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Hitron CGN3 Quirks

ings
I'm Here A Lot

Normally cross-posting is frowned upon, but it appears that Rogers staff actually follow this forum (kudos to them!) so let me post an entry I made over on dslreports.com, just in case Rogers staff might actually be able to get these errors fixed.

Once it is set up, if you leave it alone, the modem seems stable enough, but otherwise this software feels VERY fragile. I've read that the Hitron is amongst the better cable modems on the market ... very, very scary if true. I'm running the latest firmware, 4.2.4.3

Dave Ings

 

1. The Ethernet light on the front of the modem is always solid green, even if there is Ethernet traffic (when it is supposed to flash). (Workaround: ignore it!)

2. On the "Basic Settings" page, at the bottom, the list of connected devices takes one or two minutes to display. For bonus points, do this two or three times during an admin session and watch the UI and then the modem itself lock up, requiring you to power on reset. Or, do this under load (i.e. concurrent downloads) and it will lock up the first try. (Workaround: after DHCP setup don't do this!)

3. Similarly, turn the 2.4G WiFi radio off, and on the Status / Wireless page push the "Wireless Clients" button to display connected devices ... it will spin endlessly until you power on reset. (Workaround: keep the 2.4G radio on!)
 
4. OK this is a real nit but the Hitron is the first modem/router I've owned (or rented) that does not allow spaces in SSID names. Is this just the way it is or is there a secret setting somewhere that will allow this?

 

 

***edited labels***

20 REPLIES 20

Re: Hitron CGN3 Quirks

Kiwi7
I Plan to Stick Around

@ings wrote:

Normally cross-posting is frowned upon, but it appears that Rogers staff actually follow this forum (kudos to them!) so let me post an entry I made over on dslreports.com, just in case Rogers staff might actually be able to get these errors fixed.

Once it is set up, if you leave it alone, the modem seems stable enough, but otherwise this software feels VERY fragile. I've read that the Hitron is amongst the better cable modems on the market ... very, very scary if true. I'm running the latest firmware, 4.2.4.3


I will make one minor correction. The CGN3 is not a cable modem, but a wifi modem. A cable modem is a stand alone modem, much like the old D2 modems. While Hitron does have a 24x8 stand alone modem, Rogers does not offer this as an option. Smiley Sad

 

If you have been posting on DSL, you might have noted some comments there from a Rogers installer that the Hitron (along with Nextbox) "are the first few boxes which were never Beta tested" by Rogers. I think if this is true, it explains why we are experiencing so many problems. As customers, we have become the testers and have to put up with all of the quirks until Rogers finally gets it right. 

 

The same poster also mentioned that the new Rogers CEO met with employees across Canada and asked field techs "What are some issues you guys deal with?" Field techs responded. "The worst problem we have is your equipment. I think this explains a lot!

Re: Hitron CGN3 Quirks

Gdkitty
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

1 ) one of the major fixes in the 4.2.4.3 was to fix linking issues on the network ports, specially in bridged mode... i am wondering if that fix may have maybe played with the lights.

 

2 ) Odd.. while i have the same SLOOOOW load time, i havent had it lock up yet. (even with repeated returning to the page)  Maybe varries based on number of devices connected.

3 ) i will keep that in mind for helping others troubleshoot on here.  Never noticed myself.. as i have the wireless off, and an ASUS N66U set up as a wireless access point for my wireless needs.

 

4 ) While i dont think its a hard RULE.. more of a rule of thumb, that some manufacturers follow.. it to not allow spaces.
There are many cases where specific devices or OS's sometimes have problems with connecting to ones with spaces in them.
(EG: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?13299-Spaces-in-SSID-cause-wireless-network-connection-...

Thanks for the list  🙂  Always good to keep these things fresh so they can possibly see them, and then act on them (as thats what fixed the first issue with this unit)

Re: Hitron CGN3 Quirks

ings
I'm Here A Lot

Thanks for the feedback. Yes the modem has its quirks, and they should be fixed.

