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Posted: March 5, 2002
Written by: Davey McWatters
Asanté FriendlyNet FR3004LC
Broadband is becoming more and more of a necessity on the internet with things such as streaming audio/video, downloading massive files, and even web pages using things like Flash. More people also have more than one computer in their homes today than did just a few short years ago. Most people will not want to pay an average of fifty dollars a month for broadband and not be able to use it on all of their computers in their home. That is where cable/dsl routers come in very handy. In reality, many people have no idea what a router is much less how to set it up correctly. Today we will be taking a look at how to go about setting up the FriendlyNet FR3004LC from Asanté. This router retails for nearly $150 dollars but may be available on the Internet cheaper than that.
Before you try to install the router you will need to have the equipment required to set up a LAN (local area network). The materials should include a NIC (Network Interface Card) for each computer you will be connecting to the router, straight-through CAT5 Ethernet cable to run from each computer to the router, and the proper protocols installed (TCP/IP will be the main one). I’m not going to go into detail about setting up the LAN, for a more detailed guide on how to do this you can check out our How To Setup A LAN guide right here: http://www.tweak3d.net/articles/network/. You will need to connect the CAT5 cable from each of the computers into one of the ports on the back of your router. If you don’t have enough ports on your router you can always buy a hub or switch and connect it to the router with a crossover CAT5 cable, this will give you the ability to expand your network beyond your routers four-port limitation.
In The Box
Packed in the box along with the router is the AC adaptor, a manual, and a CD-Rom. Contrary to recent industry trends the manual is very nice. It is small yet covers just about everything that needs to be known about the router. Anyone should be able to setup the router just by glancing at the manual; it gives very detailed information on how to set everything up correctly. The CD-Rom included in the box contains the documentation about the router, drivers for the routers built in print server, and a few small applications. The applications include things like Acrobat Reader, WinZip, Winamp, download accelerator, etc… It also includes tools for Mac users, which is quite generous. The router itself is actually just a small metal box. It has a plastic covering on the top, which feels cheaply designed and it feels like it would break if you did so much as drop it. The router has 4 10/100Mbps switch ports on the back as well as a COM and Printer port. The COM port is used for accessing the routers console for things like resetting your password. The printer port is to connect a printer to the routers built in print server. Overall, the router looks nice and cleanly designed.