iiNet Labs fathers BoB Lite


National broadband company iiNet has extended its popular BoB integrated ADSL router product line with what it has billed as the first product to come out of its new in-house development labs — a younger sibling dubbed BoB Lite.

The device sports an ADSL port, four Ethernet LAN ports, a port for a telephone to connect to its in-built internet telephony line (VoIP) and even two USB ports to connect USB storage or a 3G modem to add to its in-built functionality. A PSTN failover port is also included to alleviate any downtime on iiNet’s VoIP service, iiTalk.

The device supports the 802.11n wireless standard, as well as the legacy 802.11b and g options, but only offers 100Mbps speeds instead of the higher-speed gigabit Ethernet that has become popular over the past few years.

Additionally, it supports the TR-069 standard for easy provisioning by iiNet, and allows users to use iiNet’s Fetchtv IPTV offering — which had previously been limited to those owning the bigger standard BoB device.

A spokesperson for the company wouldn’t disclose which company had manufactured the device — the previous BoB was built in partnership with Belkin — but said the device was 100 percent designed, developed and distributed internally, with manufacturing outsourced to multiple factories.

Perhaps one of the biggest differences between the old BoB and BoB Lite is the price. According to iiNet’s web site, the old model costs $269 on a 24 month contract, or $369 stand-alone, compared with $69 and $99 respectively for the BoB Lite.

iiNet general manager of its Business division, Stephen Harley, claimed the newly-introduced modem was more competitive than any other product on the market. Moreover, he said BoB Lite was only the start of a future of products to be developed by the company’s research labs.

The original BoB has been a runaway success for iiNet, with the company stating in February that it was at the time selling about 4,000 units per month. The device was launched in mid-August 2009 and had sold over 21,000 units by February, representing 85 percent of all modem sales by iiNet over the period.

Image credit: iiNet


  1. Gigabit Ethernet on a home grade device, hilarious.

    don’t think you’ll be getting that without forking out for it. Node’s Fritz device has gigabit, at a price of $469…. doesnt quite seem worth it yet

  2. Gigabit?? We’re talking about connecting to an ISP via ADSL2+. I don’t think the lack of gigabit ethernet connectivity is going to be the bottleneck here.

    • Yes, in terms of the WAN port. However, gigabit ethernet is still useful in transferring files around the house, and many people use their ADSL modem as their internal switch (as I do).

  3. Get real, peeps. Gigabit is still high-end for most users, and with a price half that of the $180 quoted by pointzeroone above, you can’t expect those sorts of features.

    Bob and Bob lite are obviously pitched at the “I want hardware I can plug in and it just works” market, not the geeks like us who enjoy a challenge and can therefore get greater value for money (at least when you don’t count the hours we spend fiddling with our devices to get them to work _just_ the way we want).

    What I’d really like to see in fora like this is some user experience… reading around on the net was one of the things which turned me off Bob as the phone handsets were apparently useless (at least, according to those who could be bothered to post… which is probably not a representative sample). If this unit doesn’t have the handsets, that makes it a lot more attractive to my mind.

    Any _users_ out there want to share their views? (As opposed to people who want ten times the features for a tenth of the cost.)

  4. I have one. It works very well, and syncs slightly faster than my previous modem. I really like the storage server capability which enables all our family members to share a 1 TB hard disk connected via a USB port. There is also a second USB port than is behind a removable panel underneath it. I believe it is primarily for a 3G stick and I have not used it. I understand you can use these USB ports for power as well, e.g. to charge your mobile phone, although I have not tested this out.

    I would have liked it to support gigabit ethernet too, but there are only 4 wired ports anyway, and if I need gigabit I can always add an 8, 16 or 24 port gigabit switch. As another poster pointed out, it is an ADSL modem, so it really doesn’t need gigabit, as the ADSL speed is the bottleneck.

    I have Naked DSL, and so far VOIP works perfectly with the unit.

    It has a few annoyances, but they are minor
    – the lights on it are extremely faint and hard to see, and instead of having a separate light for each of the four wired connections, it has just one light that comes on if any of the wired ports is in use
    – It is quite large, much larger than any of my previous modems or routers, so takes up more wall, shelf or cupboard space.
    – the automatic setup didn’t work for me, but user experiences seem to have varied on this. I had a problem when I set it up, as in the Wireless section I wrongly ticked “enable wireless access point” and when you do this, it kills your internet access completely and even if you untick it and save the settings, there is no more internet until you reboot it. This caused me a lot of headaches and a dialogue with iiNet support. I eventually worked out what was happening and reported it to iiNet, and it may be fixed in a later firmware release.

  5. Has range and speed (runs PS3 through 3 walls) and no problems with voip (unlike previous Belkin-iinet modem used). The auto-setup did not work and passwords (login and voip) had to be entered manually. This modem is definitely good value.

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