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Author Topic: Modem recommendation  (Read 790 times)

MultumInParvo

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Modem recommendation
« on: December 15, 2018, 10:11:08 AM »

Hi all,

Just been activated on Vodafone fttc and have discovered that the agent fibbed when they told me their router could be used in Bridge mode as I already knew it's wifi signal was cack, and anyway, I don't like vendor supplied locked devices.

I currently have an Asus RT-AC68U that was bridged to a TP-Link ADSL2+ modem, so my thought is to simply replace the modem with something simple and let the Asus continue to do the hard work.

\EDIT\ - Thinking about this, depending on advice, I could always sell the Asus and start the Ubiquiti plan over Christmas...

Reading on here (good helpful community!) I first thought about the Huawei 612, but I seem to be reading that the Zyxel Vmg8924-b10a is a better bet, but welcome other advice, especially as at some point in the next year I'll probably start changing over to Ubiquiti access points so I can get my house, garden and workshop with proper coverage (bloody trees) and a nice single SSID.

Not sure what other info you need, but I'm attached to a Huawei cab about 300m away on a 40/10 service.

Cheers,

Ian
« Last Edit: December 15, 2018, 10:16:37 AM by MultumInParvo »
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j0hn

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Re: Modem recommendation
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2018, 11:56:09 AM »

I recommend a Zyxel VMG1312-B10A for bridge mode.

The Zyxel VMG8924-B10A comes with 5GHz AC WiFi.
The Zyxel VMG8324-B10A only has 2.4GHz WiFi.

Apart from that both devices are identical. You may save some money getting the 8324 instead of the 8924 for bridge mode as you don't need the WiFi.

Being so close to the cabinet, it being a Huawei and you only taking 40/10 service, a Huawei HG612 would suit you perfect also.
The HG612 is likely considerably cheaper on eBay.

You will likely get the full 40/10 with any modem though.
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Zyxel VMG1312-B10A bridged with 1508 MTU + Asus RT-AC68U running Asuswrt-Merlin

re0

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Re: Modem recommendation
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2018, 04:47:10 PM »

Like with what j0hn says, since you're close enough to the cabinet there is not much of a difference a modem can make to negatively imapact your sync speed.

As a general rule, avoid the modems which have MediaTek chipsets since they tend to be absoltue garbage. Some of the lower-end ASUS DSL modems tend to have MediaTek.

I would generally say avoid modems using Lantiq since I have had a poor experience with such chipsets, but since you are capped at 40/10 with presumably a decent noise margin I would say it's probably fine. Lantiq is present in FRITZ!Box, DrayTek and quite a few TP-Links.

Broadcom would be what most suggest for a modem. Bearing in mind, not all Broadcom chips are equal - the BCM63168 in the 8800NL is said to be a little better than the BCM63381 in the 8800NL R2. The BCM6368 in the HG612 is pretty reasonable. I would happily recommend a first version 8800NL (not the R2) if you can find one for under 20 (though it is becoming rare on eBay). Failing that, HG612 (version 3B recommended) should be more than sufficient and you can unlock it if you want to do stats collection.

WikiDevi has information on some modems that may help you locate something appropriate.

Also, before I forget: welcome to the forum! Sorry if this is too much information for starters.
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ejs

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Re: Modem recommendation
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2018, 05:01:37 PM »

Lantiq is present in FRITZ!Box, DrayTek and quite a few TP-Links.

Which TP-Links would they be? I can think of about 2 TP-Link VDSL2 models that have Lantiq modems, both of which are now end of life. There are far more current TP-Link models with Broadcom.
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re0

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Re: Modem recommendation
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2018, 05:17:14 PM »

My apologies. I should have said some. It slipped my mind that the W8970 v1 was an ADSL2+ modem! And the W8980 v1 shipped with ADSL/2/2+ support but the hardware supported VDSL only with W9980 v1 firmware. But the W9980 v1 and VR200V shipped with support VDSL support out of the box. All of those are Lantiq though.
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MultumInParvo

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Re: Modem recommendation
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2018, 12:41:38 PM »

Thanks for the input all, and appreciate the detail @re0, I have information for starters, dinner and pudding in my house...

Sounds to me that the HG612 is good for now, and could become my spare VDSL modem later.

One question though, whilst I'm currently at 40/10, I sensed from the responses that the HG612 could be a limiting factor going forwards, so could someone give me a little more insight into this?

I prefer to future-proof and do a job one if possible, its why I floodwired the house with CAT5 back in 2007 when I was sorting out the electrics, so perhaps there is a sweet-spot device, perhaps one of the Zyxels @J0hn mentioned?
« Last Edit: December 16, 2018, 02:59:02 PM by MultumInParvo »
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jelv

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Re: Modem recommendation
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2018, 04:40:05 PM »

My HG612 performs better on my 79999/19999 sync line than the ZyXEL VMG1312-B10D
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re0

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Re: Modem recommendation
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2018, 05:07:14 PM »

It's one of these things that requires trial and error to find the device best for your line, especially if you were further away from the cabinet and on the 80/20 service (so if you upgrade in the future). People have different experiences with different devices, and perhaps for some the HG612 has performed a bit slower and/or is more susceptible to errors. Some may have the absolute opposite experience (like with jelv).

Still, I would say you would be unfortunate to experience wild variances of sync speed with the majority of modems since most will fall into the same range of, or perhaps a little bit more than, a couple of Mbps. What is important is that the modem:
  • Does the job you need it to do
  • Supports G.INP (since you're on a Huawei cabinet)
  • And ideally meets Openreach Modem Conformance Tests (linky)
With point 3, if a modem is listed then it should not have any issues on the Openreach network as long as the firmware version has been approved. Though it does not imply that the modem will be a better choice in terms of performance.
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MultumInParvo

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Re: Modem recommendation
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2018, 05:47:46 PM »

Good food for thought re0.

