Zoom ADSL X6v review
It’s been a while since we reviewed an 802.11g router, but products such as Zoom’s ADSL X6v still have a place. If all you need is a wireless connection to browse the web, or you live in a small flat, you don’t need the speed and range that draft-n offers – and you can get more for your money with 802.11g.
To prove the point, the Zoom ADSL X6v is perfectly nippy while browsing the web. We measured its wireless performance at a consistent rate of around 20Mbits/sec when transferring files over a Windows network, tested in various rooms of a brick-built Victorian terrace. That’s a third as fast as our A Listed router, the Belkin N+, but quick enough to stream audio and standard-definition video files reliably.
We wouldn’t advise buying it if you need good long-range performance. At a distance of 40m from the router and with two walls in between, one 128MB file transfer took a whopping 28 minutes. There’s no Gigabit Ethernet, either.
But the X6v’s main trick isn’t range or speed – it’s VoIP. Once set up, it allows you to make and receive SIP-based phone calls across the net with standard phone hardware. A PSTN to VoIP bridge lets you connect that phone to your landline at the same time. And because the X6v supports automatic provisioning, it’s reasonably straightforward to set up – if your service supports the feature. The router supports up to four accounts, incoming and outgoing calls can be blocked, and there’s a host of other settings too.
Plus, unlike many other wireless routers, setting up the router’s QoS (quality of service) feature so that VoIP calls aren’t impinged upon by other network operations is straightforward. It works well, too – we had BBC iPlayer HD streaming and an internet call in progress with no drop in quality in either.
Inevitably, VoIP makes this a niche product with a limited market, but the price is reasonable given its range of features, and with decent performance for 802.11g it’s a good buy.
|802.11 draft-n support||no|
|Gigabit LAN ports||0|
|10/100 LAN ports||4|
|MAC address cloning||no|
|Wireless bridge (WDS)||yes|
|WPA Enterprise support||no|
|WPS (wireless protected setup)||yes|
|MAC address filtering||yes|
|Port forwarding/virtual server||yes|
|Web content filtering||yes|
|Dimensions||190 x 170 x 32mm (WDH)|