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Wireless Reviews

Features

The K3C is administered via web browser, bucking the trend toward app-based management used by most Wi-Fi systems. The visual design is attractive, but doesn't automatically resize if you narrow your browser window. It also seems to not always obey browser zoom settings when you move among pages. Everything seems pretty spread out, too, better perhaps for tablet and phone users, or so I thought.

Phicomm K3C Home page

Phicomm K3C Home page

I tried logging into the GUI with my smartphone and was surprised to find the different and much tighter design shown in the screenshot composite below. Although I was prompted to download an app, I don't see how the app would provide a better experience.

Phicomm K3C admin using an Android phone

Phicomm K3C admin using an Android phone

The Home view shown above provides an overview of router status. The bandwidth, CPU and Memory usage graphs automatically update at what looks to be once per second, but can't be paused and do nothing if you click on them. Clicking on the Devices, Phicomm router and Internet icons will take you to related pages.

Clicking on the little router icon at top right pops out a little menu offering Reboot, Scheduled Reboot, Login Password and Logout options. Clicking on the ? icon does nothing on this page, but slides out related help information on most other pages. Unlike some other products, this Home page can't be customized; what you see is what you get.

The Advanced menu offers an array of icons to take you pages for each function. I removed most of the vertical whitespace in the screenshot below to keep you from scrolling as much as I had to while checking out the features.

Advanced Features

Advanced Features menu

The feature summaries below are drawn directly from the Router Finder database, so will be updated if/when corrections come in. WAN types include all the usual suspects, but note that IPv6 is not supported

Features
TypeAC
Port Speed10/100/1000
WAN Ports1
LAN Ports3
CPUIntel (Lantiq) PXB4395EL dual-core @ 1.6 GHz
SwitchIn PXB4395EL
RAM (MB)256
Flash (MB)128
Firmware33.1.33.197
Storage Share
Y
Printer Share
N
USB 3.0
Y
Travel Router
N

WAN
Static
Y
Dynamic
Y
PPPoE
Y
PPTP
Y
L2TP
Y
WWAN
N
Failover
N
Load Balance
N
Aggregation
N
IPv6
N
DDNS
Y

Firewall features are pretty basic and include single port forwarding only (no ranges or triggered forwards), DMZ blocking, domain blocking and UPnP automatic port forwarding (default enabled). When I tried the URL block feature on Google.com, it seemed to take awhile to kick in. Access to specific services (ports) can't be blocked. But all internet access can be scheduled per device (not per user) using the Parental Control feature.

Firewall
Port Triggers
N
DMZ
Y
URL Block
Y
Service Block
Y
Schedules
Y
Firewall Notes-Service blocking is via Parental Controls, which blocks all internet access per device using a schedule.
LAN
DHCP Reserve
Y
VLAN
N
Port Control
N

Both server and clients for PPTP and L2TP VPN servers are included, but nothing for IPsec or OpenVPN. It's not clear whether VPN passthroughs are supported.

VPN settings

VPN settings

QoS is priority-based, automatic and works on download (WAN to LAN) traffic only. Settings are applied to all devices based on the traffic types shown below.

QoS settings

QoS settings
VPN
PPTP
Y
IPsec
N
L2TP
Y
SSL
N
OpenVPN
N
NotesBoth client and server modes supported
QoS
TypePriority
DirectionDown
Auto
Y

If you plan to remotely administer the router, you can limit access to a single IP or leave the default shown to let anyone connect. While you can change the port, you can't enable HTTPS access for either this or local admin access.

Remote access settings

Remote access settings

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