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


[link to this post]
 
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.
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Fri 20-Nov-15 12:20:10
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Re: Suitable modem for FTTC


[re: gilesp] [link to this post]
 
Once you unlock the HG612, which you could do in advance, you will be able to see the full line stats. From that you/we can make a judgement as to whether the router module in it is likely to slow the throughput. I would trust BatBoy on the ~65Mbps figure.

Assuming a full 80Mbps sync it seems likely, but would it matter enough to fork out for something better?

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 RobertoS
(elder) Fri 20-Nov-15 12:22:48
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Re: Suitable modem for FTTC


[re: MHC] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by MHC:
The HG612 is fine - it will easily cope with those speeds.
Don't forget it's the throughput in modem/router mode that is in question. The standard bridged modem-only mode is not an issue smile.

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 (Fri 20-Nov-15 12:23:19)

Standard User gilesp
(regular) Fri 20-Nov-15 15:16:19
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Re: Suitable modem for FTTC


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
There are advantages to having a separate router, in that if I were to get a wireless router I can locate it away from the modem for better coverage (I have plenty of CAT5a infrastructure to support this).

If I also designate it the DHCP server then if I need to reset/reboot the modem, I don't have DHCP dropping out which does cause headaches on my network occasionally.

To get things started, I think I'll keep it simple, and maybe ask santa for a nice wireless router later on.
Standard User MHC
(sensei) Fri 20-Nov-15 16:59:15
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Re: Suitable modem for FTTC


[re: gilesp] [link to this post]
 
"Good Thinking"

I personally prefer to keep my Modem and Router as separate units for various reasons including those you have identified. Let the modem concentrate on dealing with the line and outside world whilst the router manages all the local network, switching and WiFi.

It also allows you to choose a router based on the functionality that YOU want and not be restricted to the few with an inbuilt modem.


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

M H C


taurus excreta cerebrum vincit
Standard User gilesp
(regular) Wed 25-Nov-15 14:04:06
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Re: Suitable modem for FTTC


[re: MHC] [link to this post]
 
I ordered/won a HG612 on ebay last week - unfortunately it seems to have disappeared in the post, as it's now several days overdue. The engineer will be switching the line over on the 1st Dec, so I' starting to get a bit twitchy about not having any hardware on my end of it.

So I'm now weighing up a new 'all in one' wifi/modem/routers as an alternative, which I can get delivered quickly (from Amazon), yet also relegate to just wifi/routing if/when the HG612 shows up.

The Billion 8800 ticks most of the boxes, but there are a few complaints about the wifi performance. Whereas the TPlink W9980 N600 seems to have better wireless performance for a similar cost. it's also wall-mountable which is a bonus for me.

One comment on the forums here is the chipset in the TP Link is Lantiq - does anyone know how well it will interact with Talk-talk infrastructure (they're the wholesale supplier my ISP uses in my area)?? There's also a note about a Firmware update to work with G.INP (whatever that is) - is this likely to be a problem?
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Wed 25-Nov-15 18:49:00
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Re: Suitable modem for FTTC


[re: gilesp] [link to this post]
 
What TalkTalk uses for ADSL2+ LLU is irrelevant to FTTC, which uses Openreach DSLAMs in the cabinet. Do you know if it is a Huawei or ECI?

G.INP is a better error-overcoming fix on FTTC than the previous pure interleaving and error-correction. Where the latter costs several Mbps downstream speed and adds at least 8ms to latency, G.INP normally doesn't cost sync or latency.

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) Wed 25-Nov-15 21:08:30
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Re: Suitable modem for FTTC


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by RobertoS:
What TalkTalk uses for ADSL2+ LLU is irrelevant to FTTC, which uses Openreach DSLAMs in the cabinet. Do you know if it is a Huawei or ECI?


good point. No idea what's in the cabinet.

