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Getting a new router - Seeking advice

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Magma
Hooked
Posts: 7
Registered: 17-06-2017

Getting a new router - Seeking advice

We currently have Plusnet fibre broadband using a Technicolor TG582n router. Initially it was fine, but there are problems with it now:

  • Most of our devices in the house are now using dual-band 802.11n or 802.11ac network adapers, but the router can only serve single-band 802.11n connections.
  • The signal doesn't reach the furthest parts of the house, which wasn't an issue until we got a smart TV in the back room.
  • Our NAS can connect over ethernet at gigabit speeds, but the router only supports 100 Mbps. Between this and the single-band wireless n WiFi, I'm not sure what's the bottleneck, but if I've done my sums right then switching to gigabit ethernet and wireless ac should raise the capacity of each past the current limit.
  • I keep getting patchy connections down the left side of the house due to interference from a neighbour's strong WiFi signal that keeps auto-switching to the only channel in the 2.4GHz band where there is usually zero overlap from everyone else.

The way I see it, my options are to either:

  • Try and get a Plusnet Hub One router (which I think also means I could lose the Openreach fibre modem, because doesn't it have one built in?) - Either try to get one direct from Plusnet or I have also seen some people getting rid of theirs on eBay; is it alright to get one through that method?
  • Buy a new router from a different manufacturer. With the plethora of manufacturers around, I've only really looked into Netgear's offerings at the moment (I found Netgear easy to set up and use in the past, when we bought a DSL router to replace the terrible one that our former ISP Orange gave us, but I'd consider other manufacturers if they have superior performance). I've looked at a couple of models: the D8500 which is expensive, but offers AC5300 wireless connection, and the D7800 which is almost half the price but only offers AC2600 wireless. Is it worth paying the extra for area coverage, signal stability, and future compatibility?

EDIT: An additional thought - The instructions for the above routers say that for fibre connections you have to connect to the fibre router by ethernet cable. That's the current setup of the TG582n, connected through a BT Openreach modem. But the Netgear routers say they are all VDSL2 compatible, and we're running FTTC so we don't actually have a fibreoptic line in the house. So in that case could we do away with that BT Openreach modem and connect a VDSL2-compatible router directly to the filtered data socket on the telephone plate?

7 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,274
Thanks: 339
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Registered: 24-10-2013

Re: Getting a new router - Seeking advice

Fix
if the router has a built-in model then, yes, you can do away with the openreach modem.

if you're going to replace then i would avoid the plusnet hub one. they are just a rebadged bt homehub, but aren't a "current" spec homehub.

my advice, by the best one you can afford.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,237
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Registered: 16-10-2014

Re: Getting a new router - Seeking advice

Depending on how deep your pockets are @Magma I would recommend:

DrayTek Router
and if needed a DrayTek Modem
Apple AirPort Extreme

I am only suggesting these as they are what I use, and with minimal configuration, they just work, I have a the 2925 Router with dual DrayTek 130 Modems and an Apple AirPort Extreme.

As easy as they are to set up these units are highly configurable should you need that level of control, it may not be applicable to you but in my DrayTek I have QoS configured for VoIP and as soon as a call is detected the bandwidth is automatically adjusted to support the call and returned to normal when it ends.

Magma
Hooked
Posts: 7
Registered: 17-06-2017

Re: Getting a new router - Seeking advice

I looked up the Draytek hardware you mentioned and I have to admit that I don't even understand half the functions they advertise they do. I think for this household they might be the equivalent of using a nuclear bomb to swat a fly. Given that some routers have the VDSL2 modem built in though, I'm starting to like the idea of having an all-in one device instead so I can free up a socket from the BT Openreach modem.

I think I'll probably be going for the Netgear D8500 because it does everything in one, and has Tri-band wireless ac connectivity (which not everything can use here yet but I'm planning on using this long-term).

Magma
Hooked
Posts: 7
Registered: 17-06-2017

Re: Getting a new router - Seeking advice

I ended up going for the Netgear D8500 VDSL2 modem router. Super easy to set up, auto-detected Plusnet's VDSL settings, doesn't quite reach the very furthest area of the house (the signal would have to go lengthways through 5 metres of brick wall to do that), but for every device it can reach, the connection to the NAS is about four times faster now. Nobody else nearby is on 5GHz yet so for now I'm interference free where I needed to be.

I had to reconnect the old gear temporarily because the NAS was set with a static IP in the 192.168.1.X range to suit the old Plusnet stock router, but the Netgear router refused to acknowledge the existence of anything outside the 192.168.0.X range. Once I'd freed that up and swapped everything back to the D8500, I then had to get port forwarding set up again. Even though the D8500 wasn't in the NAS's known list of routers, the NAS managed to configure the D8500 automatically.

It even has mounting slots on the back, which I wasn't expecting because of its size and weight. It's now fitted to the back of the hallway table/cupboard with just a few inches of the antennae poking up. I would have mounted it a bit lower with them out of eyeline, but the weight necessitated the mounting screws to be fixed into part of the cupboard's hard wood frame rather than the soft fibreboard backing. Nothing that a strategically placed photograph frame won't obscure Smiley

Community Veteran
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Re: Getting a new router - Seeking advice


Magma wrote:

the Netgear router refused to acknowledge the existence of anything outside the 192.168.0.X range.


That's normal behaviour given the default router settings.  It could be changed under LAN Settings.  Changing the subnet mask from the default 255.255.255.0 to 255.255.254.0 would do the trick to cover both the 192.168.0.x and 192.168.1.x ranges, I think.

Magma
Hooked
Posts: 7
Registered: 17-06-2017

Re: Getting a new router - Seeking advice

It looks like that should do it, but it's all set up working fine now. I'll probably never need more than 253 concurrent connected devices though, so I think I'll leave be.

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Registered: 21-04-2017

Re: Getting a new router - Seeking advice

Happy to hear that. Sorry about the delay in regards to a staff response on your thread.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Help Team