NexLand ISB Pro800 Turbo Router ReviewFormer staff writer - June 30, 2002
The hardware installation was very easy, and the quick start instructions made it even easier. The not so easy part of the installation is configuring the router. Different ISP's have different configurations, therefore you will need to contact your ISP to get all of the information you need to configure your Nexland Pro800 Turbo router, if you don't already know. I had a router that this Nexland Pro800 Turbo is replacing, so therefore I already knew what configuration to use. I had to order a 2nd phone line and DSL on that 2nd line, in order to test the load balancing features of this router. Hey, I had a good excuse to get another DSL line :) My first DSL line is something called a Bridged line. This simply means all I do is plug the line in to the WAN 1 port of the router, and then I'm connected to the Internet (via DHCP). As for my new DSL line (the 2nd line), uses PPPoE. That's something that most everyone is familiar with, that has DSL. It wasn't as easy to configure as my first line, because with PPPoE you have a username and password that you must enter in, in order to connect.
To access the router you will need to launch your favorite Internet browser, such as Internet Explorer. In the address, or URL field, enter in: http://192.168.0.1
On the Main Step screen of the router, you will see WAN port 1 & 2. Port one is the bridged line, and port two is the PPPoE line. Lets have a closer look at the port two configuration. More importantly where it says "PPPoE Enable only for use with PPPoE connections". This is where I will have to enter in my username and password that my ISP gave me. After I clicked saved, my PPPoE connection never connected.. A lot of things where running thru my mind like, maybe my DSL isn't compatible with this router, or I need to get additional configuration information from my ISP. Then I saw in the left menu "Advanced PPPoE". At the top I had to select the WAN port that my PPPoE connection is on, which is WAN 2. Then I clicked on update fields, which updates all the fields on the screen with my information such as my username and password. Ah ha! There is a "Connect" and "Disconnect" button! Once I clicked on Connect, then clicked back to the Main step screen, I saw that WAN 2 was connected to the Internet :) That's all there was to the installation and configuration of my setup that I have. It maybe a little different than your setup, as you might have two cable connections, or two PPPoE connections, but it's fairly easy to setup and configure anyway you look at it.
The "Main Setup" screen is the first screen you come to and is also the first item in the menu to the left of the screen. From the main setup screen you can see if your two WAN ports are connected to the Internet or not. As you can see from the picture, both of our WAN connections are in the Connected state. Just under the Connection Status you will see an option that says "Mode". The Normal option, will be option you will use more than likely, unless you don't have two connections, then you would want to turn WAN 2 off. With the off option you can completely turn off either WAN 1, WAN 2, or both. The backup option is very cool! You can make your WAN 1 or 2 connection a backup connection by changing the mode of the connection to backup. What will this do? Well, if your main connection to the Internet goes down, the router will automatically switch all internet connections to the backup connection :) This really works best if you have one DSL modem and one cable modem, because if you had two DSL modems, they will more than likely be from the same ISP and if one goes down because of network problems at your ISP then you can count on the other one to go down as well.
If your connection is DHCP, which most cable internet connections are, then you would select enable under "Obtain IP & DNS Automatically". I selected this option under WAN 1 since my WAN 1 connection is a bridged DSL connection. However on WAN 2 you can see it is not enabled, but "PPPoE" is enabled.
I have already gone over the "PPPoE" options when I was setting up my connections during the installation. Therefore, I'm not going to go over it again.
The last section on this screen is "Required by some Service Providers". Under this section you will find that you specify your hostname, domain name, and MAC address. Your ISP will let you know if you need to enter in, any of this information. I had to change the MAC address on my bridge DSL connection, and you may have to change yours if you have a bridged DSL connection. I have never seen the "domain name" option on other routers I have used in the past. However, most users won't have to touch any of these options, but Nexland has included them to support a wide range of connections.
On the "Static IP & DNS" screen you will be able to manually specify your IP address & DNS servers on both WAN 1 & WAN 2 ports. Again, most users won't have to touch any of these options either. I think mostly cable users and only a few DSL users will be using these features. If your ISP has given you an IP address or DNS servers, this is where you will enter it in.
If your having connection problems with the Internet, then the "Status" screen is the first screen you should look at. The status screen will show your current IP addresses, DNS addresses, gateways addresses, mac addresses, and lots of other things. This screen also shows the Firmware Version which is currently, V1 Rel 5L. I will be checking to see if there are any updates for this, later on in the review.
The "LAN IP & DHCP" screen is where you can specify what IP addresses the router can lease to other computers on your network. I have changed the UNIT LAN IP from 192.168.0.1 to 192.168.1.1. I also changed the IP range from 192.168.0.1.. to 192.168.1.1.. This is because all of my old routers used this IP range, and I'm more familiar with it :) Under DHCP you can change the IP range, and also enable or disable the DHCP server. If you disable the DHCP server you will have to manually configure every computer on your network with the correct IP address, net mask, and gateway. I personally have my main computer set to a static LAN IP because windows will load slightly faster because it doesn't have to contact the DHCP server to receive an IP address.
The "Configure Password" screen allows you to, yeah you guessed it, change the password. By default, the router has no password set, which is a security risk. You need to set a password so that only you know what it is.
Yet another backup feature is found under the "Backup/Analog/ISDN" screen. This screen allows you to setup an analog or ISDN connection to backup your broadband connection in the event it fails. I was unable to test this feature of the router since I do not have an ISDN connection nor an analog connection. However, you can see that it is very configurable!
This is the "Advanced PPPoE" screen we saw earlier during the installation. I won't go over many of the features since I have already covered them. The feature I haven't covered yet, is the "Choose Service" feature. Some ISPs have different services available for their PPPoE connections. You will have to disconnect before you do this. Once you have disconnected you can click Query Services then you can select a service from the drop down menu then re-connect.