Billion BiPAC 7300N
Low price and plenty of features
- Can work with ADSL2+ and cable accounts, inexpensive, QoS, customisable firewall settings, easy set-up
- At this price you can't go wrong, but it was a little slow in 802.11n-only mode
You'll get plenty out of this all-in-one unit, which contains an ADSL2+ modem as well as an 802.11 draft-n access point. It's easy to use and best of all, it's very well priced.
Price$ 219.00 (AUD)
Having used Billion products for around six years now, it's easy to sing the praises for this brand, which offers unparalleled value for money in the Australian market. The company's latest model — the BiPAC 7300N — is a fully fledged all-in-one unit that finally employs the 802.11 draft-n wireless networking standard.
For only $219, you get a unit that is an ADSL2+ modem, a 4-port Ethernet switch (10/100) and an 802.11b/g/draft-n wireless access point. You also get a unit with a comprehensive Web interface that encompasses everything from QoS to URL and keyword filtering. But what's most pleasing about this unit is that pretty much anyone should be able to plug it in, follow the supplied instructions and be up and running in a matter of minutes.
A Quickstart wizard detected our iiNet ADSL2+ connection swiftly, and after hitting Next a couple of times, all we had to do was enter our log-in information. The modem supports download speeds up to 24Mbps (we connected at 18Mbps, which is excellent) and uploads of 1Mbps, but it also supports Annex M, for faster uploads, as long as your DSLAM is capable of the faster speed. Next, the wizard interface allowed us to configure the wireless SSID and encryption settings.
The BiPAC 7300N's wireless settings are flexible; you can select exclusive transmission modes for 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11 draft-n networks, or you can use a mixture of all of them, which is what most of us will probably do. Oddly enough, mixed mode actually produced the fastest speeds in our tests. However, there are some limitations: in 802.11 draft-n mode, you can't restrict the bandwidth to 40MHz only, but must use the 20/40MHz setting. Furthermore, you can't select a WPA/WPA2 mixed mode encryption setting — you must use either one or the other. If you have really old devices, you can also use WEP.
The 802.11 draft-n mode of the 7300N should work with most current draft-n wireless cards; we used it with a Linksys WPC300N (version 2). We connected to the wireless access point at the maximum speed of 300Mbps and didn't experience any drop-outs throughout our test period. The router also worked well with our Netgear Digital Entertainer HD EVA8000, although transfers were slower than we're used to.
Data transfer rates to our Linksys-equipped notebook from 10m away reached 5.52MBps in 802.11g + 802.11n mode, which is faster than the Belkin N1 Vision Modem-Router (F5D8632au4A). The Billion was slower than the Belkin when transferring data while simultaneously streaming data to our EVA8000, averaging 4.29MBps as opposed to 4.41MBps. Surprisingly, the Billion was faster in 802.11g + 802.11n mode than it was in dedicated 802.11n mode, in which it recorded an average rate of 4.93MBps. These results show that the Billion is competitive when a mixture of 802.11g and 802.11n devices are used on the same network, so it's a good choice if you want to upgrade your current network but still retain some 802.11g devices.
Because it's an ADSL2+ modem, it's natural to assume that cable users are left out of the loop. However, the 7300N can be configured to run with a cable modem, too. This will be handy in situations where you need to move from one type of connection to the other and don't want to invest in two sets of hardware. To use the 7300N with a cable modem, you have to select EWAN mode and plug the modem into the first Ethernet port on the switch.
Overall, we found the Billion's Web interface to be very to use, although we did have to disable the DHCP server in order to effectively change the Billion's IP address to suit the rest of our network. It also possesses some advanced features for its price, such QoS, VLAN, a configurable firewall, and it also supports VPN passthrough.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 2 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 3 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 4 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 5 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Netgear expands its Orbi Wi-Fi system into a product family, adding two less-expensive models
- Chips coming by June will herald the next generation of Wi-Fi
- Plume's 'routerless' mesh network blankets your home in Wi-Fi with an army of tiny pods
- Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Smart WiFi Router goes all the way to 11
- New Skype Preview lets Windows 10 Insiders manage phone texts on PCs
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Asus launches laptops to start Computex 2017
- Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- CCInfrastructure Project ManagerNSW
- CCReporting System Specialist - Port MacquarieNSW
- FTSecurity AnalystQLD
- FTInfrastructure EngineerACT
- CCProject ManagerNSW
- FTiOS DeveloperNSW
- FTTest AnalystVIC
- TPIT Business AnalystNSW
- FTSenior Front End Developer - BRISBANEVIC
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- FTSenior System AdministratorNSW
- FTChange ManagerQLD
- FTSenior Business Analyst - GROUP LIFE INSURANCENSW
- FTAnalyst ProgrammerVIC
- TPOrganisational Change Manager | Dept of CommunitiesQLD
- FTProgramme ManagerACT
- CCPega DeveloperSA
- TPSenior Web DeveloperQLD
- PTRecords and Information Management OfficerNSW
- CCInfrastructure Business AnalystNSW
- FTIT Systems EngineerTAS
- FTWEB DesignerQLD
- FTApplications Project ManagerQLD
- TPData Migration LeadNSW