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Zen Internet Customers Praise their ZyXEL VMG1312 Broadband Router

Thursday, July 28th, 2016 (1:04 am) - Score 5,835
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UK ISP Zen Internet has surveyed more than 500 of their residential customers to discover how they rated the new ZyXEL VMG1312 router, which comes standard with Zen’s broadband services. Overall 70% rated the quality of the router as “good or excellent“, but WiFi performance could be better.

The router itself supports both ADSL2+ and VDSL2 (FTTC) broadband technologies, as well as offering 1 x USB 2.0 port, 4 x “Fast Ethernet Ports” (we suspect only 100Mbps LAN), 2.4GHz based 802.11n spec WiFi for up to 300Mbps (2 x internal antennas), max power consumption of 10.4 Watts and IPv6 support. Suffice to say that the specs are a little on the mediocre side.

Never the less 69% of Zen’s customers also rated it as easy or very easy to set up and “more than half” said they were happy or very happy with the wifi performance, which admittedly still means that quite a few weren’t pleased. Indeed some of Zen’s customers “did tell us [they] had some issues with wifi performance“, which isn’t surprising given the lack of 5GHz and 802.11ac support, but all credit to Zen for being open and honest.

Zen has promised to use the feedback to help improve their service.

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24 Responses
  1. Avatar asylum_seeker

    Sorry but the Zyxel VMG1312 is a big steaming pile of poo for wifi coverage when compared to the top end routers such as TP Link VR900 & VR2600, Netgear D7800, Asus DSL-AC68U et al.

    • Avatar MrWhite

      You can’t really compare an ISP’s “packaged” router against the top of the range consumer products. You have to compare them to other ISPs, like Sky, BT, Plusnet etc. I imagine the Zen specs are still mediocre by comparison, but may be sufficient for the majority of their users.

    • Avatar SpencerUk

      So you’re comparing a £45 router to ones that cost £100+ bar exception to TP-Link stuff?.

      That’s like comparing a Proton car to an Audi A3….

      The reason Zen ship ZyXEL’s is because they are MCT compliant and the TR69 feature works for the easy setup…You’ll find that the expensive boxes either have one or the other in requirement but not both.

  2. Avatar asylum_seeker

    Ok lets compare isp supplied routers then. The TalkTalk supplied HG633 beats the pants off the Zyxel VMG1312.

    • Avatar Curious

      Yeah, because TalkTalk provide exceptional quality of service, don’t they?

    • Avatar asylum_seeker

      What on earth does the level of ISP support have to do with the quality of router they provide? Oh I get it, you seem to think Huawei routers are made by the Indian call centre staff? LOL Duh!

    • Avatar asylum_seeker

      Or perhaps the wifi signal in a router is being remotely controlled by the ISP’s call centre staff? Yeah that must be it!

    • Avatar karl

      What are you blabbering about, the only thing better on the Talk Talk device in a technical (real life may be another matter) is the wifi spec, the rest is same or worse as the Zyxel. You cant printer share via the USB port on the TalkTalk device, you cant configure DNS services fully nor alter MAC.
      “TalkTalk supplied HG633 beats the pants off the Zyxel VMG1312.” Maybe if you are high or just do not comprehend they are both at best mid-range devices and nothing more.
      Your first comparison to devices costing upto around £150 was equally as stupid.

    • Avatar SpencerUk

      Zen staff can change the wireless password (and channel) for the end user on request if its a ZyXEL and on the smart start system thing.

      ..Just saying..

    • Avatar Evan Crissall

      The TalkTalk Super Router Huawei HG633 is in a class of its own, compared to the much older ZyXEL VMG1312. The ZyXEL is old-school. Previous generation kit powered by an end-of-the-line Broadcom BCM63168, a dual-core 400MHz MIPS core.

      https://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/zyxel/vmg1312-b30a

      https://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/huawei/hg633

      TalkTalk’s HG633 is a new generation of ARM-powered modem-routers. Dedicated silicon developed by Triductor, a Chinese spin-off from Broadcom; with DSL codebase that’s 20 years newer.

