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

Review Sections

2.4GHz throughput (in Mbps)

  • Billion BiPAC 7800N
  • Linksys WAG320N (2.4GHz)
  • Asus DSL-N13
  • Billion BiPAC 5200N RC
  • Location one (same room, no obstructions) 69.2065.9765.1748.40
  • Location two (one floor down, some obstructions) 64.6354.3753.4336.1
  • Location three (two floors down, some obstructions) 38.2335.2729.7322.37

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Not so good here, but this is due to the 5200N RC really not liking our Ralink RT2870. If you take it out of the equation, its average throughputs for the first two locations are much higher: 58.5Mbps and 51.4Mbps respectively. Interestingly, at a distance the Ralink radio provided the best performance — if it's removed from the equation our average would only be 18.45Mbps at the third location.

ADSL performance is simply measured by the sync speed on an Internode ADSL2+ connection to the St Leonards exchange, on Internode's very high speed profile. If the connection remains stable over a period of time, the sync speed is recorded.

ADSL2+ sync speed (in Kbps)

  • Billion BiPAC 7800N
  • Linksys WAG320N (2.4GHz)
  • Asus DSL-N13
  • Billion BiPAC 5200N RC
  • Uplink 1349134213461291
  • Downlink 22306225792192123505

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

While it recorded the slowest uplink we've seen so far, it's not by much. Probably more important to some is the fact that the 5200N RC also managed to post our highest downlink score so far.

Power consumption

We measured power consumption using a Jaycar mains digital power meter. It's important to note here that due to limitations of the meter, measurements are limited to values 1W and greater, and are reported in 1W increments.

The wireless radio was turned on, and an iperf test begun for measurement, using one wireless client and one wired.

Juice Box
Transmitting 9W
Idle 7W

Interestingly, it pulls the same power as the BiPAC 7800N, although we'd hazard a guess it's using a different chipset due to its odd Ralink performance.

Warranty

A 24-month warranty is offered on all Billion products, and is covered by PCRange, Billion's distributor in Australia.

Conclusion

The 5200N RC is built to a price point. It has a friendlier UI than Billion modems are usually saddled with; however, with its current firmware, it has some trouble talking to Ralink radios, an issue which may expand to other chipsets. It's certainly a decent modem/router, but if you have a look around you'll find some places selling the higher-level 7800N for almost the same price. Since this gives you gigabit Ethernet, an extra WAN port and better wireless performance, we'd suggest it's the better bet.

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