Articles: Networking

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Exterior and Interior Design

Being radically different from a typical home device externally, the BR-724 resembles an industrial router rather. It has a square case made from 1mm steel with a straight outline and sharp angles. No decorations can be seen here. This approach is understandable as the BR-724 is positioned as a workhorse rather than a piece of furniture.

The router is ventilated by means of the holes in the side panels of the case. This is the only way for the air to circulate inside the case. The router’s indicators and connectors are traditionally placed on the front and back panels of the case respectively. The BR-724 has the following indicators (from left to right):

  • Power
  • Status (it reports the router’s status in combination with the other indicators)
  • WAN 1
  • WAN 2
  • LAN 1-4

Each port has a dual indicator. One LED (Link-Act) shows that data is being transferred through the port while the other LED (10M/100M) indicates the speed at which the connection is established. Perhaps quite handy, this way of indication is rather old-fashioned because 10Mbps network cards are but rarely used today. The indicators are large and bright enough to be visible from a long distance in a brightly lit room.

The connectors of the BR-724 can be found on its back panel (from left to right):

  • Power connector
  • WAN 2 port
  • Four LAN ports
  • WAN 1 port

The Reset button between the ports is for resetting/rebooting the router.

We’ll check out the router’s internals next. It is easy to take this device apart. You only have to unfasten two screws at the back of the case and take its top part off together with the back panel. By the way, a metallic case is preferable to a plastic one because the details of a metallic case usually fit together better and are a real pleasure to deal with.

Well, it is not quite clear why the developer chose such a large housing for this router. The PCB is much smaller and the remaining space is not used for indicators or connectors or anything. Four more screws need to be unfastened for you to be able to take the PCB out.

There is nothing special about the PCB, either. The piece of green textolite accommodates few components, all of which populate the face side of the PCB. A quick glance is enough to distinguish the main subunits: power circuit, system logic, connectors, and indicators. The PCB has quite a lot of free room, too. The mounting quality is high. Every element is positioned properly, there are no smudges or anything.

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