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Author Topic: Now Broadband and Asus RT-AC87U  (Read 711 times)

cliver

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Now Broadband and Asus RT-AC87U
« on: September 06, 2020, 08:25:48 PM »

Anyone on here use Now TVs FTTC?
If so do you use your own Router/Modem?
Are they any good?
I'm looking for a new deal and they seem pretty competetive.
I am, or was with Plusnet until they mistakenly cancelled my contract and it all went downhill rapidly as they couldn't get me back up and running.
To be fair the phone doesn't work but the broadband still works so at the moment I'm getting it free. I'm gussing that won't last long though.
Anyway, I'm looking for a deal. I only need standard FTTC (30Mbps). But I do need to use my own router/modem setup. HG612/Asus RT-AC87U running Rmerlin FW.
I have read several posts old and newish on other forums saying that it isn't a standard setup with Now Broadband. So has anyone on here got Now BB and using their own router successfully?
Any and all feedback much appreciated.
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siofjofj

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Re: Now Broadband and Asus RT-AC87U
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2020, 10:25:55 PM »

I'm now with NowTV, though only ADSL. Switched due to me getting nowhere with trying to get a fault fixed with my previous provider, and I can now say that Now TV's technical support seems pretty good in comparison.

As you are perhaps aware, all NowTV broadband services are simply rebranded Sky services, sold at different prices and with different contract terms but with all technical aspects of the connection identical to that of a Sky subscriber.

In common with all mass-market providers, if you need technical support they will ask you to use their provided router. Using your own router is otherwise perfectly possible. The only caveat with Sky/NowTV VDSL connections is that the connection isn't PPPoE like most other providers in the UK, it is straight up IPoE (internet protocol over ethernet) authenticated using DHCP Option 61. Not all routers support DHCP Option 61, but I believe the Asus Merlin firmware does (you may wish to check). Once upon a time you had to capture the authentication credentials from their supplied router since they wouldn't tell you them, but nowadays you can just use generic credentials. For what it's worth, I use my own router with my NowTV ADSL service (though this is just the usual PPPoA, I personally use the credentials extracted from the supplied router but as I said this is not necessary, it just seemed more 'proper' to me).

A minor note is that unlike Sky, who removed this condition from their terms a few years ago, NowTV still stipulate that you must not use equipment they don't supply to connect to their service (condition 3.8 in https://web.static.nowtv.com/images/NOWTV_2017/05_Combo/Contracts/NOW%20Broadband%20Contract%20March%202018.pdf). This is not enforced at all, but you may wish to know that, officially, using your own router on NowTV is not permitted.
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speedyrite

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Re: Now Broadband and Asus RT-AC87U
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2020, 10:06:51 AM »

NOW TV broadband is effectively Sky broadband, so the same “problems” facing people wanting to use their own kit applies. I actually use their supplied router (on FTTC). But I have read that it’s fairly easy to use your own kit (just a bit fiddly due to their authentication method I think). Been with them over 2 years (including 2 faultless house moves). Service has been steady, solid & reliable (also verified  by my SamKnows whitebox stats). Supported by Sky’s core backbone network for which I have a high regard.
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j0hn

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Re: Now Broadband and Asus RT-AC87U
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2020, 12:07:51 PM »

Your Asus router (only with 3rd party firmware like Merlin) supports the DHCP Option 61 required by Sky and Now TV Broadband.
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cliver

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Re: Now Broadband and Asus RT-AC87U
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2020, 01:41:59 PM »

Thanks for all the replies folks. Very informative. I'm not sure I'd worry too much about them forbidding the use of aftermarket routers. I think most ISP's say they won't support this but I've never had a problem in the past. Plus I can see the option 61 settings in my router so it shoud be OK.

A couple of questions.
What would I put in the option 61 field? It says "Manual clientid (Option 61)" on my router. Do I just put a generic id in there?
Also, what would I set the WAN Connection type to? Automatic IP instead of PPPoE?