      The TalkTalk Super Router HG633 is driven by a greatly superior quad-core ARMv7 Cortex clocked at 1GHz; over twice that of the Broadcom SoC in the obsolete ZyXEL. Further, the ARM cores benchmark much better; with greater ‘bogomips’ efficiency than their redundant MIPS counterparts.

      The TalkTalk also excels in wifi. Offering dual-band 3×3 MIMO 802.11ac; over both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Whereas the ZyXEL only supports 802.11n 2.4GHz.

      All these features put the TalkTalk Huawei Super Router HG633 into a class of its own. In terms of raw performance, the HG633 leaves the old Broadcom devices, like ZyXEL’s VMG1312, standing.

      TalkTalk’s Super Router has completely p**sed over the competition, including BT’s latest lemon, the bug-ridden Smarthub 6. Simply no contest.

    • Avatar karl

      What are you on about?

      http://tinyurl.com/hctb428

      The VSPM310 in the Talk Talk device is 2 years old there is nothing next gen about it. Even if they were newer does not mean better. In fact most of the cabinets in this country are Huawei Broadcom based and you connection will normally be much more stable with a matching chipset.

  3. Avatar Wise Old Owl

    Also don’t forget that the Zyxel located in a room with two foot thick brick/stone walls as opposed to being in a room with 2 inch deep gyproc wall will likely perform differently.

    Consumer product feedback will also largely depend on the level of understanding of the product they are reviewing by the persons submitting that feedback.

    If they don’t realise a two foot thick wall surrounding the room the router is in and with the door closed is likely to impact the Wi-Fi performance when they are sat on their phone, laptop at the end of their garden 50 feet away as opposed to being sat in the room where the device is actually located.

  4. Avatar hi

    Fast Ethernet is 100Mbps

    that is what its called

    you don’t have to suspect anything.

  5. Avatar asylum_seeker

    @Karl
    I think its you who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The HG633 is almost as good as the high end routers (costing £100’s) when it comes to b/g/n wifi coverage – i’m talking real world performance here. For an ISP supplied router (ie free) to go neck and neck with expensive routers for coverage is unheard of. I’ve tried both the Zyxel and the HG633 and the HG633 is far, far better for wifi coverage. In fact, the Zyxel wasn’t much better than my old rusting Speedtouch 585 (v6) router for b/g coverage….that’s how bad the Zyxel was.

  6. @Karl
    Again you’re talking out of your rear orifice. Trusted reviews is the ‘Daily Mail’ of review sites. It would have been more credible if you provided links to smallnetbuilder tests. FWIW the wifi coverage was pants on the HG633 when it was first released but once stable firmware was released its a top class performer. Even high end Asus routers are notorious for having poor wifi throughput on early fw releases which is why the likes of smallnetbuilder often re-rest routers if they were reviewed too early. I suggest you actually give the HG633 a try running the latest fw and THEN give your feedback on it.

  7. Avatar karl

    1. Not me talking out of anything, i didnt write the review
    2. If thats the daily mail of review sites i guess your opinion must be the equal to some celeb mag that talks about vagazilling.
    3. The talk talk HG633 device has not been reviewed or tested on smallnetbuilder.com, please link to this testing and their firmware updating of it.

  8. Avatar Evan Crissall

    Yeah, Karl is not really objective; he’s a shill by another name.

    It’s fairly clear that an HG633 with a quad-core 1GHz ARM core released 2013 is going to vastly surpass a ZyXel VMG1312 with an end-of-line dual-core 400MHz MIPS core, based on Broadcom codebase dating from the 1990s.

    • Avatar karl

      If using your logic a newer chipset always equals better then the ECI modems with Lantiq VRX268 chipset from BT should be more capable than the old Huawei BCM6369 based chipset. As that Lantiq chipset is newer.

      The lantiq based device does not do G.INP properly and loses more sync speed than the BCM though on differing chipset cabs. Newer is not automatically better. It doesnt matter how fast a processor is if the software at its heart is junk. Never mind the fact that if that chipset in the TT device was so great then other manufacturers would be selling a loads of devices based on it, they dont though. If you want a device with 100Mb ports rather than one with 1000Mb ports though, so be it, enjoy your shiny faster processor with ermmm slow networking.

