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Which router for FTTP 900 (no wireless needed).

neonplanet40

Casual Member
Hi Folks,

I am due to have FTTP 900 mbps installed and need a router to replace the ISP supplied box (never a fan of them). I already have a Mesh wifi set up in my house which is wifi 6. So I just need something stable/fast and accessible to connect to the ONT and be the brains of my home network - the wifi on it would not be used and (if it came with wifi) would be turned off anyway).

My house has a number of switches etc and then the asus routers which supply the wireless Mesh connection. So I would have no issue buying an Asus again.

However, I don't want to overpay for a device if I can get one that amybe doesn't have wifi etc (which I won't need) but has everything else I would need.

My mesh is supplied via 2 Asus RT-AX86u routers. Due to their locations, I will not be able to use these. I could always get a third, but given the cost, again, is there something else which would do all I need for cheaper? I would like something that is easy to use, but also has additional features such as the ability to use a vpn, restrict adult internet if needed, accessible and well thought out managment page etc etc. Also, something that gets regular updates as and when needed.

Thanks for your help.
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
I think the first thing you'll need to do is make sure that you can actually use a third-party router with whatever FTTP ISP you have. Some providers do part of the authentication on the router itself, so you can't simply plug a different device into the ONT unless they supply some key details. Check with them first.
 

Phil2021

Casual Member
I would recommend going pfSense, this gives you something much better than a consumer grade router. A bit of a learning curve but not that bad and once you've learnt it once you can keep using it on other boxes should you upgrade. Something like an Kettop Mi6200L6 (can buy direct from their shop for not too much money) would do a great job on a 1Gig connection, you can get one without Wi-Fi, and I'd recommend buying 8Gig of RAM and a mini-SSD of a good brand on Amazon to go with it. They also idle at around 5 or 6 watts so good on the electricity bill, and are fanless. You can also buy a pfSense box, but you pay quite a bit more to buy the official hardware. Support is great for pfSense, it will do various VPNs and filtering, and gets regular updates.
 

neonplanet40

Casual Member
I think the first thing you'll need to do is make sure that you can actually use a third-party router with whatever FTTP ISP you have. Some providers do part of the authentication on the router itself, so you can't simply plug a different device into the ONT unless they supply some key details. Check with them first.
Thank you. It's with BT so I believe this isn't an issue.
 

neonplanet40

Casual Member
I would recommend going pfSense, this gives you something much better than a consumer grade router. A bit of a learning curve but not that bad and once you've learnt it once you can keep using it on other boxes should you upgrade. Something like an Kettop Mi6200L6 (can buy direct from their shop for not too much money) would do a great job on a 1Gig connection, you can get one without Wi-Fi, and I'd recommend buying 8Gig of RAM and a mini-SSD of a good brand on Amazon to go with it. They also idle at around 5 or 6 watts so good on the electricity bill, and are fanless. You can also buy a pfSense box, but you pay quite a bit more to buy the official hardware. Support is great for pfSense, it will do various VPNs and filtering, and gets regular updates.
This I have never heard off. Further reasearch on my part needed. Part of me would rather go with something ready made as time is short these days with a baby to get over the learning curve of something like this...

But I will look into it further.
 

Phil2021

Casual Member
This I have never heard off. Further reasearch on my part needed. Part of me would rather go with something ready made as time is short these days with a baby to get over the learning curve of something like this...

But I will look into it further.

Yes always a bit of a learning curve with these things and very much depends if you like tinkering with computers and hardware.

A good intro is here: https://www.itpro.co.uk/security/firewalls/355328/how-to-build-your-own-firewall-with-pfsense
 

Meatball

Top Member
If you are going with BT I am assuming they are going to send you a FTTP version of the Smart Hub 2. This is a reasonable bit if kit and most home routers you will find (if you switch off all unnecessary functions) are unlikely to perform much different unless you spend.

If you are managing your own home network is BT the right ISP for you.

One option to consider is possibly a commercial offering with good throughput well above near 1 Giga speeds.

I would suggest looking at something like the smaller UniFi Security Gateway https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/910SprDH1rS.pdf or similar. These provide excellent control, second WAN for backup and small wall mountable unit to sit next to the ONT.
 
Last edited:

Phil2021

Casual Member
If you are going with BT I am assuming they are going to send you a FTTP version of the Smart Hub 2. This is a reasonable bit if kit and most home routers you will find (if you switch off all unnecessary functions) are unlikely to perform much different unless you spend.

