Xincom Twin WAN Router XC-DPG503 Review

WINS International, LLC doing business as Xincom markets inbound and outbound load balancing IPv4 routers with automatic failover and recovery.

Pictures of the router as I received it from Xincom. I purchased the router through Eagle Computer for $214.95. I got free shipping because I added a computer case making my order over the $250.00 minimum.

A comparison chart of Xincom products
ModelInbound Load BalancingVPN

Inbound load balancing is for multiple internally hosted web servers for example. This capability is handled by a DNS server in the router which returns the corresponding IP address of the web server with the least load. You would have to designate the internal DNS server as authoritative for your domain.

VPN Gateway-to-Gateway including failover capability creates site to site IPSec tunnels.

The Xincom website provides more specific details for each product. I will not attempt to repeat Xincom's sales and marketing literature.

This review only tests the XC-DPG502 outbound load balancing and failover between two different ISPs: a Motorola SURFboard SB3100 cable modem to Cox Communications High Speed Internet and a BroadMax LinkMAX HSA300 (non-Earthlink firmware) ADSL modem to The VPN and QoS capabilities are not tested.

The router's ports support automatic crossover so a crossover cable is not required to the router. This is especially nice on the WAN ports as you can never tell just by looking at the RJ-45 port what is required. Typically, you would need to use the supplied cables (as if you can keep track of what cable goes to what device), trial and error (typical), or read the fine manual (yeah right).

I connected WAN1 to the cable modem which uses DHCP to acquire it's IP configuration (IP address, subnet mask, gateway, and DNS servers). SMTP and NNTP (Usenet news) must be accessed from the given IP address. Since I'm on the west coast, and are the respective host names.

WAN2 is connected to the ADSL modem which uses a static IP configuration. I actually have three non-consecutive IP addresses available to me, however I did not attempt to configure the other IPs with this router. SMTP must be accessed from the assigned IP address to can be accessed from any IP address as it requires login/password authentication to get Usenet news articles. Thus, it is a speed benefit to connect through WAN1 as it is faster.

Initial setup for the two WAN ports was painless once connected to the default IP address of the router, and I was back on the web in a matter of minutes. An initial configuration wizard steps you through setting up the two WAN ports. Default load balance share is 50/50.

Screenshots of the web configuration pages are available here.

Initial Configuration Wizard

50/50 load balanced outbound traffic through both WAN ports is enabled. A DHCP server from is enabled by default serving to Web browsing works. Outgoing SMTP e-mail may not work yet as SMTP traffic will need to be forced through one WAN port or the other.

A note about the web configuration pages. In an old review I read, Internet Explorer was the only browser supported. I did all my testing with Mozilla Firefox 1.0.7 in Fedora Core 4 [specifically Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.7.12) Gecko/20050922 Fedora/1.0.7-1.1.fc4 Firefox/1.0.7]. Frames are used excluding the use of Lynx and other non-frame capable browsers. If Firefox asks you for the admin/password for each and every page you visit, exit Firefox and restart it.

I'll just go down the left navigation frame from the top indicating what I configured. Screenshots of the web configuration pages are available here.

Basic Setup

Basic Setup: Primary Setup

This page is configured by the initial configuration wizard.

Basic Setup: LAN & DHCP

A DHCP server from is enabled by default serving to A list of DHCP clients is available here. MAC address to Reserved IP addresses (DHCP reservations) can be set in Advanced Setup: Host IP.

Advanced Port

Advanced Port: Port Options

Advanced Port: (Outbound) Load Balance

Initially set to 50%, I changed Load Share on WAN1 to 100% to attempt to force NNTP traffic out WAN1 only. It did not work.

Azureus BitTorrent client requires inbound port forwarding which I expected UPnP to handle automatically. My load distribution is very skewed with almost all traffic going through WAN2. Even if I set Load Share to 100% to WAN1, WAN Status shows almost 100% to WAN2.