      PS…
      Im not a shill and you really should not accuse me of being other people. I certainly know who you are and have not had any issue with you till now after that. Lets just say if that chipset is so great and you are the real Evan that posts here then perhaps you can convince B4RN to use devices based upon its chipset. Your regular fave BT trolls from that will know instantly who you are and follow you around just like they used to… Enjoy!

  9. Avatar Evan Crissall

    Hmm. The Lantiq VRX200 actually has very old DSP codebase. Dating from the days of Texas Instruments’ AR7 SoC. Which was not a very good platform. When Lantiq updated the AR7 / AR9 to the multi-mode VR9 series, offering VDSL2 as well as ADSL) it was never going to be a complete code re-write or overhaul. Everything bar the frequency range, and frame rate (for 30MHz) will have been re-used from TI’s original AR7 code.

    https://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/hardware/soc/soc.lantiq

    Again, the TI codebase, like Broadcom’s dates back to the 1990s. And as for why the BT HomeHub 5a, and the ECI Openreach modems don’t perform that well; both being Lantiq-based, their DSP code was never as good as Broadcom’s to begin with.

    Turning now to that other canard. The idea that matching the chipsets in CPE and CO equipment will see better sync rates and stability. My limited experience is that Lantiq-based modems are almost always outperformed by Broadcom’s. Likewise for the DSL SoCs from Metanoia and Ikanos. Regardless of the DSLAM involved. Lantiq et al. consistently perform worse than Broadcom CPE whether hooked to an ECI (Infineon) DSLAM or to a Huawei (Broadcom) DSLAM.

    Beside, the theory that ECI DSLAMs are best matched to Lantiq CPE modems makes little sense for another reason. The firmware for the ECI DSLAMs was developed independently by Infineon’s wireline division. Which only relatively recently absorbed the Lantiq brand, and its old TI codebase for CPE. So there’s no compelling reason why Lantiq CPE should interoperate any better with Infineon CO kit, than with Broadcom-based CO kit. It’s not as if the Lantiq CPE and Infineon CO codebase was developed together.

    Returning to TalkTalk’s HG633 and its 1GHz ARM-based Triductor SoC. Since Triductor is a new company, it hasn’t inherited legacy DSP code through acquisition or merger. It’s all fresh code, and that shows in its superior performance, stability and functionality. From the beginning, the Triductor VSPM300 family of SoC supports G.INP, G.Fast and G.Vector.

    As for the move to an ARM core, Broadcom too has finally abandoned the MIPS architecture. The MIPS-based Broadcom BCM63xx series has reached end-of-line. This last CPE offering from ZyXEL is obsolete; old school.

    That change of core architecture, from MIPS to ARM; the doubling of the core count and near-tripling of clock-speed, is what makes the Triductor-based HG633 a “next generation” DSL CPE device, in my opinion.

    As for why the Triductor is in relatively few devices to date – maybe that’s because it’s still very early days for the chipmaker? The first mass-market Triductor-based CPE device was only released 12 months ago.

    Since this is an entirely Chinese development; except for the core licensing, and even that is licensed to HiSilicon, a subsidiary of Huawei, I suspect we will be seeing a lot more Triductor SoCs in future CPE. Huawei is no longer beholden to Broadcom (nor Lantiq.) It can source all major components in-house, together with R&D.

    And that’s gotta be a win-win for the consumer.

    • Avatar karl

      “Hmm. The Lantiq VRX200 actually has very old DSP codebase. Dating from the days of Texas Instruments’ AR7 SoC.”

      The device i mention does not use either of those chipsets and the AR7 has nothing in common with the VRX200 or VRX268 which i was talking about which is only a few years old. The only thing in common is they were made by Lantiq. Your logic is becoming more and more stupid using it you may as well say a 386 intel chip is the same as todays i series.

