CompUSA’s $30 house-brand router looks like a rare bargain

I just built a network for a friend using CompUSA’s $30 cable/DSL router/4-port switch. I’m not sure if the price was a Memorial Day special, or if that’s the regular price. Considering you can’t get a Linksys or D-Link for under $50 without rebate hassles, and usually they cost closer to $80, that’s a nice deal.
The CompUSA unit looks bland and generic–it’s brown and boxy, from the same design school as the original Commodore 64–but that’s the only knock I have on it. Hide it behind your desk if its homely looks bother you. Installing it was literally a plug-in-and-go affair. Plug in the cable modem, plug in the computers, release the computers’ IP addresses and renew them (or reboot if you wish), and they’re all on the network.

If you want to get fancy, then open the manual. You can do port forwarding, set up a DMZ, and do everything else you’d expect from a consumer router. It even includes dynamic DNS support–something the more expensive units didn’t give you, the last I checked.

I can’t speak for the long-term reliability of the unit, since I literally spent 15 minutes with it. The price is good enough that to me, it’s worth a slight risk. In devices like this, it’s the wall wart that’s most likely to fail anyway.

So if you or a friend is looking to share your cable or DSL broadband connection and there’s a CompUSA nearby, it’s worth a look.

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7 thoughts on “CompUSA’s $30 house-brand router looks like a rare bargain

  • May 29, 2003 at 8:26 am

    Well, I don’t have any comments about this device – since I already have a Linksys equivalent that work bought for me so I could use VPN.

    However, I am looking for input into good quality KVM switches. The Belkin Omniview SOHO line looks good, and one co-worker has suggested them. My main concern is that I don’t see any degradation of the quality of my video display the way I’ve seen on to many older KVM switches at work. The Belkins claim good video quality if used with their “coaxial” video cable sets, but I haven’t seen any in action.

  • June 1, 2003 at 3:43 pm

    I’ve got a Belkin myself, and it’s pretty good, but I don’t know that I would swear it doesn’t give any degradation. The higher your display resolution, the more likely you’ll see it.

    What I will say is I’ve run 1024×768 displays over my Belkin without any noticeable degradation, and the cables I used weren’t anything special (Fellowes KVM cables, so they’re decent quality but not premium by any stretch of the imagination). And that’s with an NEC FE950 monitor, so I had a decent monitor in the equation.

    I never tried running anything higher than that through them though.

  • June 2, 2003 at 9:44 am

    Well, I suspect I’ll be fine then. I won’t be running over 1024×768, and my display is an NEC 15″ LCD flat panel which runs at a 60 Hz vertical refresh rate (though I know it isn’t really correct to talk about a “refresh rate” on an LCD panel 😉 Your FE950 would show problems in that setup much sooner than my LCD.

    After reading some reviews on and Amazon, I may end up with something less expensive than the Belkin SOHO. Like the Linksys KVM2KIT (which got a good review on or the Belkin F1DJ102P-B.

  • June 6, 2003 at 9:14 pm

    Hey, I have one of these. It was so cheap I had to just get it. I’ve had it about a month or so. Works like a charm. What else can you say about something that just works? It’s the things that don’t work that always get lots of comments. 🙂

  • August 25, 2003 at 2:13 am

    comment: Your welcome to open a free email account ( web based or POP3) at

    BUT I also bought the compusa 4 port 10/100 router and was very impressed with its plug and play mode.

    Also most everything was self explanitory. I never looked at the manual.

    Anyway with the new viruses going around 32.blaster and some other worms I decided to see if their might be a firmware upgrade.

    Much to my suprise I could not find above MRS-6104 V1.69 [Assumming I have even found a product number]

    In it sent me to a chinese site with similar design so I assumed I was there and the firmware version remained still 1.69

    One thing I like about my d-link is that the firmware is upgraded once in a while. I wonder if they will ever upgrade or did they design the firmware in such a way as it is aok still?

  • October 12, 2003 at 1:51 am

    I just got the CompUSA’s $30 cable/DSL router/4-port switch. For my mother-inlawI’m not sure not sure how to get the web site working to set it up? She has aol dsl will it still work? please email me at thanks todd

  • January 13, 2004 at 10:49 am

    AFAIK AOL uses a proprietary scheme, just like they use FLAP and P3 for dialup. So conventional PPPoE router/modem might not work. If you have an ethernet out on the aol modem it could work by performing NAT with the router, and let the modem do the PPPoE or whatever is required.

    One downside of AOL BB is caps on mtu and receive window.

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