Articles: Networking

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Firmware and Web-Interface

As you’ve learned from the previous section, the BR-724 is not exceptional on the hardware level. Running a little ahead, it is much more exciting from the firmware aspect. We were actually surprised that the router’s firmware file was only half a megabyte large. The router doesn’t have much of flash memory, yet even the available amount is not utilized fully. You will see shortly what features the developer managed to squeeze into 500KB. As for re-flashing the router, you can do this in two ways: via the Web-interface or via TFTP. We didn’t have to update the firmware, though. The firmware from the BR-6624 model didn’t work while the downloadable native firmware available on the Web was an earlier version than what our router came with. People have long worked on alternative firmware for ADM5120-based devices. The results are presented in the Midge distribution but it lacks support for the BR-724 (as well as for the BR-6624). The router is not supported by such popular projects as OpenWRT mostly because their distribution cannot be fitted within 1MB, let alone 500KB. So, we will be talking about official firmware version 2.0 our router came to us with.

The router’s web-interface is not very pretty. The page is painted blue tones and consists of three parts. The header is decorative while the other two parts are functional. The left frame contains a menu of pages with settings. There are eight menu items, each regarding a particular aspect of the router’s functioning. These items are further divided into subsections which are nothing else but pages with settings. This two-level menu is quite easy to navigate. The larger part of the browser window is occupied by the right frame that displays the current page with settings. By the way, the first page you see on entering the router’s web-interface is the status page, which is usually very handy. Although most pages contain lots of settings, it is easy to find your bearings among them (after a short period of adaptation) because the settings are separated with colored markers. Besides, some web-interface pages contain links to other relevant pages. It is a very handy feature especially as most of the linked pages have a button to return to the previous page.

The Help system is bad, unfortunately. You can open it by clicking the Help button in the top right corner of each page with settings. The Help page opens instead of the settings page but its information is scanty and cursory. Such information is usually given as tips right on the settings page in other manufacturers’ devices while the Help system is much more detailed.

We’ll give you a brief description of the options available in the router’s firmware.

Basic Configuration

Opening the settings menu, the Basic Configuration section contains two pages, Primary Setup and LAN&DHCP. On the first page you can select the connection type for both WAN ports, specify external DNS servers, and enter the router’s domain name and MAC address. On the second page the parameters of the LAN interface and integrated HDCP server are specified.

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