Luc Pauwels

SMC Barricade
Broadband Router

[ Main | Introduction | What's New | My Setup | Tips and Tricks | Firmware Bugs | More Hints ]

Introduction

This page contains some hard-to-find information on the SMC Barricade Broadband Router (7004AWBR). This includes

What's New

Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Corrected some links to external pages. People tend to move stuff around now and then... [New!]

Monday, November 21, 2005
The page layout has been updated to be inline with the rest of my website. I'm finally using Cascading Style Sheets!

Tuesday, August 2, 2005
It has been a while since I last updated this website. There's nothing new really, but I had to change some links because SMC reorganized their website. It seems they only have the most recent version of the Barricade firmware available for download now, so I decided to put a copy of the previous versions on my website.

Monday, April 12, 2004
I recently came across an old US Robotics 56k modem, so I connected it to my SMC router as a dial-on-demand backup link to the Internet.

Sunday, March 21, 2004
One of my nice-to-have features was to have Classic MacOS support for the SMC print server. However, someone recently pointed out to me that Apple's LaserWriter software already supported the LPR protocol back in 1998. So it's time to add a little section to the "Configuring the Print Server" section...

My Setup

Back in 2002, I got an SMC 7004AWBR Barricade broadband router. Installation and configuration was fairly easy, even though the package only includes a meager 30-page Quick Install Guide. The User Guide (a 50-page PDF document) is included on the installation CD. I guess it wouldn't have hurt them to include a printed version as well.

I have an ADSL modem attached to its WAN port, and it connects to my provider using PPPoE. Contrary to the many reports I have read on the Internet, the connection quality is very good. My router never loses connection to the Internet, except of course when the lease of my dynamically assigned IP-address expires. When that happens, the device automatically reconnects without any problems (resulting average downtime: approx 10 secs).

I also have a US Robotics 56k modem connected to the serial port. This modem acts as a dial-on-demand backup link to the Internet, and connects to a different service provider (just in case...) Unfortunately this is not a seamless link, I have to manually select "Dial-up Network" and reboot the router to activate it. A small price to pay if you ask me, because I haven't needed it yet. My ADSL connection is very reliable.

Much to my surprise, the unit's 3-Port 10/100Mbps switch works very well: I haven't had a single problem with 10/100Mbps autosensing. I wish I could say the same thing for the professional switching equipment I use at work.

The unit can also act as a wireless access point. The wireless reception is more than adequate for home use: my laptop typically connects to the unit at 11Mpbs (with average signal strength = 93% and link quality = 100%). I have configured MAC address connection/association control and I use 128-bit WEP security. This may not keep hackers out completely, but at least it will make their job a lot harder.

Finally, I also connected my HP DeskJet 970Cxi to the parallel pinter port. Although the Barricade's built-in print server can hardly be considered a speed monster, it gets the job done. Beware though: the print server functionality is very poorly documented! But I'll get back to this in the Tips and Tricks section.

Tips and Tricks

On the "Tips and Tricks" page, you will find some interesting hints on how to configure and secure your Barricade router. This includes:

Firmware Bugs

So far, my Barricade router has been running firmware 1.95, 1.95n, and 1.96h3. Upgrading from 1.95 to 1.95n turned out to be a very bad idea because the Wireless LAN functionality didn't work anymore. The recently release version 1.96h3 fixes some of the issues with 1.95n, but not all.

You can read all about my adventures in firmware land on the "Firmware Bugs" page.

More Hints

Since this page went online almost five months ago, a lot of people have sent me some very interesting feedback on the SMC Barricade Router. I've compiled a "More Hints" page with some very interesting nuts and bolts.