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Billion 7800N Wireless ADSL2+ Router Review

So I’ve been looking for a replacement wireless N ADSL router. Some have Gigabit ports, others Dual Band wireless N but few have both at least not in the UK anyway.

But I think I’ve found the best compromise and here it is, the New Billion BiPAC 7800N Wireless N ADSL2+ with Gigabit Ethernet Switch, catchy name isn’t it!? But it has all the features that I need, but will it perform how I hope.

My ISP is Bethere Internet or Be as they like to be known and they offer a potential connection speed of up to 24Mbits if you live right on top of it. But I don’t so typically my connection speeds are about 13-15Mbits with my old router a Speedtouch 780 that was supplied with by my ISP, but that is still a lot higher than most sub 8Mbit speeds.

After I’d ordered the new router I did a set of test and noted down the speeds and times of transferring a 780Mb file to multiple different locations around the house and to different PC’s.

Equipment used for test

Homeserver – 1.5tb Green WD drive – Gigabit Ethernet

PC – XPS 430 –  Quad core – Duel stripped drives = Wireless G

Laptop – Duel Core Dell XPS 1330 = Intel Wireless G / N

PS3 via Ethernet

False Start

You know what its like, you order a new gadget and can’t wait for it to arrive. Only this time the excitement didn’t last for long as when I opened the box there was no power supply inside. I was a bit disappointed to say the least but hey these things happen. A quick call to broadbandbuyer.co.uk from whom I’d purchase the router and they got onto Billion as they had sold out of the router and there was a new power supply on the way. It arrived only a couple of days later so did it live up to the performance expectations.

A quick note on the instructions supplied before I get to the performance. Lets just say they are a bit rough and ready, no more than a few pages of photocopied A4 pages to get you started and they really aren’t that useful. If you know what you are doing then it won’t be a problem but for the novice you might be a little daunted.

Performance and Set-up

Set-up wasn’t to complex but I did need to make a few tweaks to get everything working well. The Auto configure didn’t work so I had to use the manual method.  I used this Billion Be/O2 help page to get the right settings and it almost worked, the trick was to add in the correct manual Primary DNS IP address as the AUTO setting wasn’t working. Hey presto it was up and running, but what have I connected at?

Speedtouch – 1090(Up)/14834(Down)

Billion 7800 – 1191/15801kbps (initial figure)

But things are set to get better, Be/O2 use Annex M and this means I might be able to get an even better upload and download speed but how good? Very good is the answer check out the figures below, this is far better than I have ever got before so I did a speed check as well to see if things go better.

Billion 7800 Annex M – 1347 / 17931 kbps

That’s a 3000kbps or 3Mbit improvement in upload speeds, a very healthy increase indeed. A quick speed test confirmed the boosted speed, going from 13.2Mb/s to 15.7Mb/s, not quite the sync speed but as it was via wireless and there are other factors involved that’s still a healthy increase. Another reason is that the Billion 7800 N uses a broadcom which is know to often get better download speeds.

Wireless N, is it any quicker?

I’d say maybe a little but that would be a lie, it is much much quicker for me at least. Rather than waffle on to much here are the transfer differences I saw below on the PC and the Laptop. The test was to transfer a 780Mb AVI file.

Laptop performance

Wireless G – 99% Signal – 1.82Mb/s – 6 minutes 47 seconds.

Wireless N – 99% Signal – 2.72Mb/s – 4 minutes 57 seconds.

PC Performance

Wireless G – 81% Signal – 2.42Mb/s – 5 minutes 41 seconds.

Wireless N – 50/70% Signal – 8.92Mb/s – 1 minutes 25 seconds.

The Laptop is a bit quicker but the test was done when the laptop was as close as it can get to the router, this can cause an issue with performance thus why the difference in speed is small. Also the laptop was having to try fairly hard to transfer the data @35/40% processor usage meaning it will start to be a bit of a factor in the transfer speeds.

But for the PC the speed improvement is dramatic to say the least and a clear view of how much faster wireless N can be. It wasn’t initially that quick, I had to play around with the location of the Wireless N dongal and ariels before I got a better figure and the 50/70% still doesn’t look great. I used a Billion 3010N that I bought with the router that doesn’t have a wireless antenna, but regardless of the noise the performance the speed speaks for itself.

Initial Conclusion 9/10

Well the Billion 7800N is cheaper than many of the other wireless N and Gigabit Ethernet routers, add to that it has full ADSL2+ and Annex M support and its a great package that these initial speed results show. The slight disappointment with the power supply is now  forgotten as everything else is as good or better than I hoped for.

I will update this review when I have done the Ethernet performance tests and if the router is more stable than the frankly terrible Speedtouch.  If you are in the market for a new ADSL router and are with Be or 02 or anyone for that matter then I would give this a serious look as it ticks all the boxes for me.

iPhone Nano to launch in September 09 on Vodafone and all other Networks? – Updated

iphone-line-up-2009On Monday Apple announce the upgrade of the current iPhone the 3GS, its not a major upgrade, no OLED screen, major increase in battery life or many of the numerous rumours that surrounded the announcement.

There was also no news on the iPhone Nano that many say is still in the wings, but maybe its not that far off. So every year in September Apple upgrade the iPod range with new models but it seems they might have a suprise in store, how do I know?

Well a friend that wants to get the new iPhone 3G S asked for his PAC code from Vodafone, they didn’t put up a fight and said fine we will send something through. But he got a call today to discuss another option, apparently Vodafone are in talks with Apple on a new un-announced phone that is set to launch in September. They said that talks are set to conclude in 60 days that may mean 02 loses its iPhone exclusivity deal and Vodafone along with all the other networks so O2 / Orange and T-Mobile might get the ‘New’ phone. For many a new phone available on not just 02 with be a massive change to the current deployment model, is 02’s exclusivity about to end.

So was this just to keep his business and delay moving off the network or was there some fact behind the information and we will indeed be sing another model being added to the iPhone line-up?

UPDATE

Well this was close but just not the Nano bit. It was confirmed today that Vodafone will be carrying the iPhone 3G and 3GS. Close but no cigar but either way the info on Voda announcing something was spot on. So a wait until January 2010 and we will have 3 operators offering the iPhone, may the prices reduce, everyone is a winner.

Nokia 5800, when is it actually out in the uk?

nokia5800xpressmusic_8Its out on the 26th of January 2009, isn’t it? Well yes and no… I’ve looked at several places and some are indeed getting it on the 26th of Jan one a little sooner, but not for £249. Oh no they are £335 but thats £85 more than you can get it from Nokia.

But Nokia aren’t supplying it direct until the 23rd of February, so what good is saying it will be released on the 26th of Jan. Now I know this is a little rant, but come on Nokia, if Apple can get the iPhone across the globe in a week and flooded into stores I’m sure your supply chain can do the same and if not sort it out. Its things like this that mean you are losing market share hand over fist.

Oh and when will the 5800 be out on T-Mobile, Vodafone, O2 and Orange is anyones guess some say it could be early Feb but I can’t find any solid info. If anyone is reading this and does know comment away please.

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