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Review of the SMC Barricade™ SMC7004BR
4-port 10/100 Mbps Broadband Router
Last updated: 12 September, 2000

A typical day corresponding with visitors to our Networking and Internet Forum...

jonsam:  'I have 4 computers (and one printer) hooked up in a peer-to-peer network via a hub.  Computer A has Win 98 SE and has two NICs: one to the hub and another to a cable modem.  Computer B is a Win 2000 computer and also has the same setup as above (yes - a second cable modem).  I want Computer C and D to be able to access the internet... to collect email and surf the web.  The cable MODEMs connected to Computer A and B are hooked to the cable, but use independent services.'

lbyard:  'For sure, if it were me, I would:

  1. Eliminate the second cable MODEM.
  2. Not use ICS software.
  3. Buy an SMC Barricade Broadband Router'

'But, you see, that is me, because that is exactly what I have, one cable MODEM, four computers, four network adapters, and a Barricade.  This combination works far better than any other, software and hardware, which I have tested, including SyGate, which is better than [Win 98 SE] ICS.  The real nice thing about it is that none of the other computers have to be on for any one of the others to access the Internet. Just that computer, the Barricade, and the cable MODEM have to be on. Furthermore, for the first time, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) works really well on my network... because the Barricade is the DHCP server and I leave it on all of the time. And, you have a four-port Ethernet switch, a very good printer server, and an interface to an external dial-up MODEM, in case the cable goes down, in the same little bitty box.  For those cable systems that memorize the MAC address of a specific network adapter, the Barricade can beat that system as well.  It can clone an adapter’s MAC address—make itself look like the adapter to the cable MODEM (and company). Finally, the Barricade can be accessed and configured from a password-protected, web browser interface, from any computer on the network. A Barricade is quite inexpensive, considering what it does and how well it does it. I am very(!) impressed with this product ...'

jonsam:  'I had a look at the product and noticed it has 4 ports. Since I have four computers, one printer and a possibility of a fifth laptop connecting in from time to time, this is not enough ports.  Does this mean I need two of these or can I use my regular hubs to connect to this?  I also see that it supports Win98, NT but does not say Win2000. '

lbyard:  'I also have a 5-port switch...  Running a straight-thru cable from one of the ports on the SMC Barricade to the uplink port on the switch works just fine. I would certainly think that Win 2000 would work well... The only router-specific software is the driver for the printer server (that's what I really like about this hardware solution).'

jonsam: 'Does the cable modem hook to the second NIC in the computer or directly to the barricade?  My cable provider requires the account number to be in the Identification box under Computer Name in the Networking properties. If I remove that name or change it, my connection no longer works.  Can the Barricade overcome that?'

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Copyright, Disclaimer, and Trademark Information Copyright © 1996-2006 Larry F. Byard.  All rights reserved. This material or parts thereof may not be copied, published, put on the Internet, rewritten, or redistributed without explicit, written permission from the author.