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Standard User sambe
(newbie) Tue 11-Apr-17 10:32:18
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Solid, performant ADSL/VDSL modem


[link to this post]
 
I've been using an ISP-owned cable modem in a different country with Apple Airport wireless equipment. Just signed up with Zen Internet here. I'm very happy the performance of the Apple equipment (much faster and more stable than all my previous gear) so want to keep using that and buy either a pure ADSL/VDSL modem or at least device that works well in bridge mode. Main criteria would be:

* fast (throughput not bottlenecked but also number of connections, P2P etc.)
* stable (I never have to restart the Apple devices, didn't have any line problems with previous dedicated modem)
* compatible with all current/near-future technologies (e.g. if I get upgraded to FTTP or Virgin come to the area, SIP calls, VPN, IPv6 etc).
** gigabit port(s)
* no need for secondary device to configure PPPoE credentials (I've heard this is a common weakness of the Apple devices).

Zen Internet sell Zyxel devices, which are rumoured to be unstable and have unreliable firmware upgrades. They also sell FRITZ!Box which seems to be review okay but currently out of stock (perhaps also a bit old, has wifi which I don't really need). They now recommend Technicolor TG589vn, which as a brand has a pretty bad reputation from what I can tell. See https://www.zen.co.uk/yourhome/routers/ for the other models.

From searching online I find recommendations for:

TP-Link AC2600/TP-Link W9970 - no clue about TP-Link, seem often recommended here. Most seem to have wi-fi and W9970 has no gigabit.
Netgear DM200 - see it recommended, but previous experience with Netgear devices is that they need restarting once per day.
Draytek Vigor 130 - see it recommended a lot with the caveat that UK version is totally crippled and requires your main router to configure the PPPoE, which apparently Apple devices are unstable with.

Is there a really solid modem-only device right now? Or at least a solid device that does bridge mode well?

I've also read some suggestion of incompatibility or sub-optimal performance of certain chipsets with certain providers - is this true?
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Tue 11-Apr-17 10:37:25
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Re: Solid, performant ADSL/VDSL modem


[re: sambe] [link to this post]
 
W9970 runs my work line with Wi-Fi off and forget its there.

The lack of gigabit is easily fixed with a gigabit switch, and given VDSL2 speeds are sub 100 Mbps is not a limiter especially when running in bridge mode. It also ticks the G.INP and vectoring support at a low price point.

A device that works with everything and does good SIP, IPv6 is much harder and I'd recommend going for bridge modem plus router, if future proofing is a desire, since good Ethernet routers are more common that good VDSL2 modems in same box as the router.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User sambe
(newbie) Tue 11-Apr-17 11:43:43
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Re: Solid, performant ADSL/VDSL modem


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Lack of gigabit is a no-go for me, I'm used to 100+Mbps and can imagine line upgrades etc coming into play.

Confused by your terminology - isn't a bridge modem plus router what I'm asking for? Airport Extreme/Time Capsule does gigabit ethernet + wifi, some dedicated box for the modem part. I'd imagine other technologies *should* be transparent to such a box, but often see people complaining that certain things don't work.


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Standard User tommy45
(knowledge is power) Tue 11-Apr-17 12:08:03
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Re: Solid, performant ADSL/VDSL modem


[re: sambe] [link to this post]
 
Billion

Fritzbox
Standard User David_W
(knowledge is power) Tue 11-Apr-17 12:32:56
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Re: Solid, performant ADSL/VDSL modem


[re: sambe] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by sambe:
Lack of gigabit is a no-go for me, I'm used to 100+Mbps and can imagine line upgrades etc coming into play.
80/20 may well turn out to be the fastest VDSL2 based product Openreach offer, especially as they seem to have decided that investment should go towards rolling out G.FAST and additional FTTP rather than a widespread deployment of VDSL2 vectoring. This means that a Gigabit port on a modem bridge is likely to be irrelevant unless the device also supports G.FAST.



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Standard User sambe
(newbie) Tue 11-Apr-17 12:42:18
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Re: Solid, performant ADSL/VDSL modem


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
Ah, right, so Virgin/FTTP/G.FAST would require a different modem anyway (nothing currently supporting multiple technologies)?
Standard User baby_frogmella
(fountain of knowledge) Tue 11-Apr-17 13:12:58
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Re: Solid, performant ADSL/VDSL modem


[re: sambe] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by sambe:
Ah, right, so Virgin/FTTP/G.FAST would require a different modem anyway (nothing currently supporting multiple technologies)?


