Linksys makes four models of their Cable/DSL Router. These are the 1, 4, and 8 port models, and a 3 port model which also serves as a USB network adapter. They all go under the BEFSR model name.
There are a few other products Linksys offers for Cable/DSL sharing. There are two wireless models, one which offers one LAN port and is a print server in addition to a wireless access point, and another which has four LAN ports in addition to the wireless capability. The Cable/DSL/Voice router allows you to hook a phone to the back for Voice over IP telephony. Finally, there is a model for networking over the home phoneline. (Thanks to Cordelia for informing me of these newer models).
These routers are all intended to share Cable or DSL Internet connectivity and provide a network via a built in 10/100 switch on the 3, 4, and 8 port models. The 1 port model can be used to give Cable/DSL access to an existing network. Configuration is achieved by pointing your web browser to 192.168.1.1.
I have the four port model, but AFAIK there is no difference between the models except in the number of ports and the USB network adapter on the one model.
Here are some features and descriptions.:
- Ports on the back:
- 1 WAN
- 4 LAN
- 1 Uplink port for connection to another hub. It shares internal wiring with LAN port 1, and they cannot be used simultaneously.
- Blinkenlights on the front:
- For each LAN port:
- Link/Act: Steadily Lit indicates Link, Blinking Indicates Activity
- Full/Col: Steadily Lit indicates Full Duplex, Blinking indicates collisions.
- 100: Lit indicates connection at 100 megabits/second
- WAN Lights
- Supports 100 Mbps Ethernet.
- Acts as a DHCP Server.
- Supports PPPoE and RAS for DSL connections using those protocols.
- Built in 10/100 Switch.
- Uses NAT.
- Can block specific IP numbers from accessing the Internet.
- Can forward 10 ranges of ports to specific IP numbers.
- Uses the 192.168.1.x range of IP numbers.
- Supports up to 253 connected computers.
Personally I like it. Mine cost about $140 US. The PPPoE support is my favorite, now my connection is closer to the always on that Verizon DSL advertises, since the router stays connected while my computers are off. It also avoids the use of the crappy Verizon PPPoE software.
Problems I have had: Occasionally the PPPoE breaks somewhere. I am more inclined to say that this is Verizon's fault, and fixing it is a simple matter of going to the configuration page, clicking Disconnect, waiting 5 seconds, and clicking Connect.
Once it seems that the internal web server crashed. I could access the Internet but not the configuration. Pressing the reset button fixed this.
Not really a problem with the router, but Verizon's crap software really bollixes Windows' networking. I ended up having to delete all the protocols and drivers and reinstall them from scratch before it would work.