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Preparing Yourself for the NBN

As many of you are aware, the National Broadband Network (NBN) is continuing to be rolled out across Australia. If you do not already have a NBN connection, you will have one in the coming months, so now is a good time for you to become familiar with what is required.

At one time all you needed for the NBN was a broadband router with a Gigabit WAN interface. However recent government policy changes introduced the new Multi-Technology Mix (MTM). This involves using existing infrastructure owned by major service providers to constrain costs for constructing as well as accelerating the rollout of the NBN. This rollout of “network of networks” includes interconnecting Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), Fibre to the Node (FTTN), Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) Fibre to the Distribution Point (FTTdp), Fibre to the Basement (FTTB) as well as Satellite and Fixed wireless Networks.

What Router Model is required?

As a result of the many variations of NBN service availability, the choice of appropriate hardware can be confusing. The good news is, DrayTek do have a range of routers that cater for ADSL2+/VDSL2 and broadband requirements. Even if your area is not NBN-available for now, you can still acquire an ADSL2+ router that has built-in VDSL2+ and/or Ethernet broadband connections ready for NBN when it arrives at your doorstep.

The router model required for your NBN connection will depend on the type of NBN service provided by the service provider. This will be discussed below.

Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)

fiber-to-the-node

This is sometimes known as fibre to the home (FTTH). Here you will get an optic fibre into your home or premises. NBN provides Network Termination Device (NTD) which is a device that terminates the incoming optic fibre and provides an Ethernet LAN interface for you to connect to your broadband router. FTTP plans currently provide up to 100Mb/s, and 1,000Mbps plans will be available in the future.

Various DrayTek broadband routers are available to suit customer requirements in speed, functionality and budget constraints. For the home or SOHO users who require a low cost solution the DrayTek Vigor2760, Vigor2120 and Vigor2912 routers are good choices.

The Vigor2760 series is an ADSL2+/VDSL2 router that can be used for FTTP NBN installation by configuring one of the LAN ports to be a Gigabit WAN interface. If you currently have an ADSL2+ connection and expect the NBN to be available in the future then this router will suit your current requirements as well as future NBN requirements.

The Vigor2120 series is a Gigabit single WAN broadband router providing all the features required for a SOHO or small business user. It offers extensive firewall capability, 2 VPN tunnels, Quality of Service (QoS) as well as many other features.

The Vigor2912 is a low cost dual WAN fast Ethernet router with a throughput of 90Mb/s. It is well suited for a small business with a lower speed NBN plan. It offers extensive firewall capability, 16 VPN tunnels, Quality of Service (QoS) as well as many other features. All these routers also can be used with 3G/4G (LTE) USB modems to provide a backup connection to the Internet should the ADSL2+ or NBN connection fail.

Routers to suit small to medium sized business include the DrayTek Vigor2860 series, Vigor2925 series, Vigor300B, Vigor2960 and Vigor3900.

The Vigor2860 series router is a Dual WAN ADSL2+/VDSL2 and Gigabit Ethernet WAN router. This router is similar to the Vigor2760 in that it can cater for current ADSL2+ installations as well as for NBN connections. The Vigor2860 has a throughput of over 300Mb/s so is well suited for businesses on a higher NBN plan. It also provides 32 VPN tunnels, has extensive firewall features, Quality of Service (QoS) as well as many other features. It also includes central VPN management and central access point management at no extra cost.

The Vigor2925 series router is a dual WAN Gigabit Ethernet router having all the software features of the Vigor2860 router. It also has a throughput of over 300Mb/s so is well suited for businesses on a higher NBN plan. It also provides 32 VPN tunnels, has extensive firewall features, Quality of Service (QoS) as well as many other features. It also includes central VPN management and central access point management at no extra cost.

The Vigor300B is a multi-WAN Gigabit router with 4 Gigabit WAN interfaces. It does not offer VPN tunnels but has extensive firewall features, Quality of Service (QoS) as well as many other features. It has a throughput of 500Mb/s and is well suited for medium sized business of up to 200 users.

The Vigor2960 is a dual WAN Gigabit Ethernet router with a throughput of 500Mb/s, and is also well suited for medium sized businesses with up to 200 users. If offers 200 VPN tunnels and has extensive firewall features, Quality of Service (QoS) as well as many other features. It also includes central VPN management.

The Vigor3900 router is an enterprise level multi-WAN Gigabit router with 4 Gigabit Ethernet WAN interfaces and a SFP interface for fibre optic connection. This router has a throughput of 1,000Mb/s and is well suited for a larger business with up to 500 users. If offers 500 VPN tunnels and has extensive firewall features, Quality of Service (QoS) as well as many other features. It also includes central VPN management.

All the dual WAN and Multi-WAN routers can also use 3G/4G USB modems to provide additional WAN connections to the Internet to either supplement the NBN connection or to be used as a backup connection should the NBN connection fail.

Fibre to the Node (FTTN) and Fibre to the Basement (FTTB)

fiber-to-the-basement

For a majority of installations where FTTP is not feasible, NBN provides Fibre to the Node (FTTN) or Fibre to the Basement (FTTB). For these installations optic fibre will be run to a node which is also known as “mini-exchanges”. From these nodes existing phone cabling will be used as the last mile solution to provide VDSL2 to the user. VDSL is an upgraded version of DSL providing download speeds up to 100Mb/s which is many times faster than ADSL2+.

DrayTek has three routers that can be used for VDSL installations. These are the Vigor130, Vigor2760 series and Vigor2860 series routers. All these routers support Vectored DSL which provides the maximum speed of 100Mb/s over ordinary telephone cabling. In addition these routers can be used with existing ADSL2+ services while you wait for the NBN to come to your area.

The Vigor130 is a single WAN and single LAN router featuring firewall and security features suitable for the SOHO and residential users. The other two router models: Vigor2760 series and Vigor2860 series are well suited for SOHO, small to medium sized business. As described earlier these routers have extensive firewall and security features as well as VPN capability.

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