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macartain
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Need Hub 3.0 for speed upgrade? And bridging to a DD-WRT

Quite a long one...

I have a proper old skool setup: 

Ancient motorola modem (2008?) -> Tivo -> Linksys WRT54GS (stock Linksys software)

I have this bridged to another WRT54GS running DD-WRT elsewhere in the house to provide coverage - I set this up about 5 years ago, never have to touch it, it all just works. We have had 20Mbps for years.

The other day my partner agreed an upgrade to 100Mbps and we have been sent a Hub 3.0. This raises about 10 questions for me which I'd be interested in anyone's thoughts about.

- most importantly - do I need the Hub 3.0 in place to get the speed boost? Technically I know there is no need but I don't know how VM have this all configured - maybe it is required for reasons I don't understand. I'd prefer to leave things as they are, to be honest...

- on my VM homepage it says our 20->70Mbps upgrade is pencilled in for August - I assume this is a local digital exchange or fibre upgrade? So, presumably I won't personally see 70Mbps til this happens? And how could I ever get 100Mbps?!?

- has anyone had any luck bridging with a Hub 3.0 - is it friendly to linux folks or all tied down? If the latter, can it be flashed to support DD-WRT and would that invalidate acceptable use of the hardware?

Thanks for any responses,

cam

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fatblokefletch
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Re: Need Hub 3.0 for speed upgrade? And bridging to a DD-WRT

I cant answer all your questions, but can answer some

You will need a new hub to take advantage of the speed increase, I doubt the old modem would be capable of such speeds, It does not have to be a SH3, but certainly you will need one better than you currently have.

The speeds shown are times when people already on a tarrif receive a free upgrade - you will be going onto  new tarrif, so will see the speed difference immediately.

You wont be able to flash the new hub (as it is not yours), but you can set it in modem mode, and simply replace like for like between old modem and new router (in modem mode)

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Re: Need Hub 3.0 for speed upgrade? And bridging to a DD-WRT


macartain wrote:

Quite a long one...

EDIT: Someone posted while I was editing and enjoying my coffee. So some duplication now.

I have a proper old skool setup: 

Ancient motorola modem (2008?) -> Tivo -> Linksys WRT54GS (stock Linksys software)

What's the model number of the modem? See if there's a label on the underside.

I have this bridged to another WRT54GS running DD-WRT elsewhere in the house to provide coverage - I set this up about 5 years ago, never have to touch it, it all just works. We have had 20Mbps for years.

Right you are.

The other day my partner agreed an upgrade to 100Mbps and we have been sent a Hub 3.0.

OK.

This raises about 10 questions for me which I'd be interested in anyone's thoughts about.

- most importantly - do I need the Hub 3.0 in place to get the speed boost?

Yes. You need a Docsis 3 hub which can "bond" more than one channel, which could be any of Superhub 1/2/2ac (or hub 3) and all can support more than 100Mb.

Legacy modems like you have currently won't go above 20Mb if they can only lock one channel. You'll need at least 4 downstream channels for 100Mb.

The SH1/2/2ac all support 8 downstream channels and the hub 3 up to 24 channels, it being the latest hub. So definitely future proof for a long time.

Technically I know there is no need but I don't know how VM have this all configured - maybe it is required for reasons I don't understand. I'd prefer to leave things as they are, to be honest...

If you use the old modem you will still be stuck on the old 20 Mb tier. One downstream channel only has 50Mb of bandwidth and that needs to be shared with other customers in your area.

- on my VM homepage it says our 20->70Mbps upgrade is pencilled in for August - I assume this is a local digital exchange or fibre upgrade?

Something like that. Although physical upgrades are not involved, they were done years ago.

It requires that you have a hub with a modem inside that supports the higher speeds.

When you register the new hub the speed profile for your new tier will be automatically downloaded to it. Just like when you registered your old modem.

So, presumably I won't personally see 70Mbps til this happens?

You won't be able to get the 70Mb tier, which is new, until it comes out in your area, but you could have got the 50Mb tier anytime in the last few years (it's been available since 2010) if you had agreed to upgrade from your old modem to a new hub.

And how could I ever get 100Mbps?!?

100Mb has been available for new customers since at least 2011, with people able to upgrade a few months after that usually, once their area has been setup for the new speeds:

http://about.virginmedia.com/press-releases/news-releases?tag=ultrafast

The latest speed tier this year is 300Mb! Which requires a hub 3, as you need 12 to 16 channels for it.

- has anyone had any luck bridging with a Hub 3.0

Yes, works fine for me. All the hubs Virgin offer come with "modem mode", which allows you to set the hub into bridge mode:

https://help.virginmedia.com/system/selfservice.controller?CMD=VIEW_ARTICLE&ARTICLE_ID=27555&CURRENT...

