ZyXEL firewall/routers

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jan-jaap
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Re: ZyXEL firewall/routers

Unread postby jan-jaap » Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:19 am

* So I mentioned the Cisco RV180. I read a review on a Dutch site: wasn't much good. Bottom line: buy IOS based enterprise gear or top of the line consumer gear (Cisco/Linksys E4500 etc) but not this. Flesh nor fish, and had some nasty bugs. May or may not have been fixed over the last 12months, YMMV.

* Hamei mentioned the Cisco 3745 to me. http://www.trygve.com/no_duct_tape.html says:
The 3745, on the other hand, sounds like you mounted an early model dustbuster on your server rack and kept it running 24/7. Besides being a whole lot quieter to begin with, the 2851 also has fan speed control and it's an option you can activate on the 3620s, but apparently there's no such provision on the 3745.

If you take a quick look at the fan tray assembly, you get an idea why--this little 3u router is cooled by four of the second-noisiest 92mm fans Delta Electronics makes. Each individual fan has a rated airflow of 54 qubic feet per minute, which theoretically should mean 216 cubic feet being pumped through a half-cubic-foot box every minute. That's a lot, especially considering that the entire machine only consumes 58 watts according to the Kill-a-Watt power meter I have it plugged into...thirteen of which is used to run the fans, if they are, in fact, using their rated .28 amps at 12 volts.

In addition to this, firmware updates (and this includes security fixes) require an active support contract. Fatal error, as far as I'm concerned.

So, in my case, either I'm going to go with a decent 'consumer' (integrated wireless blabla) router, or I'm going to slap together a real, dedicated router. See, there's one thing I didn't mention so far because a dedicated router simply never was something I considered: I still have an FDDI network segment. Right now I use my Linux server to route between FDDI and ethernet.

Energy isn't cheap here, so low power is crucial. A dedicated router would have to be some Atom platform, with a PCI slot (for the FDDI card). With 3x gig ethernet (WAN, LAN, DMZ).

Something like this:
chassis: http://www.morex.com.tw/products/produc ... ?fd_id=150
mainboard: http://ark.intel.com/products/56462/Int ... rd-D2500CC

I don't mind to spend some money on a 'real' solution but then it has to be good. I don't want to simply add another Linux server to the zoo and spend countless hours maintaining things that don't add any value.
Last edited by jan-jaap on Sun Dec 23, 2012 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ZyXEL firewall/routers

Unread postby SAQ » Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:40 am

jan-jaap wrote:*
I don't mind to spend some money on a 'real' solution but then it has to be good. I don't want to simply add another Linux server to the zoo and spend countless hours maintaining things that don't add any value.

Take a look at Vyatta Community Edition (assuming it's still going to be around now that Brocade bought them). It's Linux-based, but set up for routing/firewalls.
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Re: ZyXEL firewall/routers

Unread postby guardian452 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:55 am

I had a cisco wifi router; it was absolute garbage. Model wrt54g2 or something like that. It's only saving grace was it was $29 and when I moved out, I left it set up in the house I was at so others could use it... it did barely sneak by as a basic wifi hotspot and the land-lady was appreciative.

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Re: ZyXEL firewall/routers

Unread postby SAQ » Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:54 am

guardian452 wrote:I had a cisco wifi router; it was absolute garbage. Model wrt54g2 or something like that. It's only saving grace was it was $29 and when I moved out, I left it set up in the house I was at so others could use it... it did barely sneak by as a basic wifi hotspot and the land-lady was appreciative.


That's not a commercial-grade Cisco - that's Linksys. Sure, they're stamping "Cisco Linksys" on them now, but they aren't the same.
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Re: ZyXEL firewall/routers

Unread postby skywriter » Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:14 pm

SAQ wrote:
guardian452 wrote:I had a cisco wifi router; it was absolute garbage. Model wrt54g2 or something like that. It's only saving grace was it was $29 and when I moved out, I left it set up in the house I was at so others could use it... it did barely sneak by as a basic wifi hotspot and the land-lady was appreciative.


