Home Wired/Wireless Network

Bill Moss
December 2001

Here I describe two experiments with a home network consisting of the following machines.


The four machines are connected via their Ethernet cards and a four port hub. When the workstation powers on, it boots to Linux and automatically dials out (line 2) to my Mindspring account via an external Courier modem. During the boot process an ipchains script creates a firewall with IP masquerading (network address translation) turned on. All four machines have Internet access and are protected from outside attacks. The workstation is also a DHCP server and provides private IP addresses (192.168.0.x) to the three remaining machines. Except for the firewall, the same functionality is provided if the workstation is booted to Windows 2000. The C600 and Gateway can be booted to Linux or Windows.


The workstation and the Gateway are connected to two of the three 10/100 switched ports on a SMC Barricade Wireless Broadband Router, SMC7004AWBR. The CPtS and the C600 connect to the SMC7004AWBR via its built-in wireless access point. The Courier modem and an Epson printer are connected to the comm and parallel ports on the SMC7004AWBR. When the SMC7004AWBR powers on, it dials out (line 2) to my Mindspring account via the Courier modem and will automatically re-dial if the connection is dropped. The SMC7004AWBR acts as a DHCP server and provides private IP addresses (192.168.2.x) to the four machines. The SMC7004AWBR Windows print server software is loaded on all four machines allowing them to print to the Epson connected to the SMC7004AWBR. Three of the four machines can be booted to Linux. No print server software is required for Linux. Use /usr/bin/printtool to set up a printer. For the Queue Name type lpt1. For Queue Type, select Unix Printer (lpd Queue), and then type Server: and Queue: lpt1. Select Printer Driver and then choose the driver for your printer. The SMC7004AWBR provides a basic firewall and 128-bit WEP for the wireless connections. The SMC7004AWBR also claims to work with Mac's.

SMC Barricade Wireless Broadband Router, SMC7004AWBR

On October 22, 2001, NetworkWorld's Net.Worker News published a shoot-out among seven residential gateways. The SMC7004AWBR won top honors. Thanks goes to Chandler Robinson, Director of Clemson's Network Services, for pointing out this outstanding product to me. I placed an online order for one on Sunday, December 9, 2001, with Computers4SURE.com (an Office Depot Company) for $169.95 + 5.95 shipping. Because Computers4SURE.com e-mailed me a URL for UPS tracking, I was able to watch the SMC7004AWBR makes its trip from Connecticut to Anderson and then to Six Mile. I was waiting at the door with the UPS woman made her usual five o'clock delivery on Wednesday, December 12 and I had the wired/wireless network up and running before 6:00 PM. The SMC7004AWBR's web interface makes it easy to configure. On Tuesday, December 11, I noted a price drop to $163.95 at Computers4SURE. Most equipment of this type is selling for more than twice this amount making the SMC7004AWBR an incredible bargain. Here are some of the features of the SMC7004AWBR.

Caveat from Chandler Robinson, Clemson Director of Network Services

The SMC7004AWBR is for home use only. DO NOT connect a SMC7004AWBR to the Campus or RESCOM networks.