G.INP is a better error-overcoming fix on FTTC than the previous pure interleaving and error-correction. Where the latter costs several Mbps downstream speed and adds at least 8ms to latency, G.INP normally doesn't cost sync or latency.


thanks - every day is a school day.
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Wed 25-Nov-15 23:42:11
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Re: Suitable modem for FTTC


[re: gilesp] [link to this post]
 
Pictures of PCPs and FTTC cabinets. There is a combined one in use in some BDUK areas but I don't know what's inside it.

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 awontroba
(learned) Thu 26-Nov-15 06:09:01
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Re: Suitable modem for FTTC


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by RobertoS:
Pictures of PCPs and FTTC cabinets. There is a combined one in use in some BDUK areas but I don't know what's inside it.


There is a picture and diagram of the Huawai "All in one" at the bottom of http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/fttc-cabinets.htm

My FTTC comes from one.

--
Adrian
Standard User gilesp
(regular) Thu 26-Nov-15 07:59:53
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Re: Suitable modem for FTTC


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
Useful reference - thanks!
On my street corner , we've got a regular oldish PCP with a new green cabinet next to it which looks a lot like the Huawei 288 cabinet on your linked page.
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Fri 27-Nov-15 01:44:11
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Re: Suitable modem for FTTC


[re: awontroba] [link to this post]
 
Which says it is a Huawei.

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 27-Nov-15 21:30:01
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Re: Suitable modem for FTTC


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
..which is now mostly a moot point as I've cancelled all my contracts with Utility warehouse as they want to tie me into a 18month term on the new service, with no guarantees it'll fix the problem.

The ebay HG612 finally appeared, so that's no longer a problem, and most probably not needed now, particularly as UW sent me a modem in the post, after I explicitly asked them not to. :-/

My modem cup runneth over.

Looking at BT Infinity 1 for a 12month contract at £10pcm. Is their homehub much good, or should I just stick the HG612 on the line once the engineer has done his stuff?
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Fri 27-Nov-15 21:54:15
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Re: Suitable modem for FTTC


[re: gilesp] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by gilesp:
Looking at BT Infinity 1 for a 12month contract at £10pcm. Is their homehub much good, or should I just stick the HG612 on the line once the engineer has done his stuff?
Run the HomeHub for three days. (Ignore all the 10-day rubbish, it's even more fantasy than on ADSL2+. Then, without going mad and doing lots of re-sync's in a short time, read the stats with the HH, replace with the HG612 assuming you have unlocked it, (which you can do offline now, ready), read the stats off that, replace the HH and read them again.

Try that two or three times over a week and take your pick of the preferred modem.

The HG612 feeds the WAN port of the HH, and if you have a spare port on it and have them both on the same subnet then you can connect HG LAN2 to an HH LAN port for permanent stats and HG GUI access..

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) Sat 28-Nov-15 12:49:17
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Re: Suitable modem for FTTC


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
That sounds like a good plan. probably do it a week on, week off for consistency. How easy is it to get line stats and stuff from the Home-hub?
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Sat 28-Nov-15 12:55:43
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Re: Suitable modem for FTTC


[re: gilesp] [link to this post]
 
I believe in the GUI the stats you can see are the sync, attenuation and noise margin and not much else. But for the purpose of comparing the modem component with the HG612 that's what you need. Error stats would be useful, but I don't know about those on the HH.

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 MHC
(sensei) Sat 28-Nov-15 13:00:53
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Re: Suitable modem for FTTC


[re: gilesp] [link to this post]
 
When you want to change over do the following:

Turn off the modem power
Wait 2 minutes (longer than needed however it will make sure)
Disconnect the RJ11 cable from socket to modem (HG612 or HH5)

Power up the replacement device - without it being connected to te line.
Wait 2 minutes for it to fully boot and stabilise.
If using an HG612, connect the router.

Connect the RJ11 cable from line to modem.

Wait for sync, read stats.

Doing it that way should ensure that each loss of connection is seen as a deliberate act rather than a loss of sync due to noise, attenuation or corruption.


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

M H C


taurus excreta cerebrum vincit
Standard User gilesp
(regular) Sun 06-Dec-15 08:58:45
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Re: Suitable modem for FTTC


[re: MHC] [link to this post]
 
Useful - thanks!
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