It’s been a year since ISPreview.co.uk published our first summary guide of home broadband routers with integrated VDSL2 (FTTC) modems (here), which are designed to be used with superfast ‘up to’ 80Mbps capable “fibre broadband” offering ISPs (BT, TalkTalk and Sky Broadband etc.). Since then the options have increased and so here’s our new selection for 2015.
Last year the market situation was very different, with most FTTC supporting ISPs still offering BTOpenreach’s standard engineer installation with a locked-down VDSL2 modem (e.g. Huawei EchoLife HG612 or ECI B-FOCuS). Unfortunately this meant that customers still required a router if they wanted to run a proper home network (i.e. two devices rather than the simplicity of an all-in-one).
At the time Openreach had only just launched their new Self-Install (PCP-only) solution for FTTC superfast broadband services, which gave ISPs the ability to offer a single router with an integrated VDSL2 modem instead of two separate pieces of kit (no engineer visit required). Since then most ISPs have started offering the self-install service and bundling their own budget routers with an integrated VDSL2 modem.
Meanwhile the options for consumers who’d rather use a faster and more capable device than the combined routers being offered by the largest ISPs, which tend to be based off cheaper and more restrictive kit, has also continued to grow. In last year’s guide – Broadband Router Options for UK FTTC ISPs – we covered some of the first third-party routers with an integrated VDSL2 modem (i.e. Technicolor/Thomson TG589vn v3, DrayTek Vigor 2760n (2860), Billion 8200N, FRITZ!Box 7390 – 7490 / 3390 and Asus DSL-N66U N900) and this year we’re adding to that list.
It’s important to stress that last year’s article is still valid (most of the listed hardware from 2014 continues to be considered “current generation” kit), so make sure to read both guides for a full summary of all the available options. Otherwise we’re going to be following the same rules as we did in 2014.
As with the 2014 roundup, we’re sticking to our rule that this summary should only include routers that we consider to be within a sub-£200 bracket of consumer affordability. Anything more expensive than this is usually intended for business purposes or simply not affordable mass-market hardware and thus not a focus for us.