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 SMC 7004BR Barricade Broadband Router

 Author: Tim Higgins
 Review Date: 8/28/2000


Model: SMC7004BR

Pros:

- Built-in Windows print server.
- Supports dialup WAN connection
- Flexible port range mapping with outbound triggers!
- Fast!

 
Cons:

- No traffic logging

 

 

 


Review Updates: NOTE that this product has been replaced by the SMC7004ABR.

2/6/02 - Firmware upgrade to R.1.94a.

10/15/01 - Firmware upgrade R1.93s released to fix password security issue.

7/16/01 - Updated info on firmware updating.

4/19/01 - Updated Summary

12/13/00 - Updated review due to firmware improvements.

11/11/00 - Updated "Cons"

10/6/00 - IPsec passthru for up to 4 simultaneous sessions supported with 1.88 firmware.

9/8/00 - See this info on newer firmware, Fax utility and more!


The Basics

 
Indicators
  • Link/Activity, for each of four LAN ports

  • Link/Activity  for the WAN port

  • "M1" status

Connectors
  • One RJ45 10BaseT for the WAN

  • Four RJ45 auto sensing 10/100BaseT LAN

  • Power

  • Printer (25p female D parallel port)

  • COM (9p male D serial port)

Comes with
  • CDRom with PDF copy of User and quick setup guides, and Windows printer sharing software

  • one page printed Quick Installation Guide

Other 
  • NO Hardware Reset switch

  • NO Uplink or Normal / Crossover switch for LAN Ports (see this page if this concerns you!)

  • Power switch!

 

Fraternal twins


The Barricade is a "fraternal" twin to Asante's FriendlyNET router.  I say "fraternal" because although the routers use the same firmware and components, their form-factors are completely different.  They even use a different circuit board!

But rest assured, they behave the same, and can even use each other's firmware. For the complete poop on the Barricade's feature set, go read the FriendlyNET review.  I'll just concentrate on the differences between the units.


What's the diff?


The Barricade comes in only one model, which includes a built-in Windows print server and COM port for attaching a dialup modem or ISDN TA.  As you can see from the product shot above, SMC didn't bow to current fashion and skipped the iMac translucent package in favor of a look that only an engineer could love!

The Barricade manual can be found on this page (1.1MB .exe file) along with drivers and firmware for the Barricade.  SMC doesn't have any other support info posted. 

Update: 7/16/01 Firmware updates come in two flavors: a Windows .exe file which takes care of the whole update process, or a .bin file, that can be used with the built-in web-browser based updater.

Two other points of note concern the power supply.  First the Barricade has a real live On-Off switch!  So make sure you look for it on the side of the box and turn it on.  Second, I have to say I didn't care for the power supply.  Although it's not a "brick" and therefore won't hog spaces on your outlet strip, the cord length between the supply and the plug that attaches to the Barricade didn't allow the supply to sit on the floor.  This tended to pull the Barricade off my desk!   The good news is that the supply is 100-240V auto-ranging (but is supplied with a standard US NEMA style 3 prong cord).

 

Summary


Both the SMC and Asante are nice products.  Asante wins on styling points, but SMC runs frequent rebates and price promotions, and you can usually find it for less.  SMC also releases firmware updates more frequently.


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 Opinion Summary:     87.8%   |   12.2%  |   out of 360 reviews  
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