What nbn Modem for FTTC?

Hi all,

I’ll be moving into a relatively small 2 bedroom, two story townhouse/unit. I’ll likely be signing up for the 50/20 Aussie Broadband Plan and the address connection type is FTTC.

They give you the option of selecting their chosen modem, a Netcomm NF18MESH although I’ve heard mixed reviews on these and they’re charging $150 for it.

I’m just wondering if there’s a better option around a similar price point? Budget is about $200 max, but I could stretch it a little further if need be. Alternatively, if my requirements aren’t too onerous and I can save a buck with a cheaper option, I’m all ears!

Downstairs fairly close to where the modem is situated, I’ll be utilising my 4K TV for UHD streaming and next-gen gaming (have an XSX with Gamepass). Upstairs is the home office.

Thanks in advance!

Comments

  • +2 votes

    I recently moved into a 2bdr apartment and bought the Asus DSL-AC55U ($99) as I needed a VSDL compatible modem. On a 100mp plan FTTB I got 90mb on 5ghz in the same room (bedroom). However due to concrete walls, I couldn't connect to the 5ghz wifi from the living room and was limited to the 25mb at 2.4ghz in the living room. So I ended up getting a mesh Wi-Fi deco m5 3 pack ($219) and now have stable 90mb across the whole apartment. The mesh system is likely overkill for my apartments size but it will be useful to have for future places I move ( I am only in this apartment for another 6 months). Ultimately it was a $319 solution but the mesh wifi is definitely more useful then solely using a router and so far has delivered no dead spots and consistent speed. The setup is also very easy.

    Also, other benefit is each deco m5 repeater has an ethernet port so I can plug it into your console directly.

    •  

      Cheers for the advice. The property will be rather small and my Apple Time Capsule will indirectly serve as an upstairs extender via an Ethernet power plug so I'll probably opt for a standalone router at this stage, but I'll definitely consider a mesh setup for a future place.

      The benefit of plugging something like a console or streaming device straight into a repeater sounds great also.

      •  

        First run speedtests and check your latency without the ATC.

  • +3 votes

    I'm also on FTTC and had no issues with the supplied modem so far. I already had a decent router which I connected to the modem though.

    Also, make sure to use the 1mth free promo if signing up to AussieBB. It probably works out better for you than the $50 credit from using a referral code: https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/638979

    •  

      1 month free is better than using the referral. Are you using the nbn NCD + NetComm router + a second router?

      • +1 vote

        Oh! my bad. You're right, the NCD is connected to my own router. I must've mistaken the Netcomm with the NBN NCD. In that case I would've chosen the BYO option when signing up.

        To answer OP's original question, you can get an Asus RT-68U for $199 which is within your budget.

    •  

      Cheers for letting me know about the free month. I saw they recently had the $20 off promo for certain plans and was annoyed to have missed the boat on that so this is good news!

  • +4 votes

    A modem for FTTC is provided by nbn. What you need to purchase is a router. A TP-Link Archer AX20 is $163.55 on backorder delivered @ Wireless 1 or $199 in stock delivered/ C&C/ in-Store @ Centre Com. For a bargain test out a Telstra smart modem gen 2 $20. Get a pair of TP-Link Deco M5 if you want mesh.

    Signup to 100/40 for the first month and change to 50/20 next month.

    • +1 vote

      Can you use a Telstra Smart modem as just a router?

      •  

        Yeah you can. Ignore the name :-)

        • +2 votes

          Im already ignoring "Smart" and "Telstra" in the same name.

          •  

            @Nalar: Surprisingly it's a very capable Wi-Fi 5 modem/router. Technicolor is the OEM.

    • +1 vote

      Cheers for the suggestions, after doing a bit of research I pulled the trigger on the AX20. The free gifts via redemption sweetened the deal as well. So I should sign up for the higher plan to take advantage of those speeds for the free month and then downgrade to the 50/20 plan?

      I'm guessing 50/20 is probably more than sufficient for my needs? It's a two person household with the requirements outlined in the post plus a couple of laptops/mobile devices and the like.

      • +1 vote

        Take advantage of the offer and get 100/40 to download some games and updates quicker. 50/20 should be enough.

        • +1 vote

          Good call, will do. Appreciate the advice re the ATC also.

  • +1 vote

    As Twix said, you need a wifi router, not a modem if the property has FTTC. (As the NBN supplied NCD delivers modem functionality)

    Outside of the UHD TV and gaming console, what type of equipment do you have in the home office, and are there any other devices you will be connecting?

    If the property is small, mesh wifi might be overkill, and to be honest I still prefer wired connections for gaming consoles and UHD TV, so that you get the smoothest experience.

    I personally have had good results with Netgear and TP-Link equipment over many years, but I have an IT background so never take the "packaged" gear, as I am happy configuring kit to get the best out of it.

    • +1 vote

      Great point, I definitely mixed up the terminology there, a router is what I'll need. Besides what was listed, UHD Apple TV, several mobile devices and a couple of older laptops. I'm not much of a power user either, pretty typical requirements for WFH and online study.

      However, I'm setting up a Plex server down the track for my movie and TV shows collection. I've bit the bullet and purchased an AX-20 so hopefully that's sufficient. I liked the idea of a mesh setup after doing some research on it but as you noted, it's probably overkill for my circumstances. A wired connection would have been great but there's zero additional ports throughout the house unfortunately.

      • +1 vote

        Carrier Grade NAT can block access to a Plex server, Xbox online gaming, cameras, remote access, servers, home automation and more. Ask Aussie BB to turn it off.

        If you have a valid reason and need to opt-out of CGNAT you can call our technical support staff on 1300 880 905 and we can opt-out your service. Opting out of CGNAT will result in your unique public IP address changing unless you have a static IP applied to your service. If you have a static IP address you do not need to opt-out and will not be part of CGNAT.

  • +2 votes

    I've ordered a Mikrotik hAP AC2, comes to about $110 delivered. Hasn't arrived yet, so can't comment much on it. Was recommended by the homelab/networking crowd

    •  

      That's an interesting device, thanks for the heads up.

  • +1 vote

    Get a wifi mesh system & plug it directly into the NBN Device (modem). Mesh is better than a standalone router.
    It’s how I’ve done it