 

However the bigger picture is that I recently switched from Bell Internet to Rogers Internet, and I am very happy with the increased performance - literally several times, from 12/1** to 60/10. And Rogers burst mode is delivering over 90 for the first few seconds, which makes smaller downloads virtually instantaneous.

 

** I was on a DSL line over 1.5 km from the nearest central office, so 12/1 was the best Bell could deliver.

 

Dave Ings

 

 

 

 

Re: Hitron CGN3 Quirks

VivienM
I'm an Advisor

@ings wrote:

** I was on a DSL line over 1.5 km from the nearest central office, so 12/1 was the best Bell could deliver.

 

 

Oh DSL, some things seem to never change...

 

(I remember back in 1999, when Bell ran those 1-Meg Modem Nortel things, the one at my parents' house did 640 kilobits/sec in the winter, then as it got warmer outside, that became 320 kilobits/sec, then it became zero, i.e. modem not syncing reliably. Bell's solution was actually to tell us to switch to Rogers. 15 years later, seems like some things haven't really changed that much... )

Re: Hitron CGN3 Quirks

Gdkitty
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@ings wrote:

Thanks for the feedback. Yes the modem has its quirks, and they should be fixed.

 

However the bigger picture is that I recently switched from Bell Internet to Rogers Internet, and I am very happy with the increased performance - literally several times, from 12/1** to 60/10. And Rogers burst mode is delivering over 90 for the first few seconds, which makes smaller downloads virtually instantaneous.

 

** I was on a DSL line over 1.5 km from the nearest central office, so 12/1 was the best Bell could deliver.

 

Dave Ings

 

 

 

 


Yeah, im sitting with much the same here.. but closes CO is WAY away.. max 6 here >.<

Hopefully they continue to fix the issues.

If not, remember that there is always the option to use your own access point, or put the unit in bridged mode and just use the unit as a modem only, with your own router.

Re: Hitron CGN3 Quirks

sbenninger
I Plan to Stick Around

 


@Gdkitty wrote:

1 ) one of the major fixes in the 4.2.4.3 was to fix linking issues on the network ports, specially in bridged mode... i am wondering if that fix may have maybe played with the lights.


I really wish this was true but in my experience it is not. In bridged mode Auto-negotiation to a 10/100 FastE port will not work properly. GigE is fine but 100meg ports are not. It seems as though the CGN3 auto-neg's at 100 half duplex while the router neg's at 100 full duplex. If you force the router to 100full or 100half you can never get an IP from the CGN3. This is due to lack of duplex control on the CGN3. It can only be auto-neg. I have tested with a Soekris Net5501 with pfsense and a Cisco ASA5505. Both are rendered almost useless as it kills the speed and reliability. Currently on the hunt for a good wired firewall/router with GigE ports to work around. Trying to source an Ubiquiti Edgerouter Lite for a decent price...looks like a great device.

 

I will add another issue. The latentcy on the internal switch is horrible when in gateway mode. Between 5-10ms on a directly connected port. plays havok with onling gaming etc. DNS lookups are also slower. The interface is slow and buggy as well as everyone has well noted. 

 

 

Re: Hitron CGN3 Quirks

Well, it fixed the issue, that where ANY router (10/100 or gig) would have to be rebooted almost daily, while in bridged mode.  Pretty much bridged mode was non functioning till this fix.
Sorry, that was the fix i was refering to.

 

You are right though, on the the 10/100 negotiating part. A bunch have poped up with this issue.. from devices (which obtain an IP) to even switches, that are 10/100 only.

Putting a gig switch inbetween, where the device then negotiates with the switch, then the switch is gig to the router, works... but everyone shouldnt have to do that... whats the point of having a 4 port switch in it, if you cant use it.

 

While i have a bunch of 10/100 devices in my place, i didnt notice this issue myself till others brought it up here.. as everything INTO my CGN3 is gig.

Though, now that i think of it.... i JUST switches Like over last weekend, to the an ASUS N66U router as an AP.. with 1g ports.
PRIOR to that though, it was a linksys E2500.  That unit only has 10/100 ports across the board.. and DIDNT have any issues with negotiation...
This may be a RARE working 10/100 thing.. as most others tend to have issues with 10/100 stuff.

