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Thread: z4 Plus

  1. #1
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    Default z4 Plus

    I normally build Intel x64 machines to deploy at client sites for Untangle... recently I thought I would give the z4 Plus appliance a go.

    I ordered a couple a few days apart for a couple of different clients moving their small network from their office to their home office. I did not preconfigure the z4 and figured I would just do it on site. Big mistake. The device took about 20 minutes to boot, so I knew something was wrong. I contacted Untangle support and got a live person very quickly. She had me reboot which took another 20 minutes. She suggested downloading the 16.2.2 version and reinstall. Okay... did that and the install seemed to go just fine. The z4 booted in just a couple of minutes... progress... but when I launched the Client, it said no server found. bummer. RMA. I left the client office unsuccessful. The next day my second z4 arrived. I unboxed it and had it up and running in less than 15 minutes... more like it. I setup the WAN as DHCP and configured the LAN port with a static IP address/range. I contacted the client and informed them I had a brand new appliance to deploy.

    Second trip out... plugged in the newly configured z4... WAN port lights up... no LAN port. Of course I did not bring my VGA capable monitor so I wasn't sure what was happening. So I rebooted it and it came up. I was able to log in from the desktop to the static LAN port... changed the External from DHCP to static... instantly got errors... z4 went off line never to come back. Turns out CenturyLink never programmed the static IP for the client but that was a different issue. So my 2nd trip was unsuccessful.

    Frustrated, so I came back and ordered a Protectli appliance. I had read good things about them but never tried them. A few days later, I received a 4 port Protectli. Installed 16.3.2 in a matter of minutes. Up and working like a champ. 3rd On Site visit... took it over to the client later that day. Plugged it in to their newly installed Comcast Business Internet router with a static IP, configured the static and "voila"... successful network install.

    So not sure why the two z4's failed. I received my RMA z4 so now I have three of them. But honestly, I am not going to waste any more time on them. I need to contact Untangle to discuss returns. The Protectli device was flawless. Just ordered another one for another client. ... just thought this post my help the next person.

    Protectli Vault 4 Port, Firewall Micro Appliance/Mini PC - Intel Quad Core, AES-NI, 8GB RAM, 120GB mSATA SSD

  2. #2
    Master Untangler Kyawa's Avatar
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    I'm not looking forward to the day I have to replace my hardware. Pickin's are slim. Where did you get the Projectli?

  3. #3
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
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    Yeah, you can currently buy... China junk... and oh look MORE China junk!

    My usual Taiwan based sources are all dry, same for Germany.
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyawa View Post
    I'm not looking forward to the day I have to replace my hardware. Pickin's are slim. Where did you get the Projectli?
    I've been buying them on Amazon:

    https://www.amazon.com/Firewall-Appl.../dp/B07G9NHRGQ

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sky-knight View Post
    Yeah, you can currently buy... China junk... and oh look MORE China junk!

    My usual Taiwan based sources are all dry, same for Germany.
    I am just trying to understand your post... are you saying the Protectli are "China junk"? If yes, do you suggest another hardware platform? (i know you are a big time contributor to these forums... thanks in advance)

  6. #6
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theautomationstation View Post
    I am just trying to understand your post... are you saying the Protectli are "China junk"? If yes, do you suggest another hardware platform? (i know you are a big time contributor to these forums... thanks in advance)
    You've nailed it. Protectli is simply importing crap from Alibaba. You can get the units from there less expensively if you're willing to wait a bit.

    And no, I have no suggestions because as I said supplies from actual reputable sources are all but nonexistent due to the semiconductor shortage.

    But, to be blunt...

    Quotom = China Junk (Untnagle's official appliances)
    Protectli = slightly different China junk.

    All of my appliances came from Taiwan, very different situation there. But yes, they cost more... but no I can't sell you one because I can't get the parts to build them!

    So for now you have your choice of China junk, or more China junk. That's what's out there to be had.
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyawa View Post
    I'm not looking forward to the day I have to replace my hardware. Pickin's are slim. Where did you get the Projectli?
    I bought one from Amazon's Protectli site and one directly from Protectli's Web Site.

  8. #8
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    Protectli is just rebadged Yanling (available from AliExpress at better prices than Protectli).

    I have a few Yanling appliances and they are fine (and the folks at Yanling respond to email).

    I wouldn't rate their appliances any better than Qotom though (I have some Qotom too and Qotom is generally less expensive).

  9. #9
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
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    Yanling is one of the names yes, and is probably the closest to the source anyone outside of China can get. But, that's not really a company... it's the name of a county which I'm fairly sure is where the factory is located. The same factory very likely makes the Quotom stuff too. China has much of its state owned industry piled up like that, and they do use geographic names for individual sources.
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

  10. #10
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    You can see the factory here :-)
    How it's related to the rest of the company is an entirely different story.

    https://video01.alibaba.com/vod-icbu...mp4_264_hd.mp4

    http://www.ylgkdn.cn/
    https://www.ylipc.com/

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