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Linksys BEFSX41 EtherFast Cable/DSL Firewall Router (4-Port 10/100 Switch / VPN Endpoint)
List Price: $79.99

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Product Description

The Linksys BEFSX41 is the perfect solution for connecting a small group of PCs to a high-speed broadband Internet connection, or a 10/100 Ethernet backbone. Acts as the only externally recognized Internet gateway on your local area network ( LAN ) Protects PCs from Ping of Death, SYN Flood, Land Attacks, IP Spoofing & other DoS attacks Blocks Java, ActiveX and Cookies Easily configurable though a Web browser from any networked PC Power Adapter Included Diagnostic LEDs 2H x 8W x 7D; 14 ounces One Year Limited Includes - 60-day trial of Norton Internet Security 2003 (if not in the box, check www.linksys.com)

The Linksys Instant Broadband EtherFast cable/DSL firewall router with 4-port switch/VPN endpoint is the perfect solution for connecting a small group of PCs to a high-speed broadband Internet connection or a 10/100 Ethernet backbone. The router can be configured to limit internal users' Internet access based on URLs and/or time periods (URL filtering and time filtering). For enhanced protection against intruders from the Internet, the router features an advanced SPI firewall.

Use the cable/DSL firewall router with 4-port switch/VPN endpoint to create IPSec VPN tunnels, so you can securely connect to the corporate server from your home office--or from any location, when you're on the road. The router provides a dedicated port for DMZ hosting and acts as the only externally recognized Internet gateway on your LAN. With the performance and security features of the Linksys cable/DSL firewall router with 4-port switch/VPN endpoint, your network will take advantage of the Internet while keeping its data secure.

This router is compatible with Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000, Me, and XP.

Note: All Linksys routers now include a special edition of Norton Internet Security! Claim your free CD-ROM by calling (800) 814-0180, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific, seven days a week.

See a comparison diagram of the different wireless technologies.

Wireless networks are rapidly becoming more popular and coming down in price. Since they don't require cables, you can use the devices anywhere in an office or home, even out on the patio. There's no need to roll out an Ethernet network cable to each room of a house; you can network anywhere -- without wires. Outside of the home, wireless networking is available in hotspots at coffee shops, businesses, airports -- great when you're on the road and need to get some work done. For convenience, wireless networking is the answer.

What Wireless Standard is Right for Me?
Now that you've decided to create a wireless network, the next step is to figure out which wireless standard to use.

Basically, a standard is a set of specifications for a device. All devices that follow a specific standard share operating characteristics, such as the radio frequency used and maximum data transfer speed.

For wireless networking, there are three standards to choose from at this time:

  • 802.11b
  • 802.11a
  • 802.11g

To learn about the differences between the standards and select the right one for your network, click here for an easy-to-understand chart.

Features:
  • WAN Ports - 4 10/100 Mbps RJ-45
  • Warranty - 1 year
  • VPN Support - Up to 2 IPSec
  • Weight - 13.3 oz.

Customer Reviews:

  • Excellent router if you know how to operate it
    I've used two SX41s for over three years on DSL and they are rock solid providing that I don't violate the cardinal rules of operation. The VPN tunnels are easy to set up if you follow the guidelines. First of all you must use a stable firmware. 1.45.7 is the most stable. The latest 1.52.9 is okay, but not as stable. Also you must NEVER set any of the Web Filters to deny or you will have reboots. Generally it is as simple as that.

    There are also rules for flashing that must be observed. It doesn't matter whether you use a ver 1 firmware on a ver 2 router or visa versa. Thinking there is a difference is nonsense. What DOES matter is that the router MUST be reset to factory defaults (30 secs on the reset button will do this) before a flash or you risk bricking the router. When flashing with the Web page flashing tool, use IE or you will risk bricking the router. Use the TFTP utility for the SX41 obtainable from Linksys if you wish to use a Mozilla-based browser to flash. After you flash, you should reset once again to factory defaults. There are residual register settings carried over from the previous firmware versions that can cause reboots and other malfunctions.

