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LAN & WAN Reviews

Menu/Configuration

The LRT214 and LRT224 share the same manual. I commented in my review of the LRT214 that the manual was a "a bit sparse on explanations, lacking configuration examples, and with a few technical errors." The LRT2x4 manual has since been updated, and I noticed the technical error I cited has been corrected.

Further, there are now quite a few configuration examples provided in the FAQ section of the LRT2x4 support pages. Specifically, I noticed Linksys has posted configuration examples for IPsec Gateway to Gateway tunnels, IPsec Client to Gateway tunnels (for both the IPSecuritas and Shrewsoft client), PPTP tunnels, and OpenVPN tunnels.

A minor issue, still not corrected, is the LRT2x4's options for Daylight Savings Time. The menu only allows configuring daylight savings based on month and day instead of the US daylight savings rule which goes from the second Sunday of March to the first Sunday of November.

The menus for the LRT224 with firmware v1.0.2.06 have a few differences from the the menus for the LRT214 with firmware v1.0.1.02. I've bolded the new menu options in the below chart. There is an Outgoing Mail Server option, which I'll discuss in the VPN section. Dual WAN configuration is unique to the LRT224, and the Session Control menu is new to firmware v1.0.2.06.

I'll cover both in the next section of this review. Also new to the menu are the EasyLink VPN options which I'll cover in the VPN section of this review.

Setup

  • Network
  • Password
  • Time
  • DMZ Host
  • Forwarding
  • PAT
  • 1-1 NAT
  • MAC Clone
  • Dyn DNS
  • Adv Routing
  • Outgoing Mail Server
  • IPv6

DHCP

  • Setup
  • Status
  • Router Advertisement
  • IP/MAC Binding
  • DNS

Sys Mgt

  • Dual WAN
  • Bandwidth
  • Session Control
  • SNMP
  • SSL Certificate

Port Mgt

  • Setup
  • Status
  • 802.1Q

Firewall

  • General
  • Access Rules
  • Content Filter

VPN

  • Summary
  • Gateway to Gateway
  • Client to Gateway
  • VPN Passthrough
  • PPTP Server

EasyLink VPN

  • Summary
  • Inbound EasyLink VPN
  • Outbound EasyLink VPN

OpenVPN

  • Summary
  • OpenVPN Server
  • OpenVPN Client

Log

  • System Log
  • System Statistics
Menu summary

Dual WAN

The LRT's default for Dual WAN operation is to automatically load balance traffic across both WAN links. Alternatively, you can specify one WAN link as primary and the other as secondary.

To detect WAN failure at Layer 3, which can occur if your physical WAN connection is up but there is a problem with your ISP, you can enable Network Sevice Detection. Network Service Detection, shown in the screenshot below, will ping your WAN default gateway, a host on your ISP network, a host somewhere on the Internet and/or a DNS resolved domain name. You can select any combination of these ping checks, but each selected check has to fail to trigger a failover.

Network Service Detection

Network Service Detection

WAN failover works well on the LRT224. I tested WAN failover on the LRT224 by running a continuous ping to google.com (ping google.com -t) from a PC connected to a LAN port on the LRT224. I then pulled the Ethernet cable connected to the WAN1 interface. Only one ping failed before the LRT224 redirected traffic to the WAN2 interface. Failover from the WAN2 interface to the WAN1 interface was equally fast with the same test.

To manage traffic flows over dual WAN links, you can map specific traffic types to a specific WAN link. For example, I set up a Protocol Binding rule to map SIP (VoIP) traffic to the WAN1 interface, shown below. However, the manual is a bit confusing regarding Protocol Binding, referencing an option called "Assigned Routing" which doesn't appear in the Protocol Binding configuration menus.

Protocol Binding

Protocol Binding

I successfully tested Bandwidth Control in my review of the LRT214. The LRT224 allows bandwidth control rules to be applied in the same manner as the LRT214 by WAN interface. This means you can specify how much bandwidth a specific application is permitted to consume by protocol, port, and source/destination IP addresses.

Session Controls are also available to manage individual users Internet usage. Session controls by source IP can be applied to limit each device on your network to a maximum number of total sessions or a maximum number of UDP and TCP sessions. Alternatively, you can disable a device's access to the Internet for up to 1440 minutes once it exceeds a specified maximum number of sessions.

Networking

I observed in my review of the LRT214 that "the port setup screen only shows speed options for 10M and 100M." This remains the case in the LRT224. The manual has been updated to explain that you can configure a port at 10M or 100M, or use Auto Negotiation which should configure the port at 1000M if connected to another Gigabit Ethernet device.

I connected a LAN port on the LRT224 to a Gigabit Ethernet port of a Cisco SG200-26 switch. The LRT224 status screen, shown below, confirms the LRT224 successfully auto-negotiated a 1000Mbps connection.

Port Status

Port Status

The LRT2x4 supports up to five 802.1Q VLANs. Each LAN port on the LRT must be an untagged member of one VLAN and can be a tagged member of 1-4 more VLANs. The LRT provides a DHCP server for each VLAN so devices on each VLAN can be automatically addressed with different subnets.

The LRT2x4 routers also support IPv6. Specifically, IPv6 6to4 tunnels are supported. 6to4 tunnels are a method to pass IPv6 traffic through an IPv4 network. Enabling support for IPv6 and 6to4 tunnels on the LRT2x4 requires a click to enable Dual-Stack mode to support both IPv4 and IPv6, as well as enabling 6to4 as the IPv6 transition method.

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