Is It Possible to Change My ISP Router on nbn

Hi everyone, so my networking knowledge is little to none and I was wondering whether I could change the crappy NetComm wireless router to something better. For years I held back from upgrading my router simply because a TPG call centre guy said he doesn't recommend it because if any problem arises, TPG can't communicate with my network to diagnose or something like that.

Fast forward to today, this router frequently drops out and it gets quite annoying and sometimes costly. I'm pretty sure its not the NBN because whenever I connect an ethernet it's fine and stable.

So I was wondering whether what the TPG guy said was accurate and whether I can upgrade my router.
And if so, what specifications do I look for when buying a router for the NBN (I use NBN 50) and what routers do you guys recommend (don't really have a set price point, just not those overkill ASUS ROG routers)

There is the option where I can get a TP-LINK router (AC1200 I think) where it supports 5GHZ for free with a lock-in contract and then have a wifi mesh if needed but I'm not sure

Thank you


  • Talking router or modem or is it all in one unit?

    I have FTTC, I have the huawii standard NBN modem but I changed the trash TPlink wireless router.

  • What you were told by the TPG rep was basically correct, TPG like the majority of ISP's have a back door into the router they supply and can monitor your connection and make changes/adjustments if they deem it necessary - including updates.

    My current ISP, not TPG, also supplied me with a crappy NetCom router which frequently dropped out due to the chipset that couldn't handle the connection for extended periods.

    I bit the bullet and purchased a D-Link modem router and dropout problems went away, my ISP talked me through the finer points (VOIP) installation, even though they hadn't supplied it.

    So go ahead if you want, change your router, but TPG may crack if you have any future issues and may refuse to assist you.

  • TPG reps can just "give up" if you are using unsupported hardware. They aren't trained in every different router out there. Get a new router, but keep the old one on hand for if issues do crop up.

    Now, something we need to know before helping you is what type of NBN you have. FTTP? HFC? FTTC? FTTB? FTTN?

    I'm not sure about now, but back when iiNet were first bought out by TPG, TPG HFC wouldn't work by default on any non-TPG hardware. The authentication they chose was non-standard, if I remember correctly. You could get it working from instructions on Whirlpool, but an iiNet CSR would likely not be able to help you. One out of a dozen might know how, but if they don't stick to the support scope then it makes life hard for other CSRs when you inevitably run into further problems, and expect everyone to be able to help you with unsupported hardware because "the previous guy knew how".

    I really need to know your budget and your NBN technology in order to recommend you some hardware. You may think the ASUS ROG routers are overkill (or something else someone suggests), but without knowing your needs (as mentioned, also building size) we can't get into anything more specific other than saying "Asus AC68U is good. Heard good things about Amazon's mesh setup."

    • Go to the routers VLAN ID 802.1q settings page and type the number 2. This will let you use your own router with TPG and iinet.

    • I'm pretty sure its FTTP has a grey utility box outside and a power supply and connection box inside.

      My house is around 200 square metres and I'd say around $250 is my budget less is better

      So after reading all of the comments I have come up with three options

      1. Buy a Wi-Fi mesh solution with three nodes connecting one node to the NetComm's ethernet. (Not sure if this is how it works. If it does I can probably have the best of both worlds, decent connection and TPG can still communicate with my router)

      2. Buy a new router for my FTTP connection. (Only thing is not really sure how to set it up properly especially to VOIP stuff and risk TPG reps crapping on me. Also, keep old router handy)

      3. Talk to TPG and see if I can get a better router like the TP-Link. (That way TPG might still be able to communicate with the new one)

      • Is the NBN connection box mounted on the wall?

        In regards to router setup do you use TPG VoIP? Can you go mobile only for calls or is your mobile reception not great?

        • Just realise what I use might not be VoIP. The phone connects to the UNI V port on my NBN connection box which I'm pretty sure is different

          • @HairyChickens: Congrats you have FTTP!

            You don't need the routers TPG sell you for voice if your using the UNI-V port.

            1. A TP-Link Deco M5 (2-Pack) should cover it. Plug in 1 M5 into the NBN connection box and put the 2nd M5 where you would normally have a weaker wifi signal.

