Another Spec me a router thread and advice on IPV6 - BT Fibre 250

Associate
Joined
4 Jan 2011
Posts
1,937
So after my ordeal with Virgin, I've switched over to BT, and given that it's about 15 steps from my front gate to the cabinet, it's nice, fast and STABLE. Which is ace.

I was however, hoping to replace the router with something else. We're on the Fibre 250, meaning we're in G.Fast territory. Based on that, I had picked up the DSL-AC88U. This seems good in principle, but it doesn't work with BT's IPV6 config, as they use /56 rather than /64.

So I guess a couple of questions - Is that a good choice? I don't have any options for custom Firmware from Merlin, and the updates stopped as of December 2018.

Equally, does IPV6 actually matter? I understand the general benefits for the wider internet, but not sure if I should be concerned with such things.

All recommendations appreciated - all in one, or separate modem/router combos welcome. TIA :)
 
Last edited:
Soldato
Joined
29 Dec 2002
Posts
6,962
If you are on g.fast your options are quite limited and modems aren’t exactly cheap, but they are a lot cheaper than they used to be. From your questions you already know you’ve made a less than great choice with the ASUS, it’s had no security updates in 2 years and can’t run 3rd party firmware because it contains a modem and doesn’t support your providers IPV6 implementation. I may be missing something here, but what exactly is it doing that you can’t on the HH and how much do you want to spend?
 
Associate
OP
Joined
4 Jan 2011
Posts
1,937
You're not really missing anything if I'm honest. Historically various family members have had bad times with BT hubs, so my plan was to always replace what I got with a 3rd party router of some description, as that was always shown to result in a more stable connection, although that was a while ago when they still had the separate Openreach modem, so you only needed the router component.

In terms of what I'm looking for specifically, I've listed a few things below:
- Configurable to monitor connection via BQM - BT SH doesn't let this work and I found it incredibly useful when dealing with Virgin and my issues with them.
- Stronger, faster wifi connection - having had the AC88U set up briefly I was getting the full speed of my connection over wifi, the SH seems to top out at about 200mbps, when it's capable of 300mbps.
- Granular connection over access (kids)
- Ability to have a VPN installed at the router rather than per device
- Avoid using repeaters if possible - BT discs are £80 each, I'd rather put that into a single 3rd party device with better antennas.

This is all I have at the minute, to be honest I've liked the idea of having something more feature rich than the standard Virgin or BT hubs, partly so I can have a play around as well, but never taken the plunge. As for price. I don't necessarily have a limit, but the AC88U was £190, which I was fine with. If there's a sound recommendation that isn't super professional enterprise level equipment, then I'd be open to spending a little more.
 
Soldato
Joined
29 Dec 2002
Posts
6,962
Back in the day ASUS were a high end OEM who catered to the server/workstation market and made very solid boards, like your experience with HH/SH products, that was a hell of a long time ago and a lot has changed. The current gen SH2 is probably one of the best for WiFi that any ISP currently supplies, it has 7 antennae’s, uses 4x4 5Ghz and 3x3 2.4Ghz at the same power the ASUS does and it’s design is technically quite good.

BQM can’t be done on the SH itself, no way to enable enable ICMP responses on WAN (how convenient). Workarounds exist, but they involve something having to respond to ICMP and that’s likely to be in the DMZ.

WiFi speed is interesting, I could saturate my connection over WiFi in g.fast (235ish back in the day), as I wasn’t keeping it, I never broke iperf out for local checks as any device I own that needs to move data fast is wired, wireless is for IoT and mobile devices. Realistically if you want fast WiFi, install decent AP’s on the top floor in a central location, anything else is likely already loosing coverage/speed due to sub optimal positioning. A decent AP isn’t much different in price to a BT disc, but it’s capable of (potentially) gigabit with the right client/conditions.

Granular control is easy enough with Pi-Hole handling DHCP and DNS, just turn off DHCP on the SH2 and Pi-Hole will present itself as the DNS server of choice, use whoever you want upstream, OpenDNS, CF, DuckDNS, Google etc. Pop-Hole runs well on any Pi ever sold or in a virtual environment.

VPN at a router level can make sense, but only with policy based routing so you don’t push everything via VPN, however you really want a router that can support hardware acceleration and neither the AC88U or the SH do. Incidentally, have a look at the non modem version of what you have and the update history... quite a few patches relate to exploits/CVE’s, I wonder why non of them have ever affected the modem wielding variant?

So where does that leave us? Well you could buy the non modem version of what you have now (it’s had firmware updates for exploits this month) and a MT992 modem, this way you wouldn’t need Pi-Hole and could just run OpenDNS for filtering, BCM will also work. I suspect based on what you’ve said that you would be pretty happy with this. I’d suggest flashing Merlin to it or another *WRT derivative, but other than a nasty habit of the WiFi/switch interface to drop and it being my least favourite brand in the industry, it’ll do a decent enough job. Before you do, consider that the AX-88U and AC86U both support hardware acceleration on the VPN side, which is a bit of a game changer compared to doing it in software, but don’t route everything over VPN, not unless you like online orders being flagged as potential fraud, playing cat & mouse with domestic streaming services etc. and things like the split payments function in PayPal disappearing.

If you want to go with a different approach, then a USG3 works well with the Unifi AP’s to give single pane management, but it’s IDS traffic analysis won’t keep up with your g.fast speeds, for that you are looking at a USG4Pro and by the time you’re upto that sort of price new, the UDM is likely a better shout as it includes the controller and AP function for only a little more. You’ll still need a modem.
 
Associate
OP
Joined
4 Jan 2011
Posts
1,937
Fantastic info Avalon, thanks so much for the assistance, this is a massive help. I'll do some research into the options above and see what we can put together. Thank you! :D
 
Associate
OP
Joined
4 Jan 2011
Posts
1,937
Nah I don't have a separate modem at the minute and the SH can't be put into modem mode, meaning I need something DSL compatible, which I believe is where the MT992 comes in. Could be run in tandem with your recommendation though I think? I'll take a look. Thanks!
 
Top Bottom