Billion BiPAC 5200N RC review: Billion BiPAC 5200N RC

Typical Price: $159.00
3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Web UI is a bit friendlier than Billion offers. Great ADSL2+ speeds.

The Bad Still no hints for beginners as to what anything does in the UI. Poor performance if you have an Ralink chipset. You can find the superior 7800N for around the same price on the street.

The Bottom Line The Billion BiPAC 5200N RC is meant to be Billion's entry-level offering, but given you can find the upscale 7800N on the street for around the same price, it has a tough time proving its worth.

6.9 Overall

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

Firmware tested
ADSL2+ modem Yes
Annex M Yes
3G modem No
Wireless protocols 802.11b/g/n
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


Billion BiPAC 5200N RC rear

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.

Billion 5200N RC UI

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.

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