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JTS33

join:2003-05-03
USA

Which FiOS router is better now? Westell or Actiontec?

A year back, the Westell was the one to get. But that was when the Actiontec was on Rev. D. Now that Rev. F is out with Wireless-N (and Rev. G with gigabit ports is on the horizon), does Westell have a Wireless-N model that Verizon FiOS is using?

Is the Westell even being used anymore? I hear a lot about Actiontec revisions, but nothing about Westell revisions.


More Fiber
Premium,MVM
join:2005-09-26
West Chester, PA
kudos:32

1 recommendation

There seems to be conflicting information on whether VZ is still using the Westell.

There were posts several months ago indicating that VZ had discontinued using the Westell due to problems. However, a recent post from TX indicates that they are still being installed. This might just be remaining local inventory or it could be that what is left of the former GTE West (CA, TX) is still using Westells.

You don't indicate where you are, although in previous post, you indicated you currently have a Westell. If you call to request a replacement router, you get what is in stock, which could even be an older refurbished Actiontec.

If 802.11n is a requirement for you, I wouldn't bother trying to get a rev. F. It is 2.4Ghz only. Unknown if the rev. G will be dual band. Also unknown if the the NAT table size has improved in the rev. F over the rev. E and it is certainly nowhere near the Westell.

If bridging is an issue, then an Actiontec is preferable as the Westell can't be bridged.

Personally, I have a Westell and an Actiontec rev. A and C, with the rev. A as my primary router with the rev. C and Westell as subnet routers behind it. The rev. A has worked just fine for me for 4+years.
--
There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary and those who don't.


Smith6612
Premium,MVM
join:2008-02-01
North Tonawanda, NY
kudos:25
The Rev. G is apparently only supporting 2.4Ghz Wireless N. No known support for 5Ghz at all unless perhaps, you change the radio and patch the firmware to support such a change.


darcilicious
Cyber Librarian
Premium
join:2001-01-02
Forest Grove, OR
kudos:4
said by Smith6612:

...unless perhaps, you change the radio and patch the firmware to support such a change.
Has anyone ever successfully patched the Actiontec firmware from Vz? I hadn't thought so but maybe I missed it.


More Fiber
Premium,MVM
join:2005-09-26
West Chester, PA
kudos:32
said by darcilicious:

Has anyone ever successfully patched the Actiontec firmware from Vz?
Not that I'm aware of.
--
There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary and those who don't.

JTS33

join:2003-05-03
USA

2 edits
reply to More Fiber
said by More Fiber:

You don't indicate where you are, although in previous post, you indicated you currently have a Westell. If you call to request a replacement router, you get what is in stock, which could even be an older refurbished Actiontec.
I'm in SoCal. Received a Westell a little over a year ago. But it seems all they're installing in the area now are Actiontec Rev. F. When I called to inquire, customer service said that while it may be "refurbished" (a.k.a. customer return), Rev. F is all they're sending for replacements now. Don't know whether that's actually true, as I'm pretty sure I've read of people receiving earlier revisions as refurbished replacements recently.
However, a recent post from TX indicates that they are still being installed.
They haven't noted to have been Wireless-N models, right?

If 802.11n is a requirement for you, I wouldn't bother trying to get a rev. F. It is 2.4Ghz only. Unknown if the rev. G will be dual band. Also unknown if the the NAT table size has improved in the rev. F over the rev. E and it is certainly nowhere near the Westell.
I don't mind that, as my gear is all 802.11n 2.4Ghz. But it seems unlikely that we'll get dual-band from a Verizon-supplied router in the near future.

The rev. A has worked just fine for me for 4+years.
If Rev. A is the larger, box-shaped Actiontec, that was my first FiOS router that I didn't quite care for due to lack of WPA2-AES encryption support.

JTS33

join:2003-05-03
USA
reply to darcilicious
said by darcilicious:

said by Smith6612:

...unless perhaps, you change the radio and patch the firmware to support such a change.
Has anyone ever successfully patched the Actiontec firmware from Vz? I hadn't thought so but maybe I missed it.
I've read reports of the Vz Actiontec routers being converted to 3rd party firmware like dd-wrt, but didn't follow up on its legitimacy.


birdfeedr
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-11
Warwick, RI
kudos:9
said by JTS33:

I've read reports of the Vz Actiontec routers being converted to 3rd party firmware like dd-wrt, but didn't follow up on its legitimacy.
dd-wrt does not support the coax chipset, so it's ethernet wan and lan ports only. iirc. there were some posts here.

