Billion BiPAC 7800N

Although it comes without 5GHz capability, the 7800N has great wireless throughput and is a solid base for your ADSL2+ network.


9.0
CNET Rating
7.8
User Rating

View more from Billion »

About The Author

CNET Editor

Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.


Billion has long had a soft spot in the heart of enthusiasts, as the company that brought us low cost routers that didn't sacrifice in quality. While typically the haunt of the advanced user, Billion maintains its reputation for stability with the 7800N.

Specs at a glance

Firmware tested 1.05
ADSL2+ modem Yes
Annex M Yes
3G modem No
Wireless protocols 802.11b/g/n
Highest wireless security WPA2
WDS Yes
Ethernet ports 4x gigabit
USB print sharing/storage No
Accessories Ethernet cable, phone cable, PC Range ADSL line filter, CD containing quick-start guide and manual

Connections

Billion BiPAC 7800N rear

Phone jack, WAN port, four gigabit Ethernet ports, reset and WPS buttons, power socket and power button. (Credit: CBS Interactive)

The 7800N sits above the norm by offering gigabit Ethernet ports and interestingly, a WAN port. Unlike many consumer routers, Billion has chosen not to include USB ports for print sharing or storage — perhaps because usually they are rife with compatibility problems and cause more frustration than joy.

UI and features

Billion's range has never been one for beginners, and the 7800N only goes a small way to make networking easier for the beginner. WPS is disabled by default, and although it has "Basic" and "Advanced" modes in the web user interface (UI), all Basic does is hide the majority of options.

Thankfully, there is a "Quick start" link that will walk the user through the necessary steps to get online and set up wireless, but it makes no effort whatsoever to explain to the user what each setting does.

Billion 7800N UI

The UI is split into two versions, "Basic" and "Advanced". Basic isn't so much basic as just displays limited options. Check out Port Forward for more screenshots. (Screenshot by CBS Interactive)

As we've come to expect from Billion, there are options aplenty once you enter the advanced mode. On top of the expected features like a DHCP server (with fixed hosts) and port forwarding, it supports IP aliasing, allows tweaking of transmission power, can schedule when the wireless is available, has URL filtering, an in-built firewall (covering packet filtering and Ethernet/wireless MAC filtering), QoS settings, dynamic DNS support and, interestingly, can even set up VLANs across its Ethernet ports.

Performance

After analysing the spectrum with InSSIDer, an empty channel of either 1, 6 or 11 is chosen for 2.4GHz wireless testing. The router is restricted to the 20MHz band and will only allow 802.11n clients. If possible, the MCS is set to 15.

We use iperf to determine throughput, running eight streams, with a TCP window size of 1MB, and an interval of one second. The test is run for five minutes in three different locations, on two separate occasions. The locations are in the same room as the router, one floor down around spiral stairs and with concrete walls and floors, and two floors down under the same conditions.

The wireless throughput is tested using three chipsets, the Atheros AR5008X, RaLink RT2870 and Intel 5100AGN, then all results are averaged.

2.4GHz throughput (in Mbps)

  • Billion BiPAC 7800N
  • Linksys WAG320N (2.4GHz)
  • Asus DSL-N13
  • NetComm 3G15Wn
  • Location one (same room, no obstructions) 69.2065.9765.1761.43
  • Location two (one floor down, some obstructions) 64.6354.3753.4350.90
  • Location three (two floors down, some obstructions) 38.2335.2729.7325.45

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

ADSL performance is simply measured by the sync speed on an Internode ADSL2+ connection to the St Leonards exchange, on Internode's very high speed profile. If the connection remains stable over a period of time, the sync speed is recorded.

ADSL2+ sync speed (in Kbps)

  • Billion BiPAC 7800N
  • Linksys WAG320N (2.4GHz)
  • Asus DSL-N13
  • NetComm 3G15Wn
  • Uplink 1349134213461349
  • Downlink 22306225792192122172

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

As far as ADSL2+ performance is concerned, all are very close, and during subjective testing maintained a stable link.

Power consumption

We measured power consumption using a Jaycar mains digital power meter. It's important to note here that due to limitations of the meter, measurements are limited to values 1W and greater, and are reported in 1W increments.

The wireless radio was turned on, and an iperf test begun for measurement, using one wireless client and one wired.

Juice Box
Transmitting 9W
Idle 7W

Nothing out of the ordinary here — this is pretty standard consumption for a modem/router.

Warranty

A 24-month warranty is offered on all Billion products, and is covered by PCRange, Billion's distributor in Australia.

Conclusion

While some ADSL2+ modem/routers we've tested prefer one chipset over another, the Billion 7800N provided the most consistent results across all three of our test platforms, netting it the highest average throughput of the modem/routers we've seen so far. While we'd love to see 5GHz capability in the device, we can highly recommend this to anyone looking for the core of their new ADSL2+-based network.

Previous Story

Belkin Double N+ Wireless Router F6D6230au4

Internet & Networking
Next Story

Asus DSL-N13



Add Your Review 39


* Below fields optional


Post comment as
DonW2 Facebook
1
Rating
 

"don't waste your money"

DonW2 posted a review   

The Good:zero

The Bad:2 out of 2 faulty units.

The 1st router failed after 1 month , got it replaced

 

JohnS17 posted a comment   

I purchased the billion BiPac 7800 VDP(O)X Dual-band Wireless-N VoIP ADSL2 (VPN) Router about a week ago and have had major problems trying to configure it on my iMac OSX 10.6.8.

Connecting it to the Mac using all the cables is no issue (I decided not to use wireless) it's when I try to open a browser to configure it, being the problem.
Neither Safari or Firefox will open and I'm assuming it's because I am still configured to my previous modem.

