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Message 1 of 6

Using own router with FTTP 900?

Hi there,

I have a decent sized network in my house and now that I have just placed an order for FTTP900 I will need to replace my router as the rated firewall throughput is only 300MB.

However I am wondering whether I am best left using the BT router at least until such times the line is negotiated/trained/stable and the best way to connect it to my existing network? Or does it have to stay connected at all times because of digital voice?

I am assuming the BT router has a decent ethernet port and if so can I just connect a CAT5E/Cat6 from it to my main 24-port switch to keep my existing network running?

Although I do some tricks with my existing router I am betting the BT one is nowhere near as configurable but I want to make the changeover to full fibre as seamless as possible to prevent too much disruption.

My WAP's are all PoE and run from my main switch so if I can just plug this into the BT router short term I am hoping this will be the easiest way to prevent configuring the whole network for the time being or at least until things have settled down and I replace my router.

Some other questions about the BT router if I may please;

1. What make/model router is this based on?

2. Will I have access to the management interface or will it be restricted like so many ISP routers? If it is locked then that will provide an easy answer to the following questions!

3. Is there a way to configure DNS on the BT router as I use Pi-hole. Traditionally this has been difficult to impossible with ISP provided routers.

4. As my own WAP's provide wireless can I disable wi-fi on the BT router?

5. Can I setup port-forwarding?

6. Guessing it will provide DHCP but can I bind IP addresses to MAC addresses?

7. Can I setup VPN and Remote Access?

There are more questions but I'll stop there as many of these might not be possible in any case...

Thanks & kind regards,

-=Glyn=-

 

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Message 2 of 6

Re: Using own router with FTTP 900?


@GlynH wrote:

Hi there,

I have a decent sized network in my house and now that I have just placed an order for FTTP900 I will need to replace my router as the rated firewall throughput is only 300MB.

However I am wondering whether I am best left using the BT router at least until such times the line is negotiated/trained/stable and the best way to connect it to my existing network? Or does it have to stay connected at all times because of digital voice?

There is no training period with FTTP. It will have tostay connected directly to the ONT if you want Digital Voice.

I am assuming the BT router has a decent ethernet port and if so can I just connect a CAT5E/Cat6 from it to my main 24-port switch to keep my existing network running?

Yes

Although I do some tricks with my existing router I am betting the BT one is nowhere near as configurable but I want to make the changeover to full fibre as seamless as possible to prevent too much disruption.

My WAP's are all PoE and run from my main switch so if I can just plug this into the BT router short term I am hoping this will be the easiest way to prevent configuring the whole network for the time being or at least until things have settled down and I replace my router.

Assume the switch is providing the POE as the hub will not.

Some other questions about the BT router if I may please;

1. What make/model router is this based on?

No idea

2. Will I have access to the management interface or will it be restricted like so many ISP routers? If it is locked then that will provide an easy answer to the following questions!

Yes, 192.168.1.254

3. Is there a way to configure DNS on the BT router as I use Pi-hole. Traditionally this has been difficult to impossible with ISP provided routers.

No, DNS is fixed to BT's DNS

4. As my own WAP's provide wireless can I disable wi-fi on the BT router?

Yes

5. Can I setup port-forwarding?

Yes

6. Guessing it will provide DHCP but can I bind IP addresses to MAC addresses?

Yes, by address reservation

7. Can I setup VPN and Remote Access?

No

There are more questions but I'll stop there as many of these might not be possible in any case...

Thanks & kind regards,

-=Glyn=-

 


 

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Message 3 of 6

Re: Using own router with FTTP 900?

Many thanks for taking the time to reply licquorice,

Seems like all of my waiting with bated breath for Ultrafast to arrive might be a double-edged sword for me then?

Just so I am clear...will the supplied BT Router have to stay connected at all times or can I do what I have done for years and leave the BT supplied router shrink-wrapped in its box when it arrives along with the other half-dozen or so lurking in the loft and use my existing DrayTek router via its WAN port into the ONT? 🤔

I'm guessing not...so that being the case if the BT router has to remain connected (for Digital Voice if nothing else) is it possible to put it into some sort of Bridge mode where I can literally pull the Cat5E from the WAN interface of my own router out of the current NTE5 socket and plug this into the new BT router whereby all of the functions currently provided by my own router are still intact?

That sounds too easy and I am not usually that lucky but it was worth an ask...😉

The thought of configuring my whole network to accommodate the BT router is the stuff nightmares are made from...I have a carefully crafted DHCP pool with a mix of static IP, reserved MAC and dynamic IP addresses, Alternative DNS, VPN tunnels and Remote User Access, multiple subnets, VLAN, Load Balancing, Custom Firewall, Notifications etc. etc.

Although I will at some point have to reconfigure as I plan to upgrade my 2860 router to the 2866 due to its best case scenario of 300Mbps firewall throughput it will support the same functions through a familiar interface unlike most ISP provided routers where many settings are locked down or simply not available.

 

On a related issue I also have a small PABX connected to two incoming lines (used to be three) which includes an analogue alarm input feeding an alarm monitoring service and a directly connected handset bypassing the PABX to maintain an always-on telephone in the event of a power failure.

I am left wondering now how all of this will work (or not?) with Digital Voice? I would be prepared to drop line 2 as it is little used these days existing only to maintain the above two services and PlusNet VDSL which in turn is only there to provide a static IP WAN Address.

