OPEN 824RLW ADSL 2+ Modem Router Wireless VoIP 4 ports (Rebadged Billion 7404VGP) Review

The OPEN Networks 824RLW is an ADSL 2+ Modem with Router, 802.11b/g Wireless Access Point with WPA support, 2x VoIP phone lines, Lifeline PSTN and 4x 10/100Mbps LAN ports.

In essence the OPEN Networks 824RLW is a Rebadged Billion 7404VGP but much cheaper at about $110 with a few small differences: no Annex M faster ADSL2+ upload (but most ADSL2+ plans dont support Annex M anyway), the OPEN comes with an ADSL combined splitter/filter where the Billion just has a filter and the OPEN has 1yr warranty/Billion has 2yr warranty.

I don’t need ANNEX M support so I bought the OPEN 824RLW for $109+post instead of the Billion 7404VGP which sells for $165+

Benefits/Features

  • plusBrilliant value because its at least $60 cheaper than the Billion 7404VGP which has almost exactly the same features
  • plusAs an all in one solution you don’t need a separate VOIP adaptor using up an extra power point. My new OPEN 824RLW replaces my old setup of a Zyxel ADSL modem/router + Sipura 2100 VOIP adaptor.
  • plusThe 824RLW supports downstream speeds up to 8Mbit with ADSL1, 12mbit for ADSL2 and 24 Mbit with ADSL2+.

    On my 8MBit ADSL1 plan with Internode I connect at Downstream: 7.616mbit, Upstream: 0.384mbit

    The fastest speed I’ve heard any getting with an ADSL2+ account is Downstream: 24.575mbit, Upstream: 0.927mbit

    Both these speeds are pretty much the highest possible unless you live 5 metres from your telephone exchange so the 824RLW will probably get you the highest ADSL speed that your phone line quality allows.

  • plusAutomatic fallback back to Landline PSTN to allow you to make normal phone calls when there is a power outage, or when the Internet connection is down.
  • plusHaving VOIP built in allows the 824RLW to use Quality of Service (QoS) to give VOIP phone calls priority, even when you’re downloading large files etc
  • plusIndividual LED’s on the front of the modem light up green when VOIP Phone1, VOIP Phone2 or the Landline PSTN are being used to make calls

Problems/Issues

  • minusThere’s a very similar ADSL mode/router also called the OPEN 824RLW 3-port being sold for a similar price as the OPEN 824RLW 4 port. Don’t buy this 3 port version because you won’t save any money and it’s a rebadged Billion 7402VGP with less features than the OPEN 824RLW 4 port
  • minusOPEN Networks Firmware looks like it will probably not be able to upgrade beyond 5.53 which suffers from garbled voice with G729 VOIP codec. Easily fixed by using g711a or g711u codecs instead by going to the admin menu:

    “Configuration -> VoIP -> Phone Port -> Edit (line 1 or 2) -> Codec Preference -> Priority 1”. Choose G711u or G711A depending on what your VOIP company recommends. I use G711U with Mynetfone

Firmware + Other Tips

  • plusFor everyone who wants to know what how the Open Networks admin control panel looks like you can now see it for yourself
  • plusSeveral people have managed to convert the OPEN 824RLW to Billion 7404VGP firmware newer than 5.53. NOTE: But once you done this, you cannot revert to Open Networks firmware again. Do it at your own risk and obviously lose your warranty.

    The Billion firmware is a bit more user friendly with VoIP in particular, having the common Aussie VOIP companies pre-defined and having the default dial plan push 000 calls to PTSN is a wise move.

  • plusIn August 2008 OPEN 824RLW retailer Cormain said that “new firmware for Open Networks is being tested … wait for the new 5.6 firmware from Open Networks” but nothing has been heard about that since. 5.53 is the current version being shipped.
  • plusFollow these instructions if you want too use a Open 824RLW VPN Passthrough
  • plusTo view your ADSL synch speed: open the admin menu and click on the “ADSL” link under “Port Status” at the bottom of the screen.
  • plusA Console Kit that looks like a serial to phone adaptor is included in the OPEN 824RLW box. It’s used to unbrick the modem when a firmware upgrade goes wrong
  • Specifications

    DSL Modem: ADSL 1, ADSL 2, ADSL 2+, 4x 10/100 Mbps LAN ports, Auto crossover cable detection

