I'm after a bit of info on the router options with TT fibre.
A bit of background...
I used to be a TT customer and was very happy. I upgraded my Sky package and was told at the time I had to switch to Sky fibre (I've since found out that was a lie but had no way too prove it was said to me). Anyway not only is Sky fibre a bit rubbish but the Q router lacks functionality and if you want to connect via wi-fi you had better hope that your walls are cigarette paper thin or get used to some serious buffering. I'm finally out of contract with Sky so intend switching back.
Now I have spoken to the TT sales guys about this but they don't have the answers (even to the point of giving conflicting advice on what router is issued with what plan). I don't have a problem with that as they are sales guys not tech guys. Hence why I'm after some user experience.
So as far as I can see the router options are the HG 635 or the FAST 5364.
And the questions are:
- Are they the only two router options? If not the questions below apply to any other options.
- How does the wi-fi coverage of the two compare? I know the 635 wi-fi range is ok for us but I think the 5364 uses a mesh system as does the Sky router I have. The Sky router struggles to connect to a PC that is immediately behind it although the other side of a 50 mm plasterboard wall so I'm a little concerned that it's a technology thing (mesh system) that's causing the issue.
- Can I set static IP addresses on the 5364? Again I think I could do this on the 635 (possibly through a hidden menu but can't remember now). I don't mean lease length here.
- Does the 5364 have a hidden parental control page like the HG635? I'd like to be able to restrict access time for specific devices at specific times (not the same times). I'm pretty sure the 635 can do this but can the 5364? Incidentally I can't do this on the Sky router as whilst I can set multiple rules to block different IP addresses I can't set multiple time schedules so whatever rules I set by schedule they all happen at the same time.
- From what I've read the 5364 has 3 firewall pre-sets. Can I set different pre-sets for different devices? Can custom settings be applied and if not how practical are the pre-sets? We have very different users at home, both security savvy/ non savvy. Can I block specific sites, ideally by device?
- I appreciate I may be after a better spec'd router than any ISP would provide for free so are there any other 3rd party options that would be better (budget £ 100 - £ 150).
Just so you know I'm not concerned about the up and down speed (I'm NOT looking at the 11 Mb option though) as I'm FTTC and I know whatever plan I get I'm only going to get 35-40 Mb due to the copper between the cabinet and our home.
Finally, thanks for all and any advice that is given.
@KeithFrench I hope you don't mind me tagging you in on this but from browsing the forum I think you may be able to answer some (hopefully all) of the above 🙂 😉
Admins, I hope I've posted this in the right section but if not please feel free to move as appropriate.
I will try & answer your questions for you one by one.
As a new customer, the only router supplied is the TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub (aka Sagemcom FAST5364). The HG635 was discontinued a long while back being replaced by the HG633 and the DSL-3782. The WiFi Hub has a far superior Wi-Fi specification than any of the other TT routers supporting 802.11ac Wave 2 giving ac link speeds of up to 1.733Mbps in perfect conditions. It also supports some WiFi features that I have never seen in an ISP provided router before. Please bear in mind that the firmware of this router is actively being enhanced, with a new release currently under test, due for release sometime soon. Therefore some comments about it you may have read in this forum are out of date. However, you can use a compatible 3rd party router of your choice.
The WiFi coverage of any router is down to the area you live in & how many other routers there are nearby plus many other things. It is impossible therefore for me to answer this with any accuracy. However, if you do become a TT customer again, I offer extensive free help in the case that you do not have the coverage you want.
TalkTalk have recently introduced a mesh system called Plume, but that is an extra cost & I have never tried this, the hub is fine for me on its own. TT has also introduced a new Powerline based WiFi extender kit using the latest AV2.1 1Gbps powerline technology, offering dual-band wifi supporting up to 802.11ac AC1200:-
However, I always recommend testing any WiFi problems first before spending any extra money, because you either may not need additional hardware such as these or in certain circumstances they might make things worse. This is because it is all dependent of your local area. Again I can help you with this.
By static addresses, I assume you mean DHCP Reserved IP addresses for your devices, as static IP addresses are configured on the device itself? It does support the DHCP Reserved ones & whilst I cannot give a precise number that it supports, it has been tested by the TT Products Team to work perfectly OK with 30 such addresses.
It supports MAC address filtering, but they cannot be time scheduled. It is hoped to introduce something similar within the TalkTalk HomeSafe product, which is all part of their broadband offering on the network. There are no hidden router options at all.
Yes, the firewall has three presets that affect the router as a whole, but unless you have any very unusual specific requirements, there is no need to touch this. The hub fully supports port forwarding, which punches a hole through the firewall to support any local server type applications you may want to use. I can again provide extensive help on this feature. There is content filtering available via their HomeSafe product.
If I have missed any questions, please feel free to ask me them again, it was quite a list!
Thanks for the reply, it's very helpful.
Yes, I did mean DHCP reservation when referring to static IPs. My son worked out very quickly the benefits (to him) by simply changing IP addresses.
Given that the FAST 5364 cannot currently control device access by time schedule I think I may go the third party route. We have different allowable times for PS4-PC/ mobile phones/ Kindle/ TV/ etc. Something like the TP-Link Archer VR400 or the Netgear D6400-AC1600.
One last question if I may....Can the FAST 5364 be put into bridge mode? The reason being that the Netgear router above has a built in Guest Network but the TP-Link doesn't. It would therefore be desirable to set up a second access point if I go for the TP-Link unit.
I have never tried it, but looking in the config now, there is no option for bridge mode.
Yep, I have to agree.
I've done some more digging since posting and it appears this isn't a function available on the 5364 although in earlier firmware versions the option was there but was greyed out so the hardware is capable (see this post https://community.talktalk.co.uk/t5/General-Technology-Tips-Tricks/Sagemcom-Fast-5364-bridge-mode/td...) .
I've also found a post that seems to be saying back in the day it's just wasn't something TT intended to implement (see this post https://community.talktalk.co.uk/t5/Your-Ideas/Supply-modem-only-Bridge-mode-on-wifi-hub/idi-p/22242...). However, this post is old so that's not to say it will never be implemented.
TBH I can understand why as whilst using it as a bridge isn;t that exceptional it's probably not something the majority of users would need. I guess it's just not how TT intended it to be used.
It's a shame because from what you've told me and I've also read it seems to be an exceptionally good piece of kit for something ISP issued.
It would be nice if someone from TT could confim whether bridge mode is now in the development plan or not though.
Anyway, based on what is currently possible it looks like I'm in the market for the Netgear I mentioned above.
Thanks again for all the help.
Many thanks for the additional info.
A little disappointing from a personal point of view but not really surprising because, as I said above, I guess it isn't really how TT envisage a free issue router being used.
Certainly not a deal breaker anyway.