"Extended Systems has fashioned a Linux-based Internet appliance
that combines ease of installation with all the connectivity
features that a small business needs -- along with excellent tech
"Extended Systems has built a big blue box for 1 to 100 user
connections to the Internet. I say big because most appliances are
not large, usually only taking up the space of a large phone or
laptop. In contrast, the ExtendNet 4000 is housed in an oversized
computer desktop case. This surprised me because one of the
advantages of an appliance is its portability: you can mount it in
a rack or stick it behind a desk. In comparison to similar
offerings from Cobalt, this device had zero "WOW" factor. I started
to worry that the ExtendNet 4000 was just a Linux box in a colorful
"The installation program walked me through the configuration
step by step. I honestly can't see how much simpler it could be.
The options were all on one screen, so I didn't have to go hunting
for them; I just chose the option I wanted to configure from a
simple dropdown box. If you are uncomfortable doing this yourself,
you could get a little help from an Internet-savvy associate, or
from Extended Systems' technical support team. Either of these
options should help you configure the system in no time."
"Overall, I really liked the ExtendNet 4000. It looks like just
a big blue box. It's not flashy, and, in fact, it might appear
somewhat out of place as a router, but it definitely delivers what
Extended Systems says it was designed for. The system is easy to
configure and appears to be low maintenance. The only drawback I
could find was the price: the retail price of $2,599 is high.
Similar offerings from Cobalt are just as functional and will save
you anywhere from $1,400 to $800 over the ExtendNet 4000. A Linux
techie friend could also build one for less, but the result might
not be as easy to manage on your own. The best part about the
ExtendNet 4000 was not the product itself but the support behind
it. The people at Extended Systems have set up their system for
maximum customer convenience and have a tech support team that
appears to put the customer first."
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