    Router: DHCP relay, DMZ, DNS forwarding, NAT routing, NAT table size=1500, Port forwarding incl. ranges, UPnP support, DHCP server, QoS prioritisation, specific QoS for VOIP, Rate limiting of IP traffic or LAN ports

    WiFi (Wireless): Wireless Distribution System (WDS) compatible, Access point mode, Repeater mode, WEP-64bit /WEP-128bit, WPA/WPA-PSK/WPA2/WPA2-PSK, Speed=802.11b (11 Mbps) or 802.11g (54 Mbps), External screw-on antenna-2Dbi

    Firewall: DoS protection, Firewall Log, Java blocking, Keyword filtering, MAC filtering, SPI firewall, URL filtering

    VoIP: 2 VOIP (FXS ATA) ports, 1 Landline PSTN fallback Failsafe (FXO) port, VoIP Dial Plans, PSTN Dial Plans, Supports Telephony features (caller ID, call forward, etc), Number of VOIP providers supported=10, T.38 (Fax over IP).

    Other: 12 month Warranty, Chipset=Argon 432, Wall mountable, NTP client & server, DDNS client, SNMPv1/v2/v3 capable, Event logging, Backup/Restore functionality, Quick configuration wizard, Default IP address=192.168.1.254, Default admin username & password=admin

    You can buy the 4 Port OPEN 824RLW from Cormain like I did for $109+post (price accurate for Oct 2008)

    The OPEN 824RLW Product Brochure, manual and other downloads are at the OPEN Networks website

    19 thoughts on “OPEN 824RLW ADSL 2+ Modem Router Wireless VoIP 4 ports (Rebadged Billion 7404VGP) Review”

    1. Hi Neerav,

      I am wanting to buy a new wireless router as currently I have an Extreme G D-Link Router that for some reason won’t let me password protect it. As soon as I put a password on it, it just doesn’t let the laptops in the house connect =(

      Do you suggest any routers in particular for ease of use and EXTRA strong signal?

      I am thinking either a high end billion or a LinkSys.

      What are your thoughts?

      EDITOR: Hi Alex, I don’t have any Wireless equipment so I’d suggest you ask your question at the DSL hardware section of the Whirlpool.net.au forums

    2. Thanks Neerav,

      I have an OPEN 824RLW and have been suffering terrible garbled noise (with GOTALK) who recommend G729 codec as priority 1. I have removed and set G711A as priority 1 and G711u as priority 2. I am very keen to see how it goes as the wife is extremely frustrated!!

      Thanks for your comprehensive posting!

    3. Hi,

      I have applied for naked dsl plan(iinet). And am planning to buy adsl/adsl2 wireless modem/router with voip from the market. I am not sure which one should i go for? Can you please guide me.. I dont have normal pstn line. i`ll be using voip telephony once its intalled. Your guidance would be much appreciated. Thanks – Twinkle

    4. Neerav

      Most useful posting! I am a little concerned about the firmware upgrade availability and the workaround to install the Billion firmware. However, the cost saving is significant (with the Billion 7404 at >$200 on eBay buy-it-now options. Have seen the Open824RLW 4 port for $97.00 at JM Technology.

      All the best for 2009.

    5. Hi there! I’m wondering (and hoping) that you can help me out… I’ve got myself an Open 814rlw and am using it for VOIP also. But, when I try to call a number which asks me to press 1 for x department, 2 for y department, etc, my line drops out, echos and then the modem resets. I looked on my provider site and they tell me to:
      ‘Go into the web interface for the ATA and find an option called “OOB Signalling” under the VoIP section in”Advanced Settings”. Set the value to Out-of-Band (RFC2833), and the “RFC2833 signalling using payload value” setting to 101 and this should fix the problem. ‘
      My problem is, this is based on their branded modem and not my Open, so I have no idea where to go to check/change these settings! Can you please help me?
      Thanks!

    6. Billion has release firmware version 5.71 for the 7404VGP. Has anyone successfully installed this on an Open 824RLW? I tried installing the previous version (5.54b) to my Open 824RLW and it wouldn’t work. I’m going to try this latest version tonight but I’m not holding my breath. There are people out there that have done the upgrade successfully but they’re not divulging their method.

    7. The latest Billion firmware the 824RLW will accept is 5.54b. After that Billion has done something to prevent it from loading.

    8. I have tried all firmwares from 5.07 to the new 5.71 and 5.54b is the latest i could put on, the firmware will upload but the modem is bricked on next reboot. I have seen posts of people with 5.60c loaded on some but i think it is the 3 port version.

