SMC has always tried to make its broadband routers stand out with extra features and its latest Barricade VOICE ADSL Router does just that. This sleek plastic slab adheres to SMC’s new design philosophy and brings together an integral ADSL modem, four-port Fast Ethernet switch, 802.11b/g wireless access point and support for VoIP (Voice over IP) operations.
You get a single port for connecting a handset but it also provides a standard phone line connection as a backup in case your VoIP provider goes belly up or you suffer a mains power failure. This is a smart move as you can’t use SIP services for making calls to the emergency services. Basic NAS (network attached storage) functions are also on the menu as the Barricade offers a USB port for adding storage devices and sharing them over the network.
On first contact with the well designed web management interface you are asked for the country of operation and then taken to a quick start wizard that runs swiftly through enabling wireless access and selecting a time zone and NTP servers. ADSL setup is nicely handled as you are offered a list of fourteen predefined ISPs and selecting one automatically enters details such as the VPI and VCI. All you need do is add your account details and you should be up and running in a couple of minutes – we certainly had no problems with our BT Broadband account.
The Advanced Setup page provides access to all features and it’s here that you see how well endowed the Barricade is. NAT and the SPI firewall are enabled by default so there’s nothing else you need to do for protecting your LAN clients as all unsolicited inbound traffic will be blocked automatically. Extra rules can be added if you wish and these can be used to block access to services such as HTTP, FTP and SMTP for either a single IP address or a range and custom time schedules can be applied to each one.
Content filtering extends to simple URL blocking where a list of up to thirty sites or keywords can be used. This doesn’t come into effect until a new rule is created where the WWW with URL Blocking service is selected and this will only apply to the IP addresses specified in the rule. Wireless security looks good as the Barricade supports WEP, WPA and MAC address access control lists and a RADIUS server for external authentication as well. The WDS (wireless distribution system) is also supported so the Barricade can link up with up to four compliant wireless access points to extend the range of your wireless network.