I do think it's time ISP's grew up a bit though. I have quite an extensive LAN, not on the default IP's, setup with WiFi AP's, wired servers with static IP's etc. etc. All working fine. So, I don't want the hastle of having to reconfigure it every time I change supplier.
At the moment I'm going to hold on and see when PN notice I am getting free internet and cut it off. Naughty I know but they cancelled the account without my requesting it.
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siofjofj

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Re: Now Broadband and Asus RT-AC87U
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2020, 02:11:20 PM »

What would I put in the option 61 field? It says "Manual clientid (Option 61)" on my router. Do I just put a generic id in there?
The format is usename@skydsl|password for Sky and username@nowtv|password for NowTV. You can either extract the actual string the router they supply uses using Wireshark (see https://www.georgebuckingham.com/sky-fibre-router-vdsl-password/), or you can just use a generic string like 7c4ca5123456@skydsl|abcd1234.

I do think it's time ISP's grew up a bit though
The more premium ISPs will generally have no problem with you using, and will actively support, your own router. Indeed many of the high quality choices such as IDNet, Pulse8, Uno don't even provide routers so they have no choice but to support third party ones! As ever, you get what you pay for. Myself, I'm happy with the budget ISPs and swapping out to their router for troubleshooting if requested. I agree though, it is very annoying to have to reconfigure everything if you need to use their router. When I need to do this (which is actually at the moment) I connect one of the LAN ports on the ISPs router to the WAN port on my router and put up with the resulting double NAT (mitigated by putting my router in the DMZ of the ISP router) until the issue is resolved.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2020, 02:41:22 PM by siofjofj »
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cliver

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Re: Now Broadband and Asus RT-AC87U
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2020, 05:08:26 PM »

The format is usename@skydsl|password for Sky and username@nowtv|password for NowTV. You can either extract the actual string the router they supply uses using Wireshark (see https://www.georgebuckingham.com/sky-fibre-router-vdsl-password/), or you can just use a generic string like 7c4ca5123456@skydsl|abcd1234.
Thanks siofjofj, that's great.

The more premium ISPs will generally have no problem with you using, and will actively support, your own router. Indeed many of the high quality choices such as IDNet, Pulse8, Uno don't even provide routers so they have no choice but to support third party ones! As ever, you get what you pay for. Myself, I'm happy with the budget ISPs and swapping out to their router for troubleshooting if requested. I agree though, it is very annoying to have to reconfigure everything if you need to use their router. When I need to do this (which is actually at the moment) I connect one of the LAN ports on the ISPs router to the WAN port on my router and put up with the resulting double NAT (mitigated by putting my router in the DMZ of the ISP router) until the issue is resolved.
Like you, I'm generaly happy with the cheaper ISP's. As long as they have reasonable back haul I see very little difference in speeds etc. as, it's main controlling factor is the copper run to the cab. I just wish they would give us some credit for knowing our own local setup. I can monitor my lan and modem stats and can be certain that the fault is outside my control before reporting a fault. Every fault I have had has been down to increased noise. Probably due to water ingress on the copper run. OpenReach claim to have found and fixed two faults last time. Only time will tell if that's true. The main problem is if I see noise and report it, by the time the OR engineer gets out it has ofted dried out and the noise is back to acceptable levels. I look forward to FTTP to be honest then I can get rid of the copper run.
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j0hn

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Re: Now Broadband and Asus RT-AC87U
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2020, 06:18:12 PM »

I'm pretty sure you no longer need to obtain the password via wireshark.

I'm sure someone else will confirm or deny that.

Edit: definitely.

Sky now allow 3rd party routers and removed much of the t&C's that said you couldn't.
They just won't support it.

For Sky it's something like...
abcdefgh@skydsl|1234567890
« Last Edit: September 07, 2020, 06:32:15 PM by j0hn »
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cliver

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Re: Now Broadband and Asus RT-AC87U
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2020, 06:20:32 PM »

I'm pretty sure you no longer need to obtain the password via wireshark.

I'm sure someone else will confirm or deny that.

Yes, I believe you are right J0hn
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j0hn

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Re: Now Broadband and Asus RT-AC87U
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2020, 06:22:59 PM »

See my edit above.
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cliver

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Re: Now Broadband and Asus RT-AC87U
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2020, 10:12:20 AM »

FYI, My Now BB came up yesterday. Two days early so cudos to them.
All I had in my router was a generic ID and password string in the option 61 field and it came up straight away.
Seems pretty good in terms of ping and UL/DL speeds as well. Certainly comparable to Plusnet if not better. Time will tell.
For anyone interested I'll attach my settings here.
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burakkucat

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Re: Now Broadband and Asus RT-AC87U
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2020, 04:42:08 PM »

Thank you for the update.
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