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Summary

Our Score

9/10

Review Price free/subscription

Eli Home Broadband Security Appliance

Price 5 users: Appliance, £117.50, one year subscription £84.60 (including 17.5% VAT)

Hosted Internet security used to be the preserve of businesses as it has traditionally been too expensive for home users. Eli however, aims to change all that. This bumper package is designed for home users that want the full gamut of anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-phishing, anti-spyware, privacy protection and true web content filtering but also want a complete, hassle free package.

The router itself is a chunky box of above average size that provides a quartet of switched Fast Ethernet ports and an 802.11b/g wireless access point. Now here’s the smart bit – the router not only has an integral ADSL2+ modem but also sports an Ethernet port as well, so it can support a direct ADSL connection or an external ADSL or cable modem. The choice is yours as you just flick a small switch at the rear to choose which port you want activated. Sharing a USB printer over the network is a possibility as well but you can ignore the second USB port as although it’s designed to accept USB network adapters it’s not supported at the moment.
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Installation is very simple with the web interface offering nearly forty predefined ISPs or the option to manually configure your account details. The advanced settings page is primarily for use by Eli’s support staff but you can check on the Internet connection status from here. All further appliance configuration is over a secure HTTPS connection to a portal on Eli’s web site where you provide your account details and activate wireless access if required. During this process the router is assigned to one of Eli’s servers from its global network which provides regular updates transparently to the virus scanning and anti-spam engines.

All modifications are made on the web site portal and these are then pushed out to your appliance. This means that Eli’s support staff can see easily how your box is configured without requiring remote access to it. For the UK, Eli has partnered with Unipalm Ltd although it’s not yet running a hosting service so our box was handled from Eli’s site in Germany.

The first visit to the configuration screen shows how simple the Eli is. The General page provides details of the last login, profile details and a summary of the various settings. Next up are router controls where the appliance’s IP address and DHCP server address range can be changed and wireless access configured. For the latter the appliance supports basic security features with 64/128-bit WEP and 256-bit WPA encryption but SSID masking is not available.

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