»DD-WRT V24 PreSP2 Build 14311 Actiontec Rev. D

SmartWater

join:2009-07-03
reply to JTS33
I didn't know FiOS offered multiple routers. I'm using an Actiontec that I got at the end of 2008, it's 802.11g and 100mbit. I would REALLY like to have 802.11n as well as gigabit.. do the routers they offer now have either of these features?


darcilicious
Cyber Librarian
Premium
join:2001-01-02
Forest Grove, OR
kudos:4
Yes but it's a crap shoot as to which one Vz will send you.

It's really easy and not that expensive to throw a gigabit switch and/or a wireless-N WAP onto your network. It's exactly what we did and you get to choose the equipment with the specs you want.

SmartWater

join:2009-07-03
Yeah, I'm already running dual routers, so half my house is 802.11g and the other half is 802.11n. Half my network is gigabit, the rest is 100mbit. I don't want to run three routers.


darcilicious
Cyber Librarian
Premium
join:2001-01-02
Forest Grove, OR
kudos:4
I never once mentioned a router.

A switch is not a router. You simply add it to a port of an existing router and start plugging things into it. No configuration needed.

A WAP also is not a router. You simply add it to a port of an existing router, perform the SSID and other minimal configurations and start using it.

Either of these options are typically cheaper than routers that also have these features (gigabit ports and/or wireless-n).

SmartWater

join:2009-07-03

2 edits
Err... Dedicated WAPs aren't that much cheaper than routers. I'm using my second router as an 802.11n WAP + gigabit switch.


darcilicious
Cyber Librarian
Premium
join:2001-01-02
Forest Grove, OR
kudos:4
If you shop around and a find a good deal they can be.

But if you want to go the router route (ha ha) then replace the Actiontec with the router of your choice -- which can be done even if you have TV service.

SmartWater

join:2009-07-03
We can replace the FiOS routers?


darcilicious
Cyber Librarian
Premium
join:2001-01-02
Forest Grove, OR
kudos:4

2 edits
said by SmartWater:

We can replace the FiOS routers?
Yes.

Start here: »Verizon Online FiOS FAQ and make your way through the information/instructions there.


More Fiber
Premium,MVM
join:2005-09-26
West Chester, PA
kudos:32
reply to SmartWater
said by SmartWater:

I didn't know FiOS offered multiple routers.
You get what is stocked locally. At this point it seems the rev. F is coming into general distribution.

Some areas were getting the Westell 9100, however, there is conflicting information on whether VZ is continuing to deploy them.
»Re: Which FiOS router is better now? Westell or Actiontec?
said by SmartWater:

I would REALLY like to have 802.11n as well as gigabit.. do the routers they offer now have either of these features?
The rev. F has single n-band (2.4 Ghz). It is not IEEE 802.11n-2009 (MIMO) compliant.
»Re: Actiontec MI424WR Rev G
--
There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary and those who don't.

jeverett

join:2010-03-25
Sarasota, FL

4 edits
reply to JTS33
I have a Verizon provided Westell and a C & D Actiontec off eBay.

Some things I like about the Westell include:
1) a "Device List" feature in the Wireless section that shows currently connected WiFi clients and their speed and signal strength. (The Actiontecs I have only show the devices connected in the "My Network" section with no signal details.)
2) a "Connections" feature in the "Firewall" section that lists all of the active connections going in and out of the router at any given time.
3) The Firewall "Port forwarding" allows for custom forwarding rules including non-TCP/UDP custom protocols. (The Actiontecs I have only allow custom forwarding rules involving TCP and UDP protocols.) Since the Verizon routers don't do IPv6 themselves, it's handy to be able to properly forward "Protocol 41" to an internal host as necessary for some IPv6 tunnels, such as a SIXXS "Heartbeat" tunnel. Similarly, you could also point ICMP or some VPN protocols -- eg. GRE, ESP, AH -- to an internal host.
4) The "Advanced Connection" networking setup has support for VPN tunnels endpoints -- IPSEC (client and server), IPIP, & GRE -- running on the edge router itself.
5) The "My Network" database recording hosts seen on your local network can be purged of all devices, or of any individual devices as desired through links in the interface. (I don't see the same ability in the Actiontecs.)