      “Again, the TI codebase, like Broadcom’s dates back to the 1990s. And as for why the BT HomeHub 5a, and the ECI Openreach modems don’t perform that well; both being Lantiq-based, their DSP code was never as good as Broadcom’s to begin with.”

      Nonsense again. The AR7 which you bring up was the best chipset of its time.

      “Turning now to that other canard. The idea that matching the chipsets in CPE and CO equipment will see better sync rates and stability. My limited experience is….”

      More nonsense, go look on kitz forum to see real life.

      “Beside, the theory that ECI DSLAMs are best matched to Lantiq CPE modems makes little sense for another reason. The firmware for the ECI DSLAMs was developed independently by Infineon’s wireline division. Which only relatively recently absorbed the Lantiq brand…”

      Rubbish again Lantiq is (or was) Infineons German brand founded in 2009, thats before FTTC came out here. In 2015 Intel bought them, making your assertions code is the same as earlier chipsets even more stupid.

      “Returning to TalkTalk’s HG633 and its 1GHz ARM-based Triductor SoC. Since Triductor is a new company…….”

      Yawn…. http://www.triductor.com/index.php/en/about-us 11 years old is now suddenly new?

      “As for the move to an ARM core, Broadcom too has finally abandoned the MIPS architecture. The MIPS-based Broadcom BCM63xx series has reached end-of-line. This last CPE offering from ZyXEL is obsolete; old school.”

      More nonsense there is a new BCM6 series out this year.

      “That change of core architecture, from MIPS to ARM; the doubling of the core count and near-tripling of clock-speed, is what makes the Triductor-based HG633 a “next generation” DSL CPE device, in my opinion.”

      Your opinion is meaningless as ive pointed out newer is not always better and processor speed in a device like a modem has little bearing on performance, the chipset for the LAN ports, wifi and memory speed will all have more bearing…. Unless how glossy an setuppage looks and loads is important to you its pretty moot.

      “As for why the Triductor is in relatively few devices to date – maybe that’s because it’s still very early days for the chipmaker? The first mass-market Triductor-based CPE device was only released 12 months ago.”

      Thats rubbish again that company has been around since 2005 and the VSPM310 chipset you mention…
      http://tinyurl.com/hctb428 has been out for as good as 2 years. There is a VSPM340 out now and that also has has been for over a year… http://www.triductor.com/index.php/en/soc-chip
      Stop talking utter rubbish.

      ” Huawei is no longer beholden to Broadcom (nor Lantiq.) It can source all major components in-house, together with R&D.”

      Err they never were they have used mediatek chipsets and their own designs in prior devices.

      PS I APOLOGISE TO THE REAL EVAN CRISSALL, BT IDIOTS STEALING YOUR NAME NOW.

    • Avatar karl

      PPS I should had known better that the poster was not the real Evan Crissall as unlike BT cretins they do not call people names like “shills”.

  10. Avatar Evan Crissall

    Dear oh, dear! What an angry fella! You arguing for argument’s sake?!

    Let’s take it slowly.

    Firstly, the Lantiq VR9 series – that’s the VRX268 / VRX288 et al. – as found in today’s BT HomeHub 5a, the BT Openreach ECI modems, TPLink TD-W9980, ZyXEL P2812, et al.

    The VR9 is a chipset based on the earlier Lantiq AR9 chipset series. Updated for VDSL2. Those AR9 chipsets, in turn, were based on the Texas Instruments’ AR7 family. That is old codebase, stretching back to the mid/late-1990s.

    https://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/AR7

    If your experience is that the TI AR7 was particularly good, it doesn’t match my own. Recall the Linksys WAG54 series? They were buggy, slow, and ran very hot, with a commensurately short device life.

    It’s a hard thing to prove empirically. But, often, when you start with a poor codebase, no matter how hard you tweak it, it’s still gonna be poor. That seems the case with Lantiq’s offerings. They are inferior to Broadcom’s and most others, and probably always will be.

    Regardless of DSLAM, Lantiq-based CPE typically sync at a lower speed under similar conditions to Broadcom offerings; their devices are not so stable; their platforms less refined; the codebase poorly managed; infrequently maintained / updated – e.g. still without dual-stream support for G.INP.

