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Zyxel NBG-460N review

Kat Orphanides
20 May 2010
Zyxel NBG-460N
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
78
inc VAT

With both wireless transfer speeds and a feature set that are rather average, there are few compelling reasons to buy this over other, similarly priced but better specified, devices.

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Specifications

draft 802.11n, 4x 10/100/1000Mbit/s Ethernet ports

Zyxel's NBG460N looks the same as every other router the company has produced within recent memory. It's a curved, plain white box with three upgradeable wireless antennas. However unimpressive it might look, it's also Zyxel's top-of-the-range wireless router for Ethernet WAN.

There's no disc-based setup utility, but a quick setup wizard in web interface guides you through setting up and securing your wireless network and internet connection. It also prompts you to apply Bandwidth Management to all traffic automatically although, confusingly, the wizard doesn't describe what this entails.

In fact, it's Zyxel's term for the router's automatic QoS, which you'll be able to fine-tune later using the web interface's advanced configuration settings. The router defaulted to channel bonding mode, which we had to disable via the full web interface after we'd completed the basic setup wizard

The interface provides access to a fairly comprehensive range of features that both home and small business users will appreciation, such as keyword-based URL blocking and the ability to block all Java or ActiveX traffic. You can also configure a schedule for when these filters are active and designate the IP address of a computer to which none of them will apply.

Bandwidth Management settings allow you to prioritise specific devices or types of traffic. It includes several handy presets, so you can easily configure the router to give preferential treatment to VoIP telephony or online gaming on your Xbox 360. Bandwidth monitoring tools are also provided. Some options, such as VPN tunnelling through IPSec, are more likely to be of use to business users. A more commonplace, but nonetheless handy, feature is DDNS via a couple of popular free services.

Regardless of what you use it for, wireless throughput is a key feature for almost any user. Performance here was fairly good, if unexciting. Tests with our Centrino 2 laptop produced speeds of 38.7Mbit/s at 1m, 40Mbit/s at 10m and 15.3Mbit/s at 20m. Tests with Zyxel's £23 NWD-271N wireless adaptor failed to improve on these scores.

At £78, there's nothing wrong with the NBG-460N, but there little reason to buy it over the faster and far more feature-packed Billion BiPAC 6200NXL unless you require Gigabit Ethernet.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
Modem typeCable
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
Draft 802.11n supportyes
Draft 802.11n 5GHz supportno
MIMOyes
Turbo modechannel-bonding
Stated speed300Mbit/s

Security

128-bit WEPyes
WPA2yes
Firewallyes
MAC address filteringyes
DMZyes

Physical

Size33x190x155mm
Antennas3
Internal/external antennasexternal
Upgradeable antennayes
Number of WAN ports1
Ethernet ports4
Ethernet connection speed10/100/1000Mbit/s
Other portsnone
Wall mountableyes
Power consumption on7W

Other Features

Dynamic DNSyes
Universal Plug and Play supportyes
DHCP serveryes
MAC spoofingyes
Port forwardingyes
WDS Supportyes
USB device supportno
QoSyes

Buying Information

Price£78
Supplierhttp://www.lambda-tek.com/componentshop
Detailswww.zyxel.co.uk