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Broadband Related => Broadband Hardware => Topic started by: sdawson35 on February 24, 2021, 08:54:13 PM

Title: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: sdawson35 on February 24, 2021, 08:54:13 PM
Hello All - First post and a request for help.

I had/have a Draytek Vigor 2860 (vdsl2) and 2 x AP900's , unfortunately we cannot watch any form of video feed from say Facebook/Youtube etc on out mobile phones without crazy buffering. Connect my old Asus DSL-AC55U and no more buffering, however the 55U is a tad old and Wifi range is limited.

What options do I have for a modern VDSL2 modem router with strong Wifi ? - I have looked at the ASUS DSL-AC68U but they are also long in the tooth with no real updates, the TP-Link Archer AC2800 but also seem long in the tooth with no real updates, AVM Fr!tbox good reviews but German language and no UK plug, Zyxel XMG3927-B50A looks interesting but virtually no reviews.

So confused...............   
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: Computerman142 on February 24, 2021, 10:00:01 PM
Hi and welcome to the forum.

While I have had no experience with Asus devices, the consensus among members is they are not very good, so replacing it with something better probably would be good. I have had the Zyxel XMG3927-B50A for about 9 months now, and after years of trying to find a suitable router that worked well both with wireless and VDSL side of things, I can personally say this is best router I've ever bought. The wireless is strong and slightly better range than most other routers I've tried and works well, easily handles multiple devices streaming content or playing games or browsing, when it does buffer that is only my connection being hammered and lack of bandwidth (only get 18mbps down and 5mbps up). The router is also very stable, never had any issues with it, it just works. It may be expensive but best router purchase I made.
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: j0hn on February 24, 2021, 10:41:35 PM
I recommend anything but an Asus DSL model device. The DSL-AC68U is probably the worst piece of tech I've owned in the last decade.
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: Alex Atkin UK on February 24, 2021, 11:47:32 PM
the consensus among members is they are not very good,

To be more accurate, the ASUS DSL routers are bad according to posters on here, but some of their Cable/Ethernet routers (ones that connect to a separate modem) are good.

Its really frustrating that a single company would have such completely different quality between devices that on the surface would seem logical they should be the same, but apparently they are developed by completely different teams at ASUS.
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: tubaman on February 25, 2021, 07:41:08 AM
Agree with the others that the ASUS is probably not a good choice due to its MediaTek modem chipset, but this sounds like it could be a config issue with your existing equipment.
Does video streaming work with a wired connection to the 2860, and have you tried it wirelessly with just a single AP enabled? I'm assuming in this that the 2860 is a non-wireless variety, if not have you tried wireless streaming from the 2860 without the APs enabled?
 :)
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: sdawson35 on February 25, 2021, 08:37:55 AM
hi All - Thanks for the replies.

Yes the 2860 is the non wireless variant, I have tried with just 1 AP and the issue still exists.
Its weird as its just mobile phones/tablets (Android/Apple), laptops and pc's play video/media streams absolutely fine.

I think I will take a punt with the Zyxel XMG3927-B50A  - just hope it lives up to the comments on here and the few reviews I have seen on it.

Regards   
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: Chunkers on February 25, 2021, 09:48:48 AM
AVM Fr!tbox good reviews but German language and no UK plug,

Couple of observations ;


I have also found wireless N to be inadequate for whole-house coverage and HD streaming to devices like Firesticks etc, have you considered just adding a 11AC WAP to your current router?

Unless I missed something in your note I would suggest you either have a configuration issue with your setup, or need a new WAP, not a new router, I suggest the Draytek you have is already a better router than many replacements on the market.

EDIT : another thought, I had a quick look at the Draytek live demo here (http://eu.draytek.com:12860), when you check the Diagnostic - DSL Status in the webUI of your own router what kind of connection speed / uptime / errors  are you getting?  This will tell you how stable and fast your actual connection is ...

If your connection is stable and fast I would be inclined to spend £50 on a 11ac WAP rather than replacing the whole setup.

