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Hitron modem or router mode query
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Old 29-07-2020, 17:21   #1
bill888
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Hitron modem or router mode query

hi

I tried asking this question on VM forum but couldn't get exact answer as they don't support business customers.

We have a Virgin Hitron hub wired to a single device, either a cisco and meraki kit (we've not traced the cables). It was installed by a 3rd party earlier this year. We don't own the VM account or manage this supplied kit on our business premises btw.

We want to retire an old/slow BT ADSL connection and was advised we could use the VM connection if the wifi is enabled on the Hitron. However, I'm not sure if that advice is correct.

Only lights visible on front of the hitron are two blue arrow lights and power light. Wifi is off. There are four LEDs labelled 1 to 4 but I understand these may be for the 4 phone sockets - all are unlit.

On the regular VM Hub 3, a purple status light indicates it is in 'modem' mode. Does the Hitron offer similar status LED to distinguish between modem or router modes?

Otherwise, if the Hitron is in modem (or router) mode, is it safe to connect a laptop to spare LAN port to see if internet access is available or access the hub's admin page. We don't under any circumstances wish to disturb or disconnect the existing cisco/meraki kit. I can't tell you whether there is 1 or more or no static IP addresses assigned to the hub.

I was hoping someone with greater knowledge of the Hitron can help.


On a similar note, if we wanted our own VM broadband connection installed. Would a VM installation engineer simply install a 2nd Hitron box by Teeing off the existing coax that goes into the 1st Hitron, or would they have to run another cable from the cabinet down the street to our premises?

tnx in advance
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Old 29-07-2020, 18:20   #2
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Re: Hitron modem or router mode query

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Old 29-07-2020, 18:51   #3
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Re: Hitron modem or router mode query

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Originally Posted by bill888 View Post
Otherwise, if the Hitron is in modem (or router) mode
I am 99% sure the Hitron doesn't have a modem mode and is router mode only. Fret not though, I'll send a pm to a dude who is all over this kind of stuff and will bless us with pearls of wisdom.
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Old 29-07-2020, 19:21   #4
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Re: Hitron modem or router mode query

Interesting question this as the VM Business website talks about great Wifi etc on the Hitron. But like many things it depends.....

If you have a dynamic or single Fixed IP address Wifi works on the Hitron. If you have a routed subnet, ie the 5 or 13 IP fixed IP address option Wifi is disabled and all the options to configure it will vanish.

Secondly the option to put the Hitron into modem mode will only be there if you have a dyanmic IP address. So even a single fixed IP address, as well as routed subnet option will remove the modem mode settings.

So in summary:-

Dyamic IP address = Modem mode option and WiFi are both available
Single Fixed IP address = No modem mode, but WiFi OK
Multiple fixed IP addresses = No nodem mode and no WiFi

If you have the Multiple fixed IP address option there is an alternative to modem mode that will get you almost the same thing, as the Hitron will also have NAT disabled in this option - if you have that option let me know and I can go into it in more detail.
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Old 29-07-2020, 19:42   #5
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Re: Hitron modem or router mode query

Our head office probably owns the VM account.

I think the front line support agent from head office we spoke to gave us bad advice. I'll try and escalate the original query.

The wifi is disabled on the Hitron. There may be a genuine reason, or it is simply because the installation engineer saw our old BT ADSL wifi router is only a few inches away from the Hitron....

Thinking about it, it doesn't make any sense for head office to allow 3rd party devices to be introduced into this infrastructure, even if it is at the Hub end, for fear of it causing speed problems to the core services they provide to us.

There is a Cisco 881 router wired to the Hitron. Probably running a VPN.

I suspect we would need to get our own separate VM connection installed to upgrade from BT ADSL. (no FTTC or FTTP, yet)

Thanks for all the useful information so far. I think I'll resist plugging a laptop into the Hitron for the moment.

Last edited by bill888; 29-07-2020 at 20:17.
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Old 29-07-2020, 19:52   #6
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Re: Hitron modem or router mode query

If your Cisco 881 is running a VPN then it will need the fixed IP address on it which makes me thing you have the routed subnet option. That is the only way with the Hitron to get a Fixed IP address directly on a device 'behind' the Hitron.

In that is the case there will be no option toenable WiFi on the Hitron at all.

It's possible, though less likely, that you are running the VPN via a Dyanamic address and using a dynamic DNS hostname to find it. Though last time I checked, the Cisco IOS based routers such as the 881 didn't properly support that. However if you are doing that you might find the Hitron in modem mode already.

Depending on the 881 config - see if you can reach 192.168.0.1 in a web browser via the LAN - if you get the Hitron login page you are not in modem mode. Then try 192.168.100.1 if that responds with the login page it is in modem mode. If neither respond then likely the 881 is filtering that.

Last edited by ccarmock; 29-07-2020 at 19:58.
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Old 29-07-2020, 20:04   #7
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Re: Hitron modem or router mode query

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccarmock View Post
Depending on the 881 config - see if you can reach 192.168.0.1 in a web browser via the LAN - if you get the Hitron login page you are not in modem mode. Then try 192.168.100.1 if that responds with the login page it is in modem mode. If neither respond then likely the 881 is filtering that.
It hadn't occurred to me to try this from behind the Cisco.

Thanks for all the useful information.

Cisco 881 requiring fixed IP for VPN makes perfect sense.

Looking like we'll have to get a 2nd virgin line installed.

Last edited by bill888; 29-07-2020 at 20:54.
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Old 30-07-2020, 19:20   #8
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Re: Hitron modem or router mode query

Of course if you are allowed to install a wireless acecss point on the LAN behind the Cisco 881, and provided the 881 is allowing local breakout (as opposed to routing everything via a VPN tunnel) that might get you the wireless acces syou are looking for.

I realised I missed your last question. If you need a second VM Business service they will almost certainly not run a second coax in - they will install a splitter on the incomming coax cable and add a second Hitron.

They did this for me some time ago when I was migrating from the old Superhub1 based VM Business service as I was on the trial of the 200 Mb/s Hitron based service, so they had both running side by side for a period, on a single cable with a splitter.
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Old 06-08-2020, 18:10   #9
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Re: Hitron modem or router mode query

A final update. We managed to speak to someone more knowledgeable from Head Office. Apparently some other sites have an 'older' hybrid setup which did permit the VM connection to be used for general internet access. However, our site isn't one of them.

We'll now be looking at getting a 2nd VM line installed in due course.

Good to learn there is no need to run a new coax from the street cabinet.
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