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Standard User gilesp
(learned) Mon 16-Nov-15 10:29:52
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Suitable modem for FTTC


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Hi,

I'm potentially looking for a new modem/router that will be capable of handling the sort of speeds delivered by a FTTC service.

I'm currently on a copper connection with a fairly long line, and a Huawei HG523a modem that was left over from our talk-talk days.

The spec on the modem is it will handle ADSL2+ but I'm not sure what standard is used on the final leg of a 'superfast' service - I've seen VDSL2 mentioned on the kitz wesbite, but I've only scanned the page(I think I need to do some more reading anyway).

Please can someone recommend a modem suitable for FTTC speeds and modulation mode? wireless isn't necessary, likewise a single lan-side port would be sufficient. Reliability and stability (and known to be) is important obviously, and good reporting and configuring tools would also be useful. Cost should be reasonable, as I've not "approved" this change with the missus yet.. :-/

the complicated bit:

I don't want to be beholden to the ISP for the hardware - I'm currently on special terms with my ISP as I've been having connection issues which always happen when their helpdesk is shut. I'm certain it's a fault at their end (they are reaching that conclusion too). I've spoken to their retentions team after threatening to cancel my contract*, and they're offering a free upgrade to 'superfast' as a resolution - however I don't want to get tied to their hardware in case the problems persist and I end up walking away.

*The ISP is utilities warehouse, so when I cancel the BB they'll also loose the phone, gas and electricity as the cost saving is having all services together -thus they're quite keen to keep me.
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Mon 16-Nov-15 10:52:40
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Re: Suitable modem for FTTC


[re: gilesp] [link to this post]
 
Yes, FTTC is VDSL2.

Openreach HG612 modem off eBay. It is in fact a two-port modem/router with no wifi.

Get a locked one if cheaper, unlocking it is easy. Once unlocked most of us keep it in the default bridge mode but giving us full diagnostics, and use a "cable" router as per the Openreach intention for it, but just swap it to router mode and it seems to fit the bill. There are a couple of suites of graphing systems available as well.

Note that if by "configuring" you mean playing with the noise margin and so on then that is explicitly frowned upon by Openreach (see SIN 498 section 2.2.1 "Note : It is the DLM system that sets the line profile, and this should not be interfered with by CPs/users setting rates, SNR margins etc. at the modem"), and can give unpredictable results. Though some more expensive modem/routers can successfully do it. One model of Fritz box having just come a cropper due to a cabinet upgrade - there are two current threads about a huge drop in upload speed on it.

How good the QOS facilities are in modem/router mode I don't know, but any "cable" router with an Ethernet WAN port can be used with the HG612 in bridge mode.

The indispensable man or woman passes from the scene, and what happens next is more or less the same thing as was happening before.
My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - AAISP Home::1 80/20. Sync 59997/15142kbps @ 600m. - BQM
Standard User gilesp
(regular) Mon 16-Nov-15 12:06:49
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Re: Suitable modem for FTTC


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
Hi Roberto

Thanks for the quick response -By configuring I'm thinking more about LAN side services such as DHCP and such. Generally I don't play with the line stats - my existing modem doesn't allow much of that anyway.

I'd not really considered secondhand kit, though what you say makes good sense, though for the case of winning arguments with tier 1 support personnel, re-purposed hardware might not be idea. lAs far as new hardware is concerned - any recommendations?

thanks


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Standard User MHC
(sensei) Mon 16-Nov-15 12:14:42
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Re: Suitable modem for FTTC


[re: gilesp] [link to this post]
 
As RobertoS suggests - an HG612 is an ideal modem. Most of those being sold have probably only been used for a day or two! If you have one installed, even unlocked, most ISPs will be reasonable with that and they will never know it is unlocked. You can then put your own choice of router behind it.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

M H C


taurus excreta cerebrum vincit
Standard User gilesp
(regular) Mon 16-Nov-15 20:25:13
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Re: Suitable modem for FTTC


[re: MHC] [link to this post]
 
So I'll need another box behind this to act as a router? I was kinda hoping for a one-box solution. I do have a very old DI604 router from early days which is on it's way to the charity shop - would this work?

edit:

Just seen this thread which leads me to think that an unlocked HG612 can do routing as well, thus no second box required.. Am I right?

