It's no big secret that the products that many name-brand companies
sell are actually designed and produced by lesser-known "OEM"
companies. Taiwan seems to be home to many of these companies,
particularly in the low-cost router business.
Helpful reader Stephan Lavoie reports that the OEM for the SMC
Barricade router appears to be AMIT.
And since the Asante FriendlyNET and Barricade use the same
firmware, it's a good guess that AMIT sources the Asante unit also.
Other companies who source product from AMIT include GVC
Canada, D-Link, 3Com (their Home Ethernet
and Home Wireless Gateways), and now U.S. Robotics (their
Model 8000 Broadband Router)
If you're adventurous, the AMIT model # is Hip-400E
and you can try out the FAX driver software on this
page (FAXDRV_9X.ZIP or FAXDRV_NT.ZIP) that lets you use
send faxes via the router's COM port (assuming you have a dialup
modem attached there!).
Reader Robert Zellers reports bad news for potential users of
the FAX feature:
To use the fax driver, you must go into the router and switch
from using the cable to using the serial modem and then switch
back after the fax. They said that there MAY someday be a
firmware upgrade that would allow using both concurrently.
2/2/01 Reader Joe Magri reports
mixed news from AMIT for potential users of the FAX feature:
1) Firmware 1.90 and above no longer supports the
2) Firmware 1.88 (download from AMIT site here)
supports simultaneous use of the Ethernet WAN port for Internet
connection and COM port for Fax.
You might also find more recent firmware there than
is posted by either SMC or Asante on the AMIT site.
Be careful! Readers have reported
that both D-Link and Asante have added a software lock-out that
prevents you from loading their firmware back into the routers
once you've loaded firmware from another manufacturer!
Finally, don't be a weenie and go complaining to a manufacturer
if you break something while fooling around with firmware that doesn't
come from them!