Nildram boxes clever with managed routers

A new service is aimed at home users and small businessess who want to connect a LAN to their broadband connection, but don't fancy configuring and trouble-shooting a router

Broadband users who are keen to connect a network of PCs and peripherals to the Internet but have technical concerns about running a router should consider a new offer from Nildram.

The UK Internet service provider announced on Thursday that its customers can now sign up for a new "managed" router service.

For a one-off fee of £75, users will receive a Zyxel 645R router -- for which Nildram says it will provide full technical support as long as the buyer remains sign-up to Nildram's ISP package, and a free replacement if necessary.

The router remains Nildram's property; previously, users who wanted this option had to pay an extra fee per month, but now Nildram is offering the service with a one-off fee only.

Since the arrival of self-installation ADSL at the start of 2002, many broadband users choose to buy their own hardware -- either from their ISP or from a third-party. Nildram, though, believes there is demand for this kind of managed service where users rent the hardware rather than buying it and can ask their ISP for hardware support.

"While many broadband users are happy to find and maintain their own hardware, we have found that there are a significant number of potential broadband users to whom the idea of a 'no worry' hardware provision is very appealing," said Iain Ogilvie, Nildram's marketing manager.

Ogilvie added that Nildram could only guarantee to fix problems with the router itself, rather than with the hardware that a user might be trying to connect to it, but he explained that his company were often able to identify when a fault lay with a PC or a software applications. In those circumstances, a customers would have to contact the vendor responsible.

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