- is it friendly to linux folks or all tied down?

All the hubs Virgin offer are tied down. Most run a variant of Linux but you don't have access to the o/s.

If the latter, can it be flashed to support DD-WRT and would that invalidate acceptable use of the hardware?

No the operating system cannot be changed. DD-WRT only works on routers, not DOCSIS cable modems or hubs with modems inside, so you wouldn't be able to run DD-WRT even if you could change the o/s.

The hubs are combined modems and routers. If you run it in bridge mode (modem mode) it acts/pretends to be just like a modem, with all the routing and wifi features switched off. So you will still need a 3rd party router, just like with your current setup. You can run DD-WRT on that.

 

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Re: Need Hub 3.0 for speed upgrade? And bridging to a DD-WRT


macartain wrote:

 

- I am seeing lots of very negative comments about the stability of the SuperHub 3.0s - is this the standard forum experience where you-only-hear-the-bad-news? Or are they flaky? Lots of folk are saying they will never part with their Hub 2.0's..

 

 


Hub 3 in Modem Mode is stable for me. No issues at all. You could in fact remove your old Modem and replace it with the Hub 3 in Modem Mode and carry on with everything else.

However as noted earlier this would not be the most efficient use of modern kit.  Smiley Wink

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Re: Need Hub 3.0 for speed upgrade? And bridging to a DD-WRT


macartain wrote:

OK - an er.. late reply.

Thanks so much both for providing lots of technical detail. That set me off on a several month odyssey to get a new PC etc. Anyway, I'm back to looking at this SuperHub 3.0 which has raised a couple of questions - probably worth a new thread, but for the record:

- I am seeing lots of very negative comments about the stability of the SuperHub 3.0s - is this the standard forum experience where you-only-hear-the-bad-news?

Yes, pretty much. Though there have been specific issues where people had/have valid problems. You can find people on the forum saying they have no problems with the Hub 3 as well. Though the vocal majority are usually the former.

Or are they flaky?

Define flaky? Mine's been rock solid (in router mode) since last September when I got it. I've been on the Hub 3 trial since the beginning, so know all the issues in detail.

I've run it alongside the SH2ac and tracked every single disconnection due to network issues using various methods including Thinkbroadband BQM graphs. The results are the same on both hubs. So in terms of network reliability, for most users, they should be the same.

There was a very prominent issue called "port flapping" when the Hub was run in modem mode and people were located in an area with an Arris CMTS (areas with Cisco CMTS were fine), which caused reboots every 34 minutes. This was only on firmware 9.1.88T (the previous firmware) and only some people were affected. Unfortunately VM took a very long time to roll out the next trial firmware.

This has since been resolved with the general release of the latest firmware 9.1.116V and all areas should have this firmware by the end of this month (November).

Other people use the word 'flaky' to describe any capability that doesn't work how they expect, like putting two XBox's on the same Hub interface. e.g. ethernet ports (which I would not expect to work properly if they don't set it up right).

The menus were quite slow on some of the older firmware (now mostly fixed in the latest firmware) and can still be slow if you load the Hub with lots of devices. This is what I would expect from certain models of Docsis hub, especially when encryption is used in the security model.

The solution for most niggles is to run your own router with the Hub 3 in modem mode. The one thing that won't be fixed by doing that is the latency spike issue, which mostly affects gamers (though some gamers say its fine).

Lots of folk are saying they will never part with their Hub 2.0's..

Well, I have SH2, SH2ac and Hub 3. I switch back and forth regularly from the Hub 3 to SH2ac, as I run them in parallel. There are trade offs on both, but the SH2/SH2ac is running a more mature firmware. The trial firmwares for the SH2ac weren't much better than the Hub 3 firmwares. It really depends what you use the hub for and what your expectations are.

- probably easier to answer - recently I have been regularly clocking 3-5 Mbps according to Speedtest. Its rubbish, especially given that I'm paying to have 5-10 times that. Could this be because I am running the old hub/modem still and it is not 'talking' to the upstream properly? Or is teh EH-area just having trouble? After years of zero hassle teh area has had a couple of several-hour outages in the last few months.

If you've had years of no problems then your area is unlikely to be suffering from high utilisation. Utilisation faults only occur during peak time. e.g. 4pm to midnight.

The main outages that usually affect speed are high utilisation or SNR faults. SNR faults due to noise on the line occur randomly, are intermittent and can be corrected relatively quickly, though can come and go, depending on the source of the noise.

