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Standard User Glomp
(newbie) Tue 05-May-15 11:43:16
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Using your own hardware


[link to this post]
 
Just signed up to Zen today. I chose not to take one of their routers because I'm not a fan of the technicolor ones. The woman on sales told me I need a "fibre compatible router", but seemed to say they provide a separate modem.

Consequently I'm a bit confused and want some clarification from someone a bit more technically minded.

As there is no such thing as a fibre router, am I required to provide a modem as well? Checking on Zen's website, they state you need a router with WAN and PPPoE, so that's pretty much every router made in the last 10 or so years. I shouldn't even really need a router, I can set up PPPoE connection using Windows or Linux and an Ethernet port.

So, simply put, will I be fine just buying whatever router I want? No need for me to buy a fibre modem too?
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Tue 05-May-15 11:46:45
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Re: Using your own hardware


[re: Glomp] [link to this post]
 
If you have an engineer install booked they should bring a fibre modem with them, as part of the £99+VAT cost that they charge Zen.

So yes any router labelled as having an Ethernet WAN port should suffice, but don't squeeze the budget since if you pick an old £5 Linksys device it will probably not be able to handle the PPPoE tunnel and routing at anything like the maximum possible speeds of FTTC.

If you want a combined modem/router for VDSL2 then the choice is more restricted.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User Glomp
(newbie) Tue 05-May-15 11:52:41
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Re: Using your own hardware


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Perfect, exactly what I want to hear, thanks.

Yep, getting engineer install. Certainly won't be going for cheap rubbish, I'll be picking up something decent I can bang OpenWRT on.

I prefer separate modem & router rather than the combos, easier to swap out discrete units if something goes wrong.

Cheers again for the reply.


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Standard User rhetherington
(committed) Tue 05-May-15 12:49:56
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Re: Using your own hardware


[re: Glomp] [link to this post]
 
OpenWrt is the way to go on commodity hardware. I use it myself with Zen and have detailed my setup in a blog post that may prove useful. I really have no complaints with OpenWrt (and only the lack of native IPv6 with Zen) for my connection.
Standard User David_W
(fountain of knowledge) Tue 05-May-15 14:04:40
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Re: Using your own hardware


[re: rhetherington] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by rhetherington:
OpenWrt is the way to go on commodity hardware. I use it myself with Zen and have detailed my setup in a blog post that may prove useful. I really have no complaints with OpenWrt (and only the lack of native IPv6 with Zen) for my connection.
I have a broadly similar setup, though I'm running pfSense rather than OpenWrt.

pfSense is likely to have an ARM version soon, which will run on small embedded boxes. pfSense has codel, and hopefully fq_codel will be added in the future. My setup is returning A in both directions on the thinkbroadband buffer bloat test.


Unfortunately there's no RFC4638 support in pfSense yet. I hope to add this at some point if someone else doesn't do it first, but I'm currently too busy to devote any time to FreeBSD / pfSense development. A 1492 byte MTU is not the end of the world, but as my hardware supports jumbo frames, it would be nice to move to 1500 bytes.


So far as hardware goes, Zen usually supply a Technicolor router for self-installs and may supply that for engineer installs. If that is the hardware you end up with, it's said to be quite difficult to use an a bridge.

You can always replace whatever hardware you get with a Huawei HG612 Openreach modem - there's plenty on eBay. Make sure any HG612 is a 3B version with a white power supply. Don't pay extra to have it unlocked as you can easily do that yourself (use the B030SP08 firmware). You shouldn't need to pay much more than £20.

All you need to do with a HG612 is connect an Ethernet device to the LAN 1 port and run PPPoE using the Zen supplied credentials.

Standard User Glomp
(newbie) Tue 05-May-15 16:21:37
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Re: Using your own hardware


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
Current contender's looking like the TP-LINK Archer C5 AC1200.
Standard User sthen
(committed) Thu 07-May-15 11:59:01
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Re: Using your own hardware


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
So far as hardware goes, Zen usually supply a Technicolor router for self-installs and may supply that for engineer installs. If that is the hardware you end up with, it's said to be quite difficult to use an a bridge.


It's perfectly straightforward with the ini file that support can provide you with.
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