Linksys LRT224 Review: A Home- and Business-Friendly VPN Router

by Reads (3,375)
  • Pros

    • Well-written support guides
    • Attractive design (for a router)
    • Compact case
  • Cons

    • Not the cheapest
    • Side power port
    • Cannot support dual Wan and DMZ at the same time.

Shopping for a small router for your home or small business network? There are literally hundreds of options available in the market to fit your needs. But if you’re looking for wired router with no built-in Wi-Fi capability your options drop considerably. Has to be a gigabit switch? That cuts down the count a bit. Say you want VPN functionality as well, then that really culls the herd.

Linksys LRT224 Dual Wan Gigabit VPN Router

Linksys LRT224 Dual Wan Gigabit VPN Router

Now let’s get specific. Say that your network simply cannot lose its internet connection, and you’re gunning for a router that can support dual WAN connections. Your shopping list just got really small. On this now very short shopping list of routers you will see the Linksys LRT224 Dual Wan Gigabit VPN Router. Here’s the Linksys LRT224 review.

Build & Design

The Linksys LRT224 Dual Wan Gigabit VPN Router is a compact little box that measures 5.25 inches wide, a standard 1RU 1.75 inches tall, and a fairly shallow 7.75 inches deep. The router’s petite size means it will be visible and accessible, so the industrial designers at Linksys wisely gave it a little aesthetic branding treatment with the company logo filling the entire front side of the box, a series of LED indicator lights along the top front edge of the router, and a panel of blue color across the top back third of the case.

The back side has a reset button and four Ethernet ports for devices, a single dedicated WAN Ethernet port, and then a final Ethernet port that is for a second WAN or a DMZ connection. The power supply connects to the right side of the router, where it protrudes. Thankfully the included connector is L-shaped, so it protrudes only 0.75 inches, but if this needs to fit in a tight spot, be sure to accommodate for the extra width.

Linksys LRT224 review image
Linksys LRT224 Dual WAN router

Linksys LRT224 rear ports

The most distinguishing feature of this router is its ability to support dual-WAN connections. This means that the router can be connected to two completely different internet gateways. So in theory, you can connect this router to two different cable modems from two different companies at the same time. Doing so buys you two big advantages. The first is the ability to load balance the internet connection, which improves the overall bandwidth. The second is your network can still connect to the internet should one of the services get knocked. Most home network users would consider paying for two internet connections an extravagance, but a small business can easily justify the additional monthly bill to ensure a more constant internet connection.

Linksys LRT224 review photo

The Linksys LRT224 Dual Wan Gigabit VPN Router boasts a side power port.

Features

The VPN feature of the Linksys LRT224 router comes in a few different flavors. It supports IPSec, PPTP, and SSL connections. The baked in VPN support can handle up to 50 tunnels using IPSEC and PPTP connection methods. If you want to configure SSL-based connections, the LRT224 supports the OpenVPN client and can handle 5 SSL tunnels. There is also an EasyLink VPN service which greatly simplifies the configuration process for connecting two Linksys routers together via VPN. The Linksys site has several well-written configuration guides to walk you through the setup process for each of these different configurations.

While VPN is all about encrypting and securing your network and its connections, setting up a DMZ is all about opening up part of your network so it can be accessed by the rest of the world. Typically you would need to setup a DMZ if you host your own web server or email server, or if you use certain dedicated video conferencing devices. For home users, if your kid says she wants to set up a Minecraft server, you’re going to want this feature.

The secondary WAN port on this router can also be used as a dedicated DMZ port. Note that if the port is being used for its DMZ function, it can no longer support a secondary WAN. If you’re going to go down the DMZ route, be grateful that the router also has a firewall feature as it will help protect your network from the more nefarious characters on the internet.

As mentioned above, the shopping list for dual-wan VPN routers is not long, and the Linksys LRT224 is not the cheapest box on the list. That being said, once you eliminate the super pricey enterprise class routers, the difference between the high and low is only about $60. The advantage of spending a bit more on the LRT224 is that Linksys is a company used to supporting the average consumer. This means that their support site has a variety of configuration guides and help sections to guide you through the trickier feature setups. These guides are well-written and slightly easier to digest than the manuals written for the certified network techs. On top of all that, the LRT224 is no enterprise-class eyesore. It looks cool displayed on the small business desk or shelf.

Pros:

  • Well-written support guides
  • Attractive design (for a router)
  • Compact case

Cons:

  • Not the cheapest
  • Side power port
  • Cannot support dual Wan and DMZ at the same time.


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  1. jameshouston

    One of my friend is also using this router and according to him the router was working fine and providing good support to VPN, and i suggest him a comparison table of VPNs from vpnranks.com , however the whole information that you shared over here is very informative for learning.