NetComm NB12WD MyCommsGateway review: NetComm NB12WD MyCommsGateway

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Pricing Unavailable
Reviewed:
Updated:

The Good Multiple phone ports. Wireless connection to DECT handset. USB print server capability.

The Bad 802.11g only. No gigabit Ethernet. Multi-line VoIP, but only to one provider. Only a single provided handset. Not particularly novice-friendly.

The Bottom Line NetComm's all-in-one broadband, wireless and VoIP solution makes for a pretty package, but we were still left wanting just a little bit more.

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Design
The NB12WD's package is big, but then it needs to be. Apart from the larger-than-average gateway itself, you've also got a bundled DORO DECT handset and charging station, and chargers for both. The router body follows NetComm's standard style guidelines, only a touch larger than usual. Tastes will of course vary, but we found the size of the unit did highlight that it comes in a rather cheap looking plastic enclosure. Then again, this is a router, and as we've mentioned before, you can chuck them in a cupboard as long as it doesn't degrade the signal.

It's a good job that the rear and side ports on the gateway are well labelled, as there's an awful lot of them. On the back you'll find ADSL and phone line sockets, four Ethernet and two phone handset ports, and a power button, while round the side you'll find USB type A and B ports and a DECT synchronisation button and light.

Features
The NB12WD is, as mentioned, a physically large unit, and NetComm's made sure to stuff its plastic innards with plenty of functionality. It's an ADSL2+ capable modem, 802.11g capable wireless router and VoIP ATA with an FXO "Lifeline" port for genuine landline calls in an emergency as well. Up to four VoIP account numbers can be configured within the NB12WD's web-based configuration utility. Plenty of VoIP ATA devices offer some kind of hook-up to wireless handsets, but the NB12WD takes this to an interesting level, as it's also a DECT GAP-compliant base station. NetComm bundles a single DORO DECT handset with the NB12WD; in theory up to five GAP-compliant DECT handsets could be paired with the NB12WD.

Performance
Installation of the NB12WD was a little different to the NetComm products we've reviewed in the past, simply due to the fact that the unit comes without a set-up poster or printed documentation of any kind. Instead, you get an installation CD with manuals and the quickstart guide in PDF format. And when NetComm says "Quickstart", they mean it — there's precious little here apart from offering a sample connection layout and the details of how to log into the Web interface. Even once you get into the web interface things are a little bereft of detail. The quick installation option only takes you through setting up your ADSL connection, which would leave you with a theoretically functional device, but one with no configured VoIP or for that matter, wireless security enabled. Given that the recently reviewed N3G005W comes with wireless security pre-enabled, it's a very odd omission.

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Where to Buy

NetComm NB12WD MyCommsGateway

Part Number: CNETNetComm NB12WD MyCommsGateway

Typical Price: $429.00

See manufacturer website for availability.