On 1st of June, 2012, Cobranet ISP replaced its flagship internet modem, the CN438, with the more modern UGO Mach5. Targeted at homes and small offices, the new modem boasts of an array of features, which includes a higher data transfer rate and, more importantly, an in-built WIFI router.
I picked up one of these modems from dealdey during one of Cobranet’s many promotional offers. It cost N10,000 for the modem, with 9GB of data allowance (worth N8,500) included for me to play with. It was a very good offer, a steal if you ask me.
The router has a very sleek build and comes with a single ethernet port at the back, on the off chance that you would rather connect it directly to your laptop or to an existing router setup using a RJ45 cable. It also has a telephone port which i believe is not operational yet.
It is a very basic single band router with most of the bells and whistles that some may be familiar with missing. The router uses the 2.4 GHz band, which is limited in range and speed compared to dual-band routers that use both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz band. Dual-band routers are more efficient, have longer range, are less prone to interference from household devices, such as microwaves and older cordless phones, and are usually faster.
This is not in the least a deal breaker because single-band routers are compatible with most wireless cards and receivers, as they broadcast on the 2.4 GHz band, which is more common in Nigeria. The WIFI coverage is also more than sufficient to cover a mid sized home or office. And for the price, you probably can not get a better offer elsewhere.
By comparison and very surprisingly, the Mach 5 router boasts of a better coverage area than my old trusty Belkin N+ router which had a bit of a difficulty penetrating through the thick walls of my home.
However, network features like IP address reserving (which allows the router to give a fixed IP address to a computer in the network), port forwarding, access control, and firewall are not available in the Mach 5.
Overall, the Mach 5 WiFi router is a very good buy. The features are commensurable with the price it is being offered for.