That's not a commercial-grade Cisco - that's Linksys. Sure, they're stamping "Cisco Linksys" on them now, but they aren't the same.



One of those was the 'last straw' that caused me to sweep all the windows/Linux/multibrand gizmos and computers not the dumpster and replace everything with apple, and netgear. The netgear stuff has all worked flawlessly, the netgear RAID boxes are wonderful! And it all interoperates nicely. The only glitch has been the router/firewall FVS318's. Thier code is buggy, and the first one bricked during a code upgrade, and second one has started to hang every couple of weeks or days. I bought another one to swap out and the ZyXEL because the consumer network gear boards rate them fairly well, a little weak on throughput, depends on what your throughput IS of course, and the 390 page CLI manual, 160 page usermanual, is a far cry from a quick start guide and embedded help on management web pages that tells you what the button does.

Anyway, happy holidays kids.
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Re: ZyXEL firewall/routers

Unread postby hamei » Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:27 pm

skywriter wrote:Hamei find different thread to practice your perverse form of communication will you? I'm not interested in dueling with you anymore.

Best to stay on the porch then, sky.

guardian452 wrote:I had a cisco wifi router; it was absolute garbage. Model wrt54g2 or something like that.

Correction : you had a Linksys Linux-based piece of shit.

There is the problem with the "let's buy an el-cheapo brand so we can grow the business" philosophy. If your reputation is based on quality, then you try to infer that the low-priced crap is just as good as your good stuff, what happens is the opposite. A turd will remain a turd no matter how it's painted but now the good stuff is smeared with the turd's reputation.

Of course Chambers and three other people made a bundle when the stock got a boost because he was going to "grow the business" and all the Bloomberg tech writers gobbled up his shit like it was ham and cheese sandwiches ... that's what really counts in corporate-land. They teach it at Hahvud, gotta have a business degree to really understand why this is better for the US !

When Linksys was cheap stuff for people who only needed cheap stuff, that was okay. When they pretend to be butter not margarine, then they become liars and cheats.

Ain't "business decisions" a wonderful thing ?

jan-jaap wrote: Hamei mentioned the Cisco 3745 to me. http://www.trygve.com/no_duct_tape.html says:
The 3745, on the other hand, sounds like you mounted an early model dustbuster on your server rack and kept it running 24/7. Besides being a whole lot quieter to begin with, the 2851 also has fan speed control and it's an option you can activate on the 3620s, but apparently there's no such provision on the 3745

That's a pretty funny site, by the way. Been there in the past, did you notice his Origin 3200 ? The guy is kind of a trip :D

It does sound like the 3745 is noisier than the 3640. 2800 is also an option, quieter but more money. Not as many slots for network modules tho. The FDDI thing is something of a hurdle.

But ya know, it was only a suggestion. I have been happy as a clam with my Cisco experience. Sure, they aren't perfect but there's lots of good things about real routers. When they say "converged" they mean it - there's lots of advantages for small operations in putting everything into a single box. And dependability ... there's a reason that the first thing an ISP's tech support says is "reboot your router." (With the Cisco I refuse. I always tell them I did but never do. It's not the Cisco's fault. Ever.) If i look harder I could find the uptime record of a year and a half and even that was only cutoff because I had to move the rack. That ain't no boolsheet, grandma.

There really is a reason that many companies choose to use Cisco. In theory a Linux "solution" could be as good or better. But in practice it doesn't seem to work out that way.

In addition to this, firmware updates (and this includes security fixes) require an active support contract. Fatal error, as far as I'm concerned.

Well, 6.5.30 requires an active support contract as well ... < cough cough> :D

I'm not so sure that firmware updates are really a problem with this class of equipment anyway. If the firmware is right in the first place, you don't really need so many fixes, dui bu dui ?

