Thursday, 7 February 2019

NowTV broadband with your own/custom router (Draytek Vigor 2830n)

Hello everyone!

It has been a long time since my last post, since I have now moved to Essex and work in London and now I have my new home! Obviously the first task of the new home was getting an internet connection setup and WiFied UP :) 

After researching of the possibilities of my area of what the best ISP I should go for, I have chosen NowTV and it's cheap and cheerful. NowTV was doing an offer fiber with speed up to 36Mbps down and 5Mbps up with Quidco cashback of £80, which works out £19 a month and £229 a year! (Thanks to HotUKDeals (You guys saved me loads of money but also makes me spent loads of money too!)

Anyway, enough of my shopping story and let’s get to the technical stuff. NowTV has sent me a router which does a good job for normal home users, provide dual-band 2.4/5Ghz 802.11ac WiFi network standard and two 1GB LAN ports. NowTV router is very locked down and the configuration page only gives you to the basic security, WiFi, parental control and DMZ setting.

The purpose of this article: To show how to replace NowTV router with your own router. In my case scenario so I can have more advanced settings in the router to fiddle with.

On the other side, with a custom router you can do so much more hence,
I have bagged myself a 2nd hand router from eBay £15 DrayTek Vigor 2830n which I thought its going to do the job.  When I plugged in the phone cable directly to the DrayTek, tried setting up the WAN connection with the configuration mentioned on the NowTV forum page none of them worked…

After some googling and I came across on this forum, I have been reminded a Fiber connection uses ADSL2/VDSL connection standard. Now the problem is the DrayTek router only support ADSL! Which meaning by plugging the phone line cable directly to the router ADSL socket from the phone socket WILL NOT WORK! However… DrayTek Vigor 2830n has a WAN2 ethernet connection which supports ADSL/VDSL.

To fix the issue: As I have previously dealt with Fiber connection in my previous work, they have always been using a BT Huawei EchoLife HG612 3B FTTC VDSL NTE Fibre Modem to piggy back their firewall to work with Fiber connection. So more shopping on the internet! I have managed to find it on eBay for £10 delivered. Alternatively, if you didn't make the same mistake as I did, then go and buy your self a VDSL/ADSL2 router which is plug and play out of the box! 

Implementation: At this point, I have everything in place the modem and the router setup, it’s time to ditch the NowTV router for my own router!

Connecting everything up as illustrate below:

Once you have everything connected up and it’s time to bring the internet back online, if you have not visit the article I have mentioned from last two paragraph, here is another link to the forum. The forum not only briefly mentioned the key network protocol they use but also how we should configure our router to tap in/receive Sky’s network connection.

1.      NowTV broadband is essentially Sky broadband
2.      Sky broadband uses MTE network protocol as their connection
3.      MTE is a connection which does not require authentication i.e. PPPoE username/password, meaning DHCP configuration is set on provider’s exchange but based on the broadband MAC address.
4.      You can find broadband MAC address from NowTV broadband router under configuration page.
5.      Take a note of the NowTV broadband MAC address and configure this on your DrayTek router on the WAN details page.
6.      Select Dynamic configuration as WAN connection, select specific MAC address and enter the NowTV broadband MAC address.
7.      Now hit the apply settings and reboot the DrayTek router.
8.      Once the Draytek has boot up, you should have internet connection.
9.      Check by pinging and pinging on your computer command line.

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