Correct, cable & FTTP use different technologies to the current copper line based technologies ADSL2+ & VDSL2. G.Fast should become widespread within the next few years, the only modem/router I know of which should last a good few years is the Asus DSL-AC88U, it supports ADSL/ADSL2+/VDSL2/G.Fast standards

https://www.asus.com/Networking/DSL-AC88U/
https://www.broadbandbuyer.com/products/28551-asus-d...

°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°
TalkTalk Business 80/20..(soon to be FluidOne FTTP 330/30)
Netgear R9000 X10 running OpenWRT
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Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Tue 11-Apr-17 13:17:42
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Re: Solid, performant ADSL/VDSL modem


[re: baby_frogmella] [link to this post]
 
Except we have many reports on these forums of the modem component in ASUS kit being poor. We all seem agreed that their router/switch/ethernet/wifi boxes with no integral modem are fine.

Struck out because of baby_frogmella's reply, which I accept.

Kindness isn't going to cure the world of all its awfulness but it's a good place to begin. Daisy Ridley.
My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - AAISP Home::1 80/20. Sync 63790/13596Kbps @ 600m. BQMs - IPv4 & IPv6

Edited by RobertoS (Tue 11-Apr-17 14:09:05)

Standard User sambe
(newbie) Tue 11-Apr-17 13:22:53
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Re: Solid, performant ADSL/VDSL modem


[re: baby_frogmella] [link to this post]
 
Okay, so not a great time to be future-proofing. Do people generally agree that TP-Link devices are more favoured (e.g. vs the Netgear and Draytek I mentioned, or the Technicolor offered by Zen)?
Standard User baby_frogmella
(fountain of knowledge) Tue 11-Apr-17 13:25:55
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Re: Solid, performant ADSL/VDSL modem


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by RobertoS:
Except we have many reports on these forums of the modem component in ASUS kit being poor.


That's mainly due to many Asus modem/routers using the unstable Mediatek chipset. However the DSL-AC88U uses a Broadcom modem chipset which should make it one of the best modem/routers around for wifi coverage and a rock solid xDSL connection.

°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°
TalkTalk Business 80/20..(soon to be FluidOne FTTP 330/30)
Netgear R9000 X10 running OpenWRT
My Broadband Quality Monitor
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Edited by baby_frogmella (Tue 11-Apr-17 13:32:09)

Standard User baby_frogmella
(fountain of knowledge) Tue 11-Apr-17 13:29:40
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Re: Solid, performant ADSL/VDSL modem


[re: sambe] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by sambe:
Okay, so not a great time to be future-proofing. Do people generally agree that TP-Link devices are more favoured (e.g. vs the Netgear and Draytek I mentioned, or the Technicolor offered by Zen)?


Get a Netgear DM200 or Draytek 130 xDSL modem, hook that up to a high quality router such as Netgear R7800 or Asus RT-AC88 and Bobs Yer Uncle smile If wifi coverage is important stay away from technicolor or zyxel routers.

°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°
TalkTalk Business 80/20..(soon to be FluidOne FTTP 330/30)
Netgear R9000 X10 running OpenWRT
My Broadband Quality Monitor
°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Tue 11-Apr-17 14:10:48
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Re: Solid, performant ADSL/VDSL modem


[re: baby_frogmella] [link to this post]
 
I've struck out the content of my post, from what you say smile. Leaving it visible in case anyone thinks of the other ASUS ones.

Kindness isn't going to cure the world of all its awfulness but it's a good place to begin. Daisy Ridley.
My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - AAISP Home::1 80/20. Sync 63790/13596Kbps @ 600m. BQMs - IPv4 & IPv6
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Tue 11-Apr-17 14:12:13
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Re: Solid, performant ADSL/VDSL modem


[re: baby_frogmella] [link to this post]
 
My Draytek 130 didn't like my line at all. May or may not have been to do with IPv6, but it clobbered DLM.

Kindness isn't going to cure the world of all its awfulness but it's a good place to begin. Daisy Ridley.
My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - AAISP Home::1 80/20. Sync 63790/13596Kbps @ 600m. BQMs - IPv4 & IPv6
Standard User sambe
(newbie) Tue 11-Apr-17 16:03:42
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Re: Solid, performant ADSL/VDSL modem


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
Is this cabinet-related? I'm surprised it makes a difference for what are presumably certified devices, but I've seen people commenting on cabinet types elsewhere.
Standard User David_W
(knowledge is power) Tue 11-Apr-17 16:19:44
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Re: Solid, performant ADSL/VDSL modem


[re: sambe] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by sambe:
Ah, right, so Virgin/FTTP/G.FAST would require a different modem anyway (nothing currently supporting multiple technologies)?
To add to baby_frogmella's answer, the ONT for FTTP is provided by Openreach and Virgin provide the cable modem for their DOCSIS broadband services. You must use these vendor provided devices and do not have the option to substitute them for your own. Both present the service on Ethernet.