C
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: hopkins35 on February 25, 2021, 10:07:37 AM
There's been quite a few reports on here, including my own, of the unreliability of Draytek modems, including those combined router & modem models, particularly when used with a Huawei VDSL cabinet.

In my opinion the best option is to use separate kit, in which case you can't go far wrong with a Zyxel modem and then pick a router or use your 2860 purely as a router. Personally I use two Zyxel VMG1312-B10 and a Firebrick 2900 and several Unifi APs but I appreciate that the Firebrick is both expensive and overkill for most users.

A family member of mine also has good experience of a Zyxel VMG3925-B10B as an all-in-one solution.

In short my advice is to move away from anything Draytek acting as your modem
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: parkdale on February 25, 2021, 11:25:26 AM
I own Fritzbox 7590, ok but a bit over kill. A friend of mine has the same model on my recommendation. Since he changed over from a TP Link VR900v1 to this one all the buffering problems vanished!
He's on a ECI cab 40/10, and his son has stopped moaning about lag/stutters/latency during on line gaming.
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: meritez on February 25, 2021, 12:24:25 PM
I see the XMG is finally a good price on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/ZyXEL-XMG3927-B50A-Wireless-G-FAST-Gigabit-white/dp/B07TZXLHD6/

Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: tubaman on February 25, 2021, 01:16:59 PM
Another quick thought - are the 2.4GHz and 5GHz SSIDs separate on the AP as some devices don't like both running on one SSID.
 :)
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: peteS on February 25, 2021, 01:44:31 PM

I've got a 2860 as my main router.  As has been said, it's pretty advanced for a home router with decent vlan, support for site to site VPN, qos etc..  However, I found that its modem doesn't play that well with broadcom cabinets, particularly if you have vectoring enabled.  So, my first step would be to move to a 2 box solution.  Pick up a VMG8924-B10A on ebay for £10-£15, put it in bridge mode and use it as a modem on WAN2 on the 2860.  Connect a second LAN port back from the VMG8924-B10A to the 2860, and you can monitor the stats etc for the VMG8924-B10A, which are far more extensive than what you get from the 2860, you can use dslstats etc..

I've recently made that change, and it's a significant improvement on the 2860 built in modem.  Then, you've got a really good pairing of a good modem and a good router.  If you're still having trouble, then you're just looking at the wifi situation.

I have a couple of AP-902s hooked up to my 2860, along with a couple of Archer C7's running DD-WRT in AP only mode.  I chose the 902's originally because of the simplicity of doing vlan tagging on wifi ssid's - through a UI, rather than startup scripts on the C7s.  However, I don't have any problems with buffering or access on any devices.  One thing I do know about Android devices (I don't have anything apple) is that they're really bad at dropping one access point and connecting to another when the signal strength is low - they hold on way to a weak AP rather than switch to a strong one on the same SSID.  However, if you've tried it with only 1 AP, it's likely not that.

Do you have different SSIDs to 5Ghz vs. 2.4Ghz.  Do you know if the laptop and the mobiles are connecting to the same SSID and/or frequency.  Do you get the same buffering problems on both 2.4 and 5ghz?

I would say, give the VMG8924-B10A option a try anyway - it definately improves the 2860 but likely won't fix the wifi problems on its own - but it'll only cost you a few quid and you can always sell it again later.  Then you've got 2 decent devices doing their own thing, and you're just down to fixing the AP problems if they still persist.

Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: sdawson35 on February 26, 2021, 05:23:14 PM
Right well thats a complete disaster !! - The XMG does not work with Vodafone :-(Im back on my ASUS and it just works.
Will be returning the XMG and sticking to ASUS (I know they are not good but at least they work)
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: meritez on February 26, 2021, 05:42:39 PM
Another Vodafone user here, what's not working?
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: sdawson35 on February 26, 2021, 05:46:23 PM
I have setup the XMG with Vodafone username & password , set vlan id to 101 and 802.p to 0 , mtu to 1492 left everything else to default and it wont connect to the internet.

