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NETLINKER IS OFFERING A SINGIE SOLUTION for all of your office’s connectivity needs. This all-in-one software and hardware package hooks into a company network (LAN) to provide Internet access, firewall protection, routing, e-mail, and remote access.

We received two units for review, the NetLinker 20 and the NetLinker 100. The NetLinker 100 includes two Ethernet ports – one for the LAN and one for an external xDSL router/modem, cable modem, or external router. In addition, you get one modem for remote access. The NetLinker 20 comes with two modems – which can be used together for higher access speed of separately for remote access – and one Ethernet port for connecting to a LAN.

We tested the NetLinker 100 using our existing router (hooked to a T1 line) and a standard phone line for remote access. The NetLinker 20 was connected to two phone lines, one for Internet access and one for remote access.

Setting up the NetLinker is easy if you have prior knowledge of such terms and concepts as TCP/IP, IP addresses, routing, gateways, DNS, and PPP. If you don’t, the user’s guide begins with a nice glossary to get you started. We were able to add a NetLinker to our 10-user network and access it via a Web browser from a workstation in under an hour.

One thing we noticed right away was the tremendous speed difference between the NetLinker 20 and 100. Accessing the Internet through the NetLinker 20 can be sluggish at times, but the NetLinker 100 speeds things up considerably. Small offices with a five-user network can get by fine with the NetLinker 20; larger offices will want to step up to the NetLinker 100.

Both units are well-built and easy to install and maintain. We wouldn’t hesitate recommending either one for small businesses looking for an integrated Internet solution.