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Reader's Reply - More on hardware routers

by Naki Theocharides

Thanks for the excellent article last month by Chris Taylor about the Linksys router. It was clear, informative and got me thinking about a hardware solution for my home network.

While researching the subject (chatting with co-workers) I learned about a competitive product - the SMC Barricade, a 4-port router that has built-in print server capability.

The hardware installation was simple. It took me only 20 minutes to configure two computers to connect to the net through my Sympatico connection.

The paper manual is readable and easy to understand, but extremely incomplete. It covers the hardware set-up, which is ridiculously easy, and that's about it. The full manual on the CD is a must read.

The Barricade has it's own default IP address on your network: You have the option of specifying IP addresses for your computers along certain parameters (,,, etc., through or have DHCP do the work for you.

The static IP address your ISP assigned to you, DNS settings, gateway, subnet mask, domain name, etc. - settings typically associated with a server - are entered into the Barricade's firmware via your Web browser. You just enter the Barricade's IP address ( into the browser's address/location field, the firmware's GUI pop's up, you specify or enter your password, and configure your settings. Don't have a static IP? It can be configured to for dynamic IP addresses, as well as PPP over Ethernet, and Dial-up Networking.

The Barricade also has a built in print server. You just connect your printer to the Barricade, set things up in Windows, and all the computers on your network can send print jobs to the Barricade and then to your printer.

You get a Print Server, firewall, Internet sharing, NAT, DHCPserver and a switch all in one. Here is the kicker: at it is available for $134.99 CDN!! (plus $4.00 shipping and taxes).

Hope this helps members.who are considering a hardware solution for their home/business network.

Bottom Line:

The Barricade ($134.99)

Originally published: March, 2001

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