I have even done a full reset and tried again using the wizard  - nada 
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: meritez on February 26, 2021, 05:55:00 PM
Does it sync up?

Did you power off your existing router or just unplug and plug in the xmg?

I have had to turn off a router 15 minutes, have a cuppa come back and plug in the new equipment for Vodafone to recognise that new hardware is trying to authenticate.

If you have sync that's good news.
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: tubaman on February 26, 2021, 06:01:19 PM
Can you post a screenshot of your config page as I'm sure we have other forum members using Zyxel kit on Vodafone lines so it should work.
 :)
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: sdawson35 on February 26, 2021, 07:27:38 PM
I have managed to get it working - not sure how but I have access to the internet.
 - Dont use the wizard
 - Dont create a custom a custom wan interface
 - Edit the existing VDSL interface and reboot

Now to see how to sort out the Wifi :~/ - No Wifi is rubbish too - You cannot configure separate SSID's for 2.4/5

However I am really thinking they are not a good choice - their support or least trying to check if you have the latest firmware is nigh on impossible - Why do they make it soo damned hard ?
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: hopkins35 on February 26, 2021, 08:05:00 PM
Firmware downloads here: ftp://ftp.zyxel.com/XMG3927-B50A/firmware/ (http://ftp://ftp.zyxel.com/XMG3927-B50A/firmware/)

Unfortunately Zyxel butchered their website recently making it much harder to find downloads
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: peteS on February 26, 2021, 08:05:42 PM
I must admit I've not been impressed when I played with my VMG (older of course).  In fact, I was pretty unimpressed with most of it, apart from as a bridged modem.  I've found it rock solid, logging access is great, and I even managed to get the VOIP ports working in bridge mode.  Spend £10 on a VMG and your 2860+8924 is a great combination, and isolates your problem to your WAPs.

I'm biased of course - 2 box solutions are just the way to go I think.
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: hopkins35 on February 26, 2021, 08:09:57 PM
Spend £10 on a VMG and your 2860+8924 is a great combination, and isolates your problem to your WAPs.

I'm biased of course - 2 box solutions are just the way to go I think.

Completely agree
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: tubaman on February 27, 2021, 09:19:51 AM
... You cannot configure separate SSID's for 2.4/5

However I am really thinking they are not a good choice - their support or least trying to check if you have the latest firmware is nigh on impossible - Why do they make it soo damned hard ?

According to the user guide (ftp://ftp2.zyxel.com/XMG3927-B50A/user_guide/) you can split the SSIDs - see screenshot below.
As mentioned Zyxel have recently revamped butchered their website, and in doing so have removed support references for any equipment that is/was generally supplied to ISPs - which I think is the case for the XMG3927 router.
 :)
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: parkdale on February 27, 2021, 10:48:03 AM
Ok so not XMG but could be useful https://mysupport.zyxel.com/hc/en-us/articles/360005558039--CPE-How-to-configure-the-Wi-Fi-settings-on-the-VMG-series
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: peteS on February 27, 2021, 07:48:16 PM
According to the user guide (ftp://ftp2.zyxel.com/XMG3927-B50A/user_guide/) you can split the SSIDs - see screenshot below.
As mentioned Zyxel have recently revamped butchered their website, and in doing so have removed support references for any equipment that is/was generally supplied to ISPs - which I think is the case for the XMG3927 router.
 :)

As you say, the site's completely useless nowadays.  Do you have the login details for the ftp site - i get prompted for credentials.  Not that I need them too much as I'm using custom firmware on my vmg, but nice to have...

ta
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: tubaman on February 27, 2021, 08:19:36 PM
As you say, the site's completely useless nowadays.  Do you have the login details for the ftp site - i get prompted for credentials.  Not that I need them too much as I'm using custom firmware on my vmg, but nice to have...

ta

You don't need any login details, but if you're using Chrome as your browser they've disabled ftp functionality recently and you need to re-enable it at chrome://flags (search for 'ftp' on that page).
 :)
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: sdawson35 on March 01, 2021, 06:46:02 PM
Hi All,

So inspite of my misgivings I have had several days of rock solid performance, both cabled and WiFi. I have decided to leave everything alone but I also have a tale of caution.

