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Smarty/3 Changes to CGNAT Operation

aesmith

Casual Member
Hi,
I wonder if anyone has noticed any change in how Smarty (or 3) CGNAT operates recently? Starting from pretty much the beginning of this month it seems like they quite often change the CGNAT address mid-connection and that gives some application problems. My work ERP system doesn't like it for example. I can sometimes see it in action, for example search Google for "whatsmyip" which displays what Google thinks is my IP, then going to the actual site whatsmyip.org showed a different address, and refreshing the page showed a third. This matches what the ERP support people said which was that I seemed to be cycling through three addresses in turn.

It's definitely a change somewhere, because I've been using that ERP application every work day since March, and only started getting these problems early November.

Thanks, Tony S
 

TTJJ

ULTIMATE Member
That definitely isn't 'intended' behaviour, it must be something they've changed on their backend.

You could change your APN to '3internet' instead of 'three.co.uk'.
3internet gives you a static IP for the session so you may experience less issues using that APN as the IP won't change as sporadically.
 

Buggerlugz

ULTIMATE Member
Yes I've noticed it too, it disables the ability to use cloudflare warp by doing this as it really messes it up. Which is probably what they wanted to to achieve.

Especially with 3internet being unusable for me.
 

Buggerlugz

ULTIMATE Member
Unfortunately next September.

Though my phone contract with three runs out in December, so I'll be finding a sim only plan elsewhere in the new year.
 
Last edited:

TTJJ

ULTIMATE Member
Unfortunately next September.
I’ve had a lot of luck getting out of 3 contracts with them with no ETFs by raising a complaint and explaining it’s unusable.

May be worth a try. The other networks really do offer a far superior experience - Vodafone in my case.
 

Buggerlugz

ULTIMATE Member
Might be, much of a muchness though isn't it in the world of 4g.

I think that regardless of how bad Virgin's customer service is, the quality of broadband by comparison was in a different world. Might be tempted to return to the darkside and the only other viable alternative. (which doesn't exactly fill me with joy either.)
 

aesmith

Casual Member
Thanks. I'm already using the "3internet" APN, actually I tried all three and can't see any difference in behavior. I think I read somewhere that Smarty doesn't pay any attention to that anyway.

As for Smarty I asked them for any details or background to this change and had the most stupid responses ever. Paraphrasing they say they're a mobile operator and don't have IP addresses, and if something doesn't work over their service I can "connect to any Wifi". Later they said I should use a VPN, then followed by saying they can't guarantee a VPN would work at all because their service is for personal use.
 

aesmith

Casual Member
VPNs do work. I can use AAISP L2TP with my ADSL credentials, but that takes the ADSL out of service of course. I've also configured an L2TP client to the office and route some prefixes that way where we need to use the office's white listed address.

I've been on Smarty as the main connection for 18 months now with no real problems, so I would not be very happy if it suddenly requires the addition of a £10/month VPN to get basic functions reinstated. Although I suppose the plus point is that there's no contract stopping me jumping ship.

Have people found the same directly on Three?
 

SmartyBroadband

Casual Member
I've been on Smarty as the main connection for 18 months now with no real problems, so I would not be very happy if it suddenly requires the addition of a £10/month VPN to get basic functions reinstated.
I'm the same (although only the past 9 months).

I just use cloudflare warp on my windows PC and it solved my issues with my works VPN dying when the IP address kept changing.
 

aesmith

Casual Member
Funny all the differences. I tried Cloudflare and it slowed things down to a crawl. That was just a test on an Android tablet, I didn't take it further. I have Windscribe VPN on the PC, just the free account that allows 10GB per month, but it can be fired up if I want to test something.
 

alunj

Member
I was hit with this issue here recently (I wonder if they were testing something)
My Work VPN wont work at all , my public IP was changing every 10 seconds occasionally . I eventually gave up and am now using Voxi (voda) with no issues to speak of
 

TTJJ

ULTIMATE Member
I just checked my DDNS service and my Three IP hasn't changed in 5 days.
If you have DDNS going you've got a dynamic IP, not CGNAT. Perhaps you're using the 3internet APN and not the standard three.co.uk.
 

aesmith

Casual Member
So has anyone seen a real IP on a Smarty connection? I get a CGNAT address which ever of the three APNs I use.
 
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