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Can you help prevent further hair loss? (Draytek Vigor 120 / Airport Express issue)

sallonoroff
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Can you help prevent further hair loss? (Draytek Vigor 120 / Airport Express issue)

Hello,
I'm still using an old (10 years?) Linksys wireless modem/router on my plusnet line but it's getting temperamental and seems to need rebooting more and more often. I thought i'd replace it with a Draytek Vigor 120 as ADSL modem and an Apple Airport Express (2nd Gen) as wireless router however I'm having a bit of a nightmare with the new kit and really hope someone can help me.
Connecting the Draytek to the ADSL line and powering up gives all the right lights but when I then connect the Express it usually claims it has no internet connection and can find no PPPoE server, despite the PN username and password being set in the PPPoE section of the Express' settings. Sometimes it will connect to the net briefly but it's flakey and drops out fairly quickly. The few times i've managed to get to speedtest.net and run a test it is averaging about 0.6mbps download. If I connect a laptop directly into the Draytek via ethernet and make a PPPoE connection it is a little more stable and I can achieve downloads of around 6mbps, but this is still someway off the speeds my old Linksys box manages (usually 10-12mbps).
I've read a couple of things on the Draytek site (http://www.draytek.co.uk/archive/kb_vigor100_setup.html & http://www.draytek.co.uk/archive/kb/kb_vigor120_AirportExtreme_setup.html) but they basically tell you that nothing needs to be done to the Vigor 120 when using with a normal ADSL connection. I chose the Draytek because I found lots of people online saying it worked well with their Airport kit. So i'm now wondering what i've got wrong.
I've tried disabling the DHCP that the Draytek has in case that was causing a problem but it appears to make no difference either way.
The Express seems to work fine in all other modes i've tried (extending existing wifi network, etc).
Any thoughts on what I can try? Any settings in Airport Express that I should check?
I was fairly confident with home networking stuff before I started with this 2 days ago but now i realise I don't know very much at all. All this PPPoE and PPPoA and NATs and Bridges and DHCP Relay stuff that I don't fully understand is hurting my head.  Embarrassed
Also confused as to why the Draytek can only seem to manage 6mbps when I know my line is good enough to provide upto about 12mbps. (I think I read somewhere that the brand of chipset inside the modem makes a difference to speeds - ie. it's better when the modem chipset and exchange kit chipset are from same manufacturer - but surely that can't be correct?!)
Fingers-crossed someone can help me out!

(And I hope i've posted this to the correct board! Apologies if not)
16 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎11-08-2007

Re: Can you help prevent further hair loss? (Draytek Vigor 120 / Airport Express issue)

The Draytek Vigor120, is the simplest bit of kit ever, and normally just works perfectly !
The only problem I've ever seen with these, is one where the 10/100 ethernet port would only connect at 10Mbps to a gigabit network card.

Is your Draytek Vigor120  the  version 1  or version 2  ?
What revision of firmware is your Vigor120 using ?

Have you got the ADSL settings the same as this ? -
sallonoroff
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Re: Can you help prevent further hair loss? (Draytek Vigor 120 / Airport Express issue)

Hello purleigh, thanks for responding. Its the Vigor 120 v2 and the firmware is up-to-date (3.2.6) - I meant to note this in my original post. (The Airport also has the latest applicable firmware)
I'll double-check the ADSL settings on the Draytek but i *think* it is the same as your screenshot.
Interesting that you note the only problem you've seen was an issue with the ethernet port. I did buy the Draytek second-hand but it looks like-new. Is there anyway I can test the port is working properly? Test its throughput? My laptop has a 10/100/1000 ethernet port. Both the Airport Express' ports (WAN and LAN) are 10/100, i think.
Community Veteran
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Re: Can you help prevent further hair loss? (Draytek Vigor 120 / Airport Express issue)

On my laptop the connected ethernet port speed can be determined by the colour of the LEDs above the ethernet socket, or in the connection manager I can show the status of each network connection - and one of the things listed is the maximum speed that the connected device has negotiated with the laptop (i.e. 10Mb / 100Mb / 1Gb).
sallonoroff
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Re: Can you help prevent further hair loss? (Draytek Vigor 120 / Airport Express issue)

Sadly my machine's ethernet port doesn't have any collision lights to help like that. I have discovered this though:

That's when i'm connected to the Vigor 120 by a cat5e cable. Connecting the same laptop with the same cable to my old Linksys changes that status to Full Duplex and 100baseTX. So, have I got a duff LAN port on this Draytek box?