Besides that, the free firmware updates for all classes of equipment seem to be going the way of the dodo anyhow :(

So, in my case, either I'm going to go with a decent 'consumer' (integrated wireless blabla) router,

I wonder if there is one ?

... or I'm going to slap together a real, dedicated router.

and be stuck with another half-assed wet dream ... it's not an easy problem to solve. What you want is something commercial-grade but at the size (and price, to some extent) of the consumer stuff. You're a prosumer, but there ain't no prosumer equipment :P

I don't mind to spend some money on a 'real' solution but then it has to be good. I don't want to simply add another Linux server to the zoo and spend countless hours maintaining things that don't add any value.

Exactly. I have been happy with the 3600 Cisco but it's not for everyone. Just worth looking at seriously, that's all. A 3700 would be better but not very obtainable here. The 2800 is beyond what I am willing to spend, but closer to what you are talking about.

As far as consumer routers and switches, I've had nothing but bad luck here. Well, not exactly bad luck. They did the job they were intended to do for the price they cost. I'll say that the SMC I had lasted the longest and gave the least trouble. But it was built fifteen years ago, times change. I don't know about now. Maybe take a look there ...

p.s. ... feel free to discount what I think on this, I'd be the first to say I am not an IT Professional. But I inherited the job of keeping five or six small offices with a few people each spread all over China plus one shop with 400 people, twenty-five or thirty computers, and a manufacturing network of twenty machines, etc etc all running. It took Cisco to quell the "I can't go to the Internet ! help ! help ! the world is ending !" screaming.

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Re: ZyXEL firewall/routers

Unread postby skywriter » Mon Dec 24, 2012 8:09 am

Hamei it isn't even a little bit funny anymore.
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Re: ZyXEL firewall/routers

Unread postby SAQ » Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:19 pm

skywriter wrote:the netgear RAID boxes are wonderful!


Good to hear. I'd heard Synology was good, but it's nice to have multiple decent options.
Don't trust WD anymore, and a bit unsure about Iomega.
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Re: ZyXEL firewall/routers

Unread postby skywriter » Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:46 pm

SAQ the first RAID I bought was a on of the first four drive Iomega units that, while it had excellent performance and was very easy to use, has a poor drive replacement strategy; you had to bring it down and replace the drive while it was off. Once you turned it on again it spent 24 hours rebuilding. Often it would just hang after a day and I could never recover the data. Luckily by the time I ended to save the data, I had a second drive to mirror the data too. That drie was one of the old ReadyNAS four drive units. Pretty slow but definately better. After the Iomega barfed a couple of times, I bought a six drive ReadyNAS that has been chugging along for a couple of years now. Once in a while it will toss a drive, but rebuilding is fast and never fails. I have a 12TB RAID 6 config for storing my DVD and CD rips.

Another good RAID is the direct attach Drobos. I have a four drive RAID 5 SATA for A/V in the studio, and an eight drive RAID 6 iSCSI as a backed to a power Mac file server and time machine target for all the macs here.


Although the Iomega was a fairly good design at the time; their customer service on their self help website was very poor. Except a very few bits of info, all their responses to questions were "call the customer service line for help". It was maddening. The Netgear website had developers answering all kinds of questions. They nearly always followed up on every hard question.

The worse thing about Iomega was that I had somehow I failed to register the unit after I bought it and they wouldn't help me with it. Even after I identified myself, and the guy KNEW who I was! What good is notarity if you can't cash in on it...
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Re: ZyXEL firewall/routers

Unread postby robespierre » Mon Dec 24, 2012 4:21 pm

jan-jaap wrote:So, in my case, either I'm going to go with a decent 'consumer' (integrated wireless blabla) router, or I'm going to slap together a real, dedicated router. See, there's one thing I didn't mention so far because a dedicated router simply never was something I considered: I still have an FDDI network segment. Right now I use my Linux server to route between FDDI and ethernet.

