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SMC debuts 802.11g router with print server

Oct 08, 20033 mins

Latest Cisco news.

SMC debuts 802.11g router with print server

By Toni Kistner

Net.Worker, 10/07/03

SMC Tuesday announced the Barricade g Wireless Broadband Router with USB Print Server. Available Oct. 15 for $130, the device combines a 2.4-GHz IEEE 802.11g wireless access point, a four-port switch, stateful packet inspection firewall, network management and VPN pass-through. The device also allows small networks to attach and share a standalone printer – via Ethernet or wireless LAN – without keeping a PC running all the time.

Since the 802.11g standard was ratified in June, a steady stream of products have entered the market from SMC, Netgear, Linksys, D-Link, Buffalo Technology, Belkin and US Robotics. The 802.11g standard boosts data rates on 2.4-GHz LANs from 11M to 54M bit/sec, and is backwards compatible with 802.11b gear. While it’s a given that 802.11g products will supplant 802.11b products over time, the challenge for vendors is to distinguish their offerings, and provide features that suit a melting pot of consumers, small businesses and corporate teleworkers.

Most offer a mix of consumer- and business-oriented features. The new SMC device supports Universal Plug and Play, meaning devices on the network recognize it automatically. Yet SMC says its SPI firewall gives technical users access to advanced settings to create multiple demilitarized zones and configure multiple WAN IP addresses.

SMC’s wireless security includes check-off items such as support for 802.1x for authorization and authentication, Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), disabling of SSID broadcast, MAC address filtering, and 64/128-bit Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP). Network access can be further controlled with Web site blocking by URL or keyword.

The company says the inclusion of a print server will make its product stand out.

However, Netgear introduced a 802.11g router with USB print server in mid September, which is available now. The Netgear FWG114P, which costs about $200, includes an 802.11g access point with detachable antenna, four-port switch, USB print server, as well as a serial port connection for an analog or ISDN modem to support remote access. The device lacks VPN pass-through, a business feature that lets users connect to a corporate network via a VPN client – and one that SMC chose to include.

Linksys, however, questions the value of adding a print server. It had previously offered an 802.11b router with a print server but discontinued the device due to lack of demand.

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