Crappy NBN FTTN Modem – here are a few better ones (guide)

The term Crappy NBN FTTN modem covers a lot of sins. The chief is that they are invariably low-cost (<$150), usually Wi-Fi 5 AC1600, have low antenna signal strength and are not designed to support more than a few devices.

But then Joe and Jane Average don’t know that. The first sign is slow internet, the second is Wi-Fi dropouts and finally, no useable signal in some areas (read Fix Wi-Fi blackspots fast and often at no cost).

Now we are talking about NBN Fibre to the Node (FTTN) customers because these modems (well, modem routers) need to connect via VDSL2 (using the standard telephone socket). You have many more options with Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) or HFC cable as these have a standard Ethernet connection (don’t need a VDSL Modem).

Here are a few options to reuse or replace your crappy NBN FTTN Modem. We are focusing on the faster end – Tri-band Wi-Fi 6 AX 6000 or more.

Keep the crappy NBN FTTN modem – use it as the NBN Gateway

This means that you need to buy a better router that suits your needs. Our Seamless whole-of-home Wi-Fi now easy with Wi-Fi 6 (guide), may help point you in the right direction, but it comes down to a Mesh router system or a full router (and possibly a Wi-Fi extender).

The new Mesh/router plugs into the Gateway (Ethernet LAN port to router WAN Port) and takes over the home network. There is no need to alter your old gateway settings.

Tri-band Mesh choices include

  • TP-Link Deco X90 AX6600 ($899 two-pack).
  • NETGEAR ORBI AX6000 ($1199 two-pack RBK852)

Both are excellent and can extra Satellites can expand coverage (each covers about 20metre diameter circle 300m2).

Tri-band routers and Extenders include

The Nighthawk AX11000 and AX8 AX6000 extender are the fastest for spectacular performance. The Archer OneMesh extenders are limited to AX1800, but these still provide heaps of speed.

Don’t buy the crappy NBN FTTN modem in the first place – a better option.

You can buy better VDSL modems

  • Archer VR2800 (RRP $399 but at some stores for $299) is an AC2800 (nearly twice as fast as the cheap router), and it is plug and play. Connect your VDSL phone line to it, and it should work. Otherwise, a quick call to your NBN ISP will get it going (some ISPs require you to ‘kick’ the old router off the network first). You can connect any router or mesh system later if you need to expand coverage.
  • Archer also has a VR2100V ($269 with two phone ports) and a VR 2100($229) AC2100 without phone ports (you can always add a $50 VOIP adapter later).
  • TP-Link Deco has a new Wi-Fi 6 Deco X73 Wi-Fi 6 AX5400 Mesh router ($399) that has two phone ports, 4 gigabit Ethernet, and you can add Mesh satellites ranging from AX1800 to AX6600.
  • D-Link has a Viper AC2600 ($379.95) – with no phone ports, and it currently does not have a Mesh  VDSL system.

CyberShack’s view – crappy NBN FTTN Modems – you get what you pay for

We started by saying Joe and Jane Average don’t know about modem/routers, so its all too easy to accept what is on offer.

Why not put that $150 towards the TP-Link Deco X73 ($399)? That gives you not only over four times the speed, phone ports and Wi-Fi 6, and you can easily add satellites later.

Or, if you have already bought the gateway, it is hard to beat the TP-Link Deco X90 2-pack Mesh at $899.

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