(Non-Pinball) Need advice on home Modem and maybe router for PlusNet VDSL

Monkeyboypaul

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May 29, 2013
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I've upgraded our home Broadband with Plusnet. We live in a rural village south of York, so that upgrade means we'll get 30-40mpbs down and maybe 8mbps up. Hardly cutting edge, but 3-4x better than the current.

They're sending us a Hub One Router, which looks like a re-badged BT Home Hub 5, because it'll be a VDSL connection, not the ADSL which is currently handled very admirably by my Billion 7800DXL.

The Billion handles some static IP's, the DHCP allocation and the internet connection, but has WiFi disabled as the 3 Ubiquiti Access Points deal with WiFi.

Question: Will the Hub One Router be reliable enough? Are there better modem-only alternatives that i could use instead? e.g. the DrayTek Vigor 130. Ideally wall mountable so it can be stowed away out of sight like the Billion. (There's a wall bracket on ebay)

We both work from home most of the time. I'm connecting via VPN to 100+ buildings around the world to manage the systems out there, and i often hold Skype conference calls with screen-sharing so need a really reliable connection.

Advice appreciated.
 

Arv

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Jul 21, 2011
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They are a terrible router, i swapped mine for an Asus DSL-RT68U rock solid connection plus you can tweak to your hearts content as everything is locked down with plusnet/bt routers.
 
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ChrisH

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Dec 5, 2014
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I'd try and get hold of one of BT Huawei NTE boxes from eBay to terminate the VDSL for a tenner or so then get a proper firewall and configure that to initiate a connection via PPPoE. (Which is exactly what I do with a SophosXG myself)
What you go for would depend on your needs and budget, but I've heard good things (in general, but have no first hand experience of it myself) about the Ubquiti Edgerouter in this style of deployment
(Or if you're happy with 2nd hand gear and are Cisco savvy there are plenty to be had for penuts on eBay)

General reliability wise the DSL circuit will be more likely to give issues than a piece of hardware though. They're generally OK and they are very cheap, but they are what they are and if a comms failure is a potentially serious (as in you can't actually work without it) problem a secondary route to the WAN might be an idea
So a router/firewall that supports a 4G failover option might be worth considering.

But would depend on much are you looking to spend
 
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Monkeyboypaul

Monkeyboypaul

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but I've heard good things (in general, but have no first hand experience of it myself) about the Ubquiti Edgerouter in this style of deployment
I use Ubiquiti for everything else on the Network, but i don't think it's worth the money for what we need i.e. reliability over speed.

So a router/firewall that supports a 4G failover option might be worth considering.
The Billion has this, and it works well with fast re-connections when BT auto-drop my SNR down to 3dB, but the Cisco Anyconnect VPN software on my Laptop handles the disconnect really badly! That's what causes me the disruption, really... The wife probably doesn't even notice it happening... 😘
 

ChrisH

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Dec 5, 2014
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Stroud
I use Ubiquiti for everything else on the Network, but i don't think it's worth the money for what we need i.e. reliability over speed.
I don't deal with Billion - I'm pretty much a Sophos/Cisco and occasionally Juniper bod, but if very vague memory serves don't they have a ethernet port that either is a dedicated WAN or can be designated as such?
If so, and you're happy with the device, bung in a BT Huawei NTE for a tenner and get the Billion to bring up the session over that via PPPoE
Think the EdgeRouter X is £50 or so, so not big money though.

The Billion has this, and it works well with fast re-connections when BT auto-drop my SNR down to 3dB, but the Cisco Anyconnect VPN software on my Laptop handles the disconnect really badly! That's what causes me the disruption, really... The wife probably doesn't even notice it happening... 😘
Could well be the remote end not enjoying the sudden request from a remote peer who appears to have just jumped onto a completely different network
I VPN all over the place all the time too, but can't say I've tested it on a 4G failover/failback scenario heavily, don't use Cisco AC though - Shrewsoft VPN works nicely on a range of different vendors kit so I stick with that rather than have multiple clients on my machine.
But as long as the wife doesn't notice the failover happening you have sufficient redundancy :)

Still waiting for GigaClear to finally dig up the road and drop in the 1Gbps FTTP they've been promising me for a year, that'll be a nice step up from the 10Mbps I get on FTTC now ;) (Although watching the way they drop the cable - in a shallow trench with very little in the way of protection, how reliable it is remains to be seen.....)
 

Neil McRae

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Jun 5, 2016
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Just watch out if you are using the Huawei box because we don’t support them any more and we are deploying features and improvements into the network that device might not support.



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