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Vodafone Claims Home Broadband Router is “future proof”

Friday, December 4th, 2015 (9:13 am) - Score 10,598
vodafone connect router

Telecoms giant Vodafone, which after a slow start recently made their new fixed line Home Broadband service available to 22 million premises in the United Kingdom, has suggested that the bundled router they offer is “future proof,” but can any ISP router ever be described in such a way.

As most of our regular readers will know, we’re not especially big fans of dubious advertising and there’s a risk that calling any router “future proof” might well fall into that category. Never the less Vodafone appear to be adamant that the router they bundle, which supports advanced 802.11ac WiFi with beamforming, four Gigabit LAN ports, low power consumption and a bunch of other stuff (more details), might well qualify for the label.

Nikolas Choulakis, Voda’s Converged Terminals Assurance Manager, said:

This router is future proof. Today it supports fibre and it also has best-in-class WiFi that supports a lot of older standards, but it also has the ability and the hardware to support what’s coming next.

In the meantime, you can do a heap of cool stuff like connect hard drives to create Network-Attached Storage (NAS) setups, which you can then access from any device in your house as if it were your own personal cloud. You can also pair WPS-enabled devices like smart phones or other Wi-Fi devices by pairing with the touch of a button.”

On the question of what Vodafone believes is “coming next“, Choulakis simply responded by saying “well, you’ll just have to wait and see.” The actual answer is either likely to reflect BTOpenreach’s 300-500Mbps G.fast technology or perhaps Vodafone will put some money where their mouth is and invest in a national Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) network, but we wouldn’t bet on that last one.

At this point it’s worth noting that all of the major broadband ISPs, except for Sky Broadband perhaps (they’re a bit slower than most to keep their kit updated), tend to update their bundled routers every year or so. This is because the bundled hardware you sell is an important point of competition, but it doesn’t stay current for long and keeping up with evolving standards is a never ending process.

Certainly Vodafone appear to have a good competitive piece of kit, although we don’t yet have any figures for its rated Mbps speed on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels and in any case WiFi remains far from perfect. Even 802.11ac with Beamforming may struggle to deliver the full speed of a G.fast line or FTTH service beyond a couple of rooms away, where speeds tend to crash (plus G.fast will need new kit).

So can any router seriously be considered “future proof“? Computer and networking technology changes at an often frightening pace and none of that is likely to stop to save the marketing whims of a single ISP.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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11 Responses
  1. Avatar Simon

    “Future Proof”? So where’s the 100G port?

  2. The only truly future-proof telco equipment is the FTTH lines Vodafone are putting in across Europe.

    Hopefully they will start doing this in the UK too when (hope hope hope) nohopenreach are broken up next year.

  3. [admin note: Please try to stay on topic and don’t thread jack]

  4. Avatar Jonny

    Having a file share on a home network is not a “personal cloud”. That word has been abused so much by marketing departments around the world.

  5. “Today it supports fibre”

    Which MUST(!!) mean that it has a fibre optic port on the back of it? 🙂

    Or perhaps it just means that it is strong enough for you to place your morning bowl of Alpen on top of it! 🙂

  6. Avatar AndrewH

    Yeah if it’s anything like their 3G network down here it’ll be for the Alpen.
    Actually for me it’s bran flakes.
    Are they doing a firmware upgrade for bran flakes?

  7. Avatar chris

    Voda already have infrastructure in bt exchanges which have c&w llu, they also have mercury telecoms duct network criss crossing the country
    own breed ftth could be next

  8. Avatar Ignition

    An LTE modem inside the router would’ve been good to deliver failover to the 4G network. Perhaps even an incorporated femtocell.

  9. Avatar Chris T

    I think it’s a bit of a stretch to consider the router “future proof”, but never the less it is very good. The router does have extra ports under a label marked do not use, peeling the label off and there two extra ports looking like RJ45 sockets (so no direct fibre). There is also a on the top of the router under a cover an as yet unused USB socket that looks to be just the right place for a 4G modem or femtocell.

  10. Avatar Web Dude

    How well does it handle IPv6 then ?

    Seems all (or most with {several hundreds of thousands Ⅰ millions} of customers) are sitting on the sidelines waiting for some other ISP to fund a rollout to customers of IPv6 capable routers and provide end users with v4 and v6 DNS lookup, gateways, etc.

  11. Avatar Justin Cooper-Marsh

    Cannot use a media server with this router unless you use a switch between it and the devices you want to watch listen on. Also my VF connect has slowed down so much only a factory reset works to bring the speeds back to the 70 Mbps make again

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