Energy isn't cheap here, so low power is crucial. A dedicated router would have to be some Atom platform, with a PCI slot (for the FDDI card). With 3x gig ethernet (WAN, LAN, DMZ).


If it weren't for your >100Mbit requirement, I could recommend the Soekris net5501. It has a 32-bit PCI slot that could host an FDDI attachment (although my SK-NET card won't fit in the standard case). I know it's looking long in the tooth now, but most of the new Atom embedded boards do not have classic PCI and won't be able to host FDDI. The Soekris firmware is special in that it transforms PC BIOS calls to serial console operations, so almost any x86 operating system can be installed headless. The power consumption is 6W.
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Re: ZyXEL firewall/routers

Unread postby hamei » Mon Dec 24, 2012 8:05 pm

skywriter wrote:Hamei it isn't even a little bit funny anymore.

Absolutely correct. It wasn't funny in the beginning and it's not funny now. It hasn't been funny ever since the insatiable greed, ignorance and egotism of the Hahvud Business School destroyed the United States.

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And drop them in the muddy water off the Tallahatchie Bridge ...

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Re: ZyXEL firewall/routers

Unread postby skywriter » Tue Dec 25, 2012 6:13 am

No, I mean you being a jackass to me in my thread. The MBA/janitor stuff was funny.
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Re: ZyXEL firewall/routers

Unread postby jan-jaap » Tue Dec 25, 2012 7:39 am

SAQ wrote:Take a look at Vyatta Community Edition (assuming it's still going to be around now that Brocade bought them). It's Linux-based, but set up for routing/firewalls.

Thanks, this looks like a candidate. I signed up to download the documentation -- at least there's plenty of it. Looks like the difference between the 'community' and 'subscription' release is mostly the lack of a GUI -- don't really care about that.

Think I'll load it on an old x86 PC to see how it handles the FDDI adapter. I could potentially run it in a VM but I don't like the idea that the whole network infrastructure would vanish if the server went down. If this makes me happy I'll buy some hardware to run it.

robespierre wrote:most of the new Atom embedded boards do not have classic PCI and won't be able to host FDDI.

PCIe 1x to PCI risers exist, like this one: http://www.delock.com/produkte/F_377_PC ... kmale.html
I kind of like the Jetway NF9D-2700. It has PCI (most Jetway Atom boards do), dual Gb ethernet, and you can add 3 more Gb interfaces with a (propriety) daughter card. It would take the original RAM of my MacBook and I could easily piece something together with dual-WAN, DMZ, LAN all at Gbit speeds, plus FDDI.

Sky, I think I'm looking for something else than you. Jump in if you think I'm hijacking your thread.
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Re: ZyXEL firewall/routers

Unread postby hamei » Tue Dec 25, 2012 7:29 pm

skywriter wrote:No, I mean you being a jackass to me in my thread.

Well dang me, bang me, better get a rope and hang me ...

Sky, your mom and I have been talking and I drew the short straw ... remember when you used to believe in the easter bunny ? And the great pumpkin ? Better sit down, son. Ready ?

No one owns the internet. Very few people own a crowd. Huey Long, Adolf Hitler, Martin Luther King could. Skywriter, maybe not so much :)

On the first page you got feedback from three people who had owned Zyxel products. Two of us had the routers and were not impressed. One owned the exact item you asked about, said it was okay but slow.

That's the feedback you asked for. Whether you liked it or not is a different question :)

The conversation then moved on to jan-jaap's situation. I know this will be a shock to you as a privileged-mode sort of fellow, but unfortunately we are not in Stepford. Some of us have lower-class minds and short attention spans. Sad but true. Normally I wouldn't want to burst your bubble like this but if you are going to go out in the world, you'll have to learn to deal with some people who don't know their place. Sorry :(

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Re: ZyXEL firewall/routers

Unread postby skywriter » Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:43 am

bye hamei
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