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gower2352

join:2012-11-26
Laurel, MD
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Verizon Needs To Rid Themselves of Their ActionTec Router

I recently moved to Laurel, Maryland for a job. I came from West Virginia where FIOS was never going to happen anywhere-anytime. Had Comcast from where I came and was moderately satisfied but FIOS just seemed better and I still think it is.

Of course I am very excited at the prospect of getting FIOS! So I signed up for and awesome triple play package for $99.00 a month for two years. This included the 50/whatever upload package.

The install went very well. Install date was 2/25. Did a speed test the very first day and noticed I was only averaging about 13mbps download which is supposed to be 50mbps. The Verizon guy told me I didn't need my current Cisco Router E4200. He hooked up the POS ActionTec router.

I call Verizon today to try and troubleshoot my connection because only getting around 15mb download seemed like something was up. The Verizon phone tech wanted me to hook it up directly which I couldn't do because I would have had to move my entire computer to the living room. I also didn't believe a wireless router could lose that much speed being a mere eight feet from the router. I do some resezrching online mainly here and find that a lot of people have had the same problem.

So I put my trusty good ole Cisco E4200 in bridge mode and like magic my wireless speed are now averaging all the way up to 40mbps.

I just think its absurd Verizon has that really nice Cisco DVR box sitting right beside that crappy ActionTec wireless router of theirs.

I just needed a place to vent as I'm sure people from Verizon read these forums and to hopefully save someone else from frustration.

dmine45

join:2002-11-03
Fredericksburg, VA
Looks like you got a bum router. I have two Actiontecs in master/slave mode and they work just fine.

You can always use Ethernet and run CAT5e or CAT6 in your home. But for most of us who don't really want to run Ethernet, using the existing coax usually works fine.

serge87

join:2009-11-29
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to gower2352
I ditched that pos Actiontec back when I had the rev. A. I've gone through the rev D and rev G more recently but they are still strictly on wireless AP duty and nothing more. My pfSense machine blows the Actiontec out of the water as a router, hands down. If you're just checking your email or reading news online I guess it should be enough for light duties.


dennismurphy
Put me on hold? I'll put YOU on hold
Premium
join:2002-11-19
Parsippany, NJ
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
said by serge87:

I ditched that pos Actiontec back when I had the rev. A. I've gone through the rev D and rev G more recently but they are still strictly on wireless AP duty and nothing more. My pfSense machine blows the Actiontec out of the water as a router, hands down. If you're just checking your email or reading news online I guess it should be enough for light duties.

Sure, at 10x the cost, power consumption and skillset.

The Actiontec (at least recent revisions) is actually quite a decent router, especially when cost and power are huge factors. I don't mean end user cost, but the cost per unit to VZ.

What doesn't the AT do that you can't live without?

ScottB

join:2012-12-30
Staten Island, NY
I bought the new Actiontech GiGE router for $79 and on the 75/35 plan my wireless is usually 65-80mps. Whenever the speed drops it usually resolves with a reset of the computer's wireless card. I was only getting 40-50mps on the previous Actiontech router Verizon gave me on install.


Dream Killer
Graveyard Shift
Premium
join:2002-08-09
Forest Hills, NY
kudos:1
reply to dennismurphy
said by dennismurphy:

said by serge87:

I ditched that pos Actiontec back when I had the rev. A. I've gone through the rev D and rev G more recently but they are still strictly on wireless AP duty and nothing more. My pfSense machine blows the Actiontec out of the water as a router, hands down. If you're just checking your email or reading news online I guess it should be enough for light duties.

Sure, at 10x the cost, power consumption and skillset.

The Actiontec (at least recent revisions) is actually quite a decent router, especially when cost and power are huge factors. I don't mean end user cost, but the cost per unit to VZ.

What doesn't the AT do that you can't live without?

Exactly why I switched back to my Rev. F ActionTec (from pfSense no less).

The feature that pfSense was good at was the logging through RRD Graphs and SNMP. Both of which I now manage through my own RRD database. The rest of the features is just fluff.

PfSense is not really any faster in any metric (c/s, p/s t/s) or any more secure than the Actiontec. In fact the Actiontec is generally faster in terms of how quickly it can forward packets. It's probably because packet filter combined with promiscuous mode in an x86 platform is a significantly deep pipeline.


dennismurphy
Put me on hold? I'll put YOU on hold
Premium
join:2002-11-19
Parsippany, NJ
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 recommendation

said by Dream Killer:

said by dennismurphy:

said by serge87:

I ditched that pos Actiontec back when I had the rev. A. I've gone through the rev D and rev G more recently but they are still strictly on wireless AP duty and nothing more. My pfSense machine blows the Actiontec out of the water as a router, hands down. If you're just checking your email or reading news online I guess it should be enough for light duties.

