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LAN & WAN Reviews

Configuration

The LRT214 is configured via web browser. The menus are responsive and have a basic, straightforward layout, with tabs for System Status, Quick Start, Configuration, Maintenance and Support. The Status page shows the current system information, port status, firewall status, and VPN status. Below are screenshots of the Status page from top to bottom. The Maintenance and Support menu tabs were clipped to better show page detail.

Status Screen, Top

Status Screen, Top

Status Screen, Bottom

Status Screen, Bottom

The Quick Start tab provides a wizard for configuring the WAN and LAN interfaces, setting the time, and changing the password. Note, the LRT214's time configuration supports NTP. But the option for Daylight Savings only allows configuring daylight savings based on month and day instead of the US daylight savings rule, which goes from the second Sunday of March to the first Sunday of November.

The Support tab provides links that take you to Linksys' product and Support pages. You can download the 75 page User Guide from the Support page. I found it a bit sparse on explanations, lacking configuration examples and including a few technical errors. An example is that page 13 of the manual has incorrect subnetting details.

I contacted Linksys for examples of VPN configurations and they provided draft documents of useful examples with screenshots. I was encouraged to hear they intend to post these examples on the support site in the future.

The Configuration tab is where you'll find the bulk of the configuration options. The table below summarizes the LRT214's menu tree.

Menu tree

Table 1: Menu tree

Port Configuration

There are six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports on the LRT214. Four of the ports are LAN ports, one port is a WAN port, and the other port is a DMZ port. As mentioned earlier, the DMZ port can also function as a second WAN port on LRT224.

The LRT214 is a Gigabit VPN router, which we verified in our testing. However the port setup screen shows only speed options for 10M and 100M as displayed below. The LRT manual states there should be options for 10M, 100M, and 1000M.

Port Setup

Port Setup

Bandwidth Control

The LRT214 has two means of managing bandwidth. First, rate control rules can be set up to manage throughput by traffic type to specific IP addresses. Second, priority rules can be set up to provide High or Low priority by traffic type. There are 22 pre-defined traffic types. Additional traffic types can be defined by TCP/UDP/IP and port number.

I set up a simple rate control rule to limit throughput to 500 Kbps on a connection from a PC on the WAN side of the LRT to a PC on the LAN side of the LRT. Prior to putting the rule in place, I could transmit data between the two PCs in excess of 100 Mbps. With the rule active, shown below, I could only transmit date between my two PCs at 483 Kbps, validating the effectiveness of the LRT's rate control capability. My rule configuration is shown below.

Bandwidth Rate Control

Bandwidth Rate Control

As mentioned, priority rules can also be set based on High or Low priority by traffic type. In addition, traffic can be prioritized in the port setup menu by physical port. However, the manual doesn't go into detail what the LRT will do with Low priority traffic during periods of high utilization.

VLAN & IPv6

The LRT214 supports up to five 802.1Q VLANs. Each LAN port on the LRT must be an untagged member of one VLAN and can be a tagged member of 1-4 more VLANs. The LRT provides a DHCP server for each VLAN so devices on each VLAN can be automatically addressed with different subnets.

I was able to successfully test 802.1Q VLANs on the LRT214. As you can see in the screenshot below, ports 1-4 are by default in VLAN 1. I set up VLANs 3-5 and made port 3 on the LRT an untagged member of VLAN 4, plus a tagged member of VLAN 3 and 5.

VLANs

VLANs

I configured a trunk port on a switch with matching configurations and connected port 3 on the LRT to this trunk port. I then configured three ports on my switch, all as access ports, to be members of VLANs 3,4, and 5 respectively. Plugging a PC into each of these three access ports validated the VLAN capability of the LRT as the PC received an IP address from the corresponding DHCP server for each VLAN.

The LRT also supports IPv6 addressing. It can be configured to run in Dual Stack mode, meaning it will support IPv4 and IPv6 simultaneously. Additional IPv6 functionality include IPv6 router advertisement, DHCPv6 and 6to4 tunnels.

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