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LAN & WAN Reviews

SafeStream Gigabit Dual-WAN VPN Router
At a glance
ProductTP-LINK SafeStream Gigabit Dual-WAN VPN Router (TL-ER6020)   [Website]
SummaryDual-WAN Gigabit PPTP / L2TP / IPSec VPN router
Pros• High routing throughput
• High VPN throughput
Cons• No IPv6
• VLANs don't support 802.1q tags
• No wizards to help with VPN configuration

Typical Price: $130  Buy From Amazon

Introduction

I recently had the opportunity to look at the TP-LINK TL-SG2216 switch. As I mentioned in that review, TP-LINK is trying to grow its market share in the U.S. as a network device manufacturer. My experience with the TL-SG2216 left me interested to look at additional products from TP-LINK.

My wish was granted! In this review, I'm going to look at TP-LINK's TL-ER6020, a dual WAN VPN Router with Gigabit ports. This router has two Gigabit Ethernet WAN ports and three Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports. The third LAN port can alternatively be configured as a dedicated DMZ port.

The TL-ER6020 is enclosed in a gray metal case measuring 11.6”W x 7.1”D x 1.7”H. Brackets and screws are included for mounting in a standard 19” rack. WAN and LAN Ethernet ports, a console port, indicator lights, and the reset button are located on the front of the device as shown below.

TP-LINK TL-ER6020 front

TP-LINK TL-ER6020 front
Interface Port Description
WAN 1-2 The WAN port is for connecting the Router to a DSL/Cable modem or Ethernet by the RJ45 cable
LAN 1-3 The LAN port is for connecting the Router to the local PCs or switches by the RJ45 cable
DMZ 3 The DMZ port is for connecting the Router to the servers
Console N/A The Console port is for connecting with the serial port of a computer or terminal to monitor and configure the Router
Table 1: Front panel port summary

The back of the TL-ER6020, shown below, has a Kensington security slot, grounding terminal and power socket. The grounding terminal can be used for an additional ground if needed. According to the TP-LINK data sheet, the TL-ER6020 is “designed to (withstand) lightning up to 4Kv in well-grounded connection conditions.”

TP-LINK TL-ER6020 rear

TP-LINK TL-ER6020 rear

The power supply of the TL-ER6020 is internal. It comes with adhesive backed rubber feet for desktop use and has no internal cooling fan so it runs silently.

Inside

The TL-ER6020 runs on a Cavium CNS3411 600 MHz CPU, hidden under the heat sink in the shot of the main board below. Memory and storage are 128 MB of DDR2 RAM and 16 MB of flash. The Ethernet ports are managed by a Realtek RTL8367RB Ethernet Switch. The switch device spec says it supports up to 9216 Byte jumbo packets. But there is no mention of jumbo frame support in any of the TP-LINK documentation. I did not test for jumbo frame support.

TP-LINK TL-ER6020 board

TP-LINK TL-ER6020 board

Configuration

The TL-ER6020 can be configured via a browser, as well as via CLI with the included console cable or telnet (but not ssh). The user manual has a full chapter devoted to CLI configuration options.

I found the web configuration GUI logical and easy to use. Menus are responsive and quick to apply. I suspect the 600MHz CPU contributes to the fast configuration performance.

Menu options are listed along the left of the web page, with sub options available once expanded. Within each sub menu, multiple tabs provide access to additional configuration pages. The table below provides a summary of the TL-ER6020's configuration options.

TP-LINK TL-ER6020 menu summary

TP-LINK TL-ER6020 menu summary

The configuration pages in the web GUI have a help section that provides definitions for each of the fields. The 168 page user manual is also useful. Missing are configuration wizards in the web GUI, however. If you search through TP-LINK's support site, there are some useful configuration examples, which I'll mention shortly.

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