According to Zyxel the XMG is NOT a domestic product but carrier or ISP and therefore they will NOT provide any support whatsoever.

So I think its wrong of Amazon, Ballicom, Broadbandbuyer to name the 3 most common to be selling these to joe public. A case of buyer beware and do your research  - Personally dont buy it - there are other options just as good that ARE supported by the manufacturer.
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: j0hn on March 01, 2021, 08:31:42 PM
Edit: read that as VMG and not XMG.

I'm not sure Zyxel are right on that. There are definitely XMG retail devices.

2nd edit: Zyxel ARE the seller on Amazon.... they are taking nonsense.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07TZXLHD6/

There are threads on this forum with Zyxel giving support for XMG devices.
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: Weaver on March 02, 2021, 12:32:37 AM
Agree with what Chunkers said earlier. If you are fed up with the wireless functionís level of sophistication or performance in the wireless router, get one or two separate WAPs chosen to be the best at what they do and let the router just be a router, turning off its own wifi.
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: sdawson35 on March 03, 2021, 07:07:13 PM
Hi All,

I have returned the Zyxel XMG to Amazon and posted an unfavourable review. Am now using the Vodafone provided router - Its crap but hey ho - Once I get my money refunded I will probably just buy a TP-Link router and 2 TP-Link WAP's. 

My demands for internet access exceed the capability of the Vodafone router and speed/service available from the exchange, so I either need to scale back on what I am trying/wanting/needing to do or get another broadband line provided but even that seems too complicated for Openreach to achieve.   
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: tubaman on March 04, 2021, 08:01:51 AM
Given your comments from a few days ago I'm a little surprised that you've returned it but do understand your issue with lack of support from Zyxel. I think you may have been unlucky with who you spoke with there as other forum members have had support assistance. Usually Zyxel just ask for the serial number of the device and if identified as a retail purchased unit are happy to assist. They will politely shut the door on you if you have an ISP supplied device as I have experienced that myself.
With respect to getting a second line that should be achievable too, but what will be more difficult is if you wish to bond them together as few ISPs offer the facility and those that do are expensive.
What are you trying to get to work that your current setup won't do by the way?
 :)
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: sdawson35 on March 04, 2021, 09:50:37 AM
For me being able to get support and regular updates (for security bugs/vulnerabilities etc) is very important  - In general the domestic market is very poorly supported from a security context.

I have a low bandwidth and over subscribed exchange (no upgrade on the horizon) I also have between 3-4 people working from home on a good day , not to mention live feed cctv/security system and all the mobile phones/smart tv etc etc.

I need a router I can rely on but also gives me the ability to support vpn capabilities as well as flex the config as demands need , I dont have any internal network wiring (my bad - should have thought about this before the house was done up !), so use power over ethernet adapters (I get a solid 600 Mb), however I have found that for some reason they dont work at all well with some routers and work very well with others.

So all in all trying to get the most I can with what I've got using  the technology thats available without leaving myself/family vulnerable.   
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: parkdale on March 04, 2021, 10:50:50 AM
I'm with Vodafone as well, the modem they supply is complete pants, but you also need it to complain about speed issues :-X
I now have maximum discount on my sad connection 39Mb use to be near 60Mb, now on last working port (sort of!) in the cab.
So I bought a Fritzbox 7590 to replace the THG3000....   so much better, no lag stutter latency now :) a bit over kill but currently surfing/gaming on my TP Link RE450 wifi bridge at 975Mb / 5Ghz band.
I can also change/split WiFi channels and renumber them!, try that on the Vodafone unit. Ok so stats are limited on Fritzbox.
Have you noticed the THG3000 has a habit of lowering the Down stream Snr? mine kept taking it down to 3.5db on my ECI line, a bit of artificial mangement to get highest speeds but caused no end of problems on BBC iplayer/Netflix
Fritxbox is now on 6db sooo much better and for similar money that the XMG sells for.
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: Alex Atkin UK on March 04, 2021, 11:00:20 AM
Bonding is expensive but load balancing is easy enough.  It can even be as simple as having different devices on a physically different network, or a fancier router with policy routing.

