Best router for fiber: which one to choose

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Alejandra Rangel
@alejandrarangel
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Were you not satisfied with the new modem / router made available by your Internet operator to surf using the fiber optic connection or the mixed copper fiber connection? Fortunately, we can change the modem / router offered with a new, more performing model, faster and with better network coverage, without giving up the services offered by the operator (in the vast majority of cases).
In this article we will show you what is the best router for fiber, how to connect it to our home network and what problems can we expect from the process, given that telephony operators in the city hardly release all the parameters to be able to personally configure their modem / router.



Best router for fiber


Based on the fiber connection technology we use, we can configure the new router for the fiber in various ways, so as to be able to improve the connection quality even without having the skills of a computer technician (we will also show you the quick and quick procedure to navigate with the new fiber router, within the reach of every user).

Differences between fiber optic connections

When we talk about fiber optic connections, we are actually talking about two very distinct technologies:
  • FTTC (also known as VDSL, FTTS e FTTN): this technology allows to obtain the fiber optic connection up to the cabinet closest to our home, and then continue to our home with the simple copper cable. It is currently one of the most popular connections in the city, as it is cheap to set up and does not require any intervention on the telephone sockets. By law, operators must sell it with the acronym FR (ie "copper mixed fiber").
  • FTTH: the best technology for the optical fiber connection, to the point that it is recognized as "true optical fiber", legally sold with the sigla F ("Optic fiber"). With it, the fiber cable will reach the house instead of the telephone socket and will allow us to reach very high transmission speeds (always higher than 100 Mega per second).
The connection of the modem / router is slightly different between the two technologies: with the FTTC the connection occurs exactly as on the modems for ADSL, ie by connecting a copper pair to the home telephone socket; with FTTH technology the twisted pair no longer exists, replaced by a fiber optic cable that enters directly into the router or by a wall distribution box, which converts the signal to Ethernet (the modem / router will then be connected to via Ethernet) .


If we have an FTTC connection we can use both the simple procedure and the advanced procedure; if, on the other hand, we have an FTTH connection, we will usually only be able to follow the simple procedure, since the nature of the connection is much more complex (not within the reach of normal Internet users).
Isn't the difference between FTTC and FTTH entirely clear to us? We suggest you read our in-depth analysis VDSL, FTTC and FTTH fiber: what are the differences and which is better?

Connect a new fiber router (simple procedure)

This procedure is the simplest and we can apply it with any router and with any fiber connection, since we will make a simple one cascade between the two devices at our disposal.


Without giving up the modem provided by the operator (which for convenience we will call proprietary modem from now on), we connect the new router to it using a simple Ethernet cable, taking care to connect the cable to one of the ports LAN of the proprietary modem and to the port Internet o WAN of our new router.
On modern routers we won't have to do anything else, since the network configuration is completely automatic; for convenience we advise you to enter the proprietary modem control panel and turn off Wi-Fi, since the new router's wireless network is much more efficient than that managed by proprietary modems. By following this procedure we will not give up the proprietary modem (which we can still use for VoIP telephony) and we will be able to connect all our devices (via cable or via Wi-Fi) only to the new router, thus taking advantage of its features.
To deepen the discussion on routers connected in cascade, we refer you to reading our article on how Connect a new router to the modem without changing networks.

Connect a New Fiber Modem (Advanced Procedure)

If, on the other hand, we want to follow a more complex procedure to connect the two network devices, let's bring the proprietary modem configuration panel, disable the Wi-Fi (useless, since it will be provided by the new router), delete any port mapping configurations and we insert the IP address of the new router in the DMZ of the proprietary modem, so as to be able to guarantee total access to the router without any type of filtering or routing (functions that will be used on the new router).


To obtain the IP address of the new router, we can connect to its Wi-Fi network and find out the address from the control interface, or we can simply access the network configurations of the proprietary modem and immediately discover the IP of the newly connected router. (will appear among the connected devices). Once this configuration has been made, from now on we will only have to access the configuration panel of the new router to carry out port mapping or other advanced configurations, since the proprietary modem is in fact "transparent" (ie it acts as a pure modem without applying filters or IP routing).
To learn more about the topic, we refer you to reading our guides How to find the IP address of the home router e DHCP Guide: Assign IP Manually or Leave IP Automatic?

How to use a single fiber router

  • connect a new router on FTTC connection it is sufficient to insert the RJ11 cable (the one completely similar to the telephone cable) in the classic telephone socket and in the DSL port of the router and configure the parameters, so as to be able to surf the Internet and talk on the fixed telephone in VoIP.

If we want instead connect a new router on FTTH connection, in most cases (for example on FTTH by Fastweb) it will be enough to use a ONT converter, so you can navigate immediately without problems, abandoning the proprietary modem.
One of the best devices for the purpose is the TP-Link MC220L Media Converter (23 €).


The fiber optic cable must be inserted into the socket SFPwhile on the door Gigabit Ethernet we will have to connect our new router, configuring the connection parameters as indicated above (we advise you to also take a leap in the Amazon reviews of the product, where many users have shared the complete configuration procedure).
To get the best transmission quality with this device, we advise you to adopt a well-made Ethernet network cable such as the AmazonBasics - RJ45 Cat-7e Ethernet Network Cable (7 €).

Guide to buying the best fiber router

After having seen closely how to connect any router to the high-speed connections in the city, we will show you in this chapter the best routers we can buy for fiber. For completeness of information we will show you both simple routers (for FTTC and FTTH) and VDSL modems / routers (compatible on FTTC networks).

The best Gigabit Ethernet routers we can buy right now (great for router cascade or FTTH) are:

  1. D-Link DIR-809 (29 €)
  2. TP-Link Archer C6 (39 €)
  3. TP-Link TL-MR6400 (70€)
  4. AVM FRITZ! Box 4040 (69€)
  5. AVM FRITZ!Box 7590 (170€)
If we are looking for modems / routers compatible with FTTC lines, the best models are:

  • D-Link DSL-3785 (59€)
  • TP-Link Archer VR600 (103€)
  • TP-Link Archer VR1210v (114€)
  • AVM FRITZ!Box 7530 (115€)
  • Netgear D7000-100PES (129€)
To evaluate other routers or modems / routers, we recommend that you read our article on Best WiFi routers to connect wireless home devices.

Conclusions

As we have seen, even when we have a fiber optic connection we have great freedom of choice in terms of routers: we can create a cascade with the router provided by the operator (simpler method and within everyone's reach) or we can retrieve the parameters of connection and connect our personal router, configuring it according to our needs.

If after following the steps described in the guide we are unable to navigate, we recommend that you read our guides before contacting support Modem red LED (no Internet): what to do before calling for assistance e How to tell if the modem router is broken.

Best router for fiber: which one to choose


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