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Home network upgrade part 1

October 17, 2012

My home network is undergoing a much needed upgrade so here is part one of the new set-up…

Old kit:

BT Homehub 2

New kit:

TP-Link TD-8817 1 ADSL2+ router

ASUS RT-N16 wireless access point


So my Homehub 2 was dying a slow death.  It used to be pretty reliable but lately it has needed a reset about 4 times a day and has been driving myself and Mrs Chris’s blog nuts. It seems the unit suffers from some dodgy electrics and they all seem to die after a couple of years of operation.  Thanks BT.

So I figured it was time to split out the ADSL modem function and the wireless access point function into two separate components. The key here is reliability, I don’t want the internet to die if I am popping the wireless gateway as this will interrupt wired devices (such as my BT Vision box while watching a movie…which happened the other week..oops!).

For the ADSL modem the TP-Link unit gets rave reviews on Amazon for reliability and is very cheap so I won’t be upset at the money I spent when I eventually get BT Infinity (hurry up BT please) and have to Ebay it.

For the WAP I wanted something with decent processor/RAM which could handle either DD-WRT or Tomato firmware so I could use a VPN service to watch the US version of Netflix on my Blu Ray player.  After a lot of research I plumped for the Asus RT-N16. I know it is only 2.4GHz rather than 5GHz but that is good enough for me (and the three external aerials give out a much better signal than the Homehub 2).  Also the RT-N16 has gigabit ports which is a must have for me.

Setup of both boxes was a breeze and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Asus stock firmware supports PPTP VPN if you load the latest version (see here). My chosen VPN provider is Hide My Ass signup was quick though it took a while before the VPN servers recognised me and allowed me to connect (my advice is leave it over night).

So far so good.  The internet hasn’t dropped it’s connection yet and I can swap between a “straight to the internet” connection and a “hide my ass I am in the USA” connection on the WAP in a couple of clicks of the mouse.

I love it when stuff just works 🙂




From → Gadgets, Home Lab

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