Have you noticed the THG3000 has a habit of lowering the Down stream Snr? mine kept taking it down to 3.5db on my ECI line, a bit of artificial mangement to get highest speeds but caused no end of problems on BBC iplayer/Netflix

Depends what you mean by "taking it down".

If its 3.5dB after a re-sync then yes its trying to force a lower SNR than DLM.
If its 3.5dB after a long time synced, where it was originally 6dB, then its changing line conditions or a fault in the modem driver such as bitloading failing.
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: skyeci on March 04, 2021, 11:05:25 AM
For me being able to get support and regular updates (for security bugs/vulnerabilities etc) is very important  - In general the domestic market is very poorly supported from a security context.

I have a low bandwidth and over subscribed exchange (no upgrade on the horizon) I also have between 3-4 people working from home on a good day , not to mention live feed cctv/security system and all the mobile phones/smart tv etc etc.

I need a router I can rely on but also gives me the ability to support vpn capabilities as well as flex the config as demands need , I dont have any internal network wiring (my bad - should have thought about this before the house was done up !), so use power over ethernet adapters (I get a solid 600 Mb), however I have found that for some reason they dont work at all well with some routers and work very well with others.

So all in all trying to get the most I can with what I've got using  the technology thats available without leaving myself/family vulnerable.

If you wan to be able to totally customise things why not consider something like opnsense or pfsense in use with a bridge modem. So you would need a device that can act as wap for wifi devices but you would have totally customisation over your router setup. Both opnsense and pfsense are free to install provided you have some suitable hardware to put it on.
I use vpn in and out, solar monitors and alarm system. Easy to setup as my router/firewall software built within opnsense allows me to set up what I need easily.
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: parkdale on March 04, 2021, 11:35:07 AM
Depends what you mean by "taking it down".

If its 3.5dB after a re-sync then yes its trying to force a lower SNR than DLM.
If its 3.5dB after a long time synced, where it was originally 6dB, then its changing line conditions or a fault in the modem driver such as bitloading failing.
It's the latter version starts off at 6dB then falls over a few weeks/couple months until it gets to 3.5dB. Upon reboot it would go back to 6dB.
The port on the line card is faulty as well, but the only one left :'( that worked. There was talk of  replacing the whole card but this was up to OR.
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: meritez on March 04, 2021, 11:51:48 AM

Have you noticed the THG3000 has a habit of lowering the Down stream Snr? mine kept taking it down to 3.5db on my ECI line, a bit of artificial management to get highest speeds but caused no end of problems on BBC iplayer/Netflix


Yes, that's why my grey doorstop is unplugged next to my master socket.

Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: tubaman on March 04, 2021, 02:33:45 PM
For me being able to get support and regular updates (for security bugs/vulnerabilities etc) is very important  - In general the domestic market is very poorly supported from a security context.
...
Couldn't agree more, but it seems that most consumer grade equipment is only supported for a few years no matter who you get it from.  My Zyxel VMG8924-B10A has firmware versions going from 2013 - 2019 but there have been no more since. It does make me think about updating it but finding anything else that works as well on my line is difficult.
 :)
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: Alex Atkin UK on March 04, 2021, 06:29:42 PM
Rather depends if you use something as a router or bridge/modem.

A bridge isn't really exposed to security issues as its merely acting as a glorified media converter, its basically invisible to both sides.  Them "getting old" is more about their PSUs or capacitors on the mainboard wearing out, than software concerns.

Its when used as a router that its a bigger concern.
Title: Re: VDSL Router Dilemma
Post by: sdawson35 on March 04, 2021, 08:10:33 PM
Well ive abused my work privilege and got a Cisco ISR C1113  - took around an hour and its all up and working - so far so good - seems nice and solid.