    Even the best flashing procedures can fail, but there are procedures for recovering from a bad flash at DSLReports.com. The recovery rate is probably better than 90% using those techniques. Guidelines for setting tunnels up are also posted there as well as access to the 1.45.7 stable firmware.

    Successful operation of the SX41 requires modest intelligence, some networking experience, and following the operating rules. Linksys support hasn't a clue as to what those rules are so don't even bother with them unless you are trying for an RMA for a defective unit. Basically the router has gotten a bad rap from people who don't know how to operate it. Unfortunately they can't learn how to do that from the minimalist manual or from the so-called tech support personnel. Ask for operation help in the Linksys forum on the above mentioned web site if you are struggling with this router....more info
  • Works well when not using advanced features.
    I have several computers behind this firewall/router (SBC Yahoo DSL w/ Efficient Networks speedstream 5100 cable modem).
    Had to reconfigure the LAN a little for each machine to use the router defaults (and DHCP). Installation of the router was painless. Working for a month now with no problems, however I am not talking to a time server and the only change from defaults was to forward the IDENT port to /dev/nul for security reasons. Others complain about the VPN feature...haven't used it. I guess my advice is; If you just looking for the switch/router/firewall features then this is a winner....more info
  • Slow and flaky.
    The only reason for giving this product two stars rather than one is that it did manage to do its job, albeit poorly, for a while before driving me to replace it.

    It frequently crashes, web browsing feels sluggish compared to bypassing the router, connections frequently timed out that didn't with other routers, and the management interface can be maddeningly slow to respond.

    I'm probably running the "wrong" firmware, or could maybe buy some more time of decent operation if I sacrifice the right animal while "resetting to factory settings". I don't care. It's a flaky product out of the box, and it's about to be retired from my network.
    ...more info
  • P*ss Poor Product & Support
    I bought 2 of these routers because of the sucess I've had with the BEFVP41. I've set up dozens of VPN's and have never been so frustrated with a product. I've tried several different firmwares and workarounds, spent countless hours on the phone and on the online chat and still the connection is unstable, and the vpn link is almost non-existant. The router resets itself under any type of sustained load, so unless you need a router just for everyday websurfing this piece of junk is totally useless. And for everyday websurfing there are several cheaper, more stable, easier to setup, better supported devices out there....more info
  • Here We Go Again!!!
    I Give one Star but honestly feel it dont even deserve that for the simple fact I just purchased this model BEFSX41-4/port firewall vpn model and have spent over 30 hours trying to set it correctly to work with my playstation2 computer game system through the network adapter.I know i placed over 25 calls to Linksys support after days of aggrevation & frustration just trying to get set up to play the new Final FantasyX1 online game.

    After about the 30 call linksys tells me o u need level 2 support.I was shocked & needed level 2 support 15 phone calls ago.I am running sprint modem 645 series, DSL sprint 1.5 mbs 7 speed was not an issue at all.It was i kept getting disconnected after I finally got connected to the game within three minutes I would get kicked off with time out errors.
    We tried setting up DMZ,did not work.Tried updating the new firmware to version 1.52.4 & still did not help.We tried static ips and nothing still. Even disabling firewall. Finally they admitted we tried everything possible & nothing else they could do for me.Well Howdy Doody!! i guess im screwed than with the router that i spent 70 bucks on& it does not serve a purpose. By the way i never got connected to level 2 support either cause the technicians are so high on ther horse they all have ideas but no solutions to the problem.

    Finally ,I just disconnected the router & bypassed it straight to my modem & wa-la i can play the game but not through my Linksys router still.They never even offered to replace it for me & i am so frustrated about this Router I would not recommend it for anything.Until Linksys can resolve the problem I know it is something to do with settings but for the life of me "WE" can-not figure the solution out.If anybody has had similar problems i wish i could speak with them for suggestions?

