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Wrap Up

As you can probably tell, I wasn't impressed with either the ASAP or BOSS, because:

  • the firewall features are meager and are harder to configure than stand-alone routers costing much less
  • PPTP VPN throughput is ok for light use, but IPsec will be marginal - if you can get it to work
  • you can't restrict file sharing, FTP or webserving (ASAP only) to LAN-side only, and worse, these services are exposed by default to the Internet when enabled

The most positive thing I can say is that it pricing isn't out of line. The lowest street prices I found (at the time of review) for the ASAP and BOSS were $360 and $328 respectively. Most current 120GB NAS devices are street-priced around $300, and an IPsec endpoint router is going to run you at least $50. Since you also get an FTP server and PPTP VPN endpoint with the ASAP and BOSS, you could argue that these products even have a pricing advantage over what you could assemble yourself from off-the-shelf networking gear. (Yes, I know you could do all this cheaper by rolling your own with Linux, so hold the emails, please.)

Maybe it's just me, but I just can't get past the gaping Internet security hole unsuspecting users will expose as soon as they turn on the file sharing features that compelled them to buy the ASAP / BOSS in the first place. Until these are fixed, I'd just say "No" to either product.

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