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Updated 9/6/2011: Win 7 SSL VPN test update

Cisco RV220W Wireless Network Security Firewall

At a Glance
Product Cisco Wireless Network Security Firewall (RV 220W)
Summary Small-biz dual-band N router with 10/100/1000 ports and SSL, IPsec and PPTP VPN
Pros • SSL, IPsec, PPTP VPN
• > 700 Mbps routing throughput
• Gigabit ports with jumbo frames
• Dual band N radio
• IPv6 support
Cons • Undistinguished wireless performance
• Slow reboots
• A few odd menu organization choices

The RV220W is a step up from the previously-reviewed Cisco RV120W.  Both routers are recent additions to Cisco's Small Business RV router series.  The RV220W and RV120W are very similar in look and feature set, yet there are a few key differences.  The focus of this review is to cover those key differences between the RV220W and RV120W.

Cisco has positioned the RV220W differently than the RV120W, emphasizing the “high performance” of the RV220W vs. the “cost-effectiveness” of the RV120W.  As you'll see, the Cisco RV220W has greater throughput, faster interfaces, more VPN options, and more security features than the RV120W.

The RV220W and RV120W share the same classic gray and black business color scheme as well as general shape.  Both devices have a black panel on the front displaying the indicator lights for power, WAN, wireless and status of the 4 LAN ports.  The RV220W adds indicator lights for diagnostic mode, DMZ, as well as indicators displaying the connection speed (10/100/1000) for devices connected to the LAN ports.

In back of the RV220W are the WAN and LAN ports, as well as a recessed reset button, power connector, and the power switch, shown in Figure 1.  Both the RV220W and RV120W use an external power wart that are slightly different in shape, but appear to be interchangeable based on ratings and connector size. Note that the dual-band dipole antennas are attached via RP-SMA connectors so can be upgraded.

RV 220W rear view

Figure 1: RV 220W rear view

The RV220W is physically bigger at 8.7”W x 6.7”D x 1.7”H compared to 5.9”W x 5.9”D x 1.3”H for the RV120W.  The RV220W is more robust and heavier, with a metal case compared to the plastic case on the RV120W.  This bigger metal case allows for better airflow over the components and better cooling.  Like the RV120W, the RV220W does not have a cooling fan, allowing it to run silently.

Inside Details

Inside the metal case of the RV220W are the mainboard and components, shown in Figure 2.  Components includes a Cavium CN5010 CPU and Broadcom BCM53115 10/100/1000 switch under the heatsinks in the photo, as well as 128 MB of RAM and 32 MB of flash.  Wireless connectivity on the RV220W is based on a Broadcom BCM4322 802.11n radio on a mini-PCI module.

RV 220W board

Figure 2: RV 220W board

Note that the RV220W's Cavium CN5010 chip is clocked at 400 MHz, while the RV120W's runs at 300 MHz.


Cisco lists the RV220W along with other routers in the RV model line, which includes the RV120W, RV082, RV042, RV016, RVL200, RVS4000, WRV210, and WRVS4400N.  You can compare the features of each of these devices with Cisco's feature comparison tool. For convenience, I've also included a summary of the RV220W features below.

  • DHCP, Static, PPPoE, PPTP, L2TP
  • Built-in Dynamic DNS clients for TZO and DynDNS
  • Static and dynamic routing (RIPv1, RIPv2)
  • Spanning Tree Protocol (STP)
  • Port-based and 802.1q tag-based VLANs (up to 16), inter-VLAN routing
  • Port Address Translation (PAT). Network Address Port Translation (NAPT), NAT traversal, one-to-one NAT
  • Session Initiation Protocol Application Layer Gateway (SIP ALG)
  • IPv6: Dual-stack IPv4 and IPv6, 6-to-4, Stateless address auto-configuration, DHCP v6, Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) v6
  • Firewall:  Network edge (DMZ), Stateful packet inspection (SPI) firewall, firewall rules, MAC-based access control, IP/MAC binding, wireless profiles
  • Security:  Static URL blocking, keyword blocking, approved URL, Optional Cisco ProtectLink Web cloud-based security service,  HTTPS, username/password, X.509 v3 certificates, Port-based RADIUS authentication (Extensible Authentication Protocol [EAP] MD5, Protected EAP [PEAP]), X.509 v3 certificates, certificate upload using PEM format
  • VPN:  25 IPsec site-to-site tunnels, 25 QuickVPN tunnels for remote client access, 5 SSL VPN tunnels, 10 PPTP tunnels
  • Encryption:  Data Encryption Standard (DES), Triple Data Encryption Standard (3DES) and Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption (128, 192, 256-bit)
  • Authentication:  MD5/SHA1 authentication
  • QoS:  802.1p port-based priority on LAN port, application-based priority on WAN port, 4 queues
  • Management protocols:  Web browser, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) version 1, 2c, 3, Bonjour, Universal Plug and Play (UPnP), Simple Network Time Protocol (SNTP)
  • Event logging: Local, syslog, email alerts, packet captures
  • Upgradability:  Firmware upgradable through web browser, imported/exported configuration in text format
  • Wireless 802.11 b/g/a/n – up to 64 active WLAN clients, supports multiple SSIDs - up to 4 separate virtual networks with separate wireless profiles, supports SSID to VLAN mapping with wireless client isolation
  • WMM:  Wireless multimedia with QoS (802.1e)
  • Wireless Distribution System (WDS):  Allows wireless signals to be repeated by up to 4 compatible repeaters

IPv6 fans will note that, like the RV 120W, the 220W must be switched between IPv4 and IPv6 modes. See the RV 120W review for more IPv6 info.

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