• United States
by Steve Taylor and Joanie Wexler

Kentrox joins branch-office router fray

Feb 24, 20042 mins

* Low-end router prices drop while feature mix grows

We recently discussed the fact that branch offices and smaller businesses are now demanding more than rudimentary IP routing features in their WAN access products. In response, we noted, Quick Eagle has added features to its branch-office router capabilities. 

Apparently, Kentrox, a company that has kept a low profile over the past year or so, is jumping on the same trend. The company has reemerged with a low-end product that combines a router, T-1 DSU/CSU, VPN appliance and several other functions into one device for under a thousand bucks.

According to Dan Murray, Kentrox’s vice president of marketing, the Q-Series Q2200 targets sites without local dedicated IT staff. For example, an integral Web-based graphical user interface (GUI) alleviates the need for staff with command-line interface expertise for configuration. 

The Q-Series also accommodates businesses running video and voice over IP with integral quality-of-service (QoS) features.  The router offers default QoS settings, plus the ability to customize settings for greater control, Murray says.  The QoS features and GUI combine to produce graphical traffic reports.

Quick Eagle, too, added traffic shaping to its newly announced 4300 series router, which lists for $1,395 with a single 10/100 Ethernet port. However, its QoS capabilities, available by activating a software feature key, cost an extra $500.

Kentrox has also packed a 100-tunnel IPSec VPN appliance, integral stateful inspection firewall and a four-port 10/100 Ethernet switch into its router.  Consequently, it would seem that this device should deliver all the networking functions needed for most branch sites.

The U.S. list price for the T-1-based Q2200 is $995.  Another version, the Q2300, will replace the T-1-based WAN interface with a single Ethernet interface.  This should attract users who prefer to use cable modem or DSL access for their branch offices.  The Q2300 is slated to ship in the second quarter for $895.

Note: Steve is working with consultant Jim Metzler of Ashton, Metzler & Associates to gather information for a report on users’ branch-office requirements and plans. To participate, please access the questionnaire at