            2. TP-Link Archer AX20 or Amplifi HD by Ubiquiti Labs. Plug into the NBN connection box.

            3. I wouldn't bother as the TP-Link Archer 1600 has average wifi. On the off chance there is a fault bypass the router all together and plug a laptop into the NBN connection box or plug in the crappy Netcomm router.

            • @Twix: Oh, when I gave three options I meant to choose the best one in your opinion my bad.

              With buying a new router is there any complex setup involved?
              Also if there are any problems with my internet I can connect back my old NetComm and have TPG help me right? (For non "new" router issues)

              Right now I'm leaning more towards a wifi mesh but the NetComm can only do 2.4Ghz

              • @HairyChickens: Option 1: a mesh kit if your NBN connection box is up at one end of the house.

                Option 2: a new router if your NBN connection box is around the middle of the house.

                No complex setup. Plug the router in, download an app or go through web setup, choose the PPPoE protocol, enter your TPG username and password and set your wifi name and password.

                Plug in the Netcomm at any time for TPG help. Don't worry that the Netcomm can only do 2.4Ghz. TPG will want you to do any testing with Ethernet. Problems on FTTP don't happen often.

                • @Twix: Hey just one more thing, when buying routers in general for my FTTP NBN I should be getting routers that are either 802.11ax or 802.11ac right?

                  Also, wifi technology is separate from the NBN technology and my TPG plan, right? So I can connect the same ethernet cable that used to do 802.11n and will be able to get Wifi 6/ax? (Provided I have a compatible router and device. Obviously still limited to 50 Mbps)

                  • @HairyChickens: Yeah purchase a router with Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) or Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac).

                    Router Wi-Fi technology is separate from the NBN, TPG and Ethernet cabling. Use the same Ethernet cable or the new one that comes in the routers box. You are able to get Wi-Fi 6 when you have Wi-Fi 6 on router and Wi-Fi 6 on a mobile, laptop or any other electronic device that supports it. You won't see any difference with Wi-Fi 6 on 50 Mbps speed wise. In the right environment Wi-Fi 6 can deliver 900+ Mbps download on the Gigabit plan (TPG don't offer it) compared to when using a Wi-Fi 5 router.

                  • @HairyChickens: To help make something clear (@Twix has already made you some good recommendations hardware wise so I won't repeat that), because you have FTTP what the rep told you is now pretty simple.

                    To test your FTTP connection THE troubleshooting step is to plug a computer directly into the FTTP box. This eliminates the router altogether.

                    If your connection has issues which aren't solved by doing this, then the problem is on the NBN side.

                    If the problems resolve by doing this, then the problem is on your hardware side (which TPG may not offer you support with).


    Or FW?

  • Netcomm is ok. I’m using a nf18acv, it has green glow.

  • I use my own modem with TPG no issues have done for FTTB and FTTP

  • Fast forward to today, this router frequently drops out and it gets quite annoying and sometimes costly. I'm pretty sure its not the NBN because whenever I connect an ethernet it's fine and stable.

    Is it your router or your NBN connection? You need to figure this out. You can change your router and NBN still drops out.

    • Like I said whenever the wifi drops out, the only thing that works is ethernet, an ethernet cable from the router to computer

      • Then I would check if WiFi is really dropping out as in disappears (you should update you OP)? Could also be the fact you are on the same channel as a neighbor and getting interference.

        • Done everything, change channels, wifi is dead on every device in the house. The fact that router is like 6 years old, runs on only 2.4Ghz and is on 802.11n is worth the upgrade imo.

          • @HairyChickens: If cable is working you might just buy a router and plug onto the back if you can't find a replacement that will allow you to login. Or keep an eye out on the same model as your ISP use and buy it second hand if new you think is too expensive.

            Ring up your ISP and see if they will send you a new one. Just tell them you're a long term customer and they got their money's worth unless they want you to leave over $100 modem.

  • It is true that usually the ISP provided hardware they can diagnose issues n such…. but overall, the hardware they provide is rubbish. I would upgrade your router hardware to like the TP-Link AX20. Or if your on a budget a 2nd hand router would do the job like the older Asus RT-AC68Uhas been working well for me for a while now, AiMesh 2 up together and you got full house coverage.