p Policy, but that’s a tale for another time…)
The second problem was a little trickier, however. The WAN port on my NS-5XT was only 10Mbit/s. While I was using cable and DSL connectivity for Internet access, this was no issue, because those connections were all in the 2-6Mbit/sec range. My FiOS connectivity, however, is a rather robust 25/5 (25 Mbit/sec DOWN and 5Mbit/sec UP).
This has proven to be more frustrating than one would think for a home network.
So began my search for a replacement device that would give me all of the functionality that I had before, but be up to the task of my current bandwidth. I looked at current Juniper Netscreen devices, and even at the Fortigate firewalls from Fortinet (my new favorite enterprise FW company). The problem was cost. I really didn’t feel like paying $200+ for a good firewall.
Enter DD-WRT. Now, you can take an otherwise standard broadband router that has enough flash and operating memory, and turn it into a much better piece of equipment. After a fair amount of research, I selected the Netgear WNR-3500L and turned it into a beast.
Some of the best features derived from the upgrade include:
Now, my uploads and downloads are positively screaming. I’m routinely getting 25-30 Mbit/sec down, and 5-8 Mbit/sec up. No more throttled download because of a functional and well-featured firewall that was getting long in the tooth.
Overall, I am very happy with my new firewall and its robust feature set by way of DD-WRT. And it only cost me US$80 plus a few hours to get all the configuration completed.
On a side note, Microsoft has completely revamped Windows Live Writer, and while I am very happy that they finally made it easier to change font styles and colors right from the tool bar (what took them so long?), they also made other Word-like changes that I’m not so sure about.