    After near 30 calls to support half of them you cant understand at all,some dont care attitudes,and some have no bussiness being tech assistants.You would think they would gather a support team possibly level 5 to try and help resolve this problem to make me the customer, happy, but I am not a happy camper at all about this router "OR" Linksys Support assistance abilities...Good Luck! ...more info
  • Flawed but useful
    A hardware firewall is very useful when you have an always-on internet connection because a blocks many categories of incoming attacks from even seeing your computer.

    I had the BEFSX41 for several years and it worked great, so when I needed one for a new network connection, I ordered the newer model, BEFSX41 v. 2. After connecting it my internet connection became highly erratic -- some sites did not load at all, email downloaded very slowly, etc. A firmware upgrade to the 1/11/2006 firmware fixed this problem, and now it is working well again. The firmware upgrade is available from the Linksys web site, but it is disappointing that it worked so poorly out of the box.

    Also, the firmware upgrade process is flawed. When you try to upgrade via the browser interface, it seems to work, if you check the version using the browser interface, you still have the old version. To really upgrade, you have to use the upgrade utility that is available on the same support page of the Linksys web site.

    Yet another pitfall to watch for is the product version. There is a v.1 and a v.2 of this device, and if you use the v.2 firmware with a v.1 box (as I did), you end up with a paperweight....more info
  • Wired router
    Had earlier version of this product, no issues. Installed this product out of the box didn't even have to run set up disk. Customer support is the best. Little/no wait time and they (one person you don't get passed around)walk you through anything until your done.
    Note: Was told at store where purchased, the 8 port wouldn't support VPN.
    ...more info
  • Skip this review
    The review I wrote here was for a different Linksys product (Linksys BEFVP41 EtherFast Cable/DSL VPN Router with 4-Port 10/100 Switch), and has been reposted there. I do NOT have experience with the BEFSX41 so please disregard this review. (message edited to remove review comments)...more info
  • Great Product
    Worked perfectly right out of the box. Spent 2 hours trying (unsuccessfully) to configure the same firewall/router purchased from a big-box store which sold only already opened boxes. It's unfortunate that big-box stores don't believe customers when they return defective merchandise. Very happy that Amazon does not appear to sell returned/defective merchandise....more info
  • Beware Buggy Firmware
    This review refers to firmware 1.45.3 dated Sep 26 2003. HTTP port 80 is port forwarded to a web server. The majority of the clients can reach the website fine. But for some clients (in particular clients on Southern Bell DSL and international clients in Singapore), the router will drop connection. This problem is particular to the Linksys BEFSX41, as replacing the router with another of a different brand (Fortinet) solves the problem. I'll never buy another Linksys router again....more info
  • Good news & bad news
    Bad news: Had to send first one back. Good news, no argument from tech support. They issued a RMA immediately.

    Good news: Second router does most of what it should. Bad news, it crashes when we upload big files (>2meg) and try to use the cookie, Java, and active X filters. Turn off the filters, and it works OK. We are pushing the little guy pretty hard. We use it as a router between 4 LAN side computers and a WAN side computer (the internet server). We are pushing 100 Mbps through the router both ways (one direction at a time).

    Good news, our church bought one to connect to a fractional T1 line and it works w/o a problem. Our installer strongly recommends the latest firmware based on his experience. Bad news, the published instrutions apply to the older firmware. The new firmware is much different, but very easy to use.

    All in all, it probably will work in most applications, but don't try to push it to the specification limits....more info

  • No problems whatsoever
    I have two of these routers and they both work great! Didn't bother with the software on the CD and just used my web browser to configure port forwarding and DHCP. Firmware = 1.44.3. Both routers are plugged into an 8 port switch with a Toshiba Cable Modem plugged into the uplink port on the switch. Each router has it's own public static IP address. Not a single problem with them in the last year or so that I've had them....more info
  • Linksys BEFSX41 EtherFast Cable/DSL Firewall Router
    The router itself is a good box and the installation CD is easy to follow; however, the printed documentation that was packaged with it was obviously out of date. In addition, the Norton firewall software would not load using the Windows 2000 Professional operating system. It requires Windows XP or later, but this wasn't stated on any of the advertising that I read.

