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Broadband connection

Replacement router/modem to get stronger & more reliable signal

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3: Seeker
I currently have Vodafone broadband (the together package) with the latest router.
I live in a rural location where we are served via old fashioned copper wire on poles from the local exchange.
At the moment we only achieve download speeds of around 20-25 Mbps.
More annoyingly though the signal drops out quite often and the reach is not great and subsequently the signal disappears at the furthest points of our house.
The router is located upstairs in a home office, which is where the access point/main junction box/phoneline box for the house is.
The house is an old 3 bed semi with  thick walls. There is only my wife and I but the following devices throughout the house use wi-fi/internet:
Two Televisions with 2 Freeview boxes, 2 computers, a laptop, an i-pad,  2 mobile phones, Sonos system/speakers, 4 Amazon Alexa devices.
Can you please advise the best route to take and what equipment I need to achieve a strong reliable signal throughout the house with no buffering or drop outs please.
I am not a technical whizz-kid so will need specific easy to understand advice.
I am happy to spend up to a couple of hundred pounds to replace the router and do what is necessary to achieve a strong, reliable signal throughout the house. However I don't really want to attach or route further cabling around the house.

My son who is a very competent electrician has installed an Asus Mesh system in his house which is substantially bigger than ours and since doing so he states his coverage is much better and the signal is consistently stronger with no drop outs or buffering.

However he does have Virgin fibre optic  or whatever it is with speeds of 100+ so very different to our steam driven broadband. He does think it would do the same for us though albeit at a much lower speed etc.

It is this one:

ASUS RT-AX92U AX6100 Tri-Band Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System

 

Any thoughts form anyone?

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12 REPLIES 12
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16: Advanced member

So, like your son, we have our Wifi an Asus AImesh (8yo RT-AC68U & an RT-AC86U), though having just signed back up, it reset our speed guarantee and I'm trying to reactivate it by using the VF modem router rather than using a good modem...

 

If you look online, what you are going to see is that different devices work best in different houses!  Right now IMHO the RT-AX92U would be massive overkill for your property even though having q far higher data rate inside than that which you get from outside has some major advantages.  The other thing to look at is whether it would advantageous to have multiple hardwired ports at any particular locations, such as the home office and media/TV areas.  If that's the case then it changes the options you should be looking at.  You will also need to consider whether you keep the VF modem router and just turn it's WiFi off, or go for a device that can decode the VDSL signal for you.

 

 

Keep the Vodafone Modem+Router:  Less equipment to buy; you can get (some kind of support); it's limited in capability.

 

 

Get a new modem + router/mesh:  You need a modem in addition to the actual network hardware; no vodafone support; far better flexibility - especially within complex home networks; you need to Vodafone to give you THE CORRECT username and password for your account and you'll need to set it up.

 

Personally I'd ditch the Vodafone modem+router, and start with a modem such as an unlocked Huawei HG612 V3b, which you can find on eBay for a few quid.  With that plugged into the primary socket, you can route an ethernet cable from the modem to your primary network device which can be placed as centrally to the house as is possible within that room.  Ideally keep that primary network device at least a foot away from the wall, somewhere between waist and head height, and away from fishtanks (not a joke) or mirrors.  In most buildings floors offer much less resistance to WiFi than walls - the fewer obstacles in the way the better!  If you are going with just a two-node mesh, then repeat the positioning but now in your main living room.  One of the nice things about WiFi Mesh systems is that other than the primary unit, you can try the other units in differing locations.

 

As for the devices, my Asus AImesh works fine - if a little clunky compared to a designed from the base up mesh.  I've experienced with Google Home mesh devices (now superseded by Google Nest WiFi) which are super easy to set up.  Other users on these boards have also had great success with both Linksys Velop and Netgear Orbi systems.  *Just check on the number of ports, if you have devices you'd like to use as wired. **Other brands are available.

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3: Seeker

Thanks Keith. That sounds like good advice. I will spend more hours researching.