Apart from the inconvenience, my job involves remote support and VM's poor bandwidth and outages could become a serious problem for me.

That should be no different with the new Hub than your old modem. 

If you're relying on VM broadband for your job then you're better off with Business broadband which provides a Service Level Agreement and much quicker turn-around on fault fixing (I have a business connection with VM too). Though the network will be exactly the same as the residential one.

 


 


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fatblokefletch
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Re: Need Hub 3.0 for speed upgrade? And bridging to a DD-WRT

I cant answer all your questions, but can answer some

You will need a new hub to take advantage of the speed increase, I doubt the old modem would be capable of such speeds, It does not have to be a SH3, but certainly you will need one better than you currently have.

The speeds shown are times when people already on a tarrif receive a free upgrade - you will be going onto  new tarrif, so will see the speed difference immediately.

You wont be able to flash the new hub (as it is not yours), but you can set it in modem mode, and simply replace like for like between old modem and new router (in modem mode)

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Re: Need Hub 3.0 for speed upgrade? And bridging to a DD-WRT


macartain wrote:

Quite a long one...

EDIT: Someone posted while I was editing and enjoying my coffee. So some duplication now.

I have a proper old skool setup: 

Ancient motorola modem (2008?) -> Tivo -> Linksys WRT54GS (stock Linksys software)

What's the model number of the modem? See if there's a label on the underside.

I have this bridged to another WRT54GS running DD-WRT elsewhere in the house to provide coverage - I set this up about 5 years ago, never have to touch it, it all just works. We have had 20Mbps for years.

Right you are.

The other day my partner agreed an upgrade to 100Mbps and we have been sent a Hub 3.0.

OK.

This raises about 10 questions for me which I'd be interested in anyone's thoughts about.

- most importantly - do I need the Hub 3.0 in place to get the speed boost?

Yes. You need a Docsis 3 hub which can "bond" more than one channel, which could be any of Superhub 1/2/2ac (or hub 3) and all can support more than 100Mb.

Legacy modems like you have currently won't go above 20Mb if they can only lock one channel. You'll need at least 4 downstream channels for 100Mb.

The SH1/2/2ac all support 8 downstream channels and the hub 3 up to 24 channels, it being the latest hub. So definitely future proof for a long time.

Technically I know there is no need but I don't know how VM have this all configured - maybe it is required for reasons I don't understand. I'd prefer to leave things as they are, to be honest...

If you use the old modem you will still be stuck on the old 20 Mb tier. One downstream channel only has 50Mb of bandwidth and that needs to be shared with other customers in your area.

- on my VM homepage it says our 20->70Mbps upgrade is pencilled in for August - I assume this is a local digital exchange or fibre upgrade?

Something like that. Although physical upgrades are not involved, they were done years ago.

It requires that you have a hub with a modem inside that supports the higher speeds.

When you register the new hub the speed profile for your new tier will be automatically downloaded to it. Just like when you registered your old modem.

So, presumably I won't personally see 70Mbps til this happens?

You won't be able to get the 70Mb tier, which is new, until it comes out in your area, but you could have got the 50Mb tier anytime in the last few years (it's been available since 2010) if you had agreed to upgrade from your old modem to a new hub.

And how could I ever get 100Mbps?!?

100Mb has been available for new customers since at least 2011, with people able to upgrade a few months after that usually, once their area has been setup for the new speeds:

http://about.virginmedia.com/press-releases/news-releases?tag=ultrafast

The latest speed tier this year is 300Mb! Which requires a hub 3, as you need 12 to 16 channels for it.

- has anyone had any luck bridging with a Hub 3.0

Yes, works fine for me. All the hubs Virgin offer come with "modem mode", which allows you to set the hub into bridge mode:

https://help.virginmedia.com/system/selfservice.controller?CMD=VIEW_ARTICLE&ARTICLE_ID=27555&CURRENT...

- is it friendly to linux folks or all tied down?

All the hubs Virgin offer are tied down. Most run a variant of Linux but you don't have access to the o/s.

If the latter, can it be flashed to support DD-WRT and would that invalidate acceptable use of the hardware?

No the operating system cannot be changed. DD-WRT only works on routers, not DOCSIS cable modems or hubs with modems inside, so you wouldn't be able to run DD-WRT even if you could change the o/s.

The hubs are combined modems and routers. If you run it in bridge mode (modem mode) it acts/pretends to be just like a modem, with all the routing and wifi features switched off. So you will still need a 3rd party router, just like with your current setup. You can run DD-WRT on that.

 

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Re: Need Hub 3.0 for speed upgrade? And bridging to a DD-WRT

That brings me to another point.

