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Would installing a more expensive combined modem/router help?

pfgpowell
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Registered: 30-07-2007

Would installing a more expensive combined modem/router help?

I've been with Plusnet for many years and upgraded to fibre at the beginning of the year (or even earlier). It was fine for a long time, but recently - in the past few months - the connection is getting flakey, regularly dropping when streaming (e.g. in iPlayer). The usual explanation is that it 'congestion' but this can't be the case as I live in a very rural area of North Cornwall where there simply aren't that many users to congest the network. And the increase in the dropped connections is quite noticeable - hate to say it, but that's a fact. (You tend to spot dropped connections more when watching a streaming service - when ordinary websites are loading you wouldn't necessarily know.)
I got the usual PN setup, a BT modem and a Technicolour router, and reading around on the net, I've heard it said that ISP don't always splash out on equipment they supply to customers (at a price, of course). So I was wondering whether it would be worth investing in a more expensive combined VDSL modem/router. Would that help my connections. The second question is: how simply would it be to set up. When we still had ADSL I installed a new router several times, and that was easy, but is fibre any different? I wouldn't want to screw it up and apart from anything else three days a week I rely on the connection to log into a PC at work in London.
Any advice welcome.
8 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,027
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Would installing a more expensive combined modem/router help?

The basic question is what drops
Is it the Broadband or the Internet - check using the lights on the router because if it is the broadband then it would show up on the DSL light on the modem
deejayburnout
Grafter
Posts: 150
Registered: 05-04-2014

Re: Would installing a more expensive combined modem/router help?

If its going to drop it will drop. No good modem can counteract provider dropouts. However the purchase of a good router/modem would be advisable as you will get better WiFi range (as i found) as well as additional features such as USB connectivity.
pfgpowell
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Would installing a more expensive combined modem/router help?

Apart from that, would he overal improve things if I invested in a better quality VDSL combined modem/router? And if I did, would it be as easy to set up as the ADSL routers were?
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,027
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Would installing a more expensive combined modem/router help?

that entirely depends on where the problem is as the BT Modem is quite a good piece of kit
Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-06-2010

Re: Would installing a more expensive combined modem/router help?

I suppose how good the Openreach modem is depends on which type of modem it is (there are two different types).
Haybasha
Rising Star
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Registered: 07-05-2014

Re: Would installing a more expensive combined modem/router help?

I personally found the Home Hub 5A to be shockingly bad at holding a connection on my line and ECI cabinet. I've been using a ZyXel SBG3300-N for over 2 years and it's rock solid.
I've also tried Draytek and Asus, again they where rubbish at holding a connection on my line and actually synced at lower speeds too. Others have certainly had good results with Draytek.
Never tried a Billion but lots of people have them and seem to get good results.
Take a look at Kitz forum and search for "Combined VDSL2 Modem Routers" there's a list on there with peoples findings and a few comments about them.
Andrue
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Re: Would installing a more expensive combined modem/router help?

Quote from: pfgpowell
Apart from that, would he overal improve things if I invested in a better quality VDSL combined modem/router?
That depends on what the problem is but BT modem is an effective, good quality modem so I doubt you'd see a significant increase in your connection speed or stability from replacing that. The PN supplied router is a cheap-ish bit of kit though. You might see a difference in some applications if you replaced that. If you're going to replace the router you might as well go for a combined unit. It should at least give access to your line stats more easily than the BT modem does.
But don't think you're suddenly going to get a huge boost in connection speed. Most likely that will stay the same. Wired throughput will also probably not change. However a better router should come with better wifi so you might see an improvement there.
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,798
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Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Would installing a more expensive combined modem/router help?

How do you know its the modem and not the router?
Plusnet are famous for the quality of their routers. Grin