Edited by gilesp (Mon 16-Nov-15 21:18:00)

Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Mon 16-Nov-15 21:40:06
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Re: Suitable modem for FTTC


[re: gilesp] [link to this post]
 
[chuckle] smile

What did I say earlier?
In reply to a post by RobertoS:
Openreach HG612 modem off eBay. It is in fact a two-port modem/router with no wifi.

Get a locked one if cheaper, unlocking it is easy. Once unlocked most of us keep it in the default bridge mode but giving us full diagnostics, and use a "cable" router as per the Openreach intention for it, but just swap it to router mode and it seems to fit the bill. There are a couple of suites of graphing systems available as well.
The thread you found is where it was first done as far as we know. Certainly the first on these forums.

I'll ask BatBoy to have a look at this thread, as he probably knows more about its DHCP flexibility, so you can get more detailed with him. There is a dedicated page in the GUI, but the most I've ever done on any router is alter the base LAN IP address and the allocation ranges, along with setting a couple of fixed LAN addresses for some of my kit.

If it ends up not suiting, buy a combo and resell the HG612. Or keep it for a standby modem or modem/router!

The indispensable man or woman passes from the scene, and what happens next is more or less the same thing as was happening before.
My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - AAISP Home::1 80/20. Sync 59997/15142kbps @ 600m. - BQM

Edited by RobertoS (Mon 16-Nov-15 21:41:40)

Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Mon 16-Nov-15 22:03:50
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Re: Suitable modem for FTTC


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
Reply:-
The DHCP works fine. I don't think he has any difficult demands, just wants a modem/router so the HG612 will be fine.

The only caveat is that the router mode limits the throughput to around 65 Mbps as it doesn't have the horsepower to deal with PPPoE.
Which means if your connection speed is below 65Mbps you should be OK, above it and you will be restricted.

Used in bridge mode there is no problem handling the full 80Mbps if that's what you get. The modem is fine, the router a bit underpowered but of course in bridge mode that doesn't matter.

Popular on this forum are Billion and Fritzx modem/routers, with from what I see the Billions coming out top. But which model is outside my area, though I think it is one of the 8800s.

If you use the Search function on these forums for Billion or Fritz you should get too many matches to handle, but most will be to common threads.

Good luck.

The indispensable man or woman passes from the scene, and what happens next is more or less the same thing as was happening before.
My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - AAISP Home::1 80/20. Sync 59997/15142kbps @ 600m. - BQM
Standard User gilesp
(regular) Fri 20-Nov-15 10:46:58
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Re: Suitable modem for FTTC


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for checking this for me - it's appreciated.

I estimate my distance from the green cabinet to be around 150m - a table on this sitesuggests this would yield pretty good connection speeds -though I don't know if the ISP will throttle this yet.

Assuming the ISP don't throttle this, I guess it might be an advantage to get a second router lined up. I've managed to acquire a HS612 off a popular auction site, which should be enough to get things up and running I guess. what would symptoms of the router end not coping look like? Reduced speed, errors, dropped packets?

cheers!
Standard User MHC
(sensei) Fri 20-Nov-15 10:58:46
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Re: Suitable modem for FTTC


[re: gilesp] [link to this post]
 
If your estimate is ACTUAL cable distance then at 150m 80/20 is very likely - unles there is either a lot of local noise or aluminium cable. Even out to 400m 80/20 is achievable.

The HG612 is fine - it will easily cope with those speeds.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

M H C


taurus excreta cerebrum vincit
Standard User gilesp
(regular) Fri 20-Nov-15 11:48:47
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Re: Suitable modem for FTTC


[re: MHC] [link to this post]
 
The estimate is a physical walk - I can trace the phone line to the pole on our boundary, down the pole to an underground bundle which runs along the street -and at the end of the street is a pair of green cabinets, one is distinctly newer with a BT fibre ad plastered to it.

I get the impression our line is pretty good quality copper. Synch speed is good for our area and the current hardware hardly ever reports any line problems.
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