I don't believe there is any clarity at present on whether Openreach will launch G.FAST commercial service with a requirement to use a device they provide, or whether "wires only" will be available as is currently the case with VDSL2. I certainly wouldn't pay a lot of additional money for G.FAST support, especially if you are only looking for a modem bridge to use with a separate router. You can get devices that should be perfectly acceptable as a VDSL2 modem bridge for less than £40. That should be fairly easy to write off when moving to a different technology.

If you buy a more expensive device that will also act as a router, make sure it supports WAN on Ethernet, including PPPoE support. That should mean that you can use the router with FTTP or DOCSIS using the vendor provided devices, or with G.FAST using an external modem bridge.



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Standard User ukhardy07
(knowledge is power) Tue 11-Apr-17 16:21:36
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Re: Solid, performant ADSL/VDSL modem


[re: sambe] [link to this post]
 
Which ISP? Can you not just use the ISP issued device to get the connection + maintain it and your Apple Airport device connected upto this. Obviously the modem aspect will be handled by the ISP router and depending on configuration DHCP etc. You could alternatively just setup the ISP router to place the Apple Airport in the DMZ, turn off DHCP on the ISP router and have all DHCP handled by Apple Airport.
Standard User sambe
(newbie) Tue 11-Apr-17 16:39:55
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Re: Solid, performant ADSL/VDSL modem


[re: ukhardy07] [link to this post]
 
See the original post.

Of course that is possible. I've read about issues with all the suggested (not free) devices (in addition to bad experiences with supplied devices in the past).
Standard User olicuk
(regular) Tue 11-Apr-17 16:53:13
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Re: Solid, performant ADSL/VDSL modem


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
I found the opposite on my line (vs the Zen-supplied Zyxel VMG1312-B10D freebe). I ended up with a massive amount of interleaving, additional 8ms delay, and speeds reduced of ~55Mbps with the Zyxel, maybe it was just lucky timing but when I reverted to my trusty Vigor 130 modem and old Draytek 2820Vn router the interleaving was turned off in a couple of days and I now have a 65Mbps sync achieving >60Mpbs throughput. If I put the Zyxel back on, it syncs at 60Mbps at best.

As I want to have a play with IPv6 I've just bought a Draytek 2860 (basic model, no WLAN as I use a separate AC-capable Ubiquiti AP for that), not yet connected it and not yet decided whether to use it with the 130 or using its integrated VDSL2 modem... you can get the V model with SIP integrated, but I've gone away from using the SIP integration in the router to using a Gigaset N300IP SIP/DECT base instead.

Current cabinet is ECI, but until early March was on Huawei with G.INP active, Draytek (with latest UK firmware) has been good and reliable with both.

Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Tue 11-Apr-17 17:11:27
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Re: Solid, performant ADSL/VDSL modem


[re: olicuk] [link to this post]
 
It was wanting to get IPv6 working properly that led me to a Draytek, as the AAISP-supplied ZyXel VMG1312-B10A, (note A), was unreliable on it with a known firmware bug.

I ended up with my current Billion 8800NL R2 which is great, but wouldn't suit the OP unless they added a G-bit switch to its only gigabit ethernet port.

Kindness isn't going to cure the world of all its awfulness but it's a good place to begin. Daisy Ridley.
My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - AAISP Home::1 80/20. Sync 63790/13596Kbps @ 600m. BQMs - IPv4 & IPv6
Standard User sambe
(newbie) Tue 11-Apr-17 17:24:38
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Re: Solid, performant ADSL/VDSL modem


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
No need for G-bit switch, but I thought no point in having a sub-G-bit port with a G-bit switch on the other side. However, consensus appears to be that 100Mbit is enough for now because better line requires new modem anyway.
Standard User jaydub
(fountain of knowledge) Tue 11-Apr-17 22:10:10
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Re: Solid, performant ADSL/VDSL modem


[re: baby_frogmella] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by baby_frogmella:
If wifi coverage is important stay away from technicolor or zyxel routers.

Is this specific to certain ZyXel routers, as I am pretty satisfied with the wifi coverage on the VMG8924.

If there are significantly better options for wifi coverage, I would be interested as the master socket is one corner of a long thin house and we do still suffer from poor wifi in one of the bedrooms upstairs.
Standard User fishpan
(learned) Tue 11-Apr-17 22:26:24
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Re: Solid, performant ADSL/VDSL modem


[re: sambe] [link to this post]
 
Just my opinion - I'd go for Huawei HG612 3B on a huawei cab and Draytek Vigor 130 on eci cab. Both are stable respectively and not (too) costly - especially if you get them used. Future proofing as others have said is a tough call with Openreach's future not really clear with multiple avenues they can choose - i.e. G.fast, Native FTTP, vectoring etc.