    9. The 4 port 824RLW cannot be upgraded with Billion 7404VGP firmware past V5.54b .

      The Open 824RLW only has one 128 MBIT SDRAM chip installed (IC42S32400-7TG on my unit). There is a vacant space on the PCB (under the Wireless board) next to this chip for another RAM chip which is probably installed in the genuine Billion 8404VGP units. Remember that OEM units are built for the cheapest possible cost and if this extra chip was not needed to run the original Open firmware, then it would not be installed.

      I have no doubt that the extra features that Billion put into each new firmware version will use more and more RAM, so that is why there is no new Open firmware past 5.53 (which is just Billion firmware with a different logo anyway). The newer Billion firmware will just not run on the cut-down Open hardware.

    10. In regards to what DC wrote, would it be possible to “install” another ram chip (identical to the current one installed) in the vacant spot? Reason I ask is that if it is indeed possible, then that should allow the 824RLW (4port) to operate with newer Billion firmware.

      Of course, this is just an idea.

    11. I think $109 is a good price for such a good router with voip. But another question: Why it has only 12 months warranty?

      EDITOR: 12 months warranty is standard in Australia

    12. Cheers for the info. I installed one of these for my Mum and its great.
      The 1 PC store in the town where she lives only had this unit and so I had no choice.
      Once I got it up and running (which was real easy) I decided I wanted one. However, I had bought the last one.
      So does anyone know where I can get one for a decent price, the links above don’t seem to exist any longer…
      Cheers,
      mac

      EDITOR: I think the distributor permanently sold out of this model recently

    13. Can anyone tell me where I can find a manual for the Open 824RLW and the installation disk?
      My disk has karked and Open Networks seem to have disappeared.

    14. I am using OPEN824RLW modem. This is a hand me down item and received as it is without box/disk/manual. Soemhow it worked but I am wondering if there is a installation disk [if yes where can I get a copy] and how to source copy of Manual for me to set up eg. wireless modem password access. Thank you.

    15. I am having trouble with my phone, have tried to get help from iinet but after many efforts they have been unable to correct the problem. They have asked me to ask you if there is a newer version of firmware. Your help would be appreciated

      EDITOR: as far as I know Open Networks went out of business so there are no more firmware updates

    16. I want to know how to configure this modem. I don’t have anything except the Router (same as shown in pic) with me. Please help me.

    17. I still have two of these modems available and I have the disks and documentation which came with them. I will be happy to share any info to anyone needing help with the docs/disks, etc. The one thing I do not do is upgrade firmware and have no idea on firmware upgrades as I do not like doing it.
      I also have the 306 wireless lan adapters to go with the modems. and the installation disks for these.
      You may contact me at baaabeee@yahoo.com for any help.

    18. Ah, I have all three of these, i.e. Open824RLW(4port), Billion 7404VGO-M, and the Billion 7404VNOX, and for all practical purposes, the 824RLW and the 7404VGO-M are the same – except for the VPN and the Annex-M, and if you need a Users Manual, I would suggest that you download a Billion BiPAC7404VGO-M manual form their site (www.billion.com.au) – if you ignore the VPN and Annex-M sections, it is virtually identical to the Open824RL manual.

      I gather the Open824RLW is no longer available, but the Billion 7402VGP and the Billion 7404VNOX are, and you should be able to find a 7404VGP or VGO-M online somewhere – and I am very happy with the 7404VNOX(1Gbit ether, 802.11n, and 3G USB modem port), but they sell for about $225- at the moment (I’m buying and setting one up for a friend at the moment).

      I think $225- is quite reasonable for what it is, considering I spent $550- for the 7404VGO-M a few years ago. It does need good ventilation in summer though – it’s not happy in 45 degrees celcius on a table all day – it reboots if it gets too hot (unlike the 7404VGO-M). Give it about an inch (3cm) underneath, to breath, or switch the air-con on – AND DON’T put anything on top of it!! Other than that, it’s great! (I made the mistake of putting my cordless phone on top – my desk is a bit cluttered!)

      If your budget stretchs that far, the Fritz!Box 7390 has all this (ADSL2+) plus optical (NBN) fibre, and a 6 x DECT VOIP/PSTN Phone capability for about $339-00 + $109-00 per DECT phone.
      Hope this helps…

    19. I want to know how we can configure this wireless Router Modem.I don’t have anything except the Router (same as shown in pic) with me. Please help me.

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