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The BiPAC 5200N RC is an entry-level offering from Billion, sporting its newer white "boxy" chassis.
With two external antennas, an ADSL2+ modem built-in that features Annex M support, and four 100Mb Ethernet ports, on paper it's essentially a cut down version of the 7800NL, which in itself is a cut-down version of Billion's flagship product, the 7800N.
Specs at a glance
|Highest wireless security||WPA2|
|Ethernet ports||4x 100Mbit|
|USB print sharing/storage||No|
|Accessories||Ethernet cable, phone cable, PCRange line filter, CD containing quick-start guide and manual|
ADSL line, four 100Mb Ethernet ports, reset and WPS buttons, power jack and button. (Credit: Alexandra Savvides/CBS Interactive)
UI and features
We found the user interface (UI) easy enough to navigate on the 5200N RC, and indeed less intimidating than the mass of options offered on the 7800N.
While most of the options were part and parcel for what you'd find in any router these days, including dynamic DNS services, QoS settings, WPS, URL/port filtering and a built-in firewall, one of the more interesting features is the ability to turn off DHCP on specific Ethernet ports — perhaps an alternative to keeping a DHCP reservation list.
The 5200N RC UI is simpler to navigate than Billion's 7800N. Its quick set-up wizard is reasonable too. As usual though to get the most out of your router you'll need to do a bit of reading — there's nothing in the interface that explains what each option does. (Screenshot by CBS Interactive)
After analysing the spectrum with InSSIDer, an empty channel of either 1, 6 or 11 is chosen for 2.4GHz wireless testing. The router is restricted to the 20MHz band and will only allow 802.11n clients. If possible, the MCS is set to 15.
We use iperf to determine throughput, running eight streams, with a TCP window size of 1MB, and an interval of one second. The test is run for five minutes in three different locations, on two separate occasions. The locations are in the same room as the router, one floor down around spiral stairs and with concrete walls and floors, and two floors down under the same conditions.
The wireless throughput is tested using three chipsets, the Atheros AR5008X, RaLink RT2870 and Intel 5100AGN, then all results are averaged.