A dual-WAN ADSL2+ and 3G router that does away with the need for 3G dongles, but otherwise has few exciting features. The quirky management interface and sub-par documentation mean it's not recommended for less experienced users.
Embedded 3G modem uses standard 3G SIM card; supports four concurrent IPsec VPN tunnels; easy basic setup.
Poor usability if you want to configure anything other than the basics; very expensive for what you get.
£329 + VAT
Embedded 3G and ADSL2+ WAN interfaces; 4 x 10/100Mbps Ethernet ports (1 configurable as WAN port); 802.11b/g Wi-Fi; 4 IPsec VPN tunnels; SPI firewall; WPS and WDS support; measures 22.9x15.5x4.3cm
Using 3G mobile broadband dongles as a backup for a standard DSL-based internet connection is nothing new, but is an increasingly popular way of adding simple WAN redundancy to routers for smaller offices or teleworkers. There are many models now available with USB ports that will take a standard 3G dongle, but compatibility can be an issue. Billion's 7800GZ gets around this problem by using an embedded modem that accepts any standard 3G SIM.
The unit is chunky but very light, with an all-plastic construction. The antennas are rather oddly located, with two for the 3G (HSPA) radio at the back and one side, plus a single Wi-Fi antenna at the opposite side. This arrangement could prove awkward in some installations as it adds 6cm to the nominal width.
The large status lights at the front are welcome, although the lack of an indicator to tell you when WAN failover is in operation is surprising.
There are four 10/100Mbit/s LAN ports at the rear, one of which can be configured as a WAN port. Also at the rear is a power toggle switch plus the Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) and reset buttons. The spring-loaded SIM slot lies next to these. The router measures 22.9 x 15.5 x 4.3cm.
The 7800GZ's features are adequate, but not wildly exciting for the price, hinting that there's a premium placed on the embedded 3G capabilities. With no Gigabit Ethernet and only 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, it's not exactly cutting edge. It does have some useful extras such as the 4-tunnel IPsec VPN server and comprehensive Quality-of-Service (QoS) settings, though.
Initial setup is made almost idiot-proof by the Easy Sign On wizard that starts the first time you launch a browser. There is a similar Quick Start wizard within the web management interface that helps you configure the WAN and Wi-Fi settings, although oddly you can't enable dual-WAN mode from here.