 

Re: Hitron CGN3 Quirks

sbenninger
I Plan to Stick Around

Forgot the other annoyance...but maybe by design. Why do you need separated SSID's for the 2.4 and 5Ghz bands. I thought the idea was to let the client choose what freq was best? I am pretty sure the ASUS and Netgears of the world use a single SSID but I may be wrong. Please let me know.

 

I am currently in gateway mode until i source a new router. I tried using the WiFi and while it is the best WiFi router Rogers has ever had it is still not very good. My less than steller belkin N+ router in AP mode has more consistent speed and coverage. The 5Ghz was dismal in my house. I have disabled the wifi on the CGN3.

Re: Hitron CGN3 Quirks


@sbenninger wrote:

Forgot the other annoyance...but maybe by design. Why do you need separated SSID's for the 2.4 and 5Ghz bands. I thought the idea was to let the client choose what freq was best? I am pretty sure the ASUS and Netgears of the world use a single SSID but I may be wrong. Please let me know.

 

 


I think the Asus/Netgears/etc tend to use separate SSIDs.

 

The problem is that the client doesn't choose what is 'best' correctly. At best, most clients will choose the highest signal strength. That, for reasons I don't understand (sorry, I am not an engineer), favours 2.4GHz. In most high-density places, there is so much going on in 2.4 that you want to be running on 5GHz no matter what the signal strength numbers may show...

 

(and yes, I used to think the same thing you did. Learned the hard way that it doesn't work that way, at least with consumer-grade hardware.)

 

BTW, if you want a solid router, think about the Asus RT-AC68U...

Re: Hitron CGN3 Quirks

ings
I'm Here A Lot

I use an Apple Airport Express, attached to my CGN3, for my Nest Thermostat. (Because Nest uses WiFi power saving modes, which many routers don't implement properly.) It uses a single SSID for both 2.4 and 5 GHZ bands.

 

The fact that the CGN3 insists on different SSIDs for the two bands was another quirk I'd forgotten about. I'd rather it didn't ... more pain for the user.

 

Dave Ings

Re: Hitron CGN3 Quirks

Gdkitty
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

I think a single SSID is fairly UNCOMMON in my experience.

 

The cisco/linksys ones, Dlink, and the ASUS, i know all have it seperate.
Enterprise level CISCO ones i manage at work, its all seperate.

 

I know prior, on my older linksys E2500, i had them set at the same name.  On my iphone (the only thing with the dual at the time), only showed one.. i assumed that it would pick the best one, etc.   But i found out later, it always connected to the 2.4.

 

Seperating them, with two different ID's, i knew specifically i was on the 5.

Re: Hitron CGN3 Quirks

sbenninger
I Plan to Stick Around

Thanks for the clarification on the SSID names. I have very few dual band devices so N suffices for me for now. 

 

The CGN3 has me pulling my hair(whats left of it) out lol. I alse have intermittent times where communication just stops for a few seconds. I think the DNS forwarder on the CGN3 crashes or runs out of resources.

 

@VivienM

Dont want to veer off topic but...

I have been looking at the Asus/Netgear(and the 3rd party firmware options) gear but being a network admin I find the consumer gear lacking in configuration options. Coming from using pFsense and Cisco ASA(and Juniper at work) in the past I would miss the flexability. I do not have the need for wireless in the unit as I have a centrally located AP (i will upgrade that at some point). I want a small, powerful and low power device with GigE ports(and speeds). Unfortunately my budget is max $150 all in. The Edgerouter Lite can be had for less than than as can some of the Mikrotik gear. Both are very powerful platforms that will do everything I need. The WRTs and Tomato firmwares are interesting but still lacking in some areas.

Re: Hitron CGN3 Quirks

What about a PC with gig connections, running PFsense?

 

Though i guess that is out of the budget.. and likely a higher power draw.

Re: Hitron CGN3 Quirks


@sbenninger wrote:

@VivienM

Dont want to veer off topic but...

