Netcomm NB6Plus4Wn ADSL2+ wireless router
Netcomm's NB6Plus4Wn is a reliable all-in-one ADSL2+ modem router, but it doesn't play well with Centrino
- Reliable, can run up to four SSIDs, VPN passthrough
- Slow performance with Centrino laptops, QoS not easy to implement
We found the NB6Plus4Wn ADSL2+ modem router to be reliable, but slow when used with Centrino laptops. Overall it's fairly easy to set up, although its advanced features, such as QoS, are not straightforward and will require some research if you want to get the most out them.
Netcomm's NB6Plus4Wn is an all-in-one modem/router that makes it easy to distribute your ADSL Internet connection. It has a built-in ADSL2+ modem, an 802.11n wireless access point, a 4-port Ethernet switch, a firewall, and advanced features such as QoS.
The Netcomm NB6Plus4Wn is relatively easy to set up and use, but the more advanced features, such as QoS, are very hard to figure out — even if you do read the manual. Because it's an all-in-one unit, there's no need to configure a separate modem in order to use the router. Simply plug in your phone line, plug in your computer using the supplied Ethernet cable, and log into the NB6Plus4Wn's Web interface. The Quick set-up wizard can be used to enter your ISP username and password. This is the only thing you'll have to do, as the router will detect on its own settings such as VPI and VCI. (You do need to know what these settings are if you decide to configure the router manually.)
Wireless networking set up is not part of the wizard, so you have to complete this manually. Simply navigate to the Wireless section of the interface to enter an SSID for your network. The NB6Plus4Wn supports up to four SSIDs, which means that you can run up to four wireless networks from the same unit; each wireless network can be isolated from the wired network. Having multiple SSIDs makes it easy to segregate users, though all the networks will be sharing the same bandwidth (up to 300 megabits per second).
We found the NB6Plus4Wn's wireless performance (with the current firmware, 3.103m) to be sluggish when connecting with Centrino-based laptops. Using an Intel WiFi 5100 chip (which is found in Centrino laptops), we could only connect to the router at a speed of 54 megabits per second (although this fluctuated from 26Mbps to 65Mbps) and attained an average transfer speed of 1.9 megabytes per second. This speed is acceptable for an 802.11g network (though some are faster), but not for an 802.11n network. We tried three laptops with Intel WiFi 5100 chips (two from HP and one from Toshiba) and all performed slowly.
An 802.11n adapter should give more than double this performance, and we finally saw this when using a Netcomm 900n USB adapter on the same laptop. The USB adapter obtained average transfer rates of 5 megabytes per second (MBps). The same speed was achieved with a laptop using an Atheros AR928X wireless chip. These wireless tests were conducted in the same room as the router from up to 2m away. Tests conducted from 10m were slightly slower, recording average rates of 3.3MBps. We obtained a useful wireless signal up to 18m away when testing in a home environment, but this will vary depending on your surroundings.
Wireless security can be set up from on a different page to the SSID details. You can select from WPA, WPA2 or mixed mode (WPA/WPA2, TKIP/AES) encryption. If your wireless adapters support Wi-Fi Protected Setup, you can use a PIN to set up your wireless security without manually selecting the encryption type (the NB6Plus4Wn will select the highest possible encryption level for your adapters). We wish the security settings were on the same page as SSID setup, which would make it easier to configure the wireless network in one go.
The unit has a built-in firewall and can filter traffic according to IP, but there is no keyword filtering option, which would be handy for parents. Port forwarding can be implemented easily through the Virtual Server section, and the router can be put in a DMZ. There is also support for VPN passthrough traffic.
We ran the NBPlus4Wn continuously for one week. It connected to our iiNet ADSL2+ account at an expected speed, and handled heavy peer-to-peer traffic along with local LAN traffic (both wired and wireless) without any stability problems. As far as the reliability of the unit is concerned, we can't fault it. It just works. We do wish it would play nicer with Centrino-based laptops, as the average speeds in our tests were disappointing.
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 2 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 3 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Netgear delivers industry first networking devices with remote management from anywhere in the world
- Synology announces slew of new hardware + software at Sydney event
- Linksys signs on as PAX AUS partner
- NETGEAR 4G LTE Modem Keeps You Online
- ASUSTOR and Seagate Technology Bring IronWolf Health Management to ASUSTOR NAS
PCW Evaluation Team
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review
- Apple TV 4K review
- Legion Y520 Gaming Laptop review
- 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
- TPBusiness Intelligence Reporting AnalystVIC
- FTPractice Director DevelopmentSA
- FTData Centre Support Engineer -| 6mth ContractOther
- CCSenior RF Engineer - OptimisationVIC
- FTMarketing and Advertising Project/Sales SupportOther
- CCCRM Technical ConsultantWA
- FTSenior Technical ConsultantACT
- TPSenior Network EngineerVIC
- FTSenior Change Analyst, Governance & AssuranceOther
- TPService Desk AnalystVIC
- CCInfrastructure Solution ArchitectNSW
- CCIntegration SpecialistQLD
- TPPrincipal PO|PI DeveloperQLD
- TPAzure DevOps ConsultantNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Telco - Melbourne CBDVIC
- FTSenior Business AnalystOther
- FTSenior Strategy Specialist - Direct / ConsumerOther
- CCChange ManagerNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Business Case - Risk & Compliance - ContractNSW
- FTPersonal AssistantSA
- FTSenior Agile Software Business AnalystOther
- FTDigital Content Manager | AEM , HTML and CSSOther
- FTUX Designer | Mobile ApplicationsOther
- CCAutomation Test AnalystNSW
- FTJunior-Mid Level Java Developer (Brisbane Location)ACT