Bigpond Elite Wireless BroadBand Network Gateway

It looks like a router and it certainly works like a router, and if you can get decent Next G speeds where you are then the Wireless Gateway could offer a decent alternative to ADSL 2.


8.4
CNET Rating
2.6
User Rating

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Design and features

Standard networking equipment and wireless broadband modems rarely share the same design or feature set. Wireless modems tend to be tiny, like USB flash drives, but the Bigpond Elite Wireless BroadBand Network Gateway (a mouthful of a title) is almost unrecognisable as a wireless modem, short of the prominent Telstra branding, with a large form Wi-Fi router appearance.

This change in appearance indicates the main difference between the BigPond Gateway and almost every other broadband wireless modem available; this modem is made for sharing. Its larger size accommodates a range of features we don't usually see in 3G broadband modems, namely the Gateway's four Ethernet ports and two USB ports. This allows for four wired PC connections while saving the two USB ports for connecting an external harddrive or a shared printer. The Gateway also has Wi-Fi so even more PCs can be added to the network to share the user's Telstra BigPond monthly data allowance.

The Gateway is a rebranded NetComm 3G21WG wireless modem/router, and as such it comes with the same security features you'd expect in an ADSL modem/router. It sports NAT/PAT port filtering, MAC address and IP filtering and WEP/WPA/WPA2 wireless password protection. The 3G radio supports dual-band 850/2100MHz frequencies and boasts HSPA speed maximums of 21Mbps downlink and 5.8Mbps uplink, though Telstra only guarantee speeds of between 550kbps and 3Mbps.

Performance

In terms of sheer connection speeds, the BigPond Gateway met Telstra's promised downlink speeds with an average of just over 2Mbps link speed and an average download speed of about 300kbps. Latency during our tests was consistently between 200 and 250m/s, which isn't the sort of performance you'd want for internet gaming, but is more than sufficient for everyday web browsing, including video downloads, streaming audio and photo browsing.

The range of the wireless signal is decent, thanks to the Wireless Gateway supporting the 802.11n wireless networking protocol (along with 802.11b/g of course). We tested the Gateway in the CNET offices, amongst other places, and found we could set the router up at one end and connect with a laptop at the other, with numerous physical obstacles between. This isn't the same as connecting across a multi-storey home with brick or concrete walls, but it does suggest the BigPond gateway should provide connectivity in a standard home for several members of your family.

Pricing

The Wireless Gateway itself will set you back AU$399, though you may be eligible for an AU$299 rebate if you are new to BigPond wireless broadband. After that, you'll need to choose a plan. They start at an exorbidant AU$29.95 per month for 400MB and runs the gamut up to AU$119.95 for 10GB per month. The sweet spots are the 3GB plan for AU$49.95 and the 6GB plan for AU$79.95 per month.

If you compare this pricing to fixed-line ADSL broadband pricing, you definitely get far less data for your money each month, but you also save on the obligatory AU$30 line rental fee you have to pay Telstra on top of the monthly expense you fork out to the ISP you choose. This sort of service would definitely suit families or share-houses who don't require huge amounts of data each month.

Overall

It looks like a router and it certainly works like a router, and if you can get decent Next G speeds where you live and your house isn't some enormous mansion, then the Wireless Gateway could offer a decent home internet solution compared to the cost of ADSL 2.

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june50759 posted a comment   
China

This is Miss June from Crius Co.,Ltd which specialized in 3g modem,module and router with high quality and competitive price.OEM

mrhet
4
Rating
 

"Telstra slow to address issues with connectivity"

mrhet posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Wirelessly connects up to 5 computers

The Bad:Service from Telstra slow when modem stops working

Live on the Mornington Peninsula where anything from mobiles to wireless internet is notoriously slow or non existent in some areas.

Telstra convinced me that this product was good and I stupidly believed them. It has taken many phone calls, fustratingly long waits for call backs and esculation to higher technical support teams to finally get this Network elite gateway to work.

Admittedly Telstra gave me 3 months of free internet, and a 6.5dbi high gain antenna for free to trial the product - so yeah can't complain about that. But now, 4 months on the problems are starting again. How convenient, now the free period is over. The wireless router will now not work wirelessly must use ethernet cable, and sometimes it will not work at all, and if it connects takes ages to open pages.

Once again, time spent waiting for help on the phone and higher esculation team to ring me back. YOu cannot contact this team as Telstra Tech support says, they can't give you their phone number and you must nominate a time to be home to take their call, otherwise after 3 unanswered phone calls they drop you off the list. You then back down the waiting list and wait another 24hrs to register, then wait again till they can call you.

