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HubOne firmware issue with DNS

ritz1
Dabbler
Posts: 15
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Registered: 22-01-2018

HubOne firmware issue with DNS

Running a HubOne on Plusnet 39/10 Unlimited line since 4 Jan. HubOne worked OK for a few days (a week or less) until one day I realised none of my LAN hosts could connect to the Internet (about 15+: phones, printer, laptops, desktops, media player, camera, switch, etc. both on WiFi and Ethernet). Rebooted hub, things worked again for a few minutes, then the problem reappeared. From that reboot onwards the issue went on periodically: LAN devices losing Internet every few minutes making the service unusable. I also have an external probe (for a DynDNS-equivalent service) which notified me of a lost connection (from Internet to LAN).

Raised ticket with support who immediately assumed HubOne was faulty and replaced it with identical new device, same (latest) firmware: 4.7.5.1.83.8.237.2.2

New HubOne worked fine for about a week again (without issues or reboots), then one day the problem re-surfaced. Exactly same symptoms until HubOne became 'unusable' again.

 

Further tests:

- I could get access to Hub's management interface. It showed the broadband connection was up (it had never dropped, actually).

- I substituted the DHCP-assigned DNS servers (192.168.x.y pointing to Plusnet DNS 212.159.xx.yy) on some LAN hosts with the Google ones and those hosts could access the Internet fine. Removing the manually set Google DNS by renewing the DHCP lease I was losing access to Internet.

 

- I have now temporarily borrowed and tested a BT HomeHub 5 on my line, which has been working fine. Plusnet customer support tells me the HubOne is running identical firmware to BT HH4 (not sure I believe this, I thought HubOne h/w was a BT HH5? There are also possible firmware additions, such as IPv6 features, plusnet rebranding, etc., that have been fitted in, maybe 'identical' is not the right word here?)

 

 

The above indicate a possible firmware issue on the HubOne. Same symptoms reported by @billhudson74 and @d8smt here:

https://community.plus.net/t5/My-Router/HubOne-Connection-breaking-firmware-update/m-p/1468145

 

Customer support have not been able to resolve this either, posting me help on isolating the 5GHz WiFi band (see question #166611512) and possible relevant discussion here:

https://community.plus.net/t5/Fibre-Broadband/It-s-BACK-The-HubOne-quot-Home-Network-quot-router-reb...

But the problem I described above is not specific to the WiFi. I should say that my HubOne was configured with separate WiFi band SSIDs. Support also did a line test confirming line is OK.

 

 

Hope @bobpullen could pick this one up. Happy to retrieve/post logs, although I have the HubOne offline at the moment as it doesn't seem fit for purpose.

 

53 REPLIES
Baldrick1
Seasoned Champion
Posts: 1,553
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Registered: 30-06-2016

Re: HubOne firmware issue with DNS

15+ connected devices? Maybe it's more than its little brain can cope with!

The Hub One is a tweeked Home Hub 5A not 4.

ritz1
Dabbler
Posts: 15
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Registered: 22-01-2018

Re: HubOne firmware issue with DNS

The BT HH5 coped well with 15+ devices for over a year, why can't the HubOne? (And cust support says they are identical!)
oneinnit
Hooked
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Registered: 12-01-2018

Re: HubOne firmware issue with DNS

I think the Hub One certainly can cope with more than 15 devices. I have about 20 connected to mine.

I have everything setup to use DHCP and then assign the devices static addresses from the router. I haven't encountered any problems with this setup yet, but it's still early days for me - I only joined in January.

Browni
Aspiring Hero
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Registered: 02-03-2016

Re: HubOne firmware issue with DNS

Do you have any Google devices in your network?

It seems they are playing silly [-Censored-]s again Ticked off

Linky

I must have been really bad in a previous life as this was my 3rd ISP in a row that used lithium.
Now you're stuck with me because my new ISP doesn't run a forum Cheesy
ritz1
Dabbler
Posts: 15
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Registered: 22-01-2018

Re: HubOne firmware issue with DNS

Yes, it *should* cope. Wether it does without issues is a question.

ritz1
Dabbler
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Registered: 22-01-2018

Re: HubOne firmware issue with DNS

Thanks for the link @Browni

No, no such (Google manufactured) devices. Only android phones. 

But the article focuses on WiFi problems. What I described is not WiFi specific. It happens on hosts connected via ethernet too. That's why I'm suspecting the firmware.

ritz1
Dabbler
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Registered: 22-01-2018

Re: HubOne firmware issue with DNS

Just to add a little literature to the DNS issue with the (buggy, as it seems) HubOne firmware 4.7.5.1.83.8.237.2.2.