    When I contacted Linksys about the software (which they supplied), they pleaded complete ignorance and told me I would have to contact Symantec. Although I like the Linksys router and will keep it, this lack of basic "customer support" will certainly cause me to look very hard at someone else's products when making purchases in the future. ...more info
  • Horrible
    I got this router when out company switched to VPN for remote desktop connections to increase security. This is one of the worst routers I have ever used, and I returned it to Amazon after about a week. The longest uptime I have ever seen was about 12 hours. Their support was horrible, and told me that they would not support the product at all if I upgraded the firmware from their website. I have since switched to netgear VPN routers, and those have been up for about 2 years now. I used to recommend Linksys, but now I tell people to stay away, or carefully check the model and version number, and compare them to the reviews....more info
  • BEFSX41 won't work with SBC DSL! Lots of Bugs!!!
    First, the bottom line is DON'T BUY THE BEFSX41! It has a lot of bugs and it will NOT work with SBC DSL, especially with a SpeedStream 5100. OK, so why: I design routers and I spent 40 hours debugging the Lynksys BEFSX41 on an SBC DSL link. I tried all the modes and I scanned the WEB looking for possible work arounds. I finally narrowed down the problem to a design flaw but their custromer support would not even consider a refund in trade for the information that would allow them to fix the product. Lynksys technical support ranged from pathetic to marginal (the marginal came only because one tech was willing to download all the firmware versions to me); but I agree with the others, their tech support stinks. ...more info
  • Still trucking....
    I've owned the version 1 of this router since about when it came out in 2002. It's still working today! It's been upgraded to the latest firmware yesterday without a problem. Just plug them in, and forget about them almost except for the occasional firmware upgrade. It's really that easy.


    Since a good hardware firewall box is almost an essential to getting a hard internet line such as DSL or cable, go with one of the best and easiest!...more info
  • Death by firmware
    In typical Linksys fashion, this unit lives & dies by the firmware and the only way to find a happy medium is through end-user support as none of the stable firmware releases have been posted on the Linksys site. I have three clients running these units with the as shipped 1.44.3 firmware and they've been fairly stable, though the larger client (about 15 users) has reported problems with random disconnects from the internet (they're on a dedicated T1)...this was a temporary unit for them until their parent company set them up with a Cisco PIX, but then I had to put it back in service due to the parent not wanting to allow VPN client connections to the PIX...I'm getting ready to replace it with a Zyxel Zywall 10. The other two (4 users who don't use the VPN and 2 occassional users who sometimes share that office space and VPN back to their main office...I have two more of these that are going into their home offices since I had already purchased them before discovering some of the issues and using another brand proved to be problematic due to the dumbed down VPN configuration interface which doesn't allow enough control over the ID information) haven't had any internet connection problems, but the VPN does drop out 3-4 times a year. *DO NOT*...I repeat *DO NOT* upgrade to firmware 1.52.10 It is pure junk and will render the unit utterly useless...interstingly on the earlier versions the firewall is enabled by default. On this version, it is disabled by default and enabling it blocks the internet connection entirely (I connected *once* with it enabled then never again, so I disabled it and flashed the unit with 1.45.7 which is supposed to be the most stable release though it still has it's share of bugs....more info
  • Worst technical support I've EVER seen
    Shortly after purchasing and using the product, I looked at its internal logs and noticed hundreds of lines indicating port scans (mostly UDP but some TCP). They were colored green. I couldn't find any information about this in the Linksys manual, so I called customer support. Not only could I barely understand them, they couldn't even answer my simple questions - are these port scans getting through? What does green indicate? Frankly, I don't even know if they understood my question. I have the feeling that this outsourced tech support has no expertise with this product. After several calls, I reached a tech that sent me a firmware patch "downgrade" to install. It turned out that he sent me the wrong firmware patch as it was for a completely different Linksys router. Had I installed it (if it would even install), I might have lost access to the device altogether. Beware: if you run into problems with this device, you're on your own....more info
  • Works if you don't mind intermittent outages
    Got the BEFSX41 to replace a 4-port router without firewall. The BEFSX41 initially seemed to work fine, but then I updated the firmware as it had firmware over 9 months old new in the box. The new firmware completely changes the look of the interface, which is fine, but now the box stops functioning every once in awhile. I can't have the box that is the central point in the network do that, so I'm reverting back to the plain router and will buy a more robust firewall box. I think they are pushing this box against its limit in order to keep the cost low, but it's just not worth the hassle....more info
  • Terrible product - never had reliable firmware
    search http://www.dslreports.com/forum/linksys for BEFSX41 and see what I mean

