NetComm 3G15Wn review: NetComm 3G15Wn

Review Sections

The wireless throughput is tested using three chipsets, the Atheros AR5008X, Ralink RT2870 and Intel 5100AGN, then all results are averaged.

2.4GHz throughput (in Mbps)

  • Billion BiPAC 7800N
  • Linksys WAG320N (2.4GHz)
  • Asus DSL-N13
  • NetComm 3G15Wn
  • Location one (same room, no obstructions) 69.2065.9765.1761.43
  • Location two (one floor down, some obstructions) 64.6354.3753.4350.90
  • Location three (two floors down, some obstructions) 38.2335.2729.7325.45

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Here's where a graph doesn't tell the full story — while the averages look good, the performance was wildly variable during the tests, often troughing to zeroes then charging back up again, particularly with our Ralink connection. We had a hard time even connecting our wireless clients to the 3G15Wn to begin with, to the point where we gave up and simply left it for another day. The next day, the wireless client connected fine — we hadn't changed a thing, and the surrounding Wi-Fi networks hadn't changed either.

ADSL performance is simply measured by the sync speed on an Internode ADSL2+ connection to the St Leonards exchange, on the company's 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
  • NetComm 3G15Wn
  • Uplink 1349134213461349
  • Downlink 22306225792192122172

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

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 9W

The NetComm isn't a particularly thirsty or frugal router — it pulls 9W, an average result.

Warranty

NetComm offers a three-year warranty, but only if you register online.

Conclusion

We just wouldn't feel comfortable recommending the NetComm. It's a victim to stability issues, and was our most frustrating router to deal with in terms of simply trying to connect to the wireless. Perhaps a firmware update will eventually solve our issues, but at this point we'd look elsewhere for your modem/router needs.

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