I have been looking at the Asus/Netgear(and the 3rd party firmware options) gear but being a network admin I find the consumer gear lacking in configuration options. Coming from using pFsense and Cisco ASA(and Juniper at work) in the past I would miss the flexability. I do not have the need for wireless in the unit as I have a centrally located AP (i will upgrade that at some point). I want a small, powerful and low power device with GigE ports(and speeds). Unfortunately my budget is max $150 all in. The Edgerouter Lite can be had for less than than as can some of the Mikrotik gear. Both are very powerful platforms that will do everything I need. The WRTs and Tomato firmwares are interesting but still lacking in some areas.


Hey, you're preaching to the choir here. For my NAT, I've been running FreeBSD boxes with ipfw/natd for over a decade. For me, it's not about configuration options really (though I don't mind having a full-featured local DHCP and DNS server), but more about reliability - the consumer-grade NAT boxes are just too unreliable in my experience... (but the FreeBSD boxes aren't perfect either - an old Cel600 topped out at about 30 megabits/sec - and small/low power is... arguable at best. I have yet to find really really really small really low-power x86 gear with dual NICs)

 

That being said, I would recommend the Asus stuff generally (though it seems like they're not really ideal for your situation). I've got an RT-AC68U as an access point here, it is fabulous, and another one at my parents' running in full router mode. Ignoring the stellar wireless performance, the AsusWRT software is excellent and miles ahead of other consumer-grade garbage from Netgear or Linksys or whoever (but may lack features you'd want). And Asus seems to actually update their firmware regularly. I've heard good things about Mikrotik too, but never used any of their stuff...

Re: Hitron CGN3 Quirks

gisuck
I'm a Reliable Contributor

Actually, it is not that uncommon to have the SSID for 2.4GHz and 5GHz to be the same. The problem is that not all WiFi clients are the same. What will happen is that the WiFi client will either prefer 5GHz, or just pick one at random and not band steer itself if the connection isn't good.

 

 Aruba for example keeps all the SSIDs the same, and has a secret sauce to make sure that the clients are on the best AP and band.

Re: Hitron CGN3 Quirks

sbenninger
I Plan to Stick Around

I used to roll my own bsd boxes but monowall/pfsense eliminated that need a while back. My trusty soekris 5501 worked great up until I bumped my plan and required the most awesome CGN3. The Net6501 looks good but pricey as does the ALix APU boards...they are better priced but the realtek cards could be problematic. There are quite a number of Atom boards out there too but still beyond my current budget after adding memory and disk.

 

 

I am missing my other VLANs using the CGN3 in gateway mode as well. Smiley Mad 

 

So a couple items on a wish list for a power user on CGN3..would be Speed/Duplex control and VLAN capabilities.

 

Re: Hitron CGN3 Quirks

GaryGee
I've Been Here Awhile

The firmware seems half-baked to me, but the hardware seems fine in my mixed home network of PC, Linux and Mac computers and iPhone/iPad mobile devices. 

 

I've found that when I give the 5G a different SSID, when I connect a laptop to the 5G I can't see the either of my network printers connected to the router (Lexmark is ethernet via an NTI switch, Brother is 2G wifi)

 

Also, in my reserved table of IPs, the modem sometimes forgets to list the reserved IP or the printer, and very often forgets the device name, calling it "unknown."

 

When it works, the CGN3 works very well. When it doesn't, it's frustrating. A daily rollercoaster of stress!

Re: Hitron CGN3 Quirks

I have found a number of routers which have done stuff like that on the reservations... why i generally dont trust it any more, and usually set it on each device instead.

 

The CGN3 does appear to have some issues with multicasting on the wireless (not wired) which could be partially what your running into with the printer issue.