If you are managing your own home network is BT the right ISP for you.

One option to consider is possibly a commercial offering with good throughput well above near 1 Giga speeds.

I would suggest looking at something like the smaller UniFi Security Gateway https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/910SprDH1rS.pdf or similar. These provide excellent control, second WAN for backup and small wall mountable unit to sit next to the ONT.

The OP wanted options for VPN and content filtering, that particular router is very basic and quite under powered, it only seems to support site to site VPN which I guess requires two of the same devices, and doesn't have any options for content filtering.
 

Meatball

Top Member
Yes sorry. Responded too quickly. I just meant it to be pointer really to a range of commercial products that have a lot of power for their price point (particularly using the command line) but yes more advanced products are required for more functionality and their overhead.





 

TTJJ

ULTIMATE Member
Yes sorry. Responded too quickly. I just meant it to be pointer really to a range of commercial products that have a lot of power for their price point (particularly using the command line) but yes more advanced products are required for more functionality and their overhead.





It sounds like an OpenWrt router would be fine for you. I have a Linksys WRT1900AC with OpenWrt running on it which gives me fairly extensive options available via CLI and the web interface with lots of different software available.

I have multiple VLANs running with proxying taking place on the device and I can easily get speeds of 300mbps over the encrypted proxy on my FTTP connection.
 

dws1900

Casual Member
You could try opnsense, which has a multitude of facilities
VPN, Wireguard, local DNS, Sensei (filtering, free and paid versions)
There are various small fan-less systems capable of supporting opnsense.
By the time you have paid out for a router, you may as well go for something that will be a bit more flexible and secure.

Contact the opnsense guys to check what hardware would be required to support the speeds you will be getting, there are some network cards that are not as adaptable as others.
 

YorkieBar

Casual Member
Hi Folks,

I am due to have FTTP 900 mbps installed and need a router to replace the ISP supplied box (never a fan of them). I already have a Mesh wifi set up in my house which is wifi 6. So I just need something stable/fast and accessible to connect to the ONT and be the brains of my home network - the wifi on it would not be used and (if it came with wifi) would be turned off anyway).

My house has a number of switches etc and then the asus routers which supply the wireless Mesh connection. So I would have no issue buying an Asus again.

However, I don't want to overpay for a device if I can get one that amybe doesn't have wifi etc (which I won't need) but has everything else I would need.

My mesh is supplied via 2 Asus RT-AX86u routers. Due to their locations, I will not be able to use these. I could always get a third, but given the cost, again, is there something else which would do all I need for cheaper? I would like something that is easy to use, but also has additional features such as the ability to use a vpn, restrict adult internet if needed, accessible and well thought out managment page etc etc. Also, something that gets regular updates as and when needed.

Thanks for your help.
Judging by your needs and what you already have it makes the most sense to stick with Asus. I have a pair of XT-8s and as you will know with the RT-s you have it's good kit.

I would get another Asus with the Ai Mesh ( any of them will do the job ) capabity, use the WiFi on all 3 and let the routers sort themselves out. Software is pretty good at managing the handover and routing, handles my Talk Talk 1Gbit symmetric really well for the majority of cases. I've had 3 software updates up to now.

I run Pfsense and it's amazing for custom uses but the learning curve might be a bit steep given your current circumstances with the family but the option is always there down the road if you want it.
 

neonplanet40

Casual Member
Judging by your needs and what you already have it makes the most sense to stick with Asus. I have a pair of XT-8s and as you will know with the RT-s you have it's good kit.

I would get another Asus with the Ai Mesh ( any of them will do the job ) capabity, use the WiFi on all 3 and let the routers sort themselves out. Software is pretty good at managing the handover and routing, handles my Talk Talk 1Gbit symmetric really well for the majority of cases. I've had 3 software updates up to now.

I run Pfsense and it's amazing for custom uses but the learning curve might be a bit steep given your current circumstances with the family but the option is always there down the road if you want it.
Thanks. My only question regarding Asus was which one to get. I know I could add the wifi to my aimesh setup, but, if I don't get one as good as the other two (which means spending £230+), then won't the Aimesh performance be reduced to accommodate the slower Asus router (if I add one such as the AX56u etc that isnt as fast as the AX86u) slow down the whole AiMesh to compensate?

