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Not enough ports on my supplied router!

fowleronline
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 09-11-2015

Not enough ports on my supplied router!

All was going really well yesterday. Engineer was booked for 1-6pm and my line went down at 1.10pm so I knew someone was working on my line.  By 1.15 he arrived and by 1.20 I was up and running.
BEST ever result for BT Openreach (although they had subcontracted this job out).  Praise where it's due though, I was impressed.
The downside was, that he brought a modem for the fibre connection and this took one of the four ports on the supplied router.  I was using all 5 available ports on my Billion router, and I knew I could manage with four.... but when the modem took one of them I was left with three.  And this I cannot manage with!
Any suggestions welcome, including how to raise a ticket with Plusnet.  After 10 minutes of going round in circles I gave up.
Thanks in advance.
12 REPLIES
pwatson
Rising Star
Posts: 2,468
Thanks: 8
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Registered: 26-11-2012

Re: Not enough ports on my supplied router!

Hi and welcome to the PN forum.
You'll need to provide a switch to expand the number of ports available, or replace the router with a unit that has ethernet WAN.  You can use your Billion router as a switch for now (turn off the DHCP server and plug a LAN port on the Billion to a LAN port on the PN router).  Depending on the Billion router that you have, you may be able to use this instead of the PN router anyway.
Regarding opening tickets with Plusnet, they've effectively deprecated this method of contact so you'll either have to phone them or use their Live Chat facility.  There's no point contacting them about this issue though as they won't supply a different router or additional hardware.
Hope this helps.
Moderator
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Posts: 18,528
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Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: Not enough ports on my supplied router!

getting a cheap switch is the cheapest answer or a new router may be another.
does your billion not have an ewan port?

Customer / Moderator / If it helped click the thumb / If it fixed it click 'This fixed my problem'

Andrue
Pro
Posts: 775
Thanks: 90
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Registered: 12-01-2015

Re: Not enough ports on my supplied router!

Quote from: fowleronline
Any suggestions welcome, including how to raise a ticket with Plusnet.  After 10 minutes of going round in circles I gave up.
Why do you want to raise a ticket? Just buy a switch off ebay or Amazon, they are dirt cheap.
Here's one:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/TP-LINK-TL-SF1005D-100Mbps-Unmanaged-Desktop/dp/B000FNFSPY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF...
All you do is connect one of the ports on the router to one of the ports on the switch and you're done. You might have to buy an Ethernet cable to connect them (nothing special) and you'll need a power socket for the switch. But there's no configuration or anything else involved. Just plug the cables in and you're done.
fowleronline
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 09-11-2015

Re: Not enough ports on my supplied router!

Hi Folks
Thanks for the info above.
Andrue:  That is what I have done actually, ordered a switch off Amazon. 
I wanted to raise a ticket, because last time I was with PN that is how it was done.  Also, I don't really want to spend an average of 30 mins on hold to speak or chat to someone, when I can google the answer in a lot less.  I wanted a response from PN as to why I was not told I would loose a port to the router connection (I assumed that was what the phone/data port was for).  I didn't know if I could use another router (Sky don't allow it) and they may have supplied a solution if I had asked - so I wanted to ask.
Dvorak: It does have a EWAN port and 4 giga ehternet ports - but since I am new to all these acronyms, I have no idea what they are or what to do with them.  The answer may be obvious to those familiar with this subject, but as I have only just come across this issue, I'm on a steep learning curve. 
PWatson: I presume Ethernet WAN is the EWAN mentioned above - is this the "red" port on the router to plug the modem into?  I can't actually add another unit under the TV where all my kit lives.  I already have 12 sockets (low powered) in use and I literally used my last one on the modem.  I could replace the PN router with the Billion one, if I know it's OK with PN, and eventually migrate all the PN settings to it.  (but I wouldn't know if I had done it all correctly, or if I was compromising my setup by using my router over the supplied PN one).  And as an ordinary member of the public, I shouldn't have to acquire this level of knowledge, just to get back to where I started.
The engineer said PN are the only company to supply a separate modem - all others are build in!
I guess I'm just frustrated.  If I had known I was going to be down two ports, I could have planned ahead and worked out the difference between a splitter and a switch, both of which seem to do the same job on face value.  As usual, the customer is left to sort thing out when the cheapest solution is used instead of the best solution.
My thanks again for your advice, it is appreciated.
Martin.
Moderator
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Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: Not enough ports on my supplied router!

