I recently placed an order for Ultrafast (G.Fast) to afterwards find out on these forums that the likelyhood is that I will not be supplied with a black Openreach G.Fast Modem (Huawei MT992). I'm currently on Superfast 2 and I use my own equipment, with the exception of the white VDSL2 Openreach modem as I've been a Superfast customer since it was Infinity and that modem was a requirement.
BT have already sent me the Smart Hub 2 which is a modem/router that is capable of VDSL2 as well as G.Fast to work with the new Ultrafast connection which is being activated on Monday 18th Feb.
After some searching around, its does seem that its pretty difficult to get hold of a standalone G.Fast modem at present. Huawei don't actually sell thiers to the public, Zyxel have one on thier website but they are not taking orders, Draytek are supposedly releasing one (Vigor 166 I heard), but no official announcment or information anywhere. I can only assume its because the G.Fast tech is relatively new so I would expect to see some stuff more readily available on the market down the line. But who knows.
For now I have had to find a workaround to this issue as I have invested too much money in my own kit to have it be made redundant by a modem/router that is probaly worth about £5, and although I could techincally cancel and stay on Superfast, I don't want to. I want that bump in speed. So here's what I have done, and I already have this setup and working now with my Superfast connection.
1) Removed my white VDSL2 Openreach modem.
2) Connected DSL cable to the Smart Hub 2.
3) Disabled all Wifi on the Smart Hub 2.
4) Disabled DHCP server on the Smart Hub 2.
4) Re-assinged the Smart Hub 2 IP address and subnet mask onto a different subnet. In my case, my equipement also uses the 192.168.1.0/24 subnet and I have a whole bunch of address reservations going on and other config so the Smart Hub 2 has to be changed to a different subnet. I decided to go with a 192.168.101.0/30 subnet which gives only two host addresses as that is all thats needed. One for the Smart Hub 2 (192.168.101.1) and one for my own firewall/router (192.168.101.2) .
5) Fully disable the firewall on the Smart Hub 2.
6) Add port forwarding rule on the Smart Hub 2 called ANY-ANY, from ports 1 through to 65535, TCP/UDP, to the address of my own firewall/router (192.168.101.2).
7) Enable DMZ on the Smart Hub 2and enter the address of my own firewall/router (192.168.101.2) .
8) Connected Ethernet port 1 on Smart Hub 2 to the WAN port of my firewall/router.
9) Setup WAN port on my firewall/router with a static IP of 192.168.101.2, subnet 255.255.255.252 and default gatway 192.168.101.1 (the Smart Hub 2).
All is working perfectly fine. And thats with Superfast 2. So should just start working in theory on the G.Fast connection too after activation.
It's not perfect. I'm not exactly sure what's going to happen with UPnP stuff, I may face some issues with that as well as Dynamic DNS services. May have to play around a bit more. But it is a workaround the connection works perfectly and enables me to continue using my own equipment while there aren't any G.Fast modems on the market.
Just thought I would share.
BT Smart Hubs are called hubs because they are both routers and modems. BT Smart Hub does not support g.fast but Smart Hub 2 has g.fast capable modem onboard. There are many xDSL "hubs" that have g.fast capable modems on the market. Just make sure the thing has RJ11 and lists g.fast in specifications.
This article helps show how BT Smart Hub evolved into BT Smart Hub 2 and explains how we buy internet will be changing soon to, reversing buying a copper landline and adding broadband to buying internet and adding voice.
Simply replacing your current local hardware config with something like ASUS DSL AC88U Wireless Gigabit Router with NitroQAM
for example should help you streamline your setup as well as adding many more features for managing and configuring your internet connection to how you see fit instead of BT configuring your internet connection the way they want. i find no provision of any configuration for QoS or MU-MIMO and other things in BT Smart Hubs very lacking and see this as a software limitation and not hardware limitation, BT Smart Hubs just need firmware updates.
What are you using for firewall/router?
Yes numerous people have mention this Asus device. However I am not a fan of these all in one devices. I don't like the idea of that single point of failure. I prefer and believe in a more modular setup.
I run a mixture of Zyxel and Cisco hardware. Zyxel firewall/router, Zyxel wireless controller, Zyxel wireless AP's, then multiple Cisco managed switches.
I use a Quadro P5000 powered virtual machine located in Data Centre to benefit from a full 1Gbps internet connection when using BT Superfast 2 on local device to connect to and stream what virtual machine is rendering.
Which is pretty cool when I only have 80/20 internet connection locally with no options yet available to upgrade to ultrafast in my local area!
All this new tech and new networking tech is amazing but can see how g.fast is emerging to be what most folks will use to get access to ultrafast.
Am finding ispreview website an amazing resource for learning the amount of effort is being put in by open reach and their partners to bring ultrafast to the masses.
I just bought a Smart Hub 2 and feel that it is the lack of configurability in firmware or lack of provision of things like VPN server and client pre installed, GUI and apps for monitoring and configuring local network traffic all points too i am really am needing software updates, or alternatives to Smart Hub 2.
These "gaming" routers are really what I am looking for, I think, but have yet to actually try one and use the to know for sure.
Understand and appreciate you just want to be able to buy a g.fast modem, but thought suggesting a "gaming" spec router was a good one because of all the other added software features on newer ones. Maybe, ultrafast and the lack of availability of g.fast modems should get you asking what you could update or upgrade too!
Your setup and use of Smart Hub 2 for g.fast modem is interesting and shows how folks benefit from industry wide standardisation .
I just find it odd no g.fast modems are easily available and yet thfrom..are scores of hubs with g.fast modems on board too choose from