- A number of other users have been reporting exactly the same problem with the Hub One:

@grayerbeardhttps://community.plus.net/t5/Fibre-Broadband/Plusnet-hub-amp-DNS-issues/td-p/1304606

@Andrew_Hardistyhttps://community.plus.net/t5/Fibre-Broadband/DNS-failing-again-with-replacment-Hub-One/td-p/1473256

@nikkas@Phantom and @nealenapierhttps://community.plus.net/t5/My-Router/Hub-One-DNS-request-unresponsive/td-p/1337658

 

@chris1610https://community.plus.net/t5/My-Router/DNS-problems-on-my-router/td-p/1465357

@Mr_Ormerodhttps://community.plus.net/t5/Broadband/Constant-DNS-issues/td-p/1382195

 

While this issue seems to have been going on for nearly 2 years now, as reported by a number of other users, Plusnet customer support quietly ignores requests to have a look at the source of the problem. CSA insisted they have "no reports from other users"! The last thread above though mentions wide-spread knowledge of the problem internally, and efforts to resolve it were made in Nov. 2016!

 

Well, Plusnet, now that the problem is well documented, would you care to escalate this and support us please? There is a clear problem involving your network and the HubOne that needs urgent fixing. The router is not fit for purpose here.

Andrew_Hardisty
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Registered: 04-03-2009

Re: HubOne firmware issue with DNS

Hi ritz1,

After my replacement HubOne (on 4.7.5.1.83.8.237.2.2) gave up performing DNS lookups a couple of weeks after receiving it, I configured DNS servers on my devices manually and used them like that for a while. I didn't want the faff of arranging another replacement especially since by now I expected it could fail again in the same way so decided to buy a different router myself.

Before shelling out any money I gave the HubOne a final chance and switched back to the DHCP assigned DNS settings. I expected that would work for an hour at most but it's now been fine for months!

At some point around the time I time I was messing about with this I've changed the DHCP range setting to 172.16.0.64 - 172.16.255.254 but I don't remember if it was already fine again when I did that and I suspect that's a red herring with regard to being part of the miraculous self-healing I've experienced.

ritz1
Dabbler
Posts: 15
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Registered: 22-01-2018

Re: HubOne firmware issue with DNS

Thanks @Andrew_Hardisty.

 

In the meanwhile, my ticket with Customer Support has become a ridiculous conversation with a bunch of useless analysts who make irrelevant interventions. Here is a short account:

- 1st call to support: "We had no other reports like this one, problem is in your LAN" --> sure, read the literature I sent, you had at least 5 previous tickets, you tried to fix your network (and you failed) in the last 2 years.

- Follow up ticket: "Split your wireless bands" --> Read my message, it happens over ethernet, too.

- Another follow up: "We need you to run some tests to rule out charges if the problem is caused by internal wiring or equipment" --> Read my message again, DSL is always up and working with Google open DNS servers, same LAN works with BT HH5 on Plusnet and has worked on BT, EE and Sky in the last 3-4 years!

- Next: "Unfortunately, while I can appreciate that your Hub 1 may not be suited to your specialist purposes, we are unfortunately unable to offer any other router. However, we are happy for people to use Third Party Routers with our service. I would therefore suggest this may be a constructive way to proceed." --> What makes my use 'Specialist needs'? Plusnet cannot offer reliable standard IP service on top of basic fibre with HubOne.

- And the best one yet: "I am very sorry for the issues you are having. We supply all our fiber Customers and our Fiber Extra customers with Plusnet Hub Ones. We do not offer any other routers for Fiber." --> I didn't ask for a different router. I want you to work on fixing the problem with the HubOne. 

 

Do they actually read the problem before answering?

 

 

IanDL
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Registered: 22-02-2018

Re: HubOne firmware issue with DNS

As a relatively new (November 2017) customer I thought I'd chip in here to say I'm having exactly the same problems. I'd found the other forum threads you linked to but they seemed to have gone quiet so I though that there may have actually been a resolution to this. Seems not, so thanks for consolidating Forum references to the issue here.

I've been having this problem pretty much since I joined Plusnet and I'm convinced it's a problem with the HubOne (same firmware version as you, ritz). Briefly:

  • I intermittently loose all routing to anything that isn't on my local network
  • Once this happens it is a problem for all connected devices: wired, WiFi, Linux, Windows, Android
  • nslookup of a hostname using the default DNS server (the hub) fails
  • nslookup of the same host with the DNS server explicitly specified as one of Plusnet's servers (212.159.6.9/10) succeeds
  • traceroute via IP address succeeds, via hostname fails
  • restart the hub and the problem is fixed (for a while)

Conclusions: My machines are ok. My connection is ok. Plusnet's DNS servers are ok. Only really leaves the hub (which simply forwards DNS services from Plusnet's servers) as the problem.

