A powerful ADSL Wi-Fi router that's an excellent choice for more complex applications where you need the ultimate in flexibility and control over your network and internet connections.
Exceptionally flexible network configuration; multiple WAN options; 3G dongle support; dual-band Wi-Fi radio; attractive price; good documentation.
Complex configuration options may deter less technical users and be overkill for smaller businesses; no WPS support.
Five Gigabit Ethernet LAN/WAN ports (freely configurable), integrated ADSL 2+ modem, USB port for 3G dongle, 2.4GHz/5GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi with up to eight virtual SSIDs; five IPSec VPN tunnels; Stateful Packet Inspection policy-based firewall
Funkwerk may be an unfamiliar name in the UK, but it has been producing voice and data networking products under the Bintec and Elmeg brands for many years. The firm launched the RS range of internet access products at CeBIT earlier this year, one of which is the RS230aw ADSL/3G Wi-Fi router.
Aimed squarely at SMEs, the RS230aw has a comprehensive feature list that sets it apart from many in this price bracket, which are often geared more towards consumer or home office applications.
Housed in a bright red metal fanless chassis, with small green/orange status LEDs on the front panel, it certainly looks the part. At the rear, nestling between the three 802.11n Wi-Fi antennas, are five Gigabit Ethernet ports, all freely configurable as wide area network (WAN) or local area network (LAN) ports. Each of the four switched ports can be treated as separate logical network interfaces or configured into groups.
A separate ADSL port sits next to these, and there's also a serial console port with a mini-USB socket. Finally, a USB port is provided for the sole use of plugging in a backup 3G dongle for automatic failover and failback WAN access. DC power comes via a standard plug-mounted adapter.
The user interface is where the RS230aw reveals its enterprise roots, and it's definitely not for the faint hearted. Although it's admirably clear and well organised, with context sensitive help and a full online manual, much more complexity is exposed than is usual in this type of product.
The first clue comes when you realise that the configurator can be switched between the standard view and a Simple Network Management Protocol browser. Even seasoned experts might take a while to become familiar with the level of configuration possible but, once you get to grips with it, you soon realise just how capable this router really is.