Which broadband router/modem?
All broadband routers/modems are not the same! Many broadband users assume that all routers are pretty much alike in terms of performance, so that price differences can be attributed to differences in features (such as the presence of WiFi) and aesthetics. This could not be further from the truth.
We have used many different broadband modems/routers over the years, and we are constantly surprised at how different they are in terms of connection speeds and their ability to keep their connection. Perhaps even more importantly, modems differ significantly in their ability to tweak the broadband connection to maximise speeds.
Particularly if your current broadband router/modem is relatively old, there may be significant benefits in upgrading now to a high-quality model that provides extensive optimisation features.
Our router recommendation – the Billion 7800N
Currently, there are a large number of broadband routers/modems available and it is virtually impossible to establish which are best for challenging lines and which modems allow you to get the very highest broadband speeds. For example, very few modems currently available available allow a broadband user to tweak the target SNR margin, which can make a huge positive impact on broadband speeds.
So, it’s not surprising that one of the questions we are asked most often is, “Can you recommend a good broadband router that allows me to get the very best speeds from my line?” Here is our answer.
Our recommendation is currently the Billion BiPAC 7800N, which is an outstanding broadband router in all regards. Although the Billion 7800N is relatively expensive (about £115), its reliability and extensive feature list make it a brilliant router/modem for those broadband users that really want to get the very most from their connection. Here are some of the reasons that we like the Billion 7800N so much:
- It allow full and comprehensive tweaking of the target SNR margin in a very easy way. Unlike some other modems, the settings do not get reset when the modem is switched off.
- It incorporates the latest Broadcom chipset with advanced impulse noise protection. Broadcom claims that its technology provides a ten-fold improvement in noise resilience.
- It is one of the very first Gigabit routers.
- It incorporates the very fastest WiFi (802.11n) capability and, by using two radio channels rather than the usual one, it delivers speeds of up to 300Mbps with excellent range.
- It uses the most secure method (WPA2-PSK) of transmitting WiFi signals.
- It incorporates advanced content filtering, so that you control if and when applications (such as Facebook and iPlayer) are used in your house (and on which computers).
We offer our regularly-updated Billion 7800N Guide on this website, which provides extensive information about the router. As well as providing links to the manual, latest firmware and a range of independent reviews for the Billion 7800N, it details how to set up the router to substantially increase broadband speeds. You can buy the Billion 7800N modem at a great price from Amazon.
If you do not require WiFi wireless connectivity, then the Billion 7800 is cheaper, but has the same great capabilities and features (apart from wireless that is).
Other broadband routers/modems can offer enhanced optimisation capabilities
In time, we are going to expand this page with optimisation information for a range of broadband routers/modems, to help you get the most out of your broadband service.
As described in our target SNR margin tweaking page, owners of various Netgear models have a number of options to substantially increase broadband speeds.
For example, owners of the following Netgear models:
- Netgear DG834GT
- Netgear DG834PN
- Netgear DG834N-V1
- Netgear DGN2000
- Netgear DG834(G) V1 V2
- DG834(G) V3
- DG834(G) V4
- Netgear DG834GTB (Annex B)
- Netgear DG834PNB (Annex B)
have the opportunity to download custom firmware that has the ability to tweak the target SNR margin, albeit with a limited set of adjustments.
You can find information on other routers and modems by clicking on the following pages:
Netgear DGN3500 (which allows tweaking of the SNR using modified firmware)
DrayTek 2920 load balancing router