Incidentally, these are what my Draytek settings look like...


Which is the same as yours, purleigh, right?
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Re: Can you help prevent further hair loss? (Draytek Vigor 120 / Airport Express issue)

Post deleted - didn't read the thread first!
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Re: Can you help prevent further hair loss? (Draytek Vigor 120 / Airport Express issue)

@'Jaggies' - you are missing the point, yes the modem's ethernet port SHOULD connect up to 100Mbps, but this particular modem is reporting that it is only at 10Mbps (and half-duplex) despite being plugged into a laptop capable of full-duplex10/100/1000Mbps on it's ethernet port..


@'sallonoroff -
Yes the settings look the same, although additionally I had the DNS values set to Google DNS 8.8.4.4 and 8.8.8.8
Having the modem connecting at 10Base-T speeds obviously means that you can't match the 12Mb speed of the Linksys.
I have had a quick Google search to see whether the ethernet running at 10Mb is a known problem, but I can't see any other cases reported.
Perhaps your next step would be to email/phone DrayTek support to see whether they have any bright ideas.
If you bought this recently on eBay (i.e. less than 45 days), then contact the seller and let them know there is a problem, but let them also know that you are trying to find a solution but if you can't then you will want to return it for a full refund.
Undecided
sallonoroff
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Re: Can you help prevent further hair loss? (Draytek Vigor 120 / Airport Express issue)

Thanks purleigh. I appreciate your suggestions.
sallonoroff
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Re: Can you help prevent further hair loss? (Draytek Vigor 120 / Airport Express issue)

Got a refund on the faulty Draytek Vigor 120.
Given that I want the Apple Airport to do routing and wireless (so that I only have to change the modem when fibre becomes available in my area), what options do I have for a ADSL ethernet modem? Any suggestions?
The Draytek and the D-Link DSL-320B were the only ones I could find when I looked originally, with the Draytek looking like the much better (easier, more reliable) option, though i'm not so convinced now.
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Re: Can you help prevent further hair loss? (Draytek Vigor 120 / Airport Express issue)

I will let others recommend alternative ethernet modems, as the available devices seem to have very mixed reviews !
However they are not your only option !.
Have you considered taking a wireless router with ADSL port, and then disabling the WiFi , configure the modem for PPPoA, VPI=0/VCI=38, and mux-mode=LLC,  then configure the router into bridge mode.
This will give you the equivalent of an ADSL modem with an ethernet connection, that you wire into the WAN socket on your Apple AirPort, and then connect using PPPoE as before.
If you do this, there are a few guides on this forum and elsewhere, on how to do it.
Choose a router that uses a Broadcom chipset for the ADSL modem.
Consider using a model that allows target SNR adjustment.
My suggestions would be -

  • Billion "7800N" - or any from that series.
.

  • Netgear "DG834GT", not "Sky" branded, preferably with DGTeam firmware, but Netgear firmware is OK without the TSNR tweak.
.

  • The "Technicolor" gateway that you might have got when you signed-up with Plusnet should be good enough.


       
all available from £8 to £20 on eBay.
Wink
sallonoroff
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Re: Can you help prevent further hair loss? (Draytek Vigor 120 / Airport Express issue)

Thanks purleigh.
Kind of defeats the object of replacing it, but I did actually try to do this with my existing Linksys WAG54G modem/router after I gave up on the Draytek. It didn't seem to work though so I quickly gave up, unsure it was even possible.
Thanks for the other box suggestions. I'll take look at them. Price is certainly right. Wink
Oh, and I don't have the Technicolor... I've been with Plusnet for broadband so long that I think the modem supplied was the (USB!) BT Voyager 105.
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Re: Can you help prevent further hair loss? (Draytek Vigor 120 / Airport Express issue)

Quote from: sallonoroff
Kind of defeats the object of replacing it

Not really,  the Airport Extreme is an excellent router and has probably the best wireless capability.
All I'm suggesting is that you couple your Airport Extreme with the best ADSL modem available.
In my opinion the Billion 7800x and Netgear DG834GT have the best functioning ADSL modems (and have target SNR tweak capability),
they are both probably better than any stand-alone ethernet ADSL modem, and should give you the highest ADSL speeds and reliability.

