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Zyxel NBG-417N review

Kat Orphanides
18 Jun 2010
Zyxel NBG-417N
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
26
inc VAT

This budget router does everything it's supposed to, but others do the same job faster and cheaper.

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Specifications

802.11g, 4x 10/100Mbit/s Ethernet ports

At £26, Zyxel's NBG-417N is cheap by almost any standard, although it's not the cheapest of the current generation of 10/100Mbit/s Ethernet, 150Mbit/s N-Lite wireless routers. It has just a single upgradable external antenna and four 10/100Mbit/s Ethernet ports.

It doesn't come with a quick setup CD, but when you first connect to the router's web interface, you can access a simple configuration wizard. This guides you through setting up your WAN and wireless LAN connections, although it allows you to set up an unsecured wireless network without warning of the potential risks.

Alternatively, if you use the advanced configuration mode, you're taken straight to the device's main web interface, which provides easy access to configuration screens for the router's every feature. Its feature set is pretty standard, with support for a couple of popular DDNS services, push-button WPS and a content filter with keyword-based URL blocking.

Bandwidth management settings allow you to apply QoS to your web connection by setting priorities and the amount of bandwidth allowed to specified ports, protocols and IP addresses. The router also supports remote managed and the Wireless LAN radio can be scheduled to only be on at certain times, allowing you to save power when you're out or ensure that the kids concentrate on their homework.

You can only configure a maximum of eight static IP addresses on your local network, but this should be enough for the handful of devices that most users need on static IP, such as printers and NAS devices.

Wireless channel-bonding is enabled by default; we disabled it for our tests. Wireless performance was generally good at short ranges but poor at greater distances. We saw speeds of 42.7Mbit/s at 1m, 31.9Mbit/s at 10m and a mere 5.1Mbit/s at 20 using a Centrino 2 laptop. Zyxel's own NWD-271N wireless adaptor (£23 inc VAT) gave us results of 60.8Mbit/s at 1m, 51.5Mbit/s at 10m and a slightly improved 10.9Mbit/s at 20m.

It's here that the NBG-417N falls down against our current Budget Buy, TP-Link's £17 TL-WR741ND, which has a similar range of features, faster Centrino 2 wireless transfer speeds and costs much less.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
Modem typeCable
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
Draft 802.11n supportno
Draft 802.11n 5GHz supportno
MIMOyes
Turbo modechannel-bonding
Stated speed150Mbit/s

Security

128-bit WEPyes
WPA2yes
Firewallyes
MAC address filteringyes
DMZyes

Physical

Size30x140x110mm
Antennas1
Internal/external antennasexternal
Upgradeable antennayes
Number of WAN ports1
Ethernet ports4
Ethernet connection speed10/100Mbit/s
Other portsnone
Wall mountableyes
Power consumption on3W

Other Features

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

Buying Information

Price£26
Warrantythree years RTB
Supplierhttp://www.kikatek.com
Detailswww.zyxel.co.uk