    Primary use of this device is as a VPN endpoint. however VPN very unstable, and many features don't work. so beware!...more info
  • Problems, Problems
    I had a really hard time getting this installed. My DSL service worked fine when I just had the DSL modem hooked directly into my computer, but every time I put the Firewall in between and tried to install the software it kept giving me the message about how I wasn't hooked to the internet. I tried 3 times following their directions word for word.

    I finally had to hold the router's reset down for 30 seconds (to return to factory setting as told by a person at their phone help desk) and did not reset my modem as the directions said. This seemed to work until 2 weeks later when I was having problems connecting to the internet again. It was the router again. I went ahead and reset the router and installed the software (configured it) again and it was back up and running.

    I have also found that whenever the power to the router goes down, I have to reset the router and reload the software. If is really a pain.

    If I still had the box I would return this equipment. I have never written a review before on Amazon, but thought that this piece of equipment deserved it....more info
  • Does the problem lie in what internet service provider you use??
    Haven't yet purchased this item, but it was recommended to me. By reading the reviews, I seem to have noticed a trend. Does anyone else realize that almost everyone who had problems using this router states they had DSL, and those who gave it good reviews tend to have cable internet? I didn't realize there was a difference between the two, but could that be the problem?
    ...more info
  • Works very well
    This unit has worked perfectly for me for the year I've owned it. I had no problems setting it up or using it....more info
  • The product is only as good as the firmware ...
    ... and unfortunately the firmware sucks! Google "BEFSX41 firmware upgrade problems" and see what you get. I had mine running a stable (but vulnerable) firmware and decided to download the latest firmware from Linksys' site to close the security hole. Unfortunately it wasn't until numerous problems began (router reboots, disconnects, no internet connection) that I checked for firmware issues and found problems via Google. There are NO WARNINGS on that Linksys download site. They are essentially providing software to BREAK your product! It got so bad, I couldn't connect to the internet anymore. I had to go to work to download an older firmware (unfortunately Linksys DOES NOT provide these!) from dslreports. They fixed most of my problems, but there is a list of bugs that still have not been fixed. Fortunately, I don't use the features that trigger those bugs. I'm providing the link so that someone who has purchased it can upgrade their firmware at THEIR DISCRETION! Otherwise, I would say do not buy this product! It's unnecessary headaches when other routers will work just as well. (Though I hear D-Link products also have problems)

    [...]...more info
  • Linux Smooth Installation
    Take it out of the box, plug it into your computer while off, add power plug to router, boot your computer, configure the router (defaults already set to my situation), and start using it.

    Just follow the instructions that come with the router and the online documentation. Linksys BEFSX41 EtherFast Cable/DSL Firewall Router (4-Port 10/100 Switch / VPN Endpoint)No surprises and no problems. Now that is how I like to add to my desk top....more info
  • Wired is better... if you like privacy.
    When shopping for routers, I bypassed numerous wireless routers to go with this Linksys Wired Router, based on data that show wired is faster than wireless. In addition, given that the distance between my computer and router is similar to the distance to my next-door neighbors' houses, I prefer to keep our electronic signals in wires rather than broadcast through the airwaves. Yes, there was an added inconvenience of getting a technician to run the wiring to my upstairs office, but once it was done, I felt much better about going wired. The connection is fast and solid, and I have no interference with any of my other electronic/wireless devices.

