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Wi-Fi and Networking Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Hawking Technology HBB1 Broadband Booster

£53 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Hawking

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

If you make intensive use of your broadband connection and are bothered by glitches and interruptions that mar your gaming, VoIP and streaming media sessions (aka latency) you might well benefit from Hawking's Broadband Booster.

If you make intensive use of your broadband connection and are bothered by glitches and interruptions that mar your gaming, VoIP and streaming media sessions (aka latency) you might well benefit from Hawking's Broadband Booster.

This dedicated signal processor allocates a higher priority to internet traffic that it deems to be sensitive to delays and interruptions. It does this, however, at the cost of de-prioritising other traffic, such as peer-to-peer or FTP (file transfer protocol) downloading.

Connecting up the tiny HBB1 really couldn't be simpler: you plug in the mains transformer and use the supplied CAT5 cable to link the HBB1 to your ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) or cable modem. You then plug your router (using another CAT5 cable) into the HBB1 and you're ready to go.

There's no software to install. You can tell the HBB1 is doing its job because a status LED on top of the unit labelled ‘boost' glows blue.

So far so good, but the Broadband Booster isn't quite so convenient for the many users that have integrated ADSL modem/routers - there's nothing to plug the HBB1 into. The solution is simple but involves extra expense: you need to buy a cheapo switch or hub, plug your PCs into this and connect it to your router using the HBB1.

And if you have a wireless ADSL router and you want to use Wi-Fi to connect to it then you're plumb out of luck - the HBB1 is of no use here.

We found it possible to connect to various web radio stations and listen to them flawlessly. You can expect similar improvements with VoIP.

Hawking Technology HBB1 Broadband Booster Expert Verdict »
Signal processor
requires Ethernet connection to ADSL router
works with PC, Mac, PS2 and Xbox
  • Build Quality: We give this item 10 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 7 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 6 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

The Broadband Booster doesn't have any impact on ordinary internet traffic. But it you max out your shared broadband connection and want to use Skype or play online games and are bothered by ‘lag', this might be right up your street.

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