3G Router with Usage Allowance control

Dec 13, 2010

Following a recent horror story with my 3G Broadband operator, I started to look for a router with a security
feature that would warn me when I reach the data usage limit and, if possible, disconnect the modem.

NetGear introduced the "Traffic Meter" in its DGN range, but this is only for ADSL, and even if I plan to stop switch to ADSL soon, it is convenient to have both in one box.

The closest match was the 4GR from Dovado with its Traffic Limit Notification and the possibility to control the router remotely. The only thing that held me back was the absence of firewall.

So I turned to the tech. support of my current ADSL/3G router, the Billion Bipac 7402GXL to see if they had plan for such a feature. They replied with a Release Candidate of their latest firmware v.6.03 which does have exactly what I need!

A new feature called Usage Allowance now appears in the WAN Connection section of the router. It gives you the option to set a traffic limit (Up/Down separately or together) based on a given billing period. Once the limit is reached, the router sends an email alert and/or disconnect the modem.

 There are 3 limitations to keep in mind though:

- This update is not compatible with configuration backup from a previous version. So you need to factory-reset and re-configure the box manually.
- The feature is only for 3G. A similar function for ADSL would be welcome.
- According to their technical support, the traffic limit currently cannot work if the value exceeds 3GB. It's not clear what happens if you set a higher value...maybe you don't get notified at all ?

I'm soon testing this live with the new billing period coming. I've also installed a SNMP monitor that gives an instant reading of the router traffic: Online Eye

Unpublished firmware updates for Series 7 routers can be obtained by opening a ticket with Billion support. For some reason, Billion UK recommend against using firmwares from its Australian counterpart.


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