 

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3: Seeker

Well having invested in a draytek vigiler 130 and the google nest mesh system I totally failed and all have now been returned. I’m pretty sure the problem lay with the Draytech which was just not recognised and would not connect with my Mac at all.

My main computer is a Mac running the latest os.

Any further suggestions ? 

Particularly from anyone using Vodafone with Apple/Mac ?

ideally I want to be able to replace the Vodafone modem/router with something that just plugs in and works and gives me a strong, reliable signal throughout my house?

 

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Moderator

Hey @jimkehoe, we support most third party routers with Vodafone so should you find one that works for you, it shouldn't be a problem to connect. 

Alternatively, we can look into your current router with you to make sure you're getting the speeds you signed up for, please click here to speak to an agent regarding this via one of our social media channels. 

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3: Seeker

Beth

Thank you for the reply/update. I spoke to a Vodafone tech who was helpful. I now have a TP LINK DECO P9 mesh system which is a definite improvement. I think I have managed to utilise my Vodafone router as a modem only by switching off the wi-fi capability. However I would still like to use a dedicated modem. I previously tried to get a draytek vigor 130 to work but it just wouldn’t. I am not sure if it was an issue with the Vodafone broadband or with my Apple Mac running the latest operating system. I would appreciate if anyone can recommend a dedicated modem that would be suitable.

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16: Advanced member

Turning the WiFi off does not change the modem/router into a modem - so you are probably double NATting which could cause future problems.

To configure the Vigor 130 modem with the Google Nest Mesh system, you would have needed to directly connect to the modem using an ethernet cable in order to set the VLAN IDs and the modem mode.  Once you'd done that you would have been able to plug in the Nest Mesh and set up a PPPoE connection.  

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3: Seeker

Thanks Keith.

The Vodafone tech told me that the following would utilise the router as a modem only:

 

Hi,

Step 1 : To Switch Off the WiFi from the router kindly press & hold the WPS button which is on the left of the router for 12 to 15 seconds.

Step 2 : To use the router as a modem use the blue socket at the back of the router.


Regards,
Vodafone

 

Is that wrong?

 

Regardless I am tempted to get a modem to use with TP Link Deco P9 mesh system which I now have. ( The google nest and point have been returned)

In easily understood layman’s terms what do I need to do to get a modem to work with the Deco and my Mac please?

 

 

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3: Seeker

Can anyone tell me does the Huawei HG612 V3b work with a Mac and also is it suitable for old fashioned phone line NOT fibre connections?

What other Modem alternatives are there?

I have just established after 3 hours today online and on the phone that the THG3000g Vodafone router I have cannot best set up as Modem only or bridge so I need to buy a separate modem. 

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16: Advanced member

The tech who told you that is incorrect.  You can do that and have the mesh system just working as a WiFi replacement, which means you probably need to set it up as an access point.  If you set the mesh system up as a router too, then you could have problems related to double NATting.

 

Regards the unlocked Huawei HG612 V3b VDSL/ADSL modems, they're easier to maintain as they have two ethernet ports, one for your internet connection, and one for set up and maintenance (they often come set up so you just have to plug them in - VLAN 101 already set).  If you do go with a modem though you'll need your username and password.

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3: Seeker

Thanks again Keith

I already have my username and password from Vodafone.

 

Excuse my ignorance but my phone/broadband is the old fashioned wire from a telegraph pole and not fibre optic etc.


Before finding and buying a Huawei HG612 V3b can I just confirm it will work with my antiquated system?

 

I only ask as the ones I have seen on eBay etc always state it’s a modem for fibre.

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16: Advanced member

Vodafone's Superfast 1 & 2 are FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet) VDSL.  And the Huawei HG612 V3b plugs into the wall wart using the same cable as you'd use for the Vodafone modem/router.

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3: Seeker

Brilliant. Thanks for your knowledgeable help.

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