Have you replaced your ISP router, and what with?

Have you replaced your ISP router, and what with?

And did it make a difference to reliability and/or SQ?

A year ago, I had added a pair of Asus AC1900 routers to my phone-company-provided DSL router, which improved Wi-Fi due to adding 5GHz.

Last week, they upgraded me to fiber and a new AX5700 router, which handily outclasses my Asuses. I kept one Asus as an access point to extend reach.

The network seems slightly more reliable, now that I have eliminated “double-NAT”.

Fiber has 10-20x the old DSL throughput - 400 to 900 Mbps versus DSL maxed out at 40 down and 4 up.

Surprisingly, I notice little benefit from the added speed in my work-from-home IT role. 40/4 was sufficient. Glad the upgrade costs me nothing. The new Zyxel router IS very nice, though, and no longer requires DSL conversion bits on board — fiber to Ethernet is a separate box, out of sight.

In retrospect, I see now I should have turned off NAT on the old DSL router, if I wanted to NAT at the primary ASUS. I was not confident that would work ideally, until now. Live and learn.


Thanks Nick.
That is very useful information.

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Hi Nick
Can you explain a bit more about this?

p.s. for anyone who doesn’t know what NAT is:
“Network address translation (NAT) is a function that your router or gateway performs to create your network. NAT changes the wide area network (WAN) IP address that your Internet service provider (ISP) assigns you from public to private, which allows multiple devices in your network to share it. NAT also secures your network by blocking direct access to your local IP addresses.”

A few years ago I swapped my BT HH5 for a loaned Asus (sorry but don’t remember model number) Both fed a Netgear switch connecting NDX & NAS.
It worked well, faster & more sure footed than the BT, a lot more ‘tuning’ facilities, but I could not detect any difference in SQ over any services. It might well be the switch helping out with SQ.
Now I have a BT Smarthub-2 and although it appears basic on the surface with not many customer ‘tuning’ facilities, it’s a powerful & very reliable broadband, ethernet & wireless hub.
I still have it feeding a Cisco network switch, primarily to reduce cables in sight.

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I never used my isp router, my provider installed a fiber optic ont and from there a network cable connect to the router by vlan protocol.

I use an ASUS AX1000 and an AX92U in aímesh connected both points by cable.

I have all connected by cable, I do not have any audiophile switch but changed the power supply’s of the switches to sbooster and IFi ipower and ipower elite. The power supply’s gave an uplift on the sound.

I find the audiophile switches expensive to justify on my system, and the sound connected directly to the router a little bright, so a switch in the middle with a better power supply helps a lot.

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I recently changed my commercial router ( ADSL) to a fiber one. Went from 10 MB to 400/500. It improved the sound a bit. Not night and day, but easy discernable.
I then connected an Audiophonics linear ps which still improved a little.

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Hi @JimDog
I have always had my ISP router switched into Modem mode only and used a Draytek SOHO router.
I Use a Cisco switch on my network for my music so cannot comment on the SQ of the router.

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Thanks Roger

Can you say what ISP, and how you switched the router to modem only - and whether it made your network more reliable?

I went from a years old Plusnet Hub One to a TP-Link AC2100. Miles better, in every way.

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upgraded to BT Fibre to the Premesis, 100GB speed, and whilst it came with a free router I didn’t use the BT one. I have a Ubiquiti Dream Machine Pro and ubiquiti access points around the house. This does all my home internet - it has good intrusion detection and security, and I run my own name servers (piholes) to give both adult and child-safe networks. It also does the home security NVR duties. I have a dedicated world cable from it to my streamer, with just one Ubiquiti switch in there (had a Cisco one as per recommendations on here but swapped it out for a more easily to manage one, no difference in SQ for me).

Overall it’s much more flexible and powerful for home networking and security duties - e.g. runs multiple VLANs and protected circuits for IoT devices and work things, but requires a lot more configuration and messing around - it’s not straight forwards plug and play. Ubiquiti is good kit but only worth it if you need the VLAN and managed features. Soundwise, no difference that I can tell, but the whole e thing is better engineered so if there is an effect it’s around stray magnetic fields etc.

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Was it just a straight swap?
Unplug the PlusNet router and plug in the TP-Link AC2100?

Hi Jim

I’m a long way off being a networking expert, but if it’s wifi coverage and better reliability then I would say keep the ISP router, but connect that to a decent network switch (eg Netgear), turn-off the wifi on the ISP router and buy proper wifi access points to plug into the switch.

If it’s SQ then have a read of the English Electric switch thread and prepare to enter the world of audiophile switches and ethernet cables.

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No. You will have to set things up - basically code it in. The quick set-up guide, and a little intuition will help you do this - always here to help.

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Hi @JimDog

I am with Virgin Media
The instruction book that came with the Virgin router explained how to log into it and switch to modem only mode.

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Virgin Hub3 in modem mode, into a TP Link Deco M5.
Output Cat 6 to 4 way switch, serving NAS, desktop Mac and finally a headless Mac Mini running Roon.
4 other Deco M5s dotted round the house in a mesh configuration.

I’ve never used an ISP router b/c in my experience they are junk (I’m in the states). I used an Airport Extreme for years and upgraded to a Unifi Amplifi HD system this year and love it. I’m using a cascading cisco catalyst poe set up for my hifi so didn’t notice any improvements or degradation in SQ.

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I have Verizon FiOS (fibre) here in the states and I have zero reasons to take it out of the system.

I use the Google/Nest mesh system for wifi and that requires its own router, as the remote nodes actually get ip addresses but in a very specific range. So the Google/Nest router is the only thing plugged into the isp’s router; the entire home network goes through the Google Nest router.

not sure what mine is - some sort of netgear that looks like a space invader. It was night and day better than the junk my ISP gave me though - gets around 300 ish mbps over wi fi all over the house and about 500ish in the office where it is even with multiple devices running… It is much more stable too… I know wired would max out the fire better but the wifi is adequate for our use case

Hi, @JimDog.

In the old DSL days, the IP address provided by my phone company arrived at their Zyxel C1000 DSL “modem” - router, and NAT there created a local subnet e.g. 192.168.0.x.

I was concerned that the DSL router might be unduly limited as to the number of devices it could handle; and, as it was not capable of 5 GHz WiFi, it was clearly older technology than the Asus AC1900s I bought. I disabled WiFi at the Zyxel. The problem was the DSL to Ethernet conversion that only the DSL modem/router could provide — the Asus could not simply replace the Zyxel.

When I added the Asus Routers (the second one as a wired AP), I had options:

  1. Bridge the master Asus to let the Zyxel be the DHCP boss
  2. Bridge the Zyxel and let the Asus be the DHCP boss
  3. Bridge neither and let the Zyxel boss ONLY the main Asus, which then bosses everything else on my LAN on e.g. 192.168.1.x

Against advice, I did #3, and had essentially no issues. The Asus defined a subnet inside the Zyxel subnet.

Now that there is a fiber-to-Ethernet box providing the outside IP to my new Zyxel C3150, I have eliminated the main Asus DHCP router, so there is now only one NAT layer. I made the new LAN IP 192.168.1.x, and eliminated the 192.168.0.x layer.

I have set unique SSIDs on the new Zyxel and the remaining Asus so that I can determine which AP I am using, and whether at 2.4 or 5 MHz.

I admit that my NDX is slightly more responsive to my iPhone 12 commands now — no idea precisely why that should be.

My Muso Qb2 still goes purple/disconnected from the WiFi-LAN every other day. I hope to figure that one out in time, before I resort to wiring it to the LAN and analog, which I will do in any case, eventually.