I contacted Plusnet at the start of January about this (brief aside: in what world are the only routes to get tech support waiting interminably for an agent to pick up the phone, or having to engage in an "online chat" (if the service is available)? Why can't I just raise a ticket via a webform?? Sore point I know but my first nasty "new customer" surprise). Anyway... after being patronised somewhat in a webchat I reported the above diagnosis and they offered to send me a new hub. The one I am now using.

Unsurprisingly, changing hubs hasn't helped. The problem seems to be occurring less frequently (several days between instances) but the frequency is increasing (twice today). This was my experience with the first hub too. I don't have an obvious suggestion for why this should be the case. It's my perception that the problem mostly happens when my work laptop is connected to the network. This uses DirectAccess under Win7 to connect to my employers corporate network and I wonder whether this triggers the problem. Similarly, I seem to have noticed it occurring while using VPNs. The problem is that it is too intermittent to be sure and I've used both for days on end without any trouble on some occasions.

As others have pointed out, this is clearly a genuine issue being experienced by multiple customers. Please, Plusnet, get it fixed! I'll be (trying to) contact support again, but hopefully somebody in a position to take action is reading this thread.

 

IanDL
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Registered: 22-02-2018

Re: HubOne firmware issue with DNS

Update!

So, a lengthy support session, first by webchat where, having persuaded the agent that connecting my router to the Openreach test socket and leaving it for three days probably wasn't the answer, I was advised that "this would be easier if you called us". Then, on the phone after a lengthy discussion with someone who seemed to want to help (listened to my problem, ran all the line tests, asked colleagues) it was suggested I change one of the DNS servers in the router setup to a non-Plusnet one (e.g. Google's). STUPIDLY I said I'd give it a go and rang off, forgetting that this ISN'T POSSIBLE in the Hub One Arrghhh!

Immediately called back + explained this. Again, agent seemed keen to help but suggestions were set DNS server individually in each device or source an Openreach modem and they would send me one of the old hubs with editable DNS addresses. Finally, the suggestion was by my own modem/router because, "there are better ones out there." :-(

To be fair, I wasn't really expecting an instant fix, explained this and was told that Plusnet are "always looking into new problems". Frankly, I have been toying with the idea of buying a modem router of my own, specifically splashing out on one of these:

http://www.draytek.co.uk/information/news/vigor2862-launch

Anyone tried them specifically with Plusnet? Don't see there should be any problems but, of course, I'd be on my own support-wise.

Shame they can't seem to fix this with the Hub One.

Community Gaffer
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Re: HubOne firmware issue with DNS

@ritz1, I'm not sure all of the other threads you've linked to are relevant to your problem. Admittedly some of them seem to be though.

The firmware on the Hub One is not identical to the HH5A, but there are similarities and a lot of the functional changes are roughly aligned across the respective firmware iterations.

If somebody is able to get the device into a state where it's not proxying DNS requests, then I can pull some logs remotely and have the vendor take a look, however that's likely to involve you having to work around things until I pick your post up, by assigning critical devices static DNS addresses.

If you connect to a VPN, am I safe to assume the destination network isn't using private address space for routing/resolution that's in the same local subnet as the Hub One? i.e. 192.168.1.0/24

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

IanDL
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Registered: 22-02-2018

Re: HubOne firmware issue with DNS

Thanks Bob.

In answer to your final comment, no, the corporate networks etc. I'm accessing via VPN aren't using private address space. Actually, the connection to my work network is via Microsoft DirectAccess which is VPN-like but using slightly different protocols. I can switch it on or off but the internals are not open enough to me (don't have admin rights on my work machine, sadly) to really diagnose much. I should emphasize that its only my perception that this may be the trigger for my DNS problems.

I may try to leave my hub in the fault state next time it happens but it'll depend if I'm in a hurry to get things done in which case simply restarting the router is the quickest option. If you want to share the secrets of extracting logs from the router I'm happy to have a go myself and send you the results.

 

ritz1
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Registered: 22-01-2018

Re: HubOne firmware issue with DNS

@IanDL, thanks for your detailed messages, I can confirm I had experienced exactly the symptoms you mentioned in your bullet points. No use of VPN here, so I wouldn't necessarily look that way first.

@bobpullen: Thanks for jumping in. I switched back to using the HubOne on 11 Feb and still waiting for the issue to re-surface. It hasn't yet. It is unlikely we can survive for long without DNS in this house, but I'll do my best. Are the diagnostics you have in mind something we could pull from the box ourselves?

 

I have also considered running a tcpdump on the WAN side, but a) the issue does not yet appear to be systematic in its first occurrence, b) will require a bit of infrastructure change here, which I haven't got round to doing it yet.

All I can say is that after the first occurrence, which took 5 days first time round, the problem manifests more frequently (every ~5-10 mins, if I recall correctly.)