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Standard User planetf1
(experienced) Tue 05-Apr-16 14:36:45
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TP-Link Archer VR900 (to replace BT HH5a) - first thoughts


[link to this post]
 
I've had some issues with the BT HomeHub 5a, so after some reluctance to fork out more money, and plenty of reading of these threads, I decided to try out the TP-Link Archer VR900.

First thoughts (after less than 24 hours) :

* A fairly large unit, but sturdy
* VDSL (@35 Mbps) is rock solid - no modem drops (checked via telnet) - though this is at 35 Mbps on a line that has synced at up to 38 Mbps previously (ip profile challenge)
* upload speed seems a little lower - 1 Mbps [7 vs 6] than HG612, but yet to do a side by side test as recent debugging of the HH has left me on that dodgy profile
* A real shame there's no detailed line stats (I knew this)
* Dynamic DNS with noip seems to always hang & not complete
* The local DNS server is just a cache. Though the router reports local device names in the status screens, it's DNS server will not resolve. This is VERY annoying (the HH5 worked fine for this) though I guess I could offload DNS, or all DHCP to one of my raspberry pis ....
* The VPN support is client only ie to connect to another server. A shame, a local VPN server would have been useful (could be on pi .. but..)
* The wifi range is good, haven't tested speeds yet (BB only 35-40 Mbps) & I get a solid 5 Ghz signal all over the house, whilst the HH5 struggled in a few places
* Throughput seems very consistent, and pings seem lower than HH5 (I need to go back and retest)

Overall though I'm disapointed by DDNS & DNS issues, not sure this is cutting the grade. I have 30 day amazon returns. The netgear D7000 may be another option. I'm also still chasing BT. Or I find a router running opensource code (ah but nothing with integrated vdsl), or split the router/wireless access pieces. I may yet keep the AR900 (£108) though since the basics of vdsl & wifi are looking decent

Edited by planetf1 (Tue 05-Apr-16 14:55:18)

Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Tue 05-Apr-16 18:25:17
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Re: TP-Link Archer VR900 (to replace BT HH5a) - first though


[re: planetf1] [link to this post]
 
If chasing perfection might have to go for a split modem and router solution.

Andrew

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User choppersrock
(newbie) Tue 05-Apr-16 18:48:53
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Re: TP-Link Archer VR900 (to replace BT HH5a) - first though


[re: planetf1] [link to this post]
 
Why not have a look at an asus rt-ac87u. I use it with merlin firmware and a seperate modem. This means I can get stats from the modem , 5ghz wifi and inbuilt vpn server. Also means if making changes to the router and then rebooting the router it has no effect on the sync as the modem does not need to be reset.

I had a vr900 to begin with but having seperates is so much better.


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Standard User ukhardy07
(knowledge is power) Tue 05-Apr-16 19:34:06
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Re: TP-Link Archer VR900 (to replace BT HH5a) - first though


[re: planetf1] [link to this post]
 
Damn doesn't seem perfect either. Since you have an open reach modem I would return the router and replace it for a modem and router solution, these have been extremely tried and tested (some models). Don't settle if you've forked out extra for this. Best of luck!
Standard User mlmclaren
(knowledge is power) Tue 05-Apr-16 22:38:30
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Re: TP-Link Archer VR900 (to replace BT HH5a) - first though


[re: planetf1] [link to this post]
 
Yep I had one, same issues as yourselfem had to return it as it kept screwing up Xbox connections due to DNS issue.... I replaced with Archer C9 and Modem.... whilst the issues with DDNS & DNS seems resolved the wireless seems limted by a config issue (using lower 5G channels only)

So not recommended, I saw a comment about AC87U.... I had one, it was quiet a beast but there was some issues with its router just hanging and not responding requiring reboots....

I also recommend using modem plus router option rather than AiO combination smile

BTInfinity - 79999/19999kbps - Quality Monitor - Quality Monitor 2
VirginMedia - 77000/5250kbps - BQM L1 - BQM L2
Standard User planetf1
(experienced) Thu 07-Apr-16 08:37:54
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Re: TP-Link Archer VR900 (to replace BT HH5a) - first though


[re: mlmclaren] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for all the suggestions

* I can see the case for separating modem, router, wifi - I can still of course use the HG612 if I wish, and the cost difference with a non-vdsl of this model change wasn't too much. I'm trying to de-clutter so if I can find something stable, super.... of course the other flexibility lost is no third party firmware
* Though the vpn server/DDNS are marginally annoying they aren't really such a big deal. If I think carefully about the core requirement it's stable wireless. (stable vdsl is preferred but the HG612 can already do that). The VR900 seems to fulfill this well so far, and vdsl too
* The reports of dodgy vdsl put me off the asus devices, perhaps I put too much weight in focussing on the broadcom routers - ie mostly netgear/tplink
Standard User choppersrock
(newbie) Thu 07-Apr-16 09:13:04
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Re: TP-Link Archer VR900 (to replace BT HH5a) - first though


[re: mlmclaren] [link to this post]
 
I have had my ac87u for months running merlin due to skys specific dhcp requirememts and so far not one lock up or hang....
Standard User planetf1
(experienced) Mon 11-Apr-16 09:09:13
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Re: TP-Link Archer VR900 (to replace BT HH5a) - first though


[re: planetf1] [link to this post]
 
Thoughts a little further down the line:

* Wifi/DSL remained stable
* QOS is pretty limited
* still suspect upstream is slower than HG612

I'm now planning to switch back to the HH5a+HG612 combination and will do some comparison tests on latency, sync, speedtest, monitor reliability. Trying to determine whether the router is worth keeping, whether to go higher end (ie adaptive QOS etc), or simpler (keep HG612, open source firmware on another router) plus perhaps chase up BT on the HH5a. Also lack of stats is frustrating.

As an aside, amazon currently have reduced the VR900 to £100
Standard User ukhardy07
(knowledge is power) Mon 11-Apr-16 10:57:47
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Re: TP-Link Archer VR900 (to replace BT HH5a) - first though


[re: planetf1] [link to this post]
 
I think you should look to get the HH5 replaced again.

Most of us do not experience any of the issues you listed in your very first post.

See here for a list of generally happy users apart from some advanced features missing:
http://forums.thinkbroadband.com/bt/f/4475463-replac...
Standard User planetf1
(experienced) Mon 11-Apr-16 12:53:44
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Re: TP-Link Archer VR900 (to replace BT HH5a) - first though


[re: ukhardy07] [link to this post]
 
I contacted BT - took about a week to get back to me. They called and then emailed asking me for more info. Sent, and a week later still waiting for a reply...... slow....

That being said I've just popped the HG612/HH5a (reset again) back in place.

MOst interesting is that as I suspected, the UPLOAD on the VDSL on the VR900 compared to the HG612 is quite different - approx 1 Mbps better sync (and this is mirrored in speedtest throughput) on the HG612 versus the VR900. With my upstream sync being 6-7 Mbps this is significant. Downstream is looking the same, though I'm capped with IP profile. However SNRm figures also match, as does expected maximum.

It feels (from internal ping tests) that the HH has marginally higher latency - perhaps a little less than 1ms, across the board (slower cpu?)

Going to spend more time now to see if
a) the infamous software update (beyond 204.11 arrives)
b) the original problems reoccur
c) 5 Ghz wifi range

whilst living with the HH on defaults, and the HG612 as modem

Edited by planetf1 (Mon 11-Apr-16 12:57:20)

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