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Standard User David_W
(knowledge is power) Tue 11-Apr-17 23:15:51
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Re: Solid, performant ADSL/VDSL modem


[re: fishpan] [link to this post]
 
The Huawei HG612 uses a Broadcom chipset and I don't think many would take issue with the recommendation to use a Broadcom based device on a Huawei cabinet (which also use Broadcom chipsets). However, there are some examples where a HG612 has been found to underperform compared to more modern Broadcom based devices, also these inexpensive devices don't necessarily use top grade components, especially when it comes to capacitors, so their performance can deteriorate over time.

I'm still using a HG612 revision 3B on my Huawei cabinet line and have no problems with it - but there might be better choices for not much more money than buying a HG612 off eBay (these devices are not available new - they were a special product for Openreach).


I don't believe Openreach have made a formal statement about VDSL2 vectoring, nor are they likely to do so, but it seems that they have made a firm decision not to roll out VDSL2 vectoring in a widespread fashion. Vectoring is expensive to roll out and this tends to dwarf the returns, though it has been or will be deployed in some cabinets if it proves cost-effective in helping to meet BDUK coverage targets or where LR-VDSL will be offered (in which case vectoring is mandatory to avoid horrendous crosstalk between the Profile 17a VDSL2 signals of the ordinary FTTC service and the Profile 8b VDSL2 of LR-VDSL originating from the same cabinet). There might be further limited deployments to help meet a future broadband USO falling on Openreach (other than in cabinets that are to offer LR-VDSL) or to work round a specific local issue such as poorly performing D side cables. In other words, Openreach appear to be viewing vectoring as a cost-effective way of improving the speed on some longer lines, but not a cost-effective way of offering higher speeds on short lines.

Without vectoring - or an equally dead-end move to something like Profile 30a (which is likely to be even more costly and have more compatibility issues than deploying vectoring) - there seems little prospect of Openreach offering more than 80/20 over VDSL2. Rather than making heavy investment in dead-end improvements to VDSL2, it seems that Openreach have decided to invest in G.FAST deployment and more FTTP in the pursuit of faster speeds.


If all you are after is a modem bridge, I'd spend the least money you can for something of reasonable quality and view the resulting item as disposable. Trying to future proof an inexpensive item makes little sense; you'll land up paying additional money for something that might turn out not to be future proof after all. There is no guarantee than any G.FAST equipment bought today will turn out to work at all with the commercial Openreach G.FAST service when it arrives, let alone work well with it.

It is a little more difficult if you intend to buy an expensive router but, so long as the router supports Ethernet WAN, it can be used with any current or near future technology when using the provider's supplied equipment or a relatively inexpensive modem bridge.



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Standard User baby_frogmella
(fountain of knowledge) Wed 12-Apr-17 05:18:57
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Re: Solid, performant ADSL/VDSL modem


[re: jaydub] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by jaydub:
In reply to a post by baby_frogmella:
If wifi coverage is important stay away from technicolor or zyxel routers.

Is this specific to certain ZyXel routers, as I am pretty satisfied with the wifi coverage on the VMG8924.

If there are significantly better options for wifi coverage, I would be interested as the master socket is one corner of a long thin house and we do still suffer from poor wifi in one of the bedrooms upstairs.


Correct, you can buy far better routers than Zyxel models for wifi coverage. Buy any 4 stream Mu-Mimo router and watch your wifi range & speeds significantly improve.

If you're happy with the DSL side of things on your Zyxel VMG8924, then i suggest putting the Zyxel into bridge mode (ie modem only mode) and hook that up to a Netgear R7800, Linksys EA8500, Asus RT-AC88U or Asus RT-AC87U. All of which will give you superb wifi performance. My personal recommendation is going for the Netgear R7800 and hooking that up to the modem of your choice.

If you want to stick with a combined modem/router and you're happy to bin the Zyxel (or keep it as a spare) then you should go for the Billion 8900AX-2400, Asus DSL-AC88U, TP-Link VR2600 or a Netgear D7800 - all except the D7800 use a Broadcom chipset for the modem component. Obviously many of these aren't cheap, though the VR2600 is reasonably priced at 150 notes from amazon at present. Like with most things in life you get what you pay for smile

°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°
TalkTalk Business 80/20..(soon to be FluidOne FTTP 330/30)
Netgear R9000 X10 running OpenWRT
My Broadband Quality Monitor
°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°

Edited by baby_frogmella (Wed 12-Apr-17 05:21:59)

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