The Good Lifetime warranty; user-friendly, Web-based configuration; analog or ISDN modem connections; can act as a print server.
The Bad No uplink port; no reset switch.
The Bottom Line The SMC7004BR router has something for everyone; novices will appreciate its usability and lifetime warranty, while experts will like its fast performance and advanced features.
SMC Barricade 4-Port Broadband Router
The SMC Barricade four-port, 10/100mbps, broadband router should appeal to a wide variety of home- or small-office network users. In addition to letting you share a broadband connection, it offers an easy, Web-based configuration; basic firewall protection; and built-in print-server capabilities. It's also reasonably priced and comes with a lifetime warranty.The SMC Barricade four-port, 10/100mbps, broadband router should appeal to a wide variety of home- or small-office network users. In addition to letting you share a broadband connection, it offers an easy, Web-based configuration; basic firewall protection; and built-in print-server capabilities. It's also reasonably priced and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Setting up the $179 SMC7004BR router is both quick and easy when you use the well-illustrated installation guide. First, connect your computer (which needs to have a network card already installed) to one of the router's LAN ports using a Cat-5 Ethernet cable. (Note: Make sure your computer's TCP/IP settings are configured to obtain an IP address automatically.) If you're not sure which cable to use, don't worry; SMC includes two Cat-5, UTP network cables. Next, connect your cable/DSL modem to the WAN port located on the back of the router. Finally, plug in the power supply and turn on the router. To configure the SMC7004BR, open your Web browser and type the provided IP address into the location bar. When the Primary Setup page appears, select the correct WAN type based on your particular ISP. The SMC7004BR router also acts as a DHCP server, supporting up to 253 users, and automatically assigns an IP address to all properly configured computers on your network.
Extra ports, read all about it
The rear panel of the SMC7004BR router also features a parallel port for connecting a shared printer. In fact, the SMC is one of the only routers in its class that acts as a print server, providing network access to a parallel-port printer from any Windows, Unix, or Linux client. (Unfortunately, Mac users are not supported.) To take advantage of the router's print-server function, you must run the included installation CD on each computer (otherwise, you can skip this step). When the Welcome dialog appears, simply click the Install button and follow the onscreen instructions. Although the SMC7004BR router's print-serving feature is adequate for a small workgroup, networks with a dozen or more clients should probably consider purchasing a laser printer with an Ethernet interface.
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