Tips for Securing Your Home Router
Seemingly minor and easily overlooked settings can still have profound security implications. Here are some steps you can take to make sure your wired or wireless home router — and by extension, your network — is as secure as possible.
Most Popular Reviews
Microsoft Windows Home Server
If you have a home network, you'll welcome the easy file sharing, remote access and the image-based backup features of Windows Home Server.
MikroTik's The Dude
This free tool delivers many of the same capabilities that you'd find in pricey network monitoring tools. As long as you don't mind tinkering, The Dude is a decent network utility that should be worth the download.
- Might seem a bit expensive compared to similar switches
Continuing the Tradition
Since their introduction, 3COM OfficeConnect hubs have built quite a
reputation. Their relative ease of use, stackable design and low cost
have all attributed to the product line's success. Yet in today's world
of high-speed DSL lines and bandwidth intensive applications, simple hubs
are having a tougher time delivering the performance the once did. Many
owners have started to replace their older hubs with more efficient network
switches. (If you're not clear on the difference between a hub and a switch
and router, check Bridge
Types.) In light of this trend, 3COM is adding a series of duel speed
switches to its OfficeConnect family of products, such as the 3Com
OfficeConnect 5 Port Dual Speed Switch.
With a list price of $109 and street prices as low as $79, the OfficeConnect
5 Port Dual Speed Switch is a bargain. In addition to the highly respected
and dependable 3COM name you get a quality switch that's as easy to install
and configure as your favorite household appliance. Installation of this
OfficeConnect required nothing more then unpacking the unit and plugging
it into our network devices (workstations, servers, etc.). The stackable
design makes them ideal for home and small business environments and easy
to read link lights means you can identify the status of your network
with just a glance. If the 5 port switch doesn't offer you the capacity
you're looking for, then an 8 and 16 port version is also available.
As good as the original OfficeConnect products were, some users still
had problems installing them. If it was the only hub in your network you
normally wouldn't have any problems. If you were trying to connect the
unit to another hub, you had to connect the hubs using a crossover cable
that had to be installed on the uplink port (usually port 8). A mechanical
(MDI/MDIX) switch changed the operation of the uplink port to make it
compatible with the crossover cable. This procedure, though simple in
theory, could be somewhat confusing, especially for new users. However,
this new generation of OfficeConnect switches uses auto-sensing ports
that automatically detect the cable type and the speed of the attached
device, so you won't have to waste time fiddling with cables.
Another unique feature of the OfficeConnect is a process called Priority
Queuing. According to 3COM, it's a method of ensuring that high priority
traffic gets propagated along the network with greater urgency then normal
traffic. With this capability in place, streaming services, like voice
and video traffic, get delivered before other network traffic, optimizing
picture and sound quality. Without this capability, operation of these
services would depend solely on the load on the network. So if traffic
levels are high, performance suffers.
I ran the standard Qcheck suite
to test performance, with the following results:
[1MB data size]
[10 iterations 100byte data size]
The OfficeConnect products have always been exceptional values and this latest
offering looks to maintain that tradition. If you're in the market for a low
cost switch then do yourself a favor and give the OfficeConnect a try.
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