When this product works it is really good and I am more than happy with it, but it is too unreliable to get excited about it - just like any wireless service from the telecommunications companies - useless.

witchaman
8
Rating
 

"Find it quick and reliable . Ventilation is a must unfortunately."

witchaman posted a review   
Australia

The Good:speed

The Bad:Needs to be vetilated to stop heat build up

I ventilated and using latestest firmware haven't had a problem. Good speed and reliability.
One gets the feeling that the vast majority of the negative posts are from one person under different names so take too much notice.

FENNERS
1
Rating
 

"Have had three so far none any good! Now have Ultimate which is excellent"

FENNERS posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Nothing, they do not stay working long enough to assess

The Bad:Overheat (90 deg C) then die

Worst decision I ever made to let them talk me into changing over my Maxon BP-3 External for the Elite, but I thought it would save on energy having one plug pack/ wall wart instead of one for the BP-3 one for the Maxon EtherMax Docking Station(USB to Ethernet) one for the Cisco Switch and one for my Open Networks Wireless Access Point left over from the ISDN days.... all of which ran rather warm so having three less plug packs sounded good in theory until the first of the "Elite's" turned up... It worked fine for a day then died. A week later the next one turned up (obviously a brand new one this time as I had to peel all the plastic off the case and which explained why the first one was scratched on the sides of the case.. oh well it worked for a day and then died from overheating I suspect as the unit was showing temps of 87 deg C prior to death. Another week passed and another "Elite" turned up very scratched and did not work from the start!!!. After what seemed like hundreds of hours of my time trying everthing I knew to try and sort out what was going on and endless hours on the phone to BigPonds Tech Support (There is a Joke!, even after talking to Level 2 Techs and several times for over 3 hours at a time they admitted I knew more than they did.. surprise surprise and said they would have to escalate things) I was getting no where fast until I demanded to speak to accounts in Australia because they were billing me $299 for each new Elite that turned up as well as my Plan when I did not even have an Internet Service that worked... Lovely Lass fixed credits etc. and arranged for an Ultimate USB to be sent along with a patch lead for my External Co-Linear Antenna. I now have a working Internet Service again and they are having to manually retrieve a months worth of Emails from my original Email Address.... Oh, you did not know you have to change Email addresses with each new device did you, I have had 4 or 5 different email addresses this last month, each one supposed to forward them to the next, but I guess the system got confused and sent them to the "BLACK HOLE" of Cyberspace!
In signing off I have to tell you this story from one of the level 2 Techs... He admitted these "elites" were problematical and suggested I just leave it switched on and sometime around the end of May early June they should have a Firmware Update to fix the problem... When I remonstrated with him over this he replied "well why don't you get ADSL2, I replied that I could not as I in a Country Area he replied well what about Satellite to which I replied that I had a Working Maxon BP-3 just re-connect it, but they will have none of that stating they will not or can not reconnect a wireless device once they have decommissioned it from the system their end.

 

lordspock posted a comment   

Plugged it in and works perfectly - and never misses a beat. We are just within the Next G range in country Victoria. Could always be faster, but it's useable. Sometimes we have 6 friends logged on and still chugs along OK. We link our Laptops, iPhones, Touch's and iPads - all OK without issue. I think it's important to keep the firmware up to date and it just works as it should.

gypsie
1
Rating
 

gypsie posted a review   

thank you all for your reviews... i will def not be going with telstra... years of complaining about the service, products and attitudes have just been justified and vindicated by your comments.. telstra really is just a legalized con job...

EchoHotel
3
Rating
 

EchoHotel posted a review   

The Good:Give's you internet.... Sometimes.

The Bad:Does't give you internet.... Most of the time.

crap. when contract is finished i'll be canceling the contract.

ethan
1
Rating
 

ethan posted a review   

The Good:nothing

The Bad:doesn't work

Worked for 10mins then screwed up. Getting rid of it.

 

wool04 posted a comment   

The Good:Good speed when working correctly.

The Bad:Does not work correctly a lot of the time.

On the mid north coast.As other users have said,telstra won't upgrade our exchange for adsl so forced onto wireless.Rarely got a good connection over christmas.Telstra replaced modem and said a problem with the tower found.Well,new modem is doing the same thing as the old one.On bigpond elite.Definately a modem issue.My mobile (3g)connects to the web easily with a good connection with it sitting next to the modem.


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User Reviews / Comments  Bigpond Elite Wireless BroadBand Network Gateway

  • june50759

    june50759

    "This is Miss June from Crius Co.,Ltd which specialized in 3g modem,module and router with high quality and competitive price.OEM"

  • mrhet

    mrhet

    Rating4

    "Live on the Mornington Peninsula where anything from mobiles to wireless internet is notoriously slow or non existent in some areas.

    Telstra convinced me that this product was good and..."

  • witchaman

    witchaman

    Rating8

    "I ventilated and using latestest firmware haven't had a problem. Good speed and reliability.
    One gets the feeling that the vast majority of the negative posts are from one person under differ..."

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