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LAN & WAN Reviews

Setup

I installed the TZ 190 as my main Gateway Router and Firewall. It supported a LAN comprised of two servers, Wi-Fi router, two NAS devices, a network printer, two physical VoIP devices and multiple VoIP softclients, a managed Layer 2 switch, plus four client PCs. The Internet connection to the TZ 190 was a Verizon FiOS WAN connection. I tested both Verizon and Sprint WWAN cards as backup Internet connections.

I used the latest firmware from SonicWALL’s website, version 3.8.0.4e. The TZ 190 has a useful menu for firmware updates, allowing you to upload a new firmware version and then select from three choices before rebooting: Current Firmware, Current Firmware with Factory Default Settings, or Current Firmware with Backup Settings. This is handy, allowing an administrator to update firmware and restore a previous configuration at the same time. I selected the Current Firmware with Factory Default Settings option to start with a clean slate.

Firmware
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Figure 4: Firmware options

With the TZ 190 at the latest firmware and factory defaults, getting up and running is easy. SonicWALL provides multiple different wizards that simplify the configuration process to get you started.

Normally, I skip configuration wizards because I like controlling and selecting each option. For this review, I configured the TZ 190 manually and via the Setup Wizard, and found the Setup Wizard to be an excellent means for getting up and running quickly. Kudos to SonicWALL's engineers for creating such a useful setup tool that saves a lot of time. Via the Setup Wizard, SonicWALL guides you through changing the default password, configuring the time setting, choosing WAN/WWAN options, configuring the WWAN card, configuring the WAN connection, and setting up the DHCP server. Again, all of these steps can be done manually, but the wizard made it easy.

I appreciated that SonicWALL's wizard includes NTP (Network Time Protocol) configuration. Having all devices on a network time-synchronized is useful when it comes to troubleshooting and reading log entries to determine when certain events occurred on the network. Using NTP is also considered a best practice in VoIP networks.

A primary feature of the TZ 190 is its support for WWAN services, and the wizard guides you through the setup of the WWAN card. The TZ 190 can use the WWAN card as its main Internet service or as a backup to a standard WAN service. In this case, the WWAN is a backup, so I selected “WWAN as a backup” in the wizard.

There are a two other things I like to do for a router on my LAN: enabling Dynamic DNS and setting up Static DHCP. Dynamic DNS (DDNS) is a useful feature if you don't have static public IP addresses from your ISP, and is supported by the TZ 190 in its Network menu. The TZ 190 supports four different DDNS providers, including DynDNS.org, changeIP.com, NO-IP.com and yi.org.

Configuring Static DHCP on the TZ 190 is manual, requiring the administrator to enter each device's MAC and IP address. Other routers I've used allow you to simply click a box in a DHCP client display window to permanently associate an IP to a MAC. On the plus side, there is a neat mouse-over feature that allows you to place your cursor over the Details icon for each statically configured device and see the names you assigned to each IP. Below is a screen shot of a listing of devices on the test LAN; notice the informative display produced in the mouse-over.

Static DHCP
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Figure 5: Setting up static DHCP

With the Setup Wizard complete and the above settings applied, the TZ 190 was up and running: my LAN devices received DHCP addresses and Internet access and were good to go for most the common services. Before going forward and possibly having to redo these configurations, I saved my configuration settings, which is easily done through the System-Settings menu.

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