What's the model number for the billion?

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Andrue
Pro
Posts: 775
Thanks: 90
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Registered: 12-01-2015

Re: Not enough ports on my supplied router!

Quote from: fowleronline
As usual, the customer is left to sort thing out when the cheapest solution is used instead of the best solution.
Well the problem here is that you are expecting PN to help you with your LAN cabling and to be honest that's your responsibility. The PN supplied router is a pretty typical domestic router and the number of LAN ports it leaves available when connected to the Openreach modem is fairly normal. This is no different to you coming home with a new TV and discovering that you've run out of power sockets.
Quote
And as an ordinary member of the public, I shouldn't have to acquire this level of knowledge, just to get back to where I started.
Yes, you should. It's about as simple as computer networking gets and a little basic knowledge is always a good thing.
You can even ask Google:
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=not+enough+network+ports
Cheesy
dannyboy75
Rising Star
Posts: 97
Thanks: 19
Registered: 06-08-2015

Re: Not enough ports on my supplied router!

OP - no mileage in raising a ticket as this isn't Plusnet's issue. There is no fault here as such.
To be honest you might have been better served just buying a better router, as the Plusnet one is pretty lame anyway.
fowleronline
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 09-11-2015

Re: Not enough ports on my supplied router!

Dvorak: Billion BiPac 7800N router
Andrue: I'm not completely thick, and I probably know more about computer and networks than any of my friends and family.  But none of them would agree with your comments.  It may be basic to you, but I'm sure many of them could baffle you with acronyms from their speciality and refer you to google too.  Assuming they had the slightest interest or need to know.
I'm not saying I can't learn new tricks, I just don't think I should have to when either a combination unit of router and modem should have been supplied - with the standard 4 ports, or I should have been told one would be taken by an external modem.
If I bought a TV with 4 ports on it, I would not expect them to later send someone round to take one of them off me, which is what happened here.  My understanding of a router is that it has a modem build in, I have never bought a separate modem before, and the engineer said PN are unique now having the two units separate.
dannyboy75: I agree, but I do already have a better router, I was never told I had a choice of which I could use.  I planned to use the PN for a while incase they had to run any diagnostics if there was a problem.
Anyway... I have ordered some more equipment at my own expense, so that I can continue to plug in the network devices I was using the day before.  Thank you for your comments.
pwatson
Rising Star
Posts: 2,468
Thanks: 8
Fixes: 1
Registered: 26-11-2012

Re: Not enough ports on my supplied router!

The Billion 7800N router is compatible with the BT Openreach modem and you can use it with minimal reconfiguration.
Regarding the PN router - They used to describe this as a 4 port router but have subsequently added notes to the product description to make it clear that one port is used for connection to the fibre modem.  Where have you seen this erroneously described?

Andrue
Pro
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Registered: 12-01-2015

Re: Not enough ports on my supplied router!

Quote from: fowleronline
the engineer said PN are unique now having the two units separate.
For new installations they might be yes. However I'd guestimate that over 90% of existing installations have separate units because that was the only way you could get FTTC installed until a year or so ago.
Quote
If I bought a TV with 4 ports on it, I would not expect them to later send someone round to take one of them off me,
Of course you wouldn't but then you haven't bought a router off PN. You chose to take up their offer to send you one for free. The analogy is more like you bought a TV and it came with a free indoor aerial but you live in a weak signal area and it's not good enough. You wouldn't (I hope) expect the TV manufacturer to do anything about it and if you went to the retailer I hope you'd be prepared to pay them more money for a better aerial or would pay someone to fit an external aerial to your house.
You could - on general principals - complain about the difficulty of contacting PN support staff but even had you got to talk to them immediately they'd be entirely within their rights to tell you stop bothering them and go and buy a switch. Good customer service would hopefully mean they would be a bit more polite about it than that but equally as part of my subscription is paying for the support staff I don't want them wasting time sorting out issues that are the customer's responsibility.
Anyway the switch will do the job so hopefully you'll soon be up and running.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,841
Thanks: 103
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Registered: 21-01-2013

Re: Not enough ports on my supplied router!

The following links may help with configuring the Billion for use with Plusnet Fibre.
It should give better result than the Plusnet router.
https://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,94917.msg809730.html#msg809730
http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,115317.0.html
fowleronline
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 09-11-2015

Re: Not enough ports on my supplied router!

Thanks all.
Switch has been dispatched.
Cheers
Martin