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Basic Features

The USBVPN1 is a lot smaller than it appears in Linksys' product literature and is nicely packaged. It has a slightly larger footprint than a typical PC Card network adapter and is about as thick as two PC cards stacked on each other. It sports the "old" (pre-Cisco) purple and gray colors and doesn't have the Cisco logo either.

The first tip-off that you're not dealing with a typical USB network adapter is the USB A type connector on one end of the adapter. Since this is the same connector type found on your computer instead of the USB B type connector usually found on USB-type adapters, Linksys includes a USB A-to-A (male) cable so that your installation won't screech to a halt.

All indicators are on the top surface of the adapter along with a foldable RJ45 10/100 Ethernet jack. You get separate indicators for USB, Diag, Link / Act, Full / Col, and 100, and also a handy Session LED that's lit when the IPsec VPN tunnel is up and running.

What It Is

It took me about 5 minutes after the VPN1's arrival for me to open the case and confirm my theory. Yes, folks, it's really a mini-Me version of Linksys' BEFSX41. Its heart is the same Conexant CX82100 single-chip ARM940T-based processor used in the SX41, but with an ADMtek ADM8511 handling the USB port duties and an Altima AC101L providing the Ethernet interface. So if there was something that was bugging you about the SX41's VPN performance, it's probably a good chance it still lurks inside this little wonder!

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