Firmware and Web-Interface
We did not find alternative firmware for this router, so we will be talking about its official firmware here. Version 3007 is available for download from LevelOne’s sites, but we could find version 3008 on the Russian site’s forum. It differs from the previous version with support for a new mode (PPTP+static routing). This is the only difference, so we will use version 3007.
The setup manager of the WBR-6000 is quite an odd thing. Its interface looks like a trial work of a beginner web-designer rather than a professional’s work for a serious device.
It would only look worse if it had no colors (but the available colors are not selected with much taste, either). Of course, there are few aesthetes among network users that would value the appearance of the web-interface above everything else, but we don’t think this matter should be neglected like that.
The web-interface has a radically simplified structure. The page displayed in the browser consists of two vertical parts. The narrower left part shows a menu while the wider right part shows the settings of the particular menu item. If there are any buttons, clicking on them will open up new windows with more pages. Besides the menu proper, the left frame offers a link to the integrated Help system. You can get to the appropriate Help page from almost any page with settings by pressing the Help button. The contents of the Help system pleased us a lot. Besides just explaining the purpose of the particular setup options, you can learn recommendations about the best settings for specific situations. We guess the biggest drawback of this Help system is that it is too succinct.
The menu structure doesn’t look logical to us, either. Perhaps there is some logic in it, but it differs from that of most other network equipment developers. For example, most of the router’s settings are dumped into the Advanced group whereas the option of changing the administrator password is an individual item of the root menu. The page for configuring the router’s LAN is also a separate menu item, although it would be logical to put the WAN configuration page there. WAN settings are accessed more often than, for example, the option of changing the router’s internal address. Some parameters that you expect to find on individual pages are combined with other, unrelated, parameters. For example, it is only after we had read the descriptions of most pages that we found DMZ settings on the same page with port triggering rules. All of this makes it quite difficult to set the router up.
The sloppy interface is partially made up for by the functionality of the firmware, though. There are some limitations and drawbacks, but the WBR-6000 does offer a few settings you don’t often find in devices of its class as we will describe shortly.
So, first goes the Quick Setup Wizard.
It may come in handy for those who need to test their Internet connection. The Wizard requires a live connection to your ISP and checks it out right during the setup process.
The next menu item is called LAN. Here you can only change the router’s address on the LAN and specify a range of addresses issued by the integrated DHCP server.
The Wireless item leads to a page where you can find Wi-Fi related parameters and a filter of MAC addresses of wireless clients. Besides that, this page offers buttons leading to wireless connection security and WPS settings. You can also enable wireless traffic shaping on the main page. Low-level connection parameters such as Beacon Interval, RTS Threshold, etc, are missing.
The fourth item, called Password, is an example of a poor menu structure. The namesake page only allows you to change the password for entering the setup manager.
The Status menu item leads to a page where you can get information about the current parameters of the router’s network interfaces as well as about the router itself.
The last menu item is called Advanced. It is here that almost all of the router’s settings can be found. When you click it, you see a list of links to settings pages accompanied with brief descriptions.