Sure, at 10x the cost, power consumption and skillset.

The Actiontec (at least recent revisions) is actually quite a decent router, especially when cost and power are huge factors. I don't mean end user cost, but the cost per unit to VZ.

What doesn't the AT do that you can't live without?

Exactly why I switched back to my Rev. F ActionTec (from pfSense no less).

The feature that pfSense was good at was the logging through RRD Graphs and SNMP. Both of which I now manage through my own RRD database. The rest of the features is just fluff.

PfSense is not really any faster in any metric (c/s, p/s t/s) or any more secure than the Actiontec. In fact the Actiontec is generally faster in terms of how quickly it can forward packets. It's probably because packet filter combined with promiscuous mode in an x86 platform is a significantly deep pipeline.

The trade off is always against cost. My personal feeling is that the AT router is a very good compromise - fast packet handling, decent firewalling features, and an Ethernet switch & wireless AP for a very low price point, all things considered.

The possibilities for features in the router are nearly limitless; the question is where there's a point of diminishing return.

I'd venture to say that the AT is perfectly suited for, say, 98% of FiOS customers. The last percent or two (if it's even that much) either have a very specific function they want, or are more comfortable with a different product for whatever reason. Either way, other options are workable but to call the AT a 'POS' is very harsh for a product that, honestly, is fine for the vast majority.


Dream Killer
Graveyard Shift
Premium
join:2002-08-09
Forest Hills, NY
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to gower2352
It is a bit over the top to call it a POS. I strongly believe that the MI424wr is a better unit than routers sold for consumers. It may fall short in wireless performance as described by the OP, but its routing performance is outstanding.


Smith6612
Premium,MVM
join:2008-02-01
North Tonawanda, NY
kudos:24
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL
·Frontier Communi..
^ This. The only reason I've spoken badly about the ActionTecs are due to past issues with the NAT table, and just some apparent bloat/goof-ups in the firmware that seems to be present causing grief. Besides that, the hardware is solid and the Wireless is simply a bonus. After all, if you're getting Fiber why not put what you can on Wired to get what you actually pay for, is my view in that matter.

I'm running an MI424WR Rev. D at home with DD-WRT installed onto it. Very nice hardware, plenty of resources available and it performs like a champ years after it was first opened and used on a FiOS connection. A 532Mhz Intel IXP CPU with 32MB of RAM and 8MB flash? Most home routers from the time didn't have specs like this at all.

serge87

join:2009-11-29
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to dennismurphy
said by dennismurphy:

said by serge87:

I ditched that pos Actiontec back when I had the rev. A. I've gone through the rev D and rev G more recently but they are still strictly on wireless AP duty and nothing more. My pfSense machine blows the Actiontec out of the water as a router, hands down. If you're just checking your email or reading news online I guess it should be enough for light duties.

Sure, at 10x the cost, power consumption and skillset.

The Actiontec (at least recent revisions) is actually quite a decent router, especially when cost and power are huge factors. I don't mean end user cost, but the cost per unit to VZ.

What doesn't the AT do that you can't live without?

For most basic uses the AT is fine for the majority of VZ customers. I needed a router that could do 500,000 NAT states without crashing and pfSense was perfect for that role. I've tested the AT rev. G and concluded it could do 180-200K states before it had to be reset so I went with the pfSense build instead.

Sure, the pfSense router does use more power(about 80-90 watts) compared to the Actiontec's 16 watts but I can spare the extra $1.72 in electricity for the month.

batsona
Maryland

join:2004-04-17
Ellicott City, MD
Reviews:
·Vonage
·Verizon FiOS
reply to gower2352
I agree -- troubleshooting speed issues over wireless is always tricky, since there are 1,000 different variables affecting performance. When troubleshooting, you always try to simply to remove variables -- this is why VZ asked you to go back to wired just as a troubleshooting step. The only machines in my house that get the full advertized UL / DL speed, are the wired ones.


Dream Killer
Graveyard Shift
Premium
join:2002-08-09
Forest Hills, NY
kudos:1
reply to gower2352
Wow, 80-90 watts. What's your pfSense running on?