If I was to go with another Asus (as I am used to how they work), and I wasn't bothered about its wireless capabiltiy because I can turn it off), which one could I get that would be fine fully accommodating the full gigabyte speeds available from my internet wihout any issues? For example, is the AX56u's WIRED performance as the brain of the whole wired network, just as good as the WIRED performance of the AX86u being put in for the same job? Leaving wifi performance out of the equation. Does that make sense?
 

Gandi69

Top Member
+1 for PFSense

I went from a Netgear r7800 running openwrt to pfsense and find it much more adaptable not to mention powerful. With a basic setup its really not too difficult to get your head around but naturally you can take things to much higher level later if you wish.
Plus point is if you happen to have an old pc with an extra nic kicking about you can build up a pfsense box in an afternoon just to try it out - you can always upgrade the hardware from there should you be happy with it - that basically what I did. Just make sure you use a good intel network card if you can but not necessary for testing.
 

YorkieBar

Casual Member
Thanks. My only question regarding Asus was which one to get. I know I could add the wifi to my aimesh setup, but, if I don't get one as good as the other two (which means spending £230+), then won't the Aimesh performance be reduced to accommodate the slower Asus router (if I add one such as the AX56u etc that isnt as fast as the AX86u) slow down the whole AiMesh to compensate?

If I was to go with another Asus (as I am used to how they work), and I wasn't bothered about its wireless capabiltiy because I can turn it off), which one could I get that would be fine fully accommodating the full gigabyte speeds available from my internet wihout any issues? For example, is the AX56u's WIRED performance as the brain of the whole wired network, just as good as the WIRED performance of the AX86u being put in for the same job? Leaving wifi performance out of the equation. Does that make sense?
Are your acces points connected via ethernet or through the mesh ? If ethernet the diffence in speed is negligible , you could always swap one of the RT's use it as a router and use the cheaper mesh as one of the access points. ( Great for all the kids kit ) if that suits your position better. Something like this...https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08CBC9B7X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_glt_fabc_08GM06JX5PXB6KSMDB15?psc=1
 

Phil2021

Casual Member
+1 for PFSense

I went from a Netgear r7800 running openwrt to pfsense and find it much more adaptable not to mention powerful. With a basic setup its really not too difficult to get your head around but naturally you can take things to much higher level later if you wish.
Plus point is if you happen to have an old pc with an extra nic kicking about you can build up a pfsense box in an afternoon just to try it out - you can always upgrade the hardware from there should you be happy with it - that basically what I did. Just make sure you use a good intel network card if you can but not necessary for testing.
+ 1 for pfSense as well. Even though there is a learning curve with pfSense, it's not too different a learning curve from other routers if wanting to do anything more than the basics. Also, as I've just done, upgraded to a faster box for pfSense now I'm on a 1Gig connection, the upgrade is still pfSense and I could just export the configuration from the old box and import it to the new box and was up and running again in minutes. Not many routers you can buy that allow that!
 

alexatkin

Casual Member
A high-end ASUS would handle Gigabit for basic use (no QoS, no filtering, no VPN), but if you need any of those things especially VPN via the router then you absolutely would need something much beefier such as Opnsense/pfSense. I think Kettop only have a couple of models fast enough for that even, its very CPU intensive.
 

dws1900

Casual Member
Using FDF731 with a 256Gb SSD, 16/Gb Ram running all the usual service one requires, DNS/VPN/NTP/Sensei with Elastic Search, and supporting 20 nodes, plus mesh.
It has 4 Intel NIC's, but it is not good idea to run the router as a switch, so put a decent switch prior to the lan port.

Two NIC's will suffice, lan, wan

ie switch
1 mesh
2 computer (wired 1)
3 whatever wired
4 router box

Caveat, my connection speed is a lot less than 1Gbs, so please check here


Re hardware.
 

Crimson

Casual Member
Sorry, unless I missed something, it feels like we've all missed the bleedin obvious! So the Asus routers are to be connected to the router that connects to the ONT via an ethernet cable - why not just use a longer cable to connect the closest Asus router to the ethernet port on the ONT?
 

neonplanet40

Casual Member
Sorry, unless I missed something, it feels like we've all missed the bleedin obvious! So the Asus routers are to be connected to the router that connects to the ONT via an ethernet cable - why not just use a longer cable to connect the closest Asus router to the ethernet port on the ONT?
I could have a look at this. But cable routing mayu be an issue... - the Asus router (the downstairs one) is in the hallway. But the isp access point/modem is in the living room, so about 3 doors, stairs, etc etc 20m away/. The wife may not be used....
 
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