Billion BiPAC 7800N review
The BiPAC 7800N is expensive but its wealth of security features and dual Ethernet and ADSL WAN ports make it a good choice for home and small office users, even without load balancing.
Review Date: 5 Jun 2010
Price when reviewed: £115
Reviewed By: Kat Orphanides
We've reviewed PCs smaller than this router, but this chunky grey box does plenty to justify its size and price. Billion's reputation for stability and consistent uptimes has served it well in the SME market, which makes this router attractive to companies. The BiPAC 7800N has features that an ordinary home user will never need, but could be just what you're looking for if you're setting up or expanding your small or home office.
The router support both ADSL and Ethernet WAN connections, so you can use it with almost any internet connection available in the UK. In the default ADSL mode, the EWAN port defaults to being a 5th LAN port, although it's only 10/100Mbit/s, while the other four LAN ports support Gigabit Ethernet.
The BiPAC 7800N doesn't come with a configuration CD but has both Basic and Advanced web configuration modes, as well as a quick start mode which takes you through configuring your ADSL settings and securing your wireless connection. Wireless defaults to channel-bonded mode - you'll need to use the wireless options in Advanced mode to set it to 20MHz only.
Firewall settings include packet filtering, port redirection and intrusion detection. You can also filter web content by URL or keyword or, block active content like Java applets and ActiveX scripts and set up scheduled hours during which these restrictions apply.
QoS can be configured in a dedicated menu interface, but there are no preset options to make life easier for beginners. Like the site blocking feature, you can set a schedule, which is handy if, for example, you only want to give a high priority to your BitTorrent client during off-peak hours to avoid having your connection speed throttled. Other features include DDNS via numerous free and paid-for providers, remote admin access, a VPN pass-through, wake on LAN and a telnet configuration interface.
The router's wireless performance is outstanding, with speeds of 46.6Mbit/s at 1m, 45Mbit/s at 10m and 27.7Mbit/s at 20m using our Centrino 2 laptop. Tests using Billion's own BiPAC 3010N adaptor (£25 inc VAT) produced speeds of up to 74.1Mbit/s but were slower in our longest range test. The BiPAC 7800N justifies its price with a wealth of features that make it a stand-out choice for a demanding home office.
Not worth the price
Bought one of these on the strength of this and glowing reviews on Amazon etc. I had a Netgear DG834PN and found that the BT Home Hub2 I had had in a box for month improved the wireless signal strength by 10% points. I assumed at the price, and in light of the reviews, this would be much better. Wrong!!
Tried it using two lap tops in two different rooms both running iStumbler and Air Radar and the wifi performance for this was either no better, or even worse, than the Home Hub. Then again I suppose the Home Hub is also £90 if you are not a BT customer so maybe it's not surprising.
I have raised a support ticket to Billion to see if there are any tweaks they can suggest to get this perform as well as the hype suggests but if not, needless to say, it will be going back to Amazon for a refund.
There may be routers out there offering a better wifi signal than the BT Home Hub but for mea at least it is NOT this one.
By Empgamer on 17 Jan 2011
I needed to replace a Speedtouch modem that was dropping the line badly (It would sometimes take me an hour to get a connection). So reliability was an absolute must. I read loads of reviews and all seemed to be followed by user comments rubbishing the product. There were fewer comments about Billion than most others - and some very positive comments about their after sales service so I bought a 7800N. I now have a rock solid 100% stable connection that never drops out. Firmware is now 1.06. There seem to have been some problems with firmware 1.02 from what I read.
I was prepared to pay over the odds for assurance of reliability and some future proofing. I got it.
By PlacidoD on 2 Sep 2011
You need to optimise the settings
To get the very best from the Billion 7800N you really need to optimise the settings. I've produced a help page at http://www.spaldwick.com/billion-7800n, which gives settings for the SNR margin tweak and turning on impulse noise protection.
By Spaldwick on 10 Oct 2011
Find a review
- Best Budget Buy
- Belkin Surf N150
- Best Business Buy
- DrayTek Vigor 2850n