Billion BiPax 7800n review
Excellent security features and strong performance make the Billion a great buy for demanding environments
The Billion BiPAC 7800N is slightly bigger than a normal home wireless router, and has three aerials. This gives it a more professional and reassuring feel in a school environment, but more importantly theoretically gives greater reliability and reduces “dead spots” – theory which bore out in our practice.
The BiPAC offers 802.11n wireless, with advertised speeds of up to 300Mbits/sec. In real-world use, it achieved average speeds of around 40Mbits/sec. This is nowhere near the claimed speeds but compared to some other routers on test, and bearing in mind the thickness of the walls in the old school building where we tested, it isn’t bad at all. Range was also good: all classes in the school were able to see and access the wireless network created.
The Billion again coped admirably In terms of concurrent users. There were no problems with dropped connections, and all the shipped computers were able to make use of the wireless; there was some slowdown at heavy traffic use, but this was to be expected.
Although it lacks extras such as a USB port for printer sharing, it does have features that school network administrators may find useful. You can schedule when the wireless will be available for use, which is ideal if you don’t want it broadcasting out all night. Firewall settings include packet filtering, port redirection and intrusion detection. You can also filter web content by URL or keyword, or block active content such as Java applets and ActiveX scripts and set up scheduled hours during which these restrictions apply.
The Billion BiPAC is well suited to use in a school environment. It can easily handle a large number of users at the same time and its security features are excellent. Plus, it was reliable throughout our testing. If you want a decent “all-rounder” for a low price, this could be what you’re looking for.
|Price ex VAT||£103|
|Price inc VAT||£124|
|Features & Design||4|
|Value for Money||5|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|Gigabit LAN ports||4|
|10/100 LAN ports||4|
|Wireless bridge (WDS)||yes|
|WPS (wireless protected setup)||yes|
|Port forwarding/virtual server||yes|
|Web content filtering||yes|
|Dimensions||229.5 x 155 x 37mm (WDH)|