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Wireless Reviews

Administration

As listed in Table 1, new to the RV220W is a CSV File Import option, which provides a more efficient means to add users, groups, and domain names.  Simply create a list of the desired users, groups, and/or domains in a comma separated values text file (or in a spreadsheet and save it as a .csv file) and import the list into the RV220W via the CSV File Import menu.  Tools like this certainly make a device more scalable.

Performance Comparison

As mentioned in the beginning, the RV220W is the high performance option in Cisco's RV router product line.  On the wired side, clearly it meets that distinction.  The RV220W's performance numbers are at the top of our charts in all four categories. 

For comparison, I've included the routing performance numbers of the previously mentioned NETGEAR SRX5308, as well as those of the Draytek 2130N and Cisco E4200 in Table 3.

  WAN-LAN
(Mbps)
LAN-WAN
(Mbps)
Total Simultaneous Throughput
(Mbps)
Max Connections
Cisco RV220W 720.0 728.4 1,113.1 34,925
Netgear SRX5308 448.6 581.5 534.9 48,924
Draytek 2130N 638.2 691.1 765.7 16,384
Cisco E4200 686.8 688.6 725.9 34,925
Table 3: Competitive routing performance summary

Note, the NETGEAR isn't an apples to apples comparison with the RV220W, as the SRX is a multi-WAN router without wireless. But it is an interesting comparison because the RV220W and SRX have similar components.  The Draytek 2130N is a VPN security router with a wireless N radio, so it is more direct comparison.  I added the Cisco E4200, which is a consumer targeted router, because Tim used the E4200 as a comparison for wireless performance in his review.

As you can see, the RV220W has significantly higher wired router performance numbers than either the SRX or 2130N, and even the E4200.  As a matter of fact, the RV220W is near the top of our wired router performance charts in all categories.

Wireless performance for a dual band router is decent, but as Tim mentions in his performance review, it is only average.  Cisco's “ultimate wireless home router”, the E4200, produces higher wireless performance in nearly all locations.

For my testing, however, I had no problem getting a signal and connection throughout my house.   Depending on where I was, Windows’ Network Connection Status showed a wireless link rate between 54Mbps and 300Mbps.

Closing Thoughts

A consistent theme in this review has been to compare the RV220W to the RV120W.  As mentioned earlier, Cisco provides a comparison tool on its website to look at the features of all the RV series routers.  I've summarized some the of key differences between the RV220W and RV120W from this comparison tool in Table 4.  With faster LAN ports, faster wireless, better throughput, more VPN options, and greater network capacity, the RV220W is clearly superior to the RV120W.

Feature RV220W RV120W
WAN ports (1) 10/100/1000 (1) 10/100
NAT (Routing) Throughput 800 Mbps 100 Mbps
Wireless Frequency Band 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz (dual band) 2.4 GHz (single band)
VPN Throughput (IPSec) 90 Mbps 25 Mbps
VPN Throughput (SSL) 25Mbps NA
IPSec Tunnels 25 10
Quick VPN Tunnels 25 10
PPTP VPN Tunnels 10 0
SSL VPN Tunnels 5 0
LAN ports (4) 10/100/1000 (4) 10/100
Jumbo Frame Support Yes No
VLANs 16 4
Table 4: RV 120W and RV 220W feature comparison

When you look at pricing and consider performance and features of the RV220W and the other routers mentioned, there is a compelling value picture.  Table 5 lists the price of the RV220W along with the prices of the other routers mentioned in this review.

Router Price
Cisco RV220W $255.15
Cisco RV120W $133.63
Cisco E4200 $179.00
Netgear SRX5308 $397.69
Draytek 2130N $235.00
Table 5: Price comparison

 As you can see in Table 5, the RV220W is more expensive than the RV120W, but that is to be expected with its significantly higher performance.  The RV220W is $76 more than the E4200, but includes VPN, security, and numerous other business grade features not included in the consumer targeted E4200.

The SRX is also not a direct comparison, but due to their similar components and performance, it is interesting to see that the RV220W provides better routing and VPN throughput than the SRX, as well as wireless, at a lower price.  Finally, the 2130N is probably the closest router in our comparison charts to the RV220W in terms of target market and throughput and is $20 cheaper than the RV220W.  However, the 2130N is also slower and has fewer VPN options than the RV220W.

Even though the RV220W is nearly twice as much as the RV120W, I think it is a good value.  Heck, the RV220W's performance and capabilities are essentially twice those of the RV120W!

If I'm running a network, I want Gigabit LAN ports for future-proofing.  And if I'm supporting remote users, multiple VPN options makes life much easier.  Add to that support for IPv6, VLAN tagging, a highly configurable firewall, QoS options, and a dual band radio, and I think Cisco has a winner on its hands with the RV220W.

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