TalkTalk’s not-so-Super Router

1670__300x300_super_router_talktalk[1]Recently a customer had TalkTalk Fibre installed.. within days they started having problems with their internet. It generally performed slower than their prior ADSL service!

TalkTalk had given them an all-in-one router, a Huawei, under their name “super router”.

It seems all but super! After a day or so of being in-sync their line would slowly start to have packet loss increasing slowly over the following days. This packet loss would make the internet slow or near unusable until the Super Router was rebooted.

bad talktalk fttc router 1

I came in, swapped their “Super router” with a “better router”… the good old Openreach white VDSL modem twinned with a Buffalo router running DDWRT.

Other than a few regional or exchange outages within the TalkTalk network and an evening or two of congestion causing packet loss the “creeping packet loss” all-day issue has disappeared!

talktalk router swapped for openreach modem

Summary: Poor performance on TalkTalk FTTC? Try an Openreach modem and dedicated Ethernet router.. it looks like the router that TalkTalk supply may have DSL chipset or compatibility issues with BT VDSLAMs.

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5 Responses to TalkTalk’s not-so-Super Router

  1. Alex says:

    I am using it as a modem in bridge mode with a Cisco Firewall on my broadband connection of TalkTalk called Simply Fibre.
    It’s a 80/20 mbps down/up, suffering from the same issue as yours. A constant packet loss. The ISP has done several checks and they don’t admit that there’s something wrong with the line or the router
    I will replace their router immediately, maybe with a Draytek: I spoke to Draytek as well and browse the internet looking for the best replacement router. It seems that DrayTek works very well with the TalkTalk.
    Regards

  2. Thank you for the comment.
    Personally I would try and get the correct BT Openreach modem to match your VDSL cabinet.
    The easiest way to tell what brand your area uses is match the cabinets:

    The closest cabinet on the truck is a Huawei and the furthest one is an ECI.
    Then hunt down (ebay?) for either the Huawei or ECI Openreach modem.

    Further reading as to why I would match these can be found on
    https://thecomputerperson.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/diary-of-an-fttc-install/
    Under the section titled “== Interesting Notes ==”

    Depending on the chipset used in the DrayTek router – you may find the same problem follows you to the DrayTek.

  3. Alex says:

    It’s a shame that I have been given such a bad router.
    In any cases, I hope you are not right: actually I’ve just bought a Vigor130 since in the draytek web page, broadbander.co.uk and my friend big G looks that the device is well supported with the TT SimplyFibre.
    Thanks for your feedback.
    I’ll let you know how it goes

    Alex

  4. Alex says:

    Here’s the result.

    The Draytek Vigor130 does not make any difference: same packets loss, just a small difference in the latency which is a couple of ms better with the Vigor130. Packet loss that could vary from 1% to 3% depending on the amount of traffic:the tech support told me that there are 50 lines in the same BT cabinet…

    I wanted to test another TT line that I bought 2 years ago: same problem. I haven’t noticed that earlier because I was not using VOIP, just Internet Browsing.

    I am quite disappointed, but I also understand pretty well that I cannot pretend too much from a line that costs 18 pounds per month. I was not convinced but I was told to go with them, they were cheap :-) Of course they are!

    I am willing to see what could happen by changing the modem again with an OpenReach Modem as you already suggested, but it mean other time to spend on this issue.
    There are better lines out there such as the Ethernet over FTTC but it seems that I cannot go for it because of the higher cost.

    Just curious about your experience, because I read the “interesting notes” and you never said anything regarding packet losses.
    In the end, I am not a UK citizen and I am quite surprised to find out such a situation in the center of London. I wonder what is the situation outside the town.

    Cheers,
    Alex

  5. Ah yes.. I guess I was mistaken. The symptoms were slightly different and it wasn’t packet loss but it was corruption / issues with large packets. The packet loss “creep” was the problem I saw with the TT FTTC router.

    The route I would go next is to use the openreach modem that matches your cabinet and see if the issue continues on that.
    Some bits of London still don’t have FTTC / “Infinity style” connections. I’m well outside of London and loving a stable 80/20 service and have probably had it for longer than some areas of inner London!

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