BT did mention and send me an email saying I would have to contact my Alarm Monitoring Company to discuss the impact of Digital Voice and am awaiting a reply from them but they neglected to mention any other knock-on effects.

I don't think I've given enough thought to the impact of full fibre/digital voice on my existing infrastructure in pursuit of ever-increasing speeds but it seems to me detailed information (apart from those valued Guru's responding to individual posts here) seems to not be readily available from what I can see although I do concede my own network requirements are far from average.

The more I look into it the more Full Fibre seems to be losing its appeal to me...🙄

In addition to my being falsely assured that a static IP address will be provided the agreed installation date of next Tuesday 15th is showing as Thursday 24th when I log on to my BT account and check my order details?

This being the case I might just have to let the order progress, give it a fair test and maybe exercise my 14-day cancellation if on balance the negatives outweigh the positives although if the copper pair is removed as part of the fibre installation I dread to think what might happen to POTS and my existing number of some 50 years or so.

Thanks & kind regards,

-=Glyn=-

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Message 4 of 6

Re: Using own router with FTTP 900?

You might be able to connect your existing Draytek via its WAN2 port to the BT SH2, you would need to change the SH2 DHCP range (I suggest to a 172 address range just to avoid changing any addresses on your LAN) and turn off Wifi on the SH2. This should allow the Draytek to provide DHCP to your existing devices and provide WIfi to your existing devices. There would be double NAT involved but this should not be a serious limitation. Your Draytek could provide the MAC to IP addresses as it currently does, along with you choice of DNS etc.

Setting up incoming VPN might be more of a challenge, but may be possible if the SH2 forwards to the Draytek which operates the VPN server.

This is all theoretical from me as I no longer have access to  a Draytek router and I can't get FTTP here yet - but if you are going to have it for at least a fortnight you might want to check if that would help you. 

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Message 5 of 6

Re: Using own router with FTTP 900?


@GlynH wrote:

Just so I am clear...will the supplied BT Router have to stay connected at all times or can I do what I have done for years and leave the BT supplied router shrink-wrapped in its box when it arrives along with the other half-dozen or so lurking in the loft and use my existing DrayTek router via its WAN port into the ONT? 🤔

If you want BT's Digital Voice, then yes, the BT router needs to stay connected as the first device. If you move to a third party VOIP provider then the BT router is not required.

I'm guessing not...so that being the case if the BT router has to remain connected (for Digital Voice if nothing else) is it possible to put it into some sort of Bridge mode where I can literally pull the Cat5E from the WAN interface of my own router out of the current NTE5 socket and plug this into the new BT router whereby all of the functions currently provided by my own router are still intact?

There is no bridge mode on the BT router and even if there was, presumably DV wouldn't work anyway as the IP layer would just be passed through.

On a related issue I also have a small PABX connected to two incoming lines (used to be three) which includes an analogue alarm input feeding an alarm monitoring service and a directly connected handset bypassing the PABX to maintain an always-on telephone in the event of a power failure.

Sorry, can't help with PABX, not sure how/if it will work with DV. In the event of a power failure, there will be no voice or broadband service unless you use a UPS.

BT did mention and send me an email saying I would have to contact my Alarm Monitoring Company to discuss the impact of Digital Voice and am awaiting a reply from them but they neglected to mention any other knock-on effects.

Alarm companies should be aware of DV

This being the case I might just have to let the order progress, give it a fair test and maybe exercise my 14-day cancellation if on balance the negatives outweigh the positives although if the copper pair is removed as part of the fibre installation I dread to think what might happen to POTS and my existing number of some 50 years or so.

Thanks & kind regards,

-=Glyn=-


 

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Message 6 of 6

Re: Using own router with FTTP 900?

Thanks for taking the time to reply guys. 👍

After I contacted the Alarm monitoring company it dawned on me that although I had installed a telephone cable from the alarm to the PABX many years ago I had in the years since fitted a broadband module also and run a Cat5e back to the switch so monitoring is done via broadband not analogue after all so I was only complicating the issue for myself!

Still wondering what my options are when it comes to my existing router and PABX though it appears I could in fact plug my router directly into the ONT and do away with the SH2 altogether although this would mean there would be no Digital Voice.

I suppose I could use a 3rd party VoIP which is also a service provided by the router manufacturer I believe but why didn't BT make their DV compatible with other devices such as my existing router?

I don't know how dropping DV would affect the telephone number I have had for over 50 years that was going to be ported over if I went with another VoIP service?

Thinking about it if I lost the PABX and extension phones it wouldn't be the end of the world as I barely use them these days. I do have an Echo Connect and a PolyCom conference phone plugged into the existing POTS socket and although convenient I suppose I could live without them as to be honest all tele-cons are done via Teams these days?

The PABX is plugged into the UPS in the office along with computer and some other gear including the existing OpenReach boxes and the UPS in the loft keeps the router, main switch and along with it WAP's alive in the event of a power cut as they are PoE from the main switch which also feeds 3 other switches via SFP two of which are also fed from UPS so my network stays up in the event of a power failure.

I need to have a real think on where I want to go with all this before D-Day but as BT/OpenReach between them have now failed to keep to their initial installation appointment of next Tuesday 15th I have until 1st March to figure it all out so expect some more posts from me on related matters! 😉

Thanks & kind regards,

-=Glyn=-

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