Quote from: sallonoroff
I did actually try to do this with my existing Linksys WAG54G modem/router after I gave up on the Draytek.
It didn't seem to work though so I quickly gave up, unsure it was even possible.

I'm a little surprised that the WAG54G didn't work, as they were really great devices in their day, and I had at least five different versions of the WAG54G.
I would try again, but work through the mux-modes to see whether any of them work. As I said before when a router is bridged you probably don't want VC-mux, whereas LLC/Snap-mux is more likely to work.  I also remember that the WAG54G had some unusual bridging modes, so it would be worth trying those as well.
What version of WAG54G do you have ?
Wink
sallonoroff
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Re: Can you help prevent further hair loss? (Draytek Vigor 120 / Airport Express issue)

Quote from: purleigh
In my opinion the Billion 7800x and Netgear DG834GT have the best functioning ADSL modems ... and should give you the highest ADSL speeds and reliability.

Cool. I'll seek one out. If I don't have any joy with the following...
Quote from: purleigh
I'm a little surprised that the WAG54G didn't work.

The problem might lie with the human involved, of course.  Smiley As I think I said in my original post I don't fully understand this bridging and NAT and whatnot.
Quote from: purleigh
the WAG54G had some unusual bridging modes ... What version of WAG54G do you have ?

I actually have two of them - a v1 and a v2. (Got a second-hand one a few years back just for the power adapter).
I think I tried it in "Bridge mode" but wasn't sure it would work, given the WAG54G doesn't have a WAN ethernet, just 4 LANs.  Didn't know if they're auto-sensing.
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Re: Can you help prevent further hair loss? (Draytek Vigor 120 / Airport Express issue)

Quote from: sallonoroff
I tried it in "Bridge mode" but wasn't sure it would work, given the WAG54G doesn't have a WAN ethernet, just 4 LANs.  Didn't know if they're auto-sensing.

?  Shocked
When you put an internet gateway (i.e. a combined modem + router) into "bridge mode",  the routing function is disabled, and instead (usually) LAN socket #1 becomes the ethernet connector that gives you access to the local side of the ADSL modem within the gateway device.
This allows another router (e.g. AirPort) to access the ADSL PPPoA modem using login credentials via PPPoE, as you did with the Vigor120.
Therefore the WAN interface of the WAG54G is the ADSL (phone line) connector and nothing to do with any ethernet WAN ports.

So an internet gateway (e.g. WAG54G) in "bridge mode", will be connected like this -
Phone line <-ADSL socket-WAG54 modem-LAN#1-> ethernet cable <-WAN socket-Apple Airport-LAN & WiFi-> Network

Whereas a normal (unbridged) internet gateway would look something like this -
Phone line <-ADSL socket-WAG54 modem<->WAG54G router-LAN & WiFi-> Network

I hope that now makes sense ?   Roll eyes

Note that I'm not necessarily saying that the WAG54G has the required capability, but the above principles should apply to many internet gateways, and should be used as a guide towards what you are aiming to achieve, which may or may not work on the WAG54G.
My current network setup uses a "Billion 7800" in bridge mode as my modem, and that has worked perfectly driving into my external router.
Cool
sallonoroff
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Re: Can you help prevent further hair loss? (Draytek Vigor 120 / Airport Express issue)

Quote from: purleigh
?  Shocked

Grin I did say the problem might lie with the user.

Quote from: purleigh
So an internet gateway (e.g. WAG54G) in "bridge mode", will be connected like this -
Phone line <-ADSL socket-WAG54 modem-LAN#1-> ethernet cable <-WAN socket-Apple Airport-LAN & WiFi-> Network

Despite my apparent foolishness, this is the way I had it all connected up. I haven't yet tried putting the old WAG354G in Bridge mode again - it has been behaving itself this last week so i've not have the motivation to start fiddling.