Features that seems to be in the Actiontec that I don't see in the Westell include:
1) Some sort of email notification service that can send info and security events alerts via email.
2) The Actiontec came programed pointing to a web address to pull down firmware upgrades automatically or when desired. (The Westell has this same screen, but there is no URL in the field pointing it to a place to get the upgrades.)

I don't know if the newer Actiontec versions have a better feature set than my C & D running firmware version 4.0.16.1.56.0.10.12.3 -- but from what I see on my devices, the Westell (running firmware version 1.03.00.08) is MUCH more fully featured.


RedCaliSS
Premium
join:2004-08-21
Murrieta, CA
reply to JTS33
ok not that this is remotely related but i was out at a clients yesterday because she was having connection problems.
while there i placed a call to Vz FIOS support and oddly enough I got right thru.. her router died. not dead dead, just would not allow any incoming traffic even after a hard reset.
we're in Southern California - Murrieta and the router kept defaulting to PPPOE when everything out here is DHCP.
Vz did the strangest thing, they had a tech in the immediate area and Vz diverted her to the clients.. low n behold she replaced the router with a ActionTek Rev G, yes.. a Rev G, she had one on her truck... I asked her if this was a fluke, she said nope, thats all they are stocking the trucks with now. she said something about the Rev F having issues.. dunno... just what it is and what i saw

Shay

join:2010-07-29
Dallas, TX
reply to JTS33
said by JTS33:

said by More Fiber:

However, a recent post from TX indicates that they are still being installed.
They haven't noted to have been Wireless-N models, right?
I am not sure if I was the source of the TX post, but I got a new FIOS install in Far North Dallas (former GTE land) about 3 weeks ago. I got a Westell router. I think it is a Rev B. The wireless is G. I am not sure if the router was new or not.

mikeflstfi

join:2010-04-16
Keller, TX
reply to More Fiber
said by More Fiber:

There seems to be conflicting information on whether VZ is still using the Westell.

There were posts several months ago indicating that VZ had discontinued using the Westell due to problems. However, a recent post from TX indicates that they are still being installed. This might just be remaining local inventory or it could be that what is left of the former GTE West (CA, TX) is still using Westells.
I also received a Westell router with my install last week. So, apparently they still have them in stock and are using them here in North Texas.

I don't have any complaints so far. This unit replaced my WRT54G and is performing well.


fios4455

@sbcglobal.net
Are you a VZ customer or are were you part of the sale to Frontier?


More Fiber
Premium,MVM
join:2005-09-26
West Chester, PA
kudos:32
said by fios4455 :

Are you a VZ customer or are were you part of the sale to Frontier?
TX was not part of the sale to Frontier. Originally, Westells went to former GTE areas (TX,FL,CA,OR,WA), while Actiontecs went to former Bell Atlantic areas. For a while Westells started to show up in the NE, but that seems to have stopped.
--
There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary and those who don't.

mikeflstfi

join:2010-04-16
Keller, TX
reply to fios4455
I am a VZ customer. I guess we just still have Westells in this area.


rtcy
FACTS only please
Premium
join:1999-10-16
Norwalk, CA
reply to Smith6612
said by Smith6612:

The Rev. G is apparently only supporting 2.4Ghz Wireless N. No known support for 5Ghz at all unless perhaps, you change the radio and patch the firmware to support such a change.
it might work, I've changed the radio on a few Actiontech to get DD-WRT with wireless working on them for close friends. but it just depends if the OS has that support compiled into it or not. it does not hurt to try with a radio from one of the N devices out there, just keep in mind the brands that are supported


rtcy
FACTS only please
Premium
join:1999-10-16
Norwalk, CA

1 edit
reply to JTS33
said by JTS33:

said by darcilicious:

said by Smith6612:

...unless perhaps, you change the radio and patch the firmware to support such a change.
Has anyone ever successfully patched the Actiontec firmware from Vz? I hadn't thought so but maybe I missed it.
I've read reports of the Vz Actiontec routers being converted to 3rd party firmware like dd-wrt, but didn't follow up on its legitimacy.
I'm looking at one right now on my desk, and now you can flash the latest DD-WRT right from the gui(once you do the INITIAL install).

