practice, as a Web GUI not only simplifies things for internal users, but hackers as well.

The CLI can be accessed via Telnet or SSH, with SSH considered a best practice for its security. I used Putty, a free Telnet and SSH terminal emulator, to connect to the 3120 via both Telnet and SSH (Figure 5).

Web Admin GUI
Click to enlarge image

Figure 5: CLI via SSH

I used the GUI for my setup and testing, with its main menu bar on the left, expandable with more options provided based on the submenu selected. Table 1 provides a matrix of the GUI menu options.

System Data Monitor Utility
Get Started Switch Voice Quality Port Mirror
System Summary Router Traffic Configuration
Public Interface Firewall   Firmware
Private Interface Wireless   Logging
Password VPN   Debug
IP Services Network Monitor   Troubleshooting
DHCP Server URL Filter   2-way ping
Hostname/DDNS     Reboot
LLDP     Factory Default
SNMP     Telnet
Table 1: Web GUI structure

For the most part, I was able to configure and enable the options I wanted to test via the GUI. However, there is minimal help documentation in the GUI, and I found I had to do a lot of back and forth configuring and checking before I got the desired functionality.

Further, some of the 3120's functions are configurable only via the CLI, such as Border Gateway Protocol (BGP).  Another key issue with the GUI is saving changes. Changes to the 3120 via the GUI require a click on "Apply" and a second click on "Save" so they’ll persist through a reboot or power cycle of the router.

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