Advanced Port: Advanced PPPoE

Advanced Port: Advanced PPTP

Advanced Setup

Advanced Setup. Inbound port forwarding is configured in Virtual Server and Custom(er) Virtual Server. Inbound and outbound port forwarding can be configured in Special Application. I did not configure any of these settings.

Advanced Setup: Host IP

DHCP reservations are set here. It is not possible to update/rename the Host Name once added. You must delete and re-add with the new name.

Advanced Setup: Routing

Advanced Setup: Virtual Server

Advanced Setup: Custom(er) Virtual Server

Advanced Setup: Special Application

Advanced Setup: Dynamic DNS

Supported Dynamic DNS Services

Advanced Setup: Multi DMZ

There is no dedicated DMZ port. Instead, with Multi DMZ, you may assign up to 16 static IPs from the Public WAN side to Private LAN IPs or 1 dynamic IP from either WAN1 or WAN2 to a Private LAN IP. I only configured one inbound static IP.

Advanced Setup: UPnP

Universal Plug and Play is disabled by default.

Advanced Setup: Advanced Feature

Most if not all ISPs only allow SMTP relaying from their own networks. Cox requires that I send all SMTP traffic to from the IP address I received from their DHCP server. DSLExtreme requires that I send to from the static IPs I was assigned.

The Xincom has a setting to configure this simply:

Application: SMTP Binding: [ ] Enable to [ ] WAN1 or [ ] WAN2

You can enable SMTP Binding and assign all outbound SMTP traffic to always go out WAN1 or WAN2. This appears to work.

I believe this should have been made more generic by prefilling an entry in the Protocol & Port Binding form further down the page and marking it disabled. Making SMTP Binding a special entry implies it is handled differently from the form entries below.

I configured NNTP traffic destined for through WAN1 and HTTP traffic destined for (the Motorola SURFboard SB3100) through WAN1. These two did not work.

Security Management

Security Management: URL Filter

Security Management: Access Filter

Security Management: Session Limit

Security Management: SysFilter Exception

VPN Configuration

VPN Configuration: Global Setting

VPN Configuration: Policy Setup

VPN Configuration: Log

QoS Configuration

QoS Configuration: QoS Setup

QoS Configuration: Policy Configuration

Management Assistant

Management Assistant: Admin. Password

Management Assistant: Email Alert

Management Assistant: SNMP

The SNMP service is enabled by default. "private" community allows read/write. "public" community allows read only.

Management Assistant: Syslog

Management Assistant: Upgrade Firmware

The configuration can be saved to a text file and uploaded/restored.

Network Info

Network Info: System Status

Network Info: WAN Status

Outbound Load Balancing

Since my minimum requirements were not possible with this router, I did not continue testing load balancing performance. Namely forcing NNTP and HTTP traffic for certain destinations out a specified WAN port.

I did notice a very uneven distribution however. Most of my traffic was going through WAN2, the slower ADSL connection instead of WAN1/cablemodem. I did not try to verify or identify the problem.


Failover occurred one to two minutes after disconnecting WAN1 port from the cable modem. The use of DNS servers from WAN1's DHCP client configuration was automatically replaced with DNS servers statically assigned to WAN2. Recovery was automatic once the connection was restored. Failover the other way works similarly.



If you do not require certain traffic to go out a specific WAN port (other than SMTP), then this outbound load balancing router may work for you. Unfortunately, I require it, so this router does not work for me.

Since Xincom Tech Support never returned my phone messages or e-mails, I have decided to return the router and pay the return shipping/handling charge. At least they didn't stick me with a 15% restocking fee.

Since my DSL contract was up for renewal, I decided to cancel the cablemodem connection and upgrade my DSL service to the fastest possible. Thus, I am no longer requiring a dual WAN load balancing / failover router.

