Toss-up: NBN-ready devices
Fritz!Box 7390, $329.
Packed with features such as internet telephony and dual-band wi-fi, these ADSL2+ home gateways will let you make a smooth transition to the national broadband network (NBN) when it its rolled out in your neighbourhood.
The Fritz!Box 7390 and Billion BiPAC 7800VDPX are both ADSL2+ broadband router/modems designed to squeeze the most out of your copper telephone line. The Billion lets you tweak the ''signal to noise ratio'' settings to boost download speeds over a poor copper connection, which could be handy if you're a long way from your telephone exchange. When the new fibre network finally runs down your street you can plug these routers straight into your NBN connection to take full advantage of up to 100 Mbps download speeds.
Both routers support a household full of gadgets - running 802.11g and 802.11n (300 Mbps) wi-fi networks side-by-side, offering faster speeds to new wireless gadgets while still supporting your older gear. They also have four gigabit ethernet ports for running cables around your home, with one doubling as an ethernet wide area network for connecting to a cable or NBN connection. You can also plug a 3G dongle into the Fritz!Box as a backup, letting you switch to mobile broadband if your home connection goes down.
Billion BiPAC 7800VDPX, $229.
If you're ready to ditch your phone line, both these routers let you connect up two handsets for making phone calls over the internet - known as VOIP calls. They can also act as your answering machine. The Fritz!Box offers extra flexibility and a bonus feature - a built-in DECT base station for supporting cordless phones.
The Fritz!Box is an amazing jack-of-all-trades router but perhaps overkill for many people. If you don't need the DECT cordless phone features then your money is probably better spent on the cheaper Billion.
Billion BiPAC 7800VDPX