The 114P comes in NETGEAR's standard blue metal stackable cabinet. All indicators are on the front panel and include Link/Activity, and 100Mbps for each of the four LAN ports, Link/Activity and 100Mbps for the WAN, Activity and Alert for the built-in Print server, and Power and Test.
All four switched 10/100 LAN ports are on the rear panel, along with the 10/100 WAN port, power socket, Reset button, Normal / Uplink switch for port 4, and DB-25F parallel port for the print server. Yes, you read that correctly, the 114P has an auto-sensing 10/100 WAN port. Since most anything you'll be connecting the router to will only be 10Mbps, the faster port doesn't really provide a benefit. The main reason it's there is that it comes as part of the new heart of the 114P (and its siblings), which is worth a little examination.
I don't normally go into the details of the innards of the products that I review, although I do examine them all. As with PCs, there's a great deal of similarity among SOHO routers / internet gateways, with most of the difference coming via the firmware that runs each product. Once in awhile, though, I see a new twist that bears noting, and this is certainly the case with the 114P.
The 114P uses the ADMtek 5106 Home Gateway Controller, which is a pretty slick piece of silicon! It's not just a CPU, but also includes a non-blocking line-speed 7-port switch, WAN Ethernet interface, and five 10/100 LAN Ethernet ports. It also includes a couple of ways to add a print server, and support for both USB and two serial (dial-up/ISDN) WAN connections. About the only thing it doesn't have is auto MDI/MDI-X capability on the LAN ports, so dedicated a shared uplink port or Normal / Uplink switch will needed if a manufacturer wants to include uplink capability.
After looking over the chip description and product profile presentation, my conclusion is that the 114P and its siblings are among the next generation of routers, which will use a single "home gateway" chip that does the job now done by three chips, and, of course, do it faster, better, and at a lower cost. I'd also expect to see this new router generation have a few more tricks up its sleeve, but I'll let you draw your own conclusions about that, from looking over the ADMtek documentation.
Wrapping up the Basic Feature info, NETGEAR includes a printed Installation Guide, and Resource CD, and includes a normal CAT5 patch cable. The CD contains:
- PDF versions of the Installation guide and Reference Manual,
- some helpful info on setting up port forwarding, including a list of ports used by popular applications
- setup information for major broadband ISPs
- a copy of the Adobe Acrobat Reader installer
- a copy of NETGEAR's Installation Assist
- a copy of zer0knowledge's Freedom Anti-Virus program (Version 3.2)