Internet ServiceDownstreamUpstreamMonthly Rate
Cox Preferred cable (1 dynamic IP, no servers)4mb512kbps$39.95 (bundled)
Cox Premier cable (1 dynamic IP, no servers)9 Mbps1 Mbps$54.95 (bundled)
DSLExtreme ADSL (3 static IPs, servers ok)384-1500 Kbps128-384 Kbps$44.95 ($47.16 total) per month for 1 year
DSLExtreme ADSL (8 static IPs, servers ok)1500-3000 Kbps384-512 Kbps$49.95 ($52.16 total) per month for 1 year
DSLExtreme ADSL (8 static IPs, servers ok)1500-6000 Kbps384-608 Kbps$59.95 ($62.16 total) per month for 1 year

Modem notes:


Well what about alternatives?

Multiple WAN/ISP Outbound Load Balancing Routers with Failover
Sonicwall TZ 170 with SonicOS Enhanced
  • I have no personal experience with this router.
  • Link.
  • Configuring WAN Failover & Load-Balancing (PDF)
  • eBay $685.00 + $20.00 s/h
  • Expensive with ongoing maintenance contracts.
  • Apparently very complex to setup and will probably require the help of Tech Support. I assume a maintenance contract will be required to configure and keep it working.
Fortigate 60
  • I use this router at work.
  • Company paid about $500 for unit and $300 for service contract.
  • Very expensive with ongoing maintenance contracts.
  • A maintenance contract is required. This router required multiple firmware updates to get the initial configuration working the way we wanted. The router had to be replaced since the firmware updates did not fix the router lockups. A second time, the router just plain died and we had to wait for a new one.
  • I purchased a new, but very old Fortigate 60 from eBay for $295. The firmware was 2.5MR5. I upgraded it to "Fortigate-60 2.80,build489,051114". Minimal memory usage is 65%. Using one BitTorrent client with no AV scanning, memory goes up to 75% (in the red). The box also runs hot under load. Remember, this is without AV scanning enabled.
  • DNS forwarding from this box is very unreliable. The office setup uses internal DNS servers to avoid this problem.
  • I never really got to test the dual WAN load balancing / failover capability due to the DNS failures.
  • I gave up using this router for load balancing / failover. I don't even use it as a firewall either.
PePLink MANGA Balance
  • I have no personal experience with this router.
  • Link
  • List Price: $845.00
Linksys/Cisco RV082
  • I have no personal experience with this router.
  • Linksys.
  • eBay.
NexLand ISB Pro800 Turbo
Edimax PermaLink PRI-682 Dual WAN Router with InBound & OutBound Load Balancing
  • I have no personal experience with this router.
  • Link.
HotBrick Dual WAN Firewall Router LB-2
  • I have no personal experience with this router.
  • Pictures and screenshots from the review at guru3d.
  • It looks like a red Xincom XC-DPG502.
  • eBay.
Plaintree WaveSwitch dual WAN router
  • I have no personal experience with this router.
  • Plaintree does not list this product on their web site. They may not be selling it any longer.
  • It looks like a Xincom.
ITWIN Technology Prolink MH8021/MH8041 Multihome Load balance Router
  • I have no personal experience with this router.
  • Link. PowerLink 1+ and 4+
  • I have no personal experience with this device.
  • List Price: $1695.00.
  • I cannot figure out how they connect the WAN links to this box. My cablemodem requires a DHCP client. My ADSL uses 3 static IPs. I don't see how the two can be plugged into the one and only Ethernet port in the 1+.
Floppyfw with Dual Internet Links (obsolete link)
  • Does not failover DNS servers.
  • Load balancing using a single ISP is possible.
  • Uses text file based configuration. Web configuration not available.
  • Does not failover DNS servers.
  • There is a wiki for OutgoingLoadBalancing using a single ISP.
  • CARP may allow failover to a second router, but load balancing control would be missing.
  • Load balancing is only in the To do/Wishlist.


Last updated: Sunday, 24-Oct-2010 11:20:36 PDT

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