Zyxel NBG 6716 full review
The NGG 6716 may be yet another router enclosed in a black, plastic rectangular box, yet Taiwanese firm Zyxel has done a great job of sprucing up its appearance with just one small addition. The company often uses a swirling groove of plastic on its consumer products, and this covers three quarters of the front of the NBG 6716. The remaining area is for the status LEDs and company logo, providing a quite striking effect. See Group test: what's the best wireless router?
In a similar way, Zyxel's on-board software is simple but effective, as we've found from some of its excellent NAS drives. But this time, we're not sure it works quite so well. See all Wi-Fi and networking reviews.
When you first log in, after setting a password, you'll see the aptly named Simple mode, which provides three switches for enabling power saving mode, the firewall, and the content filter, and a pair of links to the internet and wireless settings. But these settings aren't ones we imagine changing that often.?
More of the time you'll likely spend fiddling with settings on the so-called Expert screen. This time though it's not a patch on the software that comes with some of its other products.
There are four tiny, poorly drawn icons on the side, without labels, that lead to different areas of the software. It's far from obvious what each one refers to, leading to blindly clicking on each section to find a specific option. Although you'll eventually find what you need, navigating the interface is undoubtedly frustrating, not helped by a short but noticeable delay when clicking anything.
The NBG 6716 hardware has four gigabit ethernet ports, a WAN port and two USB 2.0 ports. A button can switche off the array of LEDs, to make the NBG 6716 less of a distraction in a dark room, although thankfully, Zyxel hasn't followed the trend of using blindingly bright blue lights. There's another button to switch off Wi-Fi, and two more to eject USB devices.
The 3x3 internal antenna configuration didn't provide especially good performance. Over 11n we measured an average short-range transfer speed of 79 Mb/s, while on the same band at long range, a mere 58 MB/s.??But on 802.11ac performance was slightly better. The NBG 6716 managed good performance at short range, averaging 498 Mb/s. At longer range, it dropped off slightly, hitting 413 Mb/s. While still far faster than any 802.11n transfer rate we've seen, this isn't quite as good as some other 802.11ac routers on test that can exceed 600 Mb/s.
Zyxel NBG 6716: Specs
- Model: NBG 6716
- Product code
- Wireless protocols: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
- Radio bands: 2.4 & 5 GHz, simultaneous
- Processor: MIPS 74K 700MHz
- Chipset: Qualcomm-Atheros AR9558
- WAN port: 1xgigabit
- LAN port: 4xgigabit
- USB: 2 x USB 2.0
- Other: Qualcomm Steamboost
- Dimensions (whd): 165 x 214 x 74
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