Billion BiPAC 7300N Review
In this age of brand obsession, Billion may not be a make you've heard much about. They're a Taiwanese firm who specialise in networking equipment though not too much of it has made its way to the UK. Until now.
The terribly-named BiPAC 7300N comes with all the standard pieces you'd expect in the box: a short network cable, an ADSL connector cable, 3 detachable aerials, installation CDs, a quick start guide, and the router itself.
The router itself is functional-looking, but its white plastic casing feels sturdy, and size-wise it's nice and small. The router has four flat rubber feet on the bottom to keep it in place, and although there is no stand for vertical positioning, it is stable enough to be used that way if you want to.
Setting up the router is very easy, with a simple wizard taking you step by step through the initial setup. Whilst further configuration is not quite so simple, the manual included on the CD is very good. This is especially important as Billion are targeting this router at home and SOHO users.
The BiPAC 7300N is fully wireless n draft 2 compliant, ADSL2+, and seemed to work well with wireless cards from other manufacturers. The router has all the standard features you'd expect from a wireless n router, although it is worth noting it only has Fast ethernet (100Mbps) not Gigabit ports.
However, it is the extra feature that the Billion provides that is its real bonus. One of the LAN ports on the Billion can be configured as a WAN port, which means that this router can connect to the internet using either ADSL or broadband. This gives the router a much greater flexibility and means your router doesn't need changing if you move house or upgrade to a cable connection. It does make you wonder why all routers don't have this very useful feature.
As you'd expect with an n router, standard security options are all present and correct: WEP, WPA and WPA2.
Performance-wise, this router seems to be optimised for wireless stability with good speed rates (up to 21Mbps) at all signal strengths. Signal strengths however seem to be slightly lower than on other wireless N routers, meaning you may want to consider a different router in very congested wireless environments.
This is a good, mid-range router and if a stable connection is what you're looking for then this could be the one for you. It is more expensive than some other routers but lifts itself above the competition by being able to work with both ADSL and broadband (cable) connections, meaning that if you change your internet provider you don't need to change your router.