Billion BiPAC 7800NXL
Auto-failover; wireless performance
Size; complex to set up
Billion is not the most well-known brand to Mac users but it’s been producing interesting routers for some time. The BiPAC 7800NXL packs in most of the features we’d expect from a modern network device.
The BiPAC 7800NXL includes four Gigabit Ethernet ports, dual-band wireless supporting 802.11a, b, g and n, an ADSL modem and a USB port for connecting a 3G or 4G LTE wireless dongle. In other words, it can connect you to the internet almost anywhere.
The BiPAC 7800NXL’s main body is the size of a hardback novel, and there are two antennas at the back about 17cm high. These can be positioned at varying angles to optimise the receipt and transmission of the wireless signal.
The ability to connect a 3G/4G USB dongle might be particularly useful for businesses. As well as providing an easy connection method if you need to set up an emergency office, the USB modem can be configured as an automatic failover device. If the main internet connection becomes unavailable, the BiPAC 7800NXL can automatically failover to the USB modem.
When the BiPAC 7800NXL is first powered on, the wireless network is open and the default username and password to administer the device are easy to guess, which may pose a security threat. Wireless signal strength was excellent. Even at distances in excess of 25m, we didn’t see any drop in signal strength or packet loss. It was only once we put a solid brick wall between our MacBook Air and the router that we started to see any noticeable performance issues.
While the Billion BiPAC 7800NXL might not be the prettiest device we’ve ever seen, it’s certainly one of the most flexible and best performing. For small businesses that need to ensure connectivity, its automatic failover feature is of great value.