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Billion BiPAC P106N review

Kat Orphanides
6 Jul 2010
Billion BiPAC P106N
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
79
inc VAT

This HomePlug wireless access point with built-in 802.11n wireless has reasonable performance, but you can get adaptors with similar throughputs for a lot less.

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The Billion BiPac 2073N is the very first HomePlug AV wireless access point we've seen to use the full 802.11n standard. This supports speeds of up to 300Mbit/s. Although this speed is the theoretical maximum we were a little worried that the adaptor's HomePlug throughput of 44Mbit/s could cause a bottleneck, as we've tested 802.11n devices that are faster than this.

We tested wireless performance with Billion's own BiPAC 3010N wireless adaptor. We've previous observed poor performance with this adaptor, so were unsurprised to find that that we were unable to maintain a stable connection in our 20m throughput test. Performance was acceptable at shorter distances, with speeds of 28Mbit/s at 10m and 30Mbit/s at 1m. Speeds at 1m were as fast using our Centrino 2 laptop, and we were satisfied by the P106N's stable throughput of 31Mbit/s at 1m, 32Mbit/s at 10m and a very passable 9Mbit/s at 20m.

All the information you need to access the web administration interface for the wireless access point is easy to find the quick start leaflet. Wireless security settings were easy to set up, thanks to clearly designed interface and the access point supports WPA, WPA2 and WEP encryption. Other menu options allowed us to conveniently monitor the status of our networked HomePlug devices.

The HomePlug part of the adaptor can be encrypted using the push-button security or, if your other adaptors don't support this, using the bundled software to set a password. If you don't have any existing adaptors, you can buy the BiPAC 2073N in the BiPAC P106N kit with a standard HomePlug AV adaptor for £105.

There-in lies our problem with this access point, both as a standalone adaptor and as a kit: it's very expensive. Having a full 802.11n access point sounds exciting, but in reality the speed of HomePlug means really high speeds aren't likely. As it stands, you can buy Edimax's HP-2002APn access point for around £30 less. It uses the N-Lite 150Mbit/s standard, but in practice was almost as fast making it the better buy for most people.

Details

Rating***
Powerline networking standardHomePlug AV
Homeplug stated speed200Mbit/s

Physical

Size53x112x77mm
Ethernet ports1

Buying Information

Price£79
Warrantyone year RTB
Supplierhttp://www.lambda-tek.com/componentshop
Detailswww.billion.uk.com

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