Question Vodafone are finally letting me use my own modem/router, what is good these days?

Rob B

Well-known Member
Now that Vodafone have changed their policy and are releasing the username and passwords for their modem/routers, I feel it's time to buy a new one as this is terrible and has repeated issues with the LAN ports dying.

I'm a little out of the loop though when it comes to networking tech, so I don't know what is a good replacement. I probably only need 802.11n for now, not ac. But if there's something with more than 4 ports, I'd probably sway towards that. Dual band would be nice and I don't want it to be too expensive as I don't need some top end powerhouse, just something that'll get me better speeds and has a good, reliable wireless signal.

I thought I had a decent replacement in my Asus Dark Knight, but I think that's just a router (and I can't seem to find it anyway).

Please can anyone suggest a good replacement?
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
A US based web site called SmallNetBuilder reviews a fair amount of SOHO kit and his testing methods are fairly objective (and repeatable.) Just bear in mind it's US based, so EU specs and prices may differ a little.

Don't worry too much about "Wi-Fi Signal." In fact, there's no such thing as most people conceive it: Wi-Fi is not facilitated by some ethereal "energy field" (like "The Force" or Ley Lines,) generated solely by your router. All Wi-Fi devices (phones, laptops, tablets, printers, etc. etc.) emit radio transmissions as well as your router - it's two-way radio like walkie-talkies, not one-way radio like television.

Lay people do tend to unduly "worry" about the transmit power of their router/AP's, whilst never exercising even the slightest consideration of Wi-Fi transmit power when buying a new phone, tablet, laptop. etc. (which is equally important for it to work well.)

Wi-Fi transmit power is limited by law and most kit is and always has been at or (very) close to the permitted max. What differences there are, aren't worth worrying about. If "they" can make a 1/10th of a watt radio transmitter that fits in a smartphone and runs all day off a tiny battery using fiddling little antenna, it's hard to believe "they" struggle to effect the same in a big box like a router that runs off the mains. When selecting Wi-Fi equipment, networking professionals spend all of a 1/2 a second checking the transmit power, because we know it's all much of a muchness - "other" things tend to concern us more such as protocol support, MCS rates (speeds available,) security/management features (often missing or not of interest to SOHO users,) etc.

More than 4 ethernet ports might be a bigger ask (or conversely) limit your choices. If you cannot find one, you could always daisy chain a little ethernet switch to add some more ports. Little "desktop" ethernet switches can be had for a few tens of pounds. Though of course, that's a "two box" solution.

BTW - What you say "Vodaphone" - are you talking about a domestic A/VDSL service or are you referring to something based on mobile phone (3/4G etc.)
 
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Rob B

Well-known Member
Cheers for the reply, mickevh. I'm thinking a little switch might be the way to go and I'm willing to do so as I have more than 4 devices that I'd like to be hardwired (direct or via homeplugs). I don't mind a 2 box solution in this case.

With regards to Vodafone, it's their domestic home broadband fibre service (fttc using BT/openreach infrastructure). It uses one Vodafone modem/router though, no white openreach box. Unfortunately that one box is very unreliable!
 

offitmassive

Well-known Member
I recommend a bt home hub 5 which is unlocked and regarded as very good. Well priced on ebay too. Have a look
 

DarkEntity

Well-known Member
I have just binned my HomeHub5 because it was crap (i'm in a 2 bed new build flat and had zero WiFi in my en-suite, (the mrs likes music while in the shower)), I've replaced with an Openreach Modem and an ASUS RT-AC3200 router for everything else.

basically, the reasoning was the Openreach modem is a pure modem, nothing else, it provides a clean stream into my network, the ASUS router then does all the hard work. Yes its a 2 box solution but its rock solid and works flawlessly. (secondly for me the Openreach modem is supported by BT even though i'm using my own router, where if you bought a DSL Modem router, it wont be by your ISP if you run into issues.)
 

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