Your WRT54GS only has 100Mb ethernet ports. 

Any port that is limited to 100Mb will peak at 95Mb speed, but will limit average speeds to 65-85Mb. So you'll never get 100Mb even over ethernet using that router.

The Hub3 and all Superhubs have gigabit ports, which means they support over 100Mb connection and therefore you should be able to max out your 100Mb tier speed outside peak time, provided you also use a cat5e/cat 6 ethernet cable and your computer has a gigabit network card.

The WRT54GS also only supports the old 802.11b and 802.11g wifi standards.

With 802.11g maximum speed over wifi is around 27Mbit, with less over distance. Which was fine for your old 20Mb tier. So if you're using wifi then you'll only get 27Mb of the 100Mb at best, probably less than that using your current router in the setup.

So you might want to think about upgrading your wifi router as well, or using the hub 3's built-in wifi.

 

Though you probably use old 802.11g wifi cards in your computers as well (which will also limit the speed you get from the hub 3), so might be a few upgrades required if you haven't bought a computer in a while.

If you're happy to accept whatever speed your router and devices can handle, then you don't need to upgrade anything.

 

 

The hub 3 (TG2492LG-VM) is basically an Arris TG2492s in a white box with VM locked-down firmware and LG/VM user-interface (BTW, very slow login screen at the moment as it's still being worked on):

https://www.arris.com/globalassets/resources/data-sheets/tg2492s.pdf

The hub3 supports the newer 802.11n and 802.11ac wifi standards.

With 24 downstream channels it can theoretically support up to 1200Mb. Yes, that much. Though the highest tier it's likely to support this year will be around 500Mb, if and when it comes out. So you will be future-proofed for many years yet.

The older Superhubs theoretically support up to 400Mb, but in practice once you share the channels with other people it's going to be less. e.g. The Superhub 1 which maxes out around 150Mb. The Superhub 2/2ac is used for the 200Mb tier and the Hub 3 for 300Mb and beyond.

Once you have the new hub setup you will be able to change your speed tier at any time you feel like it and have an instant speed change without having to change your hub again. The maximum speed tier you can use will then be limited by what's available in your area.

 

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macartain
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Re: Need Hub 3.0 for speed upgrade? And bridging to a DD-WRT

OK - an er.. late reply.

Thanks so much both for providing lots of technical detail. That set me off on a several month odyssey to get a new PC etc. Anyway, I'm back to looking at this SuperHub 3.0 which has raised a couple of questions - probably worth a new thread, but for the record:

- I am seeing lots of very negative comments about the stability of the SuperHub 3.0s - is this the standard forum experience where you-only-hear-the-bad-news? Or are they flaky? Lots of folk are saying they will never part with their Hub 2.0's..

- probably easier to answer - recently I have been regularly clocking 3-5 Mbps according to Speedtest. Its rubbish, especially given that I'm paying to have 5-10 times that. Could this be because I am running the old hub/modem still and it is not 'talking' to the upstream properly? Or is teh EH-area just having trouble? After years of zero hassle teh area has had a couple of several-hour outages in the last few months.

Apart from the inconvenience, my job involves remote support and VM's poor bandwidth and outages could become a serious problem for me.

 

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Re: Need Hub 3.0 for speed upgrade? And bridging to a DD-WRT


macartain wrote:

 

- I am seeing lots of very negative comments about the stability of the SuperHub 3.0s - is this the standard forum experience where you-only-hear-the-bad-news? Or are they flaky? Lots of folk are saying they will never part with their Hub 2.0's..

 

 


Hub 3 in Modem Mode is stable for me. No issues at all. You could in fact remove your old Modem and replace it with the Hub 3 in Modem Mode and carry on with everything else.

However as noted earlier this would not be the most efficient use of modern kit.  Smiley Wink

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Re: Need Hub 3.0 for speed upgrade? And bridging to a DD-WRT


macartain wrote:

OK - an er.. late reply.

Thanks so much both for providing lots of technical detail. That set me off on a several month odyssey to get a new PC etc. Anyway, I'm back to looking at this SuperHub 3.0 which has raised a couple of questions - probably worth a new thread, but for the record:

- I am seeing lots of very negative comments about the stability of the SuperHub 3.0s - is this the standard forum experience where you-only-hear-the-bad-news?

Yes, pretty much. Though there have been specific issues where people had/have valid problems. You can find people on the forum saying they have no problems with the Hub 3 as well. Though the vocal majority are usually the former.

Or are they flaky?

Define flaky? Mine's been rock solid (in router mode) since last September when I got it. I've been on the Hub 3 trial since the beginning, so know all the issues in detail.

