The admin page shows System Status with one of the better information summations of any of the tested routers. The first group shows which WAN lines are connected, and a Forced Renew button for each to release then reconnect via DHCP. The IP addresses for both WAN ports appear next, along with DNS information, followed by similar information for the LAN segments. Device information and uptime statistics fill the rest of the page.
The next menu item is WAN Status, and that displays overall WAN statistics over the previous hour. Total bytes, packets and average bandwidth displays give more information than the other units, all gathered in one convenient screen. It handily shows the traffic percentage between the two WAN connections for each type of traffic statistic.
We found that using packets as the load balancing method rather than bytes delivered slightly better speeds, but caused our Vonage phone some connection grief. WAN2, the Time Warner Cable link, tended to be more popular and carry more traffic, a trend that occurred in most of the other units.
The easy installation, clean menu and common sense information displays on the admin utility make this the most small business friendly unit. Those looking for ways to set complicated firewall rules will be disappointed, since the DPG603 focuses far more on dual-WAN routing than on firewall and security.
Other LAN management tools, such as Quality of Service, are available. You can manage the unit remotely from stations within a specified IP address range, for instance, and SNMP is supported.
More for small and midsize businesses looking for a dual-WAN router than a company looking for complex security configurations, the DPG603 works invisibly after configuration. Any power user can install and maintain this unit with ease.
Read more about lan and wan in Network World's LAN & WAN section.