Information about Sonic's Equipment? (Modem and Router)

Internet access discussion, including Fusion, FTTN and Gigabit Fiber!
4 posts Page 1 of 1
by caliray22 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:37 pm
Hello All,
I was wondering if anybody knows what specific Modem and Router models are issued to customers of Gigabit Fiber?
I'm wondering so that I can look into the information, reviews, etc. on the respective pieces of equipment to see if we'd want to actually rent the equipment, or if it'd be better to just buy other new equipment ourselves. We are at the Pre-Ordering stage and are trying to anticipate (scheduled to start service in September 2018 - next month).

Does anybody know:
- The Model of the Modem?
- The Model of the Router?
- How many Upstream Channels the Modem has?
- How many Downstream Channels the Modem has?
- How many Upstream Channels does Sonic support? (important!)
- How many Downstream Channels does Sonic support? (important!)
- Is the provided Modem and Router a "Combo" piece of equipment? (both Modem & Router combined in one housing)
- What speeds have you personally been able to, consistently, achieve? Wired? Wireless? (I understand Theoretical vs Actual)

I think that'd be about it. As many questions as you'd be able to answer, would be great! I searched all over for this information but could never seem to find anything concrete on this (sometimes I'd see one model mentioned, but no mention if that's standard issue, or what).

Thank you for your time and assistance, it is much appreciated!
by LG12 » Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:32 am
- The Model of the Modem? Not applicable. Your fiber connection will not require a modem, sonic will install an optical network terminal or ONT. This will convert the fiber cable from the exterior transition box to an RJ-45 cable (a basic Ethernet cable such as you currently use to connect wired devices to your router). The RJ-45 cable running from the ONT can be connected either directly to a device or to a router.
- The Model of the Router? This varies, posts I have seen recently have pointed to sonic providing new users with a smart RG router however I have yet to see an exact model number, many current users were initially provided with Arris 5268AC routers but I believe they are being transitioned off as the 5268AC could not achieve full gigabit throughput.
- How many Upstream Channels the Modem has? One again Not applicable. Fiber does not function the same way cable does and will not be provided over dated coaxial wiring.
- How many Downstream Channels the Modem has? One again Not applicable. Fiber does not function the same way cable does and will not be provided over dated coaxial wiring.
- How many Upstream Channels does Sonic support? (important!) One again Not applicable. Fiber does not function the same way cable does and will not be provided over dated coaxial wiring.
- How many Downstream Channels does Sonic support? (important!) One again Not applicable. Fiber does not function the same way cable does and will not be provided over dated coaxial wiring.
- Is the provided Modem and Router a "Combo" piece of equipment? (both Modem & Router combined in one housing) Not applicable, as a modem will not be used.
- What speeds have you personally been able to, consistently, achieve? Wired? Wireless? (I understand Theoretical vs Actual) Once again fiber does not function the same way cable does. With cable bandwidth is shared between a neighborhood and as a result you will often not get the full speeds you pay for, with fiber each user has a dedicated amount of bandwidth. Your ONT will receive exactly 1 Gigabit up and 1 Gigabit down (or 125 Megabytes up and 125 Megabytes down as 1 byte is 8 bits). Even if everyone in your neighborhood has sonic gigabit fiber and they all decide to saturate their links simultaneously you should still receive the full gigabit up and down. However you should see some throughput loss on the last leg between your router and your computer due to transfer overhead. Typically on a wired connection to a device with a gigabit network interface (most computers built in the last 10 years) you will see between 900 Megabits per second and 975 megabits per second. As for wireless speeds they will vary greatly depending on a number of factors including range from the router, construction materials used in the walls in your home, and performance of the wireless card in the client device.

I recommend that you watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JMcOAJHZok as it will give you an idea of the equipment that will be installed and what to expect on the installation day.

One big issue with getting your own router is finding one that can handle synchronous gigabit throughput without costing an arm and a leg. There are currently very few consumer level devices that can do it and most are very expensive, for example the NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 is the only one I can think of off the top of my head and it holds a $340 price tag. The most cost effective solution would be a budget pfsense router built from and old pc however a moderate amount of networking knowledge is needed even for a basic setup of a pfsense router. Most mid range consumer routers are limited to around 500mbps total throughput and most high end consumer routers are limited to 750-1000mbps total throughput.

Also please remember that sonic will not be able to provide router support if you buy your own router so unless you are willing and able to handle any setup and configuration your router may require buying your own is not a good idea.

I am using a pfsense router however I work in the IT support sector and hold both CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Network + certifications. For someone without an advanced knowledge of computers and at least a basic understanding of networking concepts I would not recommend going the pfsense route.
by bobfff » Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:53 am
I use Ubiquiti's EdgeRouter Lite (ERL), under $100, along with Ubiquiti UniFi wifi devices. ERL has no problems with symmetric gigabyte traffic. You should be familiar with Linux to use the command line interface though the Ubiquiti site has a number of support docs that can walk you through simple setups. The user forums are also a good place to start to become familiar with the features.

Bob
by alxyang24 » Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:02 pm
I believe you are getting either of two models

https://wiki.sonic.net/wiki/SmartRG_SR515ac

https://wiki.sonic.net/wiki/Pace_5268AC

Other people have already commented modem/ONT differences.

Sonic Support can probably clarify, but my understanding is the first 12 months of service, the above routers are provided "free" as part of the intro $40 pricing as in they are $10 a month to rent, but you get $10 off for the first 12 months for the router lease. Sonic will provide support into issues with your connections as long as you are using their routers. I believe you can chose to use your own router behind these routers if you put them into bridge or passthrough modes or connect directly to the ONT (but then forgo support)

I would use the provided router for the first few months to determine if that works for you, Sonic is apparently trialing out their own home mesh network according to dane (post #3)
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=4793

I plan to test whatever router I get and compare it with Ubiquiti ER-4 and keep it for the first 12 months and then return the router.
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