Which router is best for the NBN?


PCRange chief executive Raaj Menon (also known as the first man in South Australia to get the NBN) has been busy putting his fledgling fibre connection to good use. In a new blog post, Menon outlines a comprehensive speed and throughput test he’s recently conducted on a series of ten high-end routers from the likes of Netgear, D-Link, iiNet, ASUS, Buffalo, Apple, AVM (Fritz!Box), Cisco and TP Link.

His conclusion? None of the routers were unsatisfactory, but there were some clear winners:

“Of these ten routers, two of them, the ASUS RT-N56U and the Apple Airport Extreme 2011 performed brilliantly in the throughput test and the rest of the routers produced 50 percent less throughput than these two. The Netgear DGND3700 and the AVM Fritz!Box 7390 also performed extremely well. Even at the highest 100Mbit NBN plan any of these routers will do its job. If you want to future-proof in the hope that the NBN will bring out the 1Gbit plans (I doubt we will be seeing this in the next 5 years) the above 2 routers should perform close to its full potential.”

Of course, you have to keep in mind that Menon’s company PCRange is a distributor for a number of router brands in Australia (notably Billion and Fritz!Box) and also has a close relationship with Internode, which is known for its love of the noble Fritz. However, we would find it hard to believe that Menon was pushing his own company’s brands in this test — the results are a bit hard to fake and the executive is a geek at heart.

At the end of the day, router choice often comes down to personal preference, although it pays to read reviews like this before you buy. By way of disclosure, the Delimiter HQ recently upgraded to a gigabit Ethernet-capable, 802.11n Wi-Fi toting Fritz!Box 7390. We’re ready for the NBN speeds whenever NBN Co decides to get to our area ;)

Image credits: Delimiter


  1. Just to set the record straight, PC Range now only does Billion and the Fritz, not a NUMBER of routers as mentioned. And also pushing own brandS in this test, actually only one brand the Fritz was tested out of the 10 reviewed.

    • No worries Raaj! Useful clarification. As mentioned I don’t think you’d push any particular brand — just had to mention the link for disclosure purposes.

  2. Thank Renai. At some stage I will get down to doing a more comprehensive test whilst taxing the CPU, and running several tasks but that takes a hellava lot of time but I plan to do it at some stage and also when I get better software to test.

  3. I’ve pretty much given up on consumer-grade devices. Crazy though I might be, I’m starting to take a serious look at some Cisco and Juniper units to replace my very unreliable Billion 7800N. The current frontrunner on my list is the Juniper J2350.

    • I’m with you — consumer router reliability + stability seems to have gone downhill major-league recently. I was happy with my Fritz!Box purchase, but that’s German quality engineering, after all — if I hadn’t bought that I would have likely started to look at Cisco’s SMB line-up.

    • I prefer a box running Linux/BSD/whatever over any consumer doorstop – has definitely served me well the past few years. Sadly, rising power costs will probably drive me to a Fritz soon…

  4. Headline should have been, ‘How many router model incarnations and brands do you think there will be before you actually get the NBN?’

    Fritz!box 7390? – antique router from 2010.


    • alain… one poster is already on the NBN and another will be in a few weeks… So, so much for your router FUD…

      But them being so, then of course comes fallback position #1, well… the ACCC and TLS shareholders might not approve it…!

      And don’t forget fallback position #2, the polls/next election…shakes head and laughs!

      I really can’t understand the rationale as to why you need to turn every thread, into an anti-NBN fool-a-thon?

  5. Alain, I do have the NBN, so not so antique and many of the 1st release sites have started getting the NBN and going commercial soon but you are right it will be a few years before it comes to main cities. I think now that the 1st hurdle of testing etc are out of the way, the NBN will roll on quickly I reckon.

    • Not as big as the hurdle the NBN Co and Conroy faces if Telstra shareholders and the ACCC don’t approve the Telstra deal.


  6. I’m planing on using my Apple 2GB Time Capsule for the NBN when they connect me in the next few weeks in Kiama Downs. Good to hear it will work well and I’ll get great throughput.

  7. Just the review I wanted. Having just moved to an Opticomm estate, I was wondering what was best. Now I know. Though I must say if I hadn’t seen this, I was going to go the Apple.
    Now I know I will.

    Cheers Raaj. Well done.

  8. I am on the NBN via satellite and have had no end of trouble with the Apple routers: initially with Airport Express and currently with the 2TB Time capsule. Both are very flaky when connecting to some minor overseas sites and with secure sites ; “Safari can’t establish a secure connection etc”… trying to purchase goods online is almost impossible because of the difficulty of connecting to the HTTPS pages.

    What bugs me is that I don’t have this problem at all using the basic Linksys wireless router or the Linksysy E3200.

    The speeds with the Apple gear is fine when connected, the problem is that the connection is intermittent.


    Azima Wilson

  9. Hi All. Another brand that provides way more bang for your buck than the likes of Cisco is Mikrotik. Have successfully used their small end product on ADSL. Look at the CCR range of products if you want the throughput on the 100/40 NBN plans.

Comments are closed.