I found that the best x86 routing platforms are old IBM t42 laptops. All Intel hardware so FreeBSD loves it, and pfSense with powerd enabled only takes up 15w or so. Also has a built in console and battery backup.

But yea, max states is something pfSense is better at since you can shove a lot of RAM into it. I still think shouldn't be used as a metric for router performance, though. I myself fell for max states as the end-all metric for p2p for a couple of years.

serge87

join:2009-11-29
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to gower2352
said by Dream Killer:

Wow, 80-90 watts. What's your pfSense running on?

I found that the best x86 routing platforms are old IBM t42 laptops. All Intel hardware so FreeBSD loves it, and pfSense with powerd enabled only takes up 15w or so. Also has a built in console and battery backup.

But yea, max states is something pfSense is better at since you can shove a lot of RAM into it. I still think shouldn't be used as a metric for router performance, though. I myself fell for max states as the end-all metric for p2p for a couple of years.

Not only for the NAT table performance(which is nice with 4gb ram) but for its packets-per-second performance also. Another member on this forum(RolteC) and I did some more testing and concluded it could do ~330k packets/second incoming and ~180k packets/second outgoing! To do that with licensed commercial equipment you would be probably paying in the $$,$$$ range.


RolteC
0h

join:2001-05-20
Fresh Meadows, NY
kudos:1
I concur with serge87 ! It it would have been higher if FiOS had an even faster tier! But remember, pfSense is only as good as the hardware that is it running on.


Dream Killer
Graveyard Shift
Premium
join:2002-08-09
Forest Hills, NY
kudos:1
reply to gower2352
For lols I ran the liveCD pfSense on a sandy bridge server and it was a couple million packet per second between two 10G interfaces through a spirent tester.

OwlSaver
OwlSaver
Premium
join:2005-01-30
Berwyn, PA
reply to dennismurphy
said by dennismurphy:

said by serge87:

I ditched that pos Actiontec back when I had the rev. A. I've gone through the rev D and rev G more recently but they are still strictly on wireless AP duty and nothing more. My pfSense machine blows the Actiontec out of the water as a router, hands down. If you're just checking your email or reading news online I guess it should be enough for light duties.

Sure, at 10x the cost, power consumption and skillset.

The Actiontec (at least recent revisions) is actually quite a decent router, especially when cost and power are huge factors. I don't mean end user cost, but the cost per unit to VZ.

What doesn't the AT do that you can't live without?

I can live without it but, I wish the ActionTec would respond to router advertisments. I run my two routers as APs for wireless behind the AT in bridged mode. When I tried to run them as routers, the AT kept getting confused on some routes.

It would be great if Verizon would work with DD-WRT to come out with a version that they support on the AT. That I would really like.

Other than that, I find the AT works for my home needs.


Dream Killer
Graveyard Shift
Premium
join:2002-08-09
Forest Hills, NY
kudos:1
said by OwlSaver:

said by dennismurphy:

said by serge87:

I ditched that pos Actiontec back when I had the rev. A. I've gone through the rev D and rev G more recently but they are still strictly on wireless AP duty and nothing more. My pfSense machine blows the Actiontec out of the water as a router, hands down. If you're just checking your email or reading news online I guess it should be enough for light duties.

Sure, at 10x the cost, power consumption and skillset.

The Actiontec (at least recent revisions) is actually quite a decent router, especially when cost and power are huge factors. I don't mean end user cost, but the cost per unit to VZ.

What doesn't the AT do that you can't live without?

I can live without it but, I wish the ActionTec would respond to router advertisments. I run my two routers as APs for wireless behind the AT in bridged mode. When I tried to run them as routers, the AT kept getting confused on some routes.

It would be great if Verizon would work with DD-WRT to come out with a version that they support on the AT. That I would really like.

Other than that, I find the AT works for my home needs.

Did all three routers run on different subnets?

OwlSaver
OwlSaver
Premium
join:2005-01-30
Berwyn, PA
Yes, I used:

Router............WAN IP...................LAN IP
AT.................??????............192.168.1.1
Router 1.........192.168.1.86 ...192.168.86.1
Router 2.........192.168.1.87....192.168.87.1

Most devices worked fine. But some just refused to route packets through the AT after a while. The primary offenders were Android devices. Surprisingly (to me) iDevices never had any issues.


Dream Killer
Graveyard Shift
Premium
join:2002-08-09
Forest Hills, NY
kudos:1
reply to gower2352
odd, indeed.