Glad to be online again: Billion 7300GX 3G/ADSL2+ Wireless Router

by Maskil on April 17, 2008

I covered my challenges with Internet connectivity in a post earlier this week. I’m happy to report that my Billion BiPAC 7300GX 3G/ADSL2+ Wireless Router arrived late yesterday afternoon, and I managed to set it up last night.

When I say “managed”, I unpacked the contents of the box, connected all the cables, powered on my desktop and opened the browser. It took less than five minutes to configure the router (which consisted mainly of accepting the defaults and entering my ISP username/password). After restarting the router and rebooting the PC (just in case) I was online. It felt like I had light and oxygen again!

Now I’m just waiting for the Fastlink E800 card from MTN and I’ll have auto-failover between my ADSL and 3g connections. Can’t wait.

Is there anything not to like about the router? A couple of things I would like to see done differently:

  • Unlike both the Telkom-supplied routers I have experience with, the power supply for the Billion doesn’t include Surge Protection for the ADSL connection (between the phone jack and the router). In a lightning hotspot like the Highveld, that’s a serious omission.
  • The unit includes a Car Charger?! The mind boggles at how one would actually get any use out of this. You’re not going to have your ADSL connection in a moving vehicle, and most people would take along a laptop and the 3G/HSDPA modem rather than a (comparatively) bulky router.
  • Telkom units include one USB port for a client connection, which I found useful on occasion. The Billion 7300GX doesn’t include this feature.
  • I agonised over whether to go for a PC Card or a USB 3G/HSDPA modem. The Billion 7300GX supports PC Card, while the soon to be released Billion 7402GX supports the USB equivalent. Why not a single unit that supports either port? Surely that can’t be too much of a technical challenge?

Design issues aside, I’m just very glad to have this addition to my home office.

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