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Wireless Reviews

Features

The chart below, compiled from ZyXEL's published specifications, shows the feature set and specifications for the NBG6815. You can download the complete, comprehensive 212-page user guide that details all of the NBG6815's features.

Since both the NBG6716 and the NBG6815 are based on the same QCA9558, you'd expect features to be very similar, and they are. However, there are some different or unique features worth pointing out.

  • In the NBG6716 review, we noted that there was no support for printers attached to the USB ports. In the NBG6815, USB printer support has been added.
  • The NBG6716 lacks support for IPv6. The NBG6815 supports IPv6. Complete configuration details can be found on pages 104-105 in the user guide.
  • Neither product supports WDS.
  • Neither product supports Enterprise wireless security (RADIUS)
  • In addition to an IPv4 firewall, the NBG6815 also supports a separate IPv6 firewall.
  • Both products support four BSSIDs on each band (3 guest networks in addition to the default network). Each network can have unique security configurations. Each guest network can be configured to block/allow Intra-BBS traffic and enable/disable WMM QoS.
  • Both products support Router and AP modes.
  • Both products use Qualcomm's StreamBoost technology for QoS.

ZyXEL NBG6815 Features and Specifications

ZyXEL NBG6815 Features and Specifications

To administer the router, you can either point your browser at http://myrouter, or the router’s default IP address of 192.168.1.1. Like the NBG6716, the NBG6815 has an Auto IP feature that automatically detects if there's a conflict between the IP subnet of your WAN and the default LAN subnet configuration. By default, the router uses 192.168.1.1, but in my case, I plugged the router's WAN port into a LAN port on my network which also uses 192.168.1.0/24. Auto IP reconfigured the router to a default address of 10.0.0.1. The graphic below from ZyXEL illustrates Auto IP.

ZyXEL NBG6815 Auto IP

ZyXEL NBG6815 Auto IP

As with the NBG6716, the NBG6815 has two management modes: Easy and Expert. By default, you land at the eaZy123 simplified user interface shown below.

ZyXEL NBG6716 eaZY123 landing page

ZyXEL NBG6815 eaZY123 landing page

The default view shows a network map. For each connected client, you can view information about the client, block the device from accessing the Internet, rename the device, and change the device's icon. The eaZy123 interface has been further simplified from the eaZy123 interface on the NBG6716 to include only the following options:

  • Wi-Fi - enable/disable/configure the default Wi-Fi network.
  • Guest Wi-Fi - enable/disable/configure the guest Wi-Fi network(s).
  • Parental Control - enable/disable parental control. Click to view parental control rules.
  • Notification - enable to be notified by e-mail when the user(s) is connected to the NBG6815 for Internet access during the specified time periods.
  • Wireless Security - this lets you change the SSIDs and the WPA2 passwords individually for the 2.4 GHz and the 5GHz bands. You can also start a WPS negotiation.
  • Magic Wand (at the top of the screen) - launches the eaZy123 setup wizard.
  • Logout (adjacent to Magic wand) - log out of the router.
  • Expert Mode (right side of the screen) - switch into Expert Mode.

The gallery below shows quite a few "Expert Mode" configuration screens.

Storage Performance

The plot below shows NTFS Write and Read router storage performance tested using our standard procedure and USB 2.0 connection for the NBG6815 and two AC2350 class products. The ZyXEL turned in very poor results. NTFS write was less than half of the next fastest competitor. Similarly, it had less than a third of the NTFS read performance of the next fastest router. For both tests, the Linksys EA8350 turned in the best results.

On a more positive note, the NBG6815 successfully mounted the volumes in each of the supported formats. (FAT32, NTFS, and EXT3) Guest access worked as expected. The DLNA media server was disabled for the performance tests.

Storage Performance Comparison - USB 2.0 / NTFS

Storage Performance Comparison - USB 2.0 / NTFS

Routing Performance

Routing throughput was measured using our standard router test process with the router loaded with V1.00(ABBP.1)C00 firmware. The table summarizes the results. For comparison, I've included the ASUS RT-AC87U and NETGEAR R7500 V2 AC2350 class routers used in the component comparison above. For maximum simultaneous connections, we consider anything over 30,000 connections equal for ranking purposes.

Test Description ZyXEL NBG6815 ASUS RT-AC87U NETGEAR R7500 V2
WAN-LAN 832 787 762
LAN-WAN 869 808 799
Total Simultaneous 1219 1392 1454
Maximum Simultaneous Connections 16384 36805 39189
Firmware Version V1.00(ABBP.1)C0 3.0.0.4.376_2061 v1.0.0.28
Routing Throughput Summary

It appears that ZyXEL has addressed the poor routing performance noted for the NBG6716. The NGB815 has the best WAN-LAN and LAN-WAN unidirectional tests of the three products compared, but the lowest Total Simultaneous throughput. The Maximum Simultaneous connections test shows that the NBG6815 supports less than half of the simultaneous connections supported by the other two products.

For the unidirectional tests, the IxChariot chart shows relatively constant and balanced throughput for both downlink and uplink with uplink holding a slight edge over downlink.

ZyXEL NBG6815 unidirectional throughput

ZyXEL NBG6815 unidirectional throughput
The Simultaneous up/download chart shows a lot of variation. Downlink averaged only 405 Mbps and had a wide range of 80 Mbps to 941 Mbps resulting in a wide 95% confidence level. Uplink had slightly more than double the average downlink throughput (821 Mbps vs. 405 Mbps). The range between maximum and minimum uplink throughput was less (821 Mbps to 248 Mbps) which resulted in a lower 95% confidence level.

ZyXEL NBG6815 Simultaneous Up/Downlink Performance

ZyXEL NBG6815 Simultaneous Up/Downlink throughput

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