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Nexland Pro400 Internet Security Box
review by David, 10 July 2002

Introduction

Networking my home is one of my dreams, given the cheap price of network cards, simple switched hubs and liberal lengths of Cat5 cabling. I would have broadband, and the broadband connection will be shared among all the networked PCs, so that I can accomodate friends and family in terms of internet access, as well as enabling me to get my online fix from anywhere in the house.

Unfortunately, to do all that, I must own more than one PC, which is currently out of my financial capablities given the lack of a steady income. Until then, i'm stuck with my single work/play PC. To top it off, i'm stuck on dial up for internet access. Until recently, I was staying in Cyberia, an apartment complex located outside my university, while looking for employment. Cyberia is about an hour's bus ride to Kuala Lumpur, thus looking for a job was tough, considering my location from the city. In Cyberia, there was broadband internet access, supposedly providing 1MBps speeds from each apartment. The problem with the broadband access was that there was only one access point in each apartment, thus sharing internet access would require a hub of sorts.

This is where the Nexland ISB Pro400 comes in. Kindly provided by Nexland for this review, the hardware is not just your ordinary hub, as it's feature set is huge, as well as impressive for it's size. Incidentally, this is the first piece of telecommunications / networking equipment reviewed by 8BallsHardware.

Taken from the Nexland website, the feature list reads as follows:

  • High-Speed 4 Port 10/100 Switch with Duplex (200Mbps)
  • Create a Small Network Easily and Quickly
  • NAPT Firewall to Protect your Computers
  • High Speed 4-Port 10/100 Switch with Duplex (200Mb)
  • Analog / ISDN Backup 230k Serial Port for Truly "Always On"
  • Over 8MB Bi-Directional Throughput for Blazing Speed
  • Supports up to 253 Computers
  • Unlimited IPsec Tunnels Passing-Through (Patent Pending Nexland)
  • Supports PPPoE, IPsec Server Behind NAPT, SNMPv1, Full Routing
  • Symantec RaptorMobile VPN Client & Personal Firewall (10 User)
  • Excellent Internet application compatibility
  • Solid Reliability of Nexland Technology... No Freezes!
  • CAT5 Cable Included ($15 value) + Null Modem Serial Cable
  • 5 Year Warranty & 30-Day Money Back Guarantee

In simple terms, this device is basically a switch-router, all rolled up into one purple package.

Note that this product is sold in the USA, and purchasing it for use overseas might require a permit of sorts, depending on your country's laws and regulations. I had to apply for a Telecom Permit, for FedEX to be able to release this package to me, as required by the Malaysian Customs people. All the hassle aside, i'm just happy they didn't decide to tax me on the Pro400. All I had to pay for were the permit application forms as well as the fee for the permit itself, which came up to about RM 75, which equates to a little under USD 20.

Let's take a look at whats in the box.

In the Box >>


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