Going to be setting up another PlusNet account at my Brothers place in the near future on FTTC and using my own pfSense setup, the router that is supplied with PlusNet can it be put into a modem only mode or am I better buying a Vigor 130 or DMZ to my pfSense box.
I've had little experience of FTTC setups as I now know that the Openreach modem is no longer supplied.
Any advice would be gratefully received, anyone else out there using pfSense or their own kind of setup and have any tips and tricks, things to watch for?
The Plusnet router cannot be set up as a modem. You either need to use it as a modem/router, switch off the wifi and connect your pfsense device in Wireless Access Point mode or get a modem.
If you look on Ebay you will find Huawei HG612s going very cheaply. You need the latest model 3B. These work very well without any setting up or can be unlocked should you wish ( https://kitz.co.uk/routers/hg612unlock.htm ) to allow you to fully monitor your link to the cabinet.
I've been running pfSense for many years and have tried a lot of different modems with it.
The Vigor130 is the simplest just plug it in and it works solution, however it is expensive and in my experience tends to sync slightly slower than other devices that use a Broadcom chipset, also some people have reported odd problems with random PPP session drops on DrayTek modems and routers since Plusnet changed over to their "New Network" a couple of years ago.
Currently I'm running a Billion BiPAC 8800NL configured in BRIDGE mode and the WiFi switched off, this makes the device appear like a PPPoE modem, and I'm slightly preferring it over the Vigor130.
As it is, I can simply swap the ethernet cable from the pfSense WAN port between the Vigor130 or 8800NL without any other changes (other than the corresponding RJ11 phone cable), so I can do a side by side performance comparison, and have a backup modem always in place.
I bought my Vigor130 new on eBay and I was very lucky to get it for £30, but usually they go for >£45.
In comparison the last 8800NL sold on eBay in "as new" condition, went for £18, I got mine at £20.
My only other thought is the physical location of the connectors coming out of the devices, the Vigor130 is great at it can lay flat or be wall mounted, whereas the 8800NL is still a nice compact box but can't be wall mounted as the thing stands upright with the connectors pointing backwards. This shouldn't be a problem for most people, but my entire system is wall mounted - so the 8800NL isn't physically ideal for my current setup.
Both DrayTek and Billion have provided very fast and comprehensive technical support, and I've been sent revised firmware for the respective devices within days of reporting minor problems with their code.
Vigor 130 modem, pfSense 2.4.5-p1 router, 5 WAPs, Devolo dLAN 500, Gigaset N300A-IP VoIP DECT
Thanks for the replies, sorry been a mad few days since I posted this.
My other option was to use the router than came from PlusNet and chuck the pfSense in DMZ saves purchasing any extra hardware. I will see if I can pick up either of the above cheap and go from there.