    You write: “Rubbish again, Lantiq is (or was) Infineon’s German brand founded in 2009, that’s before FTTC came out here.”

    Well, the VDSL2 standard actually pre-dates that 2007 purchase of Lantiq, by Infineon. ITU Recommendation G.993.2 (VDSL2) was Approved in 2006-02-17. Even bought Infineon the IP rights to AR7 series from Texas Instruments:

    https://www.itu.int/rec/T-REC-G.993.2-200602-S/en

    So what does that mean? Well, the codebases for Infineon CO and Lantiq/TI CPE devices were, at that time, developed independently. Which suggests, to me, that their inter-operability wasn’t a priority. These were two separate companies, two separate DSP codebases and two different development teams. No special collaboration. Just as likely that Lantiq/TI would try to get its CPE inter-operating best of all with CO kit from market-leading Broadcom, as with Infineon’s.

    Which goes some way to lancing the canard that says matching CO and CPE chipsets, at least with Infineon and Lantiq chipsets, will return greater sync speeds and stability. In practice, it won’t.

    The fact so many peeps believe matching chipsets gets better results – is proof of human folly. Just as many will say that running their Ford cars on Motorcraft oil gives better performance and efficiency! Doesn’t make it true though.

    Moving on to that architecture move from MIPS to ARM. I wrote: “The MIPS-based Broadcom BCM63xx series has reached end-of-line.”

    You replied: “More nonsense there is a new BCM6 series out this year.”

    Yep, and that new BCM6 family is not MIPS-based! It’s powered by an ARM core.

    That new Broadcom series is the BCM63137 and BCM63138 – as found in the BT Smarthub 6, and the Netgear D7000 et al. It’s a dual-core ARMv7 Cortex A9 processor. Like the Triductor VSPM310 in the TalkTalk SuperRouter Huawei HG633 – a new generation of device.

    There’s a Linux CPU benchmarking measure known as BogoMIPS. While described as “unscientific”, it’s still a benchmark, universally recognised. And the benchmarks for the DSL SoCs look like this:

    Broadcom BCM63168 (BMIPS4350 V8.0) — BogoMIPS : 399.36
    Broadcom BCM63138 (ARM7 Cortex A9) — BogoMIPS : 1990.65

    ^^^ That HUGE performance increase is why this architecture switch – from MIPS to ARM – makes this kit “next generation”.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BogoMips
    http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=2418181&#r6
    https://forum.openwrt.org/viewtopic.php?id=55702

    You go on (;-o) — “Thats rubbish again … the VSPM310 chipset you mention … http://tinyurl.com/hctb428 has been out for as good as 2 years. ”

    Okay, you’ve found a November 2014 Press Release for Triductor’s Reference Design for the VSPM310. But it was long time after that, before the Triductor SoC was first embedded in a mass-market consumer device. June 2015 in fact. That’s just over 12 months ago.

    Which is what I said — “The first mass-market Triductor-based CPE device was only released 12 months ago.” 😉

    Lastly, you write: “they [Huawei] have used mediatek chipsets and their own designs in prior devices.”

    Really? News to me. Not aware of any Huawei DSL device based on a Mediatek/Ralink SoC. This is probably why: here’s the BogoMIPS benchmark of the (only) MediaTek/Ralink DSL SoC. It’s piss poor. Netgear used it in the shite DSL-N66U :

    From http://www.hwupgrade.it/forum/showpost.php?p=39908059&postcount=155

    Ralink RT65168 (MIPS 34K V5.4) — BogoMIPS : 298.18

    Enuff! Run along now and troll someone else!

  11. Avatar Evan Crissall

    Corrections:

    1) Well, the VDSL2 standard actually pre-dates that 2009 spin-off of Lantiq by Infineon. ITU Recommendation G.993.2 (VDSL2) was Approved in 2006-02-17. In fact, even before Infineon bought the IP rights to AR7 series from Texas Instruments:

    2) ASUS used [the low-grade Ralink RT65168] in its shite DSL-N66U.

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