Can anyone please help a frustrated old man.
John

JosieJo2000
9
Rating
 

"Makes WiFi a joy"

JosieJo2000 posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Very stable, great speeds, spectacular wifi

The Bad:Can be tricky for novices

I bought this router after reading reviews on CNet and following discussions on whirpool.net.au. I was having problems maintaining a decent speed on my Netgear router, possibly due to my distance from the exchange (about 4km). It would sync at 3400kbps then drop to about 2400. The wizard on the Billion set up my router with no problems, but I had no idea what it was doing. I left most settings at the default and just held my breath. A grandma would struggle to know what to put in say when it asks for "SSID", and as the default for wireless is "no security" might not know to select WPA2-PSK (or whichever is appropriate). I can see how people end up with unsecured wireless.

The wireless coverage is spectacular, we get 3 bars all through our 2 story, sprawling home. Previously we would get 1 bar in some corners of the house. If you read the Whirlpool forums there are some SNR tweaks you can do from a "secret settings" page and by doing this I've managed to bump my speed up to a stable 3400 with no drop outs. There are lots of settings to play around with, the Netgear doesn't give you access to all of these. The user interface is pretty basic and not as aesthetically pleasing as the Netgear, plus the Netgear has a side bar of notes explaining the settings. However, for performance, this ugly little duckling can't be beat. We're enjoying our ipads, iphone and laptop all over the house at great speed (given our distance from the exchange) and our PC connected via ethernet is humming along.

waxand
10
Rating
 

"superior"

waxand posted a review   
Australia

The Good:reliability and performance

The Bad:none

In my opinion this little beauty is the best on the market. Easy to install, runs faultlessly and has wireless excellent coverage....highly recommended!!

Nashii
4
Rating
 

"wireless is a problem"

Nashii posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Wired connection is excellent

The Bad:wireless is dead after a month!

I bought this modem based on the great review here. The 1st month was so perfect, We were so happy as modem is fast, no dropping ( was before using this modem) but a month later, the wireless no longer worked. Internet (wired) is fiine but wireless just won't work. I guess will have to make a trip back to the store....

 

aeidunne posted a reply   
Australia

Had the same problem. Found out that the wireless works on a daughter board and found poor heat-sinking, coupled with glue that absorbs moisture and becomes acidic, eating metal components.

stormtigers
9
Rating
 

"PROBLEM SOLVED"

stormtigers posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Ease of installation and connection

The Bad:Menu System a little awkward for dummies

Having migrated from the TELL-STRA(lia) Thomson (Who TF if Thomson) modem router and it's slow speeds and dropouts to a Belkin N300 Surf Modem I was totally disenchanted with my ADSL and home networking.
The N300 has pathetic wireless range in our 1980's double brick house. Media streaming was almost impossible and I had to resort to a USB cable and extracted laptop IDE drives to play movies in the main TV room.
The Billion 7800N was on special for sub-$200.
And the additional antennas and strength of the product has instantly eliminated the media streaming problems and poor signal for laptops around the house. I cannot thank CNET's reviewers and public enough for recommending this product.

hgg47
4
Rating
 

"Started out great - then internet dropouts started"

hgg47 posted a review   
Australia

The Good:great speed over 15 meters with 3 bars

The Bad:dropouts (not what I would have expected)

Firstly, I am unsure at this time whether the internet dropouts are a Bigpond problem or the 7800.
When running the ADSL connection setup, the default protocol provided loaded by Bigpond was PPoE however I had seen that PPoA was the mode recommened by Bigpond at their DYI modem setup site.
I selected PPoA & everything was rosey for about 5 days until I started getting dropouts yesterday. These were fixed by resetting the 7800.
I have now reset the protocol to PPoE and am hoping for the best - but, after great initial experience, I am very apprehensive that this is not the experience I was hoping for.
I had previously been using a Bigpond-supplied 2-Wire G modem/router but this was just too slow for streaming - but had been rock solid as far as the internet connection was concerned.

pupitre_01
9
Rating
 

"Thank goodness I found this product"

pupitre_01 posted a review   
Australia

The Good:It works in my old stone house

The Bad:a little confusing for a novice to set up.

Replaced a Netgear Rangemax which I could never get to send a wireless signal to another room in my old stone house with this product and thank goodness I did! If I had done it a couple of years ago I would have had much happier children!
I think a wireless AP will be my next step to improve things even further and finally our wireless internet will work in most of our house.!

 

Marphin posted a comment   

There is no such thing as a gigabit EWAN port, that is just silly.

 

Craig Simms posted a reply   
Australia

Actually there is. The Fritz!Box 7390 can have one of its gigabit ports reassigned as a WAN port, making it ideal for the NBN (assuming it survives political process and reaches its intended rollout).

We're casting a look over it now, in fact :)


Sponsored Links
CNET's latest

User Reviews / Comments  Billion BiPAC 7800N

  • DonW2

    DonW2

    Rating1

    "The 1st router failed after 1 month , got it replaced"

  • JohnS17

    JohnS17

    "I purchased the billion BiPac 7800 VDP(O)X Dual-band Wireless-N VoIP ADSL2 (VPN) Router about a week ago and have had major problems trying to configure it on my iMac OSX 10.6.8.

    Conn..."

  • JosieJo2000

    JosieJo2000

    Rating9

    "I bought this router after reading reviews on CNet and following discussions on whirpool.net.au. I was having problems maintaining a decent speed on my Netgear router, possibly due to my distance ..."

CNET Speedtest

Recently Viewed Products