A WAN (Wide Area Network) port on the back of the router connects the Cable/DSL router, four Ethernet ports and a separate uplink port for expanding the network with an additional hub or switch. The router actually contains a four-port auto-sensing 10/100 switch. This means each port automatically detects both 10 MB and 100 MB Ethernet connections and the router allows them to coexist on the same network while it switches speeds automatically.
Currently, no broadband connection even comes close to saturating a 10 MB Ethernet connection, let alone a 100 MB connection. But this router was built to accommodate a growing networking infrastructure that not only services traffic externally via the Internet but internally as well. So when one machine needs to copy over large files or play high-resolution multimedia clips across the network, the router uses the latest Ethernet technologies, which include 100 MB-per-second speeds, support for full duplex and switching technologies.
It's nice to see quality and features built into a device made with future growth in mind and it's this kind of attention to detail that makes this router the perfect solution for both the home and small-office environments. Installing the EtherFast router was simple. A machine was connected to the router via Ethernet cable (make sure your machine has a network card first), plugged the router into the wall and we were up and running. During configuration a Help button is available that does an excellent job of explaining each of the settings. It also describes the kind of information it's looking for to help ease the installation nightmares of beginners.
The router supports filtering to block specific internal users' Internet access. The EtherFast also has a DMZ host option that allows one PC on your LAN to be exposed to the Internet, providing unrestricted two-way communication between a machine and an Internet service. Also available on this router is support for port forwarding, which forwards requests from the Internet to specific computers equipped to handle the requests. The only problem with port forwarding is you have a limitation of 10 ports you can configure. Advanced features, such as dynamic routing and static routing, allow you to configure the routing functions to help streamline the flow of information after it passes through the router. We found the EtherFast Cable/DSL router to be simple to operate yet powerful. Everything you need to connect up to four machines to a broadband Internet connection based on cable or DSL technology is included. (Note: The router requires an external cable or DSL modem with an Ethernet interface.) --Sean Cleveland