    Set-up instructions were either a little cryptic, or else the set-up steps presented to us on the computer screen didn't match up well with the printed instructions. The process wasn't as straightforward as it could have been. Otherwise, we were very happy with our purchase. It's not easy to find wired routers....more info
  • Many problems, terrible support, stay away!
    We have two of these units and battled with them for over a year. Tried numerous firmware upgrades. Each upgrade fixed one problem and created another! Locks up once every other week. Terrible support from LinkSys. Replaced both with a competitors router and all problems disappeared. Stay away from it....more info
  • Quite quirky at times...
    To sum it up: it's great while it works, but it has some "quirks" that keep it from functioning properly at times.

    I am currently trying to get connected to the internet through this router after having a cheap dlink fail on me. I have had this router for a couple of years now.

    Right now, it is failing what I consider the cardinal test of a router. DSL modem, IP address 192.168.0.1. Router, IP address 192.168.1.1. Plug computer in, can I access the DSL modem? Currently, no. Test failed - the router should be a window to the modem, not a brick wall precluding any chance of reaching the modem.

    When I used it as my primary router, I decided to upgrade the firmware, which resulted in random reboots. Rolling back the firmware fixed the problem.

    Sometimes I will be browsing the router's configuration, and the router will not respond for a while, sometimes resulting in a time out error.

    Other times I will not be able to access the router at all.

    One awkward situation I was stuck in was when I desired to re-instate this as my "primary router." I had the DHCP host turned off as another router was handling that, but now, with no DHCP host enabled and computer directly connected to the router, I cannot access the router. I guess that's what the reset button on the back is for.

    After some radom problems, I thought I had the router functioning properly, when, in the middle of my web browsing, the internet stopped working.

    When connected with the cheap Dlink router as a slave (DHCP turned off on the dlink), my internet would randomly stop working. I would have to ipconfig/release ipconfig/renew to get the internet back working. I wrote a script for it, and the solution became part of my life, something that never should have happened. One day, I decided to break free from the router's bondage (a little exaggerated language, but still...), mess around with the settings, mess something up, and see if that made the problem go away. It did.

    Put it simply, I cannot rely on this router to work at all times. It's fabulous when it works, but it has some minor issues that become extremely aggravating over time, especially when they just keep happening and happening and happening...

    So, my search for a router that will just work goes on......more info
  • Design Flaw -- Stay Away
    I have spent countless hours trying to get this product to work with SBC DSL and a SpeedStream DSL Modem. Spent at least 6 hours total on the phone to their incompetent Indian support group and 3 hours on the phone with SBC who graciously helped me to diganose the issues with a router that they do not support. This router is plagued with problems -- their solution is to revert to an older firmware. Yeah, right. In other words, this product is defective out of the box. After I installed a plain vanilla router (no VPN or enhanced Firewall), it worked fine. Linksys does not give refunds, so if you want to return it, make sure you return it to the reseller within their return policy.

    Support stinks, the product doesn't work and they don't issue refunds. I'd say that's reason enough to stay away.

    ...more info
  • The Edsel of the Linksys family
    This router is awful. I purchased and returned three units. The firmware is buggy, it does not hold a DSL connection, it bumbles DNS lookups, and more. One unit was completely inoperable. One worked only partly after I flashed the firmware (to the same version that was preinstalled). The third seemed to work after I re-flashed the firmware, at which point I finally got around to setting up my VPN endpoint. Which, needless to say, didn't work. Argh!

    Not all Linksys products are this bad; in fact most are quite good. (I have an old Linksys router that has served me well for four-plus years; it just doesn't support a VPN endpoint.) But this one is really an embarrassment to the product line. Dud products like the BEFSX41, plus the ongoing mess that is their Customer Support group, are really harming Linksys's once-fine reputation....more info
  • :-) Firmware upgrade converts to doorstop!
    I used this router for 3 years with firmware 1.44 and VPN on all the time. I just updated to firmware 1.52.9 thinking it would help with windows networking (netbios, which never worked well through VPN, and its now useless! It will not respond to hard resets or pings!