I just did last week! it's a very awesome setup, problem is all my life I have to have the fastest motorcycles / computers / routers and to me the Westell 9100 runs circles around the Actiontecs out so far. the only envy I have on the new one being "tested" is the GIGAbit switch, but I already have that throught the house

in the end the Westell's ability to support 180,000+ connections OPEN is like 6 times larger than the Actiontec, if this is not important, the the Actiontecs are fine enough.

really the real gripe is how slow the Verizon network is right now at 4:49pm always in the afternoon til around 9:00pm.
I remember hearing advice in the 90's about ooh your DSL could be slow beacause there's a AM radio station in your area and the interference in jumping into your loop"

that kind of slowness will never be helped by ANY router


rtcy
FACTS only please
Premium
join:1999-10-16
Norwalk, CA

1 edit
reply to jeverett
said by jeverett:

I have a Verizon provided Westell and a C & D Actiontec off eBay.

Some things I like about the Westell include:
1) a "Device List" feature in the Wireless section that shows currently connected WiFi clients and their speed and signal strength. (The Actiontecs I have only show the devices connected in the "My Network" section with no signal details.)
2) a "Connections" feature in the "Firewall" section that lists all of the active connections going in and out of the router at any given time.
3) The Firewall "Port forwarding" allows for custom forwarding rules including non-TCP/UDP custom protocols. (The Actiontecs I have only allow custom forwarding rules involving TCP and UDP protocols.) Since the Verizon routers don't do IPv6 themselves, it's handy to be able to properly forward "Protocol 41" to an internal host as necessary for some IPv6 tunnels, such as a SIXXS "Heartbeat" tunnel. Similarly, you could also point ICMP or some VPN protocols -- eg. GRE, ESP, AH -- to an internal host.
4) The "Advanced Connection" networking setup has support for VPN tunnels endpoints -- IPSEC (client and server), IPIP, & GRE -- running on the edge router itself.
5) The "My Network" database recording hosts seen on your local network can be purged of all devices, or of any individual devices as desired through links in the interface. (I don't see the same ability in the Actiontecs.)

Features that seems to be in the Actiontec that I don't see in the Westell include:
1) Some sort of email notification service that can send info and security events alerts via email.
2) The Actiontec came programed pointing to a web address to pull down firmware upgrades automatically or when desired. (The Westell has this same screen, but there is no URL in the field pointing it to a place to get the upgrades.)

I don't know if the newer Actiontec versions have a better feature set than my C & D running firmware version 4.0.16.1.56.0.10.12.3 -- but from what I see on my devices, the Westell (running firmware version 1.03.00.08) is MUCH more fully featured.
Bravo very well put on the Westell way too classy for Verizon , no wonder they are dropping it

HoMeZ

join:2001-01-25
united state
reply to rtcy
said by rtcy:

I'm looking at one right now on my desk, and now you can flash the latest DD-WRT right from the gui(once you do the INITIAL install).

I just did last week! it's a very awesome setup, problem is all my life I have to have the fastest motorcycles / computers / routers and to me the Westell 9100 runs circles around the Actiontecs out so far. the only envy I have on the new one being "tested" is the GIGAbit switch, but I already have that throught the house

in the end the Westell's ability to support 180,000+ connections OPEN is like 6 times larger than the Actiontec, if this is not important, the the Actiontecs are fine enough.

really the real gripe is how slow the Verizon network is right now at 4:49pm always in the afternoon til around 9:00pm.
I remember hearing advice in the 90's about ooh your DSL could be slow beacause there's a AM radio station in your area and the interference in jumping into your loop"

that kind of slowness will never be helped by ANY router
rtcy - do you have a website you can point me to with instructions to flash the router to the latest DD-WRT firmware?

guppy_fish
Premium
join:2003-12-09
Lakeland, FL
kudos:4
reply to JTS33
Your you flash to a third party firmware you will lose all the MOCA functionality!

HoMeZ

join:2001-01-25
united state
oh.. that sounds bad haha