SMC Barricade 802.11b Wireless Network Kit Review



Wireless networking is becoming more and more prominent everyday with new technology and products emerging very quickly. Most of America now is ditching their slow dial up connections for fast broadband connections like cable and DSL.

The problem with these connections is that they are hard wired and if you want to hookup multiple computers that can access the Internet you will need a router, cat5, and a little networking knowledge. The obvious problem with hardwired networking is that the cables need to be made or bought then run to the computer you are trying to get to. In some cases this can be a hard task if the router is not close to the computer or you have a two story house. That is where wireless comes into play, with wireless you don’t need any cables to go to your computers.

SMC sent over their best and newest router, the Barricade Turbo 11/22 Mbps Auto-Sensing Wireless Cable/DSL Broadband Router model number SMC2404WBR. This platform independent multi-functional router combines a 3-port 10/100 Mbps dual-speed Auto MDI-MDIX switch, a 2.4Ghz 11/22 Mbps auto-sensing wireless access point, Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) firewall security, parental controls, and Virtual Private Network (VPN) pass-through support into one convenient device.

The Barricade Wireless Broadband Router has a 10/100Mbps WAN port for high-speed integration into your network. To connect devices on your network, the Barricade supports Network Address Translation (NAT) and DHCP to provide simultaneous Internet connections for up to 253 PC’s and all of these connections can be made using a single purchased IP address.

For network management, the Barricade Turbo supports IP routing, port forwarding, and a full-featured Access Control option. This integrated feature allows you to filter traffic through your network based on scheduled time, IP address, or MAC address while also logging DHCP and hacker attempt information.

To provide wireless communication the SMC Wireless Barricade has a built-in 802.11b Turbo Access Point. For network security, this new Barricade supports MAC filtering and the standard 64-/128-bit WEP while also introducing a new 256-bit WEP encryption option. This wireless router supports data transfers up to 22Mbps and offers up to 1155 feet of coverage.

To go with the router they sent over a EZ Connect 802.11b 11Mbps Wireless PCI Card which is an IEEE 802.11b-compliant 2.4GHz 11 Mbps Wireless PCI Card. This adapter features an operating range of up to 1,155 feet, and true plug-and-play installation in all desktop computers. The card can be used in any desktop system which needs to connect to the SMC2404WBR router. There is a newer model of PCI card that SMC offers which is 11/22Mbps but at the time they did not have it for me to review.

Along with the PCI adapter, they also sent over a EZ Connect Turbo 11/22 Mbps Auto-Sensing Wireless Cardbus Adapter (SMC2435W). It supports data rates up to 22Mbps. The EZ Connect Turbo Carbus Adapter supports a maximum operating range of 1,155 feet. To achieve the turbo data transfer rates this adapter uses a new technology called Packet Binary Convolution Code (PBCC) modulation. This technology allows the EZ Connect turbo line to support throughput up to 22Mbps and provides an automatic fallback feature that helps maintain the connection. This Auto-Fallback feature supports 22, 11, 5.5, 2, 1 Mbps transmission speeds. The EZ Connect Turbo 11/22 Mbps Wireless Adapter operates in the 2.4GHz frequency and is compatible with 802.11b hardware.

For communication security, these new line of wireless products supports the standard 64/128-bit WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) and introduces a new 256-bit WEP encryption option. These adapter supports all major Windows Operating System such as Windows 98/ME/2000/XP. All of these SMC components are WiFi compliant and are fast enough to handle streaming video and multimedia applications.