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RT314 DSL/Cable Router

If you have a DSL or a cable modem, you probably only get one IP address without paying more money (here in Houston, RoadRunner wants $10/month for each extra IP). A better answer is to use a router. Not only does it share the connection on your LAN (using NAT), but it also provides firewall security.

The NetGear is not as well-known as, say, the LinkSys unit. However, it is a professional router with a powerful command capability. If you are a geek/hacker, you'll like that because there are lots of ways to configure the router. Of course, you have to get your hands dirty and use a telnet interface. For the common options, you can configure it all via a Web page.

The NetGear can use PPPoE or get an IP from your ISP via DHCP (whew). It can also act as a DHCP server on your local network. It has 4 10/100 autosense ports, plus a 10MBit modem port. This is one of the fastest routers on the market and it sped my computer up to get rid of Internet Connection Sharing. Not to mention I don't have to keep my computer running for the kids to play games, etc.

By default, all incoming ports are blocked. However, you can open up any ports you want, or even open up all ports to a particular machine (be careful though, you should run a firewall on that machine if you do this). The router will even report your IP address to  if you have an account there so that people can find your servers.

The support for this router is excellent because it is really a ZyXEL Prestige 314. There is a great page of detailed information about the internal workings and configuration (check out It has much more information about the advanced details than the Netgear site. You can find out how to open the router for particular games or applications. It even support multicast (IGMP v1 and v2). Very reliable, mine has run 300 hours since the last time I rebooted it and is still going strong. I haven't had it lock up once. This also has the nice side effect of keeping your DHCP lease with your ISP so your IP address tends to stay the same.

A few tips for after you buy the unit:


Change the password.


If you plan on using servers, set up the server machines to have static IP addresses. Just limit the router's DHCP pool and assign some static addresses outside of DHCP.


Make an entry in your HOSTS table for the router so you can say: http://rt314 instead of (or whatever)


Upgrade to the latest firmware. It supports opening ranges of ports instead of just single ports.


Personally, I have a problem remembering 198.168.x.x addresses. I set my main server up as (a class A local address instead of class C). Then I set the router to All the other computers on the network run DHCP between and (managed by the router). I have a handful of static devices at and above. This should be all the space you'll ever need in a home network and it sure is easier to remember.

If your ISP is charging you $10/month extra for IP addresses, this router will pay for itself in less than a year even for one other computer. 


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