    Thier support site really sucks too. its out of date and incomplete:

    While attempting a firmware upgrade of befsx41 from version 1.44 with file BEFSX41_v1[1].52.9_code,0.bin using http://192.168.1.1/Upgrade.htm following instructions in the linksys online help system answer id 557 results in "Warning ! Upgrade file pattern error."

    Phone support did provide a work around...

    Answer from phone support: download the 'upgrade utility' from the befSR41v4 (other) router downloads page and use it to upgrade the bin file to this router. The v1.44 upgrade untility on the router itself is defective they say.

    Completly unusable after install completes and router reboot as above.

    2nd call - went through all the troubleshooting and ended with, you need a new router because you may have installed the wrong firmware and the router is past it's one year warrenty. Two breaks to the 'supervisor' did not help with getting a replacement router or RMA.

    I think any router will due now. I thought Linksys had the best reputation and products. But I think it matters no longer. Check prices and reviews then decide. Don't depend on 'name brand' anymore!
    ...more info
  • Linksys BEFSX41
    Very easy to setup, works very well. I dont like how limited the QOS is. Specifically they should have given me the ability to infinitely adjust the throughput per IP address - instead they force me to select from their predetermined throughput rates. The device is not remotely accessible over a satellite link. Our application is very specific as we are using it at the remote end of a satellite link. For the price though, cant beat it. THX....more info
  • Works as advertised
    This is a fine low-price router. Setup isn't complicated. I ordered this product as a Gateway for all my devices, because I kept losing internet through my Vonage (Linksys) router/phone adapter. My wife complained a lot and looked accusingly at me every time she lost the internet. I installed behind my Zoom Cable modem (which works great--I don't recommend the Motorola Surfboard modems provided by Comcast, which habitually lost connections and had us swearing at Comcast for two years before I finally ditched their lousy hardware). The Vonage router is now connected to this router--behind its Firewall. A separate cable leads from this router to a Linksys router/wireless adapter which feeds all my computers. This system has worked flawlessly now for a week. Computers can communicate and see all the printers, which wasn't working before the switch. No lost connections. I'm sure one could spend two or three times as much and get a fancier product, but I recommend this BEFSX41 router/firewall for a household on a budget. My only caveat is that the documentation is minimal, but that seems to be true for most all of these economy products these days. They've got to economize somewhere with all the cheapskates, like myself, who want the technology for $50 or less. Setup isn't particularly difficult, however. Linksys has done a good job of minimizing complexity for a product aimed at the low-end home network market. The product I got (from Tiger Direct) doesn't have all the lights shown on the BEFSX41 listing in Amazon, so Linksys seems to have multiple variants under the same product identifier. My wife has stopped complaining about lost internet connections--that's success in my book. ...more info
  • Lots of Bugs!!
    I thought this would be a good firewall / router for my DSL connection after reading a positive PC Magazine review, but it is *extremely* buggy. Often reboots for no obvious reason. I downloaded the latest firmware, and that made the issues even worse!! Tried to revert to a previous, more stable version, but tech support never sent me the file. What a joke. The Cisco brand will suffer from this, especially among the small business crowd. Who wants this hassle? I'd rather pay more for a stable and secure product!...more info
  • completely trash
    Constantly breaks down, have to reboot. I've owned this router for 3 months and have 3 months of on and off performance - keep away!...more info
  • Easy setup, poor performance, non-existant support
    We bought 5 of these for our network. Setup and install was a breeze, however, these units can barely handle any load. They will either go into a self-rebooting loop or and "off/on" cycle (i.e. users can see the network for 3 minutes, then cant for 3, etc...). Customer service did not respond to any attempts to contact them. Linksys products are usually great and I'd recommend any of them except this unit....more info
  • Not for home use
    My wife and I have a small business and we bought one to use at the office. It seemed to work fine there (I don't believe I upgrated the firmware at our office), and I decided to get one of the same for our home as well - thinking that would make setting up a VPN easy. I did upgrade the firmware at home. Our home network has all kinds of internet connectivity problems now. These problems don't really manifest themselves when using the Web, but when we get all kinds of disconnect problems when we try to do large downloads, use our Vonage phone, play online games, or access online streaming content like music or videos. I believe the router is closing our ports and not delivering packets like it should. This product should be avoided, and if you do get it, don't upgrade the firmware to 1.52.10. I'm online now to get a different router for our home. Shame on Linksys....more info
  • Don't Buy It
    This router seems to die about once every couple of hours. It crashes every time I try to upload any large file to external servers. I have upgraded the firmware every time a new version was released. No changes....more info
  • Avoid this one...
    .