So I think my options in descending, based on suggestions here, other posts and prices on ebay right now are:
  • HG612 9.69(!)
  • VMG3925B10B - 20.90
  • VMG8924-B10A - 25ish
  • VMG1312-B10A 35ish
Not much has been written on the pros and cons of the 3925, but is seems to have the preferred BCM chipset (as opposed to the one in the VMG1312-B10D @jelv), but it appears to be a later model device than the 8924.

I think in this instance the 3925 is my best bet initially as the price iss right and it doesn't come up for sale that often at that price, and it could be either a bridge modem or set as an AP so I can move my RT-AC68 upstairs to improve coverage there, but I'll think about that later.

If I find it's not performing well, the HG612 is readily available at under a tenner...

Anything I'm not considering before I buy it?

One note though, I checked the MCT page you linked to and noticed that the HG612 isn't listed on it, but I assume that's an oversight.
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re0

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Re: Modem recommendation
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2018, 06:33:16 PM »

So I think my options in descending, based on suggestions here, other posts and prices on ebay right now are:
  • HG612 9.69(!)
  • VMG3925B10B - 20.90
  • VMG8924-B10A - 25ish
  • VMG1312-B10A 35ish
Not much has been written on the pros and cons of the 3925, but is seems to have the preferred BCM chipset (as opposed to the one in the VMG1312-B10D @jelv), but it appears to be a later model device than the 8924.
How are you finding the VMG1312-B10A for 35ish currently? Historically, it has been possible to find on the rare occasion for this price or below.

Anyway, I don't currently own any of those devices so I can't comment too much. Someone else may be able to add their opinion. In this case, they probably will be much the same in terms of what you will get out of them. I used to own a HG612 but haven't for some years. But people are happy enough using them so it's not a bad buy.

If I find it's not performing well, the HG612 is readily available at under a tenner...

Anything I'm not considering before I buy it?
If it's already unlocked but using an older firmware version then you will need to flash the latest available firmware in order to enable G.INP support. More details regarding the device and unlocking can be found here.

If you want to keep it locked (stock firmware) then it should update firmware to support G.INP via the BT Agent (if it is still providing updates, which Openreach should be doing until 4th March 2019) if it does not already have the latest supporting firmware. Though I would suggest keeping it unlocked or unlocking it if you want to collect stats.

One note though, I checked the MCT page you linked to and noticed that the HG612 isn't listed on it, but I assume that's an oversight.
No, it's not an oversight. The HG612 is an Openreach approved modem which they supplied when FTTC was introduced. The MCT is more for devices supplied by ISPs/thirdparty.
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j0hn

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Re: Modem recommendation
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2018, 06:33:23 PM »

The VMG3925B10B doesn't have the extra common mode noise filter found in the other ZyXEL devices you mentioned.

In addition to the 2 Zyxel devices listed above (VMG8924-B10A and VMG1312-B10A) there is also the VMG3926B10A with this filter fitted.
Those are the only 3 devices I'm aware of with this filter.

The VMG3925B10B is still very well reviewed on these forums. There are a few regular members, including 1 of the admins, who use it as their modem/router.

As a modem in bridge mode the HG612 is still a great device. It simply has an older chipset that syncs a few Mb lower for most.
For me my Zyxel syncs 3Mb higher than the HG612 and as I only sync at 44Mb that's a lot to me.

If your line easily achieves 80Mb then the there would be great. Even more so if you stick with 40/10.

You could always get the HG612, unlock it and view your stats. Check what it shows your lines max attainable is.
From that you would know wether it would be worth upgrading modem for a move to 80Mb.
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Zyxel VMG1312-B10A bridged with 1508 MTU + Asus RT-AC68U running Asuswrt-Merlin

MultumInParvo

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Re: Modem recommendation
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2018, 07:37:24 PM »

How are you finding the VMG1312-B10A for 35ish currently? Historically, it has been possible to find on the rare occasion for this price or below.
Just looking at a very rough average of the last 7 sold on ebay, no arithmetic, just a builders estimate, so don't quote me...


@J0hn - the 3926 rarely seems to come up on ebay, last one was in Helsinki back in 2015 according to Google!

I think I'll take your advice and get the HG612 first and see what the numbers tell me, or at least tell you guys so I can learn from you what they all mean, it will remain a very handy backup if I do upgrade.

Many thanks for the input all, I look forward to reporting back on my findings when the modem arrives.
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Ixel

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Re: Modem recommendation
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2018, 11:22:15 PM »

As you're on a Huawei DSLAM, lucky you :P, I agree with the suggestions here regarding going for a Broadcom chipset such as the mentioned VMG models. If you were on an ECI DSLAM then I would've advised Lantiq first, or Broadcom second.
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kitz

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Re: Modem recommendation
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2018, 11:46:06 PM »

I'm on an ECI cab, yet all the BCM chips mentioned out-perform the Lantiq VRX-268 based modems.

I don't have an unlocked ECI modem though to have been able to have done a true comparison for the short time we had g.inp.    But as it stands right now with no sign of g.inp, then the Zyxel VMGxxxx-B10A's are my best bet as they sync higher and show less errors.
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dee.jay

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Re: Modem recommendation
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2018, 10:18:22 AM »

I have a VMG3925-B10B sat around doing nothing. 20 it's yours.

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