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NETGEAR Cable/DSL Web Safe Router Gateway Review


The 614's VPN support is pass-through only, and although NETGEAR's website description says that IPsec and L2TP VPN protocols are supported, the Reference Guide makes no mention of VPN at all... other than in the Glossary.

Logging and Other Features

As is suited to the 614's home user focus, the logging feature does log the websites that your users visit. You can view, clear, refresh, and immediately send the log to one designated email address, and you can schedule the emailing of the log, too. The 614 can also immediately send an email "alert" when someone tries to access a blocked URL or newsgroup.

I did find a couple of hitches, however. First, any machine that you put in DMZ won't be logged. Second, the info that's logged is pretty raw, and includes hits on ad and image servers if the visited page calls on them. I think NETGEAR and pretty much everyone else is missing an opportunity to differentiate themselves by providing better traffic logging features. It wouldn't be that hard to have a log analysis tool that kept something like a tally of visits to the top, say, 25 domains visited, and then let you drill down a level or so to see the top visited pages in each domain. Heck, why not just have the browser access the browser History files on each client machine and display that data, or crunch on it for an aggregate view of who's browsing what. With routers just about at the blister-pack-impulse-item-at-the-supermarket-checkout stage, and router memory more plentiful, I'd think that someone would jump ahead here!

Other Features

The router has a few other features worthy of note:

The first bullet might be useful to some of the target "home" crowd, but will the average Joe (or Jane) have a clue as to what to do with the other three? And note that you can't tweak the router's MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit) value, which has proven its worth with many a balky PPPoE connection.