CHOICE membership

NBN Router/Modems, Reviews & Some Gotchas


In the latest news about NBN modems:

Just brilliant. Even if your connection can deliver high speeds, the modem may be throttling it!


Our NBN modem-router review is now updated for 2019 (member content).


It is worth noting these reviews are most relevant to services that connect via FTTN and most FTTB connections.

Approx 50+% of all connected premises.


… also worth noting that it misses the ‘real routers’, from the likes of Cisco, Fortinet, Juniper … :wink: yeah I know, slightly higher price point, but you get what you pay for …


Also the results are just a ranking of the results on the products that ACMA ran tests on. From the arrticle:

“Our CHOICE experts took the publicly-available results and compared each unit, assigning scores to help you make sense of the data and see which ones came out on top.”

CHOICE ran their own tests but only on the 5 modem/routers offered by RSPs with results at:

Wireless Routers here:

I don’t know if CHOICE could actually afford to test across a more complete selection. I assume they pick those most popular in market share to run their tests on. Is anyone here that flush with funds that they could donate to ensure a more complete selection? I don’t think many if any of us could or maybe CHOICE could ask for a small voluntary donation from every member to more completely test. This may however then result in the same request across many other CHOICE test selections eg Washing Machines, Hair dryers.


I’d have thought companies would be eager to donate to the testing process? if they had confidence in their product for example? Perhaps they’d even be willing to share tuning details - of course they expose tuning knobs to the customer don’t they? don’t they??? :wink:


I think CHOICE have explained why they resist getting donations from Companies ie implied bias to those who do the providing. I can’t remember where I read it and perhaps @BrendanMays may be able to point to it.

As I have said previously on the site we may have to get some other means of increasing funding to CHOICE so they can carry out more inclusive tests eg members providing test subjects such as washing powders, cleaning items and even tech objects such as modem/routers.


With Cisco, it’s more bugs than could fit in James’s giant peach!

Which reminds me, I have to buy my Billion modem/router and Synology secure router before I sign up for the NBN.


I was thinking donating or lets say ‘submitting’ product for testing … I wouldn’t see an issue with that so long as it was at arms length …


Brendan, it appears that to some extent the comparison is of apples to oranges and pears. Some of the reviewed models do not have WiFi, at least one appears not to have modem capability (although I can’t find it on the company website without that capability in its name), and a few are still on 802.11n.

Should the comparisons then be split into WiFi capability and modem capability, given that those reviewed products lose points simply for being focused upon one task? I realise that this then complicates things for the average reader, but suspect that some of the lower-ranking products may in fact rank more highly if the review was only of what they did. (In fact, looking through the table at the modem vs. router ratings, I suggest that the Linksys in last place has been ripped off compared to other single-purpose devices!)


…and not much mention of VOIP support. Some products with it are anecdotally (for me) reported to have less than stellar VOIP voice quality while others rival PSTN service, and some have 2 VOIP ports while other have 1, or sometimes none, and for many of us it maters and for many more it does not.

Also not much commentary on us HFC connected users where we receive the NBN’s cable modem, so modem capability becomes irrelevant since throughput gets muddied by the NBN supplied cable modem so there are at least 4 potential bottlenecks - the router, the modem, the NBN, and the RSP’s kit.

How to report it all to help consumers in a truly sensical way could be a PhD project in itself.


The bigger the company/product range, the more focus (either way - exploit and mitigation) - its one today, another tomorrow - nobody is immune, even people who put emotive descriptions in their product name :wink: It’s a bit of a shame that some sites where exploits are published seem rather tardy in publishing updated information especially with regard to mitigation in its various forms. has an interesting presentation of the security landscape …


Ooh - nice tools! Needs work, but I could browse there for hours.