SMC SMC2870W Wireless Bridge
Written by Michael Larabel in Peripherals on 20 May 2007. Page 2 of 2. Add A Comment

Examination:

The SMC SMC2870W is a desktop wireless Ethernet bridge and is not a travel size for taking on the road. On the sides of the SMC adapter are two dipole adapters, which are completely adjustable. On the top are also three LEDs for indicating power, transfer, and link/activity.

On the rear of the SMC2870W are an RJ-45 Ethernet port, default (reset) switch, and DC 5V plug. The bottom of the device contains holes if you wish to mount the wireless bridge to the bottom of a desk or in another area.

Usage:

When it came to setting up the SMC SMC2870W, we found this networking product to be a disaster. This adapter can be used as either an 802.11b/g WiFi Access Point or wireless bridge, but to switch modes a Windows application (SMC's EZ Installation Wizard) is required. This application would run under WINE, however, it failed to detect the attached SMC2870W. This had led us to installing Microsoft Windows Vista on a workstation temporarily while we had setup this device. After switching the device over to an access point, we were able to manage everything through its web interface. When all configurations were complete, the SMC SMC2870W worked as expected and we had no complaints. We had then attached the access point to an ASUS WL-500g router, where we also had no problems using the device to provide Internet connectivity and a link to the rest of our network.

While the SMC administrative interface doesn't look nearly as nice as what we had seen with the D-Link DGL-4300 Gaming Router, there are a fair number of options offered. Once logging in (default username: admin; password: smcadmin), the pages available are for system information, basic settings, advanced settings, security, and admin settings.

Conclusion:

With the SMC SMC2870W requiring a Windows-based application to switch between device modes, for alternative OS users this is definitely a problem. However, once we got past this initial issue, the wireless Ethernet bridge had functioned as expected. The administrative interface was easy to navigate and adjust a number of settings, but that all came after using the SMC program for Windows. At approximately $30 USD this networking device is not a bad deal with dual antennas and a number of other features, but they could have done much better with its "EZ Installation Wizard".

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.


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