I've run it alongside the SH2ac and tracked every single disconnection due to network issues using various methods including Thinkbroadband BQM graphs. The results are the same on both hubs. So in terms of network reliability, for most users, they should be the same.

There was a very prominent issue called "port flapping" when the Hub was run in modem mode and people were located in an area with an Arris CMTS (areas with Cisco CMTS were fine), which caused reboots every 34 minutes. This was only on firmware 9.1.88T (the previous firmware) and only some people were affected. Unfortunately VM took a very long time to roll out the next trial firmware.

This has since been resolved with the general release of the latest firmware 9.1.116V and all areas should have this firmware by the end of this month (November).

Other people use the word 'flaky' to describe any capability that doesn't work how they expect, like putting two XBox's on the same Hub interface. e.g. ethernet ports (which I would not expect to work properly if they don't set it up right).

The menus were quite slow on some of the older firmware (now mostly fixed in the latest firmware) and can still be slow if you load the Hub with lots of devices. This is what I would expect from certain models of Docsis hub, especially when encryption is used in the security model.

The solution for most niggles is to run your own router with the Hub 3 in modem mode. The one thing that won't be fixed by doing that is the latency spike issue, which mostly affects gamers (though some gamers say its fine).

Lots of folk are saying they will never part with their Hub 2.0's..

Well, I have SH2, SH2ac and Hub 3. I switch back and forth regularly from the Hub 3 to SH2ac, as I run them in parallel. There are trade offs on both, but the SH2/SH2ac is running a more mature firmware. The trial firmwares for the SH2ac weren't much better than the Hub 3 firmwares. It really depends what you use the hub for and what your expectations are.

- probably easier to answer - recently I have been regularly clocking 3-5 Mbps according to Speedtest. Its rubbish, especially given that I'm paying to have 5-10 times that. Could this be because I am running the old hub/modem still and it is not 'talking' to the upstream properly? Or is teh EH-area just having trouble? After years of zero hassle teh area has had a couple of several-hour outages in the last few months.

If you've had years of no problems then your area is unlikely to be suffering from high utilisation. Utilisation faults only occur during peak time. e.g. 4pm to midnight.

The main outages that usually affect speed are high utilisation or SNR faults. SNR faults due to noise on the line occur randomly, are intermittent and can be corrected relatively quickly, though can come and go, depending on the source of the noise.

Apart from the inconvenience, my job involves remote support and VM's poor bandwidth and outages could become a serious problem for me.

That should be no different with the new Hub than your old modem. 

If you're relying on VM broadband for your job then you're better off with Business broadband which provides a Service Level Agreement and much quicker turn-around on fault fixing (I have a business connection with VM too). Though the network will be exactly the same as the residential one.

 


 

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Re: Need Hub 3.0 for speed upgrade? And bridging to a DD-WRT

A cheaper alternative to business broadband is setting up a Dual WAN router with both VM and BT/Sky networks, to give you fail-over capability in the event that one of the networks goes down temporarily.

One really good router that has Dual WAN ports, is the Asus RT-AC87U (though there are many other routers that also have this feature):

https://www.asus.com/uk/Networking/RTAC87U/

It also has USB 3G/4G capability, so you can attach a smartphone or 3G/4G dongle to provide internet capability instead. Which gives you a backup for the backup.

This is what I would use in your job.

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Re: Need Hub 3.0 for speed upgrade? And bridging to a DD-WRT


macartain wrote:

- probably easier to answer - recently I have been regularly clocking 3-5 Mbps according to Speedtest. Its rubbish, especially given that I'm paying to have 5-10 times that. Could this be because I am running the old hub/modem still and it is not 'talking' to the upstream properly? Or is teh EH-area just having trouble? After years of zero hassle teh area has had a couple of several-hour outages in the last few months.

The old Docsis 1 network channels that the legacy modems run on can also be used by people causing theft of service, soaking up regular users bandwidth.

The Superhub's and Hub 3 run on the Docsis 3 network, where only validated hub's are allowed.

It's hard to say what your issue is, but you'll be running on a different part of the downstream network (different channels over the same physical cable) with the new Hub, so may or may not be affected the same, depending on what the current issue is and where the problem is located.

 

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Re: Need Hub 3.0 for speed upgrade? And bridging to a DD-WRT

Thanks MUD_Wizard.. having found the 'speed' thread under broadband I now realise that there are a lot of people griping about speed... I need to get some better metrics.

And just to be clear, although I was sent the new SuperHub 3.0, I have never yet used it. If I did, I asssume I would be able to go back to the older modem/router combo if I found the new one unstable?
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