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Wireless Reviews

Firewall and Other Features

The GX' firewall features are the same as the GS' with the main difference being in the Access Restrictions features shown in Figure 6. I find Linksys' approach in this area to be confusing and behind their competition mainly because the only control you get to specify for certain users (or groups of users) is all-or-nothing Internet access. You can control access to only two specific services (ports), but that's for all users.

WRT54GX Access Restrictions

Figure 6: Access Restrictions
(click on image to enlarge)

The GX, however, takes this weak capability and makes it even weaker by providing no Website blocking at all. Nor can you subscribe to the pay-for Parental Control service offered on the GS, either.

The GX' logging is not impressive (Figure 7) and seems a step backward from Linksys' usual Inbound and Outbound traffic log capability. Note also that neither Linksys' SNMP Trap mechanism nor syslog daemons are supported for external log analysis and storage. You also can't save the log to a file or even clear it, but you can refresh the screen.

WRT54GX Logging screen

Figure 7: Logging
(click on image to enlarge)

One thing I was happy to see was the System Performance screen (Figure 8), which at least gives you access to some network statistics so you can at least see whether bits are flowing. There are also Router, Local Network and Wireless Status screens, but they show more a summary of settings than what's really happening on those parts of the GX.

WRT54GX System Performance screen

Figure 8: System Performance screen
(click on image to enlarge)

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