    My cable modem supports speeds of up to 15Mbps--typically about 12Mbps download, and up to 2Mbps upload--typically 1.8Mbps. I have a Gigabit switch on the other side for my home LAN.

    I picked one of these up because of the Linksys warranty. I never got to use that warranty because my first one failed within two weeks of heavy use, and the second one (a replacement) began to fail in a week. I was able to return both devices to Staples for an exchange and then a full refund.

    To be fair, I push a massive crazy amount of data through each of these two units. I don't know whether the parts began to overheat and fail, but I found myself reseting the device once a day, and a few days later it was not working when I got up in the morning, wasting much of my time. And finally I needed to reset it three to five times in the span of an hour or two--I pulled them off-line when it got this bad.

    As these were new units, I did not update the firmware. My feeling is these have been out a long time, and the firmware should have been up to date without my fussing with it.


    These units might be ok if you don't need to download or upload a lot of data. If you are a power user, they just don't cut it. On the other hand, why should you have to reset it? A good router never fails.

    Also, I noticed my download speeds were poor. My hunch is there is a bandwidth limit to the device that is far below that of cable modem speeds.

    So the bottom line is this. It is a cheap unit, required reseting frequently, and probably--almost certainly has limited bandwidth. So it is clear, this is one to avoid.

    A final hint, if a router had several gigabit LAN ports it will have higher bandwidth. ...more info
  • Flawed from the Start
    Ordered the BEFSX41 router from Amazon and was looking forward to installing what I perceived to be a rock solid router for my home office network. However, I barely passed GO with this product. I was able to connect to the web-based configuration screen. Unfortunately, I kept getting javascript errors whenever I attempted to change a setting in the main setup page. I've worked with routers before but never saw anything like this. I made attempts to update the firmware, which ended in failure. So I finally cried "uncle" and returned the router back to Amazon (they accepted the return as a defect without any hassle .... Amazon is very good in that respect). I've since purchased a much cheaper D-Link router (DI-604) and have had no problems with it....more info
  • Not too bad but not great either
    I purchased this router 4 years ago and set it up in my office. Plugged in fine, worked right away, i really didn't use the VPN function so this review will not cover it.
    I loved the option to block content by keyword or by website name, the communication speed was great, no problems at all until recently where it stopped assigning new DHCP addresses, and within a couple of hours i lost the ability to assign new static addresses. Mind you there were only 4 computers on the network. a Call to the tech support yielded no result since the router was out of warranty. Upgrading the firmware didn't help, hardware reset didn't help, Buying a new router solved the issue.

    Honestly though i strongly believe that linksys's quality has been going down lately. I own several linksys routers and they all have at least one annoying issue. ...more info
  • Problems with firmware v1.50.18 (latest as of posting this)
    Linksys has had the very buggy v1.50.18 firmware posted on their site since 4/30/2004. This firmware crashes and reboots frequently. The router could be quite good for home users if they would fix the crashing problems. There are several forums dedicated to the BEFSX41 and the 1.50.18 firmware. I can't post the URLs here, but before buying please Google: BEFSX41 1.50.18 1.51.00....more info