Re: Hitron CGN3 Quirks

the CGN3 cannot handle hi speed 60, 150, 250, etc...  connection speeds are cut to one third of maximum

 

100Mbps gets throttled back to about 30Mbps

 

150Mbps gets throttled back  to about 50Mbps (when a second device connects)

 

this happens with both wired and wireless connections

 

don't bother trying to get tech support or techxpert to fix it ... they can't do anything about it ... we are stuck with the CGN3 unless you bridge to your own which means more money

Re: Hitron CGN3 Quirks

Ok, well, yes the CGN3 can handle high speeds. I run the 250 Mb/s plan and don’t have any problems with it as do many others. Wired tests top out at 328 Mb/s down 21 Mb/s up, connected directly to the CGN3. I’m sure that I could do better with the CGN3 running Bridged and using a firewall or router. Wireless tops out at 200 Mb/s down 21 Mb/s up but that is partly due to the 3 internal antenna of the CGN3 and the laptops that I test it with, which only has 2 antenna, which is typical for laptops. I would probably see 300 Mb/s with a laptop or pc that has 3 antenna installed. In theory I should be seeing 450 mb/s in that case.  Yes, there is a firmware bug that throttles back the download rates for connected devices that only have 10/100 mb/s ports. Hopefully that will be corrected in the next firmware version, which will hopefully be out before the end of the year.

 

There are a number of issues that affect wireless performance including:

 

1. The internal antenna placement for the CGN3 and the device that you use,

2. Layout of your home and placement of the CGN3 compared to where your devices are,

3. Interference from neighboring wireless routers and other 2.4 devices within the home which are not wireless devices but none the less, operate within that band.

4. The decision to use 2.4 or 5 Ghz networks.

5. The capability of the devices themselves, ie, older devices may not in fact be able to support higher data rates.

6. The data rate supported by your incoming cable.

7. Issues caused by setting up a guest account.

 

So, the possible solutions include:

 

1 &2. Knowing and understanding the difference in antenna gain seen between internal and external antenna. Signal power and Signal to Noise ratios are everything when it comes to devices such as this and the higher both are, the higher your end data rate. External antennas can and do deliver much better wireless performance compared to devices such as the CGN3. Multi-function devices such as the type used by Rogers and other ISPs are a compromise in terms of cost and performance. Rogers is not the only one to use such a device and customers of other IPSs are equally upset at the performance of multi-function devices. The next modem/router to be used by one to the TPIAs was just announced yesterday, and is a Cisco version of the CGN3. This is going over like a lead balloon, as can be expected. The ultimate solution, for those seeking better performance might be a combination of better placement within the home by using the structured wiring bundle within the home if in fact it is in place, or by deciding to purchase a third party router with external antenna, which would include 802.11ac capability.

 

3. Interference from neighbouring routers can be detected by using inSSIDer which is a wifi monitoring application. This is available from the following link and can be used to determine if you should be operating on a different 2.4 Ghz channel or if in fact you should be looking at moving all of your 5 Ghz devices up to that band and avoid the 2.4 Ghz traffic jam.

 

http://www.techspot.com/downloads/5936-inssider.html

 

4 & 5. Part of the problem with moving up to higher speed plans is knowing what your current devices actually support in terms of data rates. When we start looking at some of the devices that people use, it often turns out that the devices will not support higher data rates. A good example is the issue with data throttling caused by 10/100 Mb/s devices which are connected to the CGN3. Even if this was not an issue, I can guarantee that there would be people arriving at the forum absolutely upset that they can’t get 150 Mb/s or above data rates on their pc or laptop. But if they looked at the device specs, they would have found out that it can only support 100 Mb/s max as the port on the pc or laptop is only built to handle 10/100 Mb/s. So, if you really wanted to see that kind of data rate your choice is to install a higher rated ethernet card in your pc, or use a gigabit ethernet to USB 3.0 adapter for a laptop.   For wireless performance you would have to review the specs for all of your devices, see what they support and then lock the CGN3 to the highest speed possible given the range of data rates available via b,g,n settings. You also have to understand the relationship between wide band 40 or 80 Mhz channels in a close range environment versus using 20 Mhz wide channels when your router is at the other end of the house. Every user who decides to move up in data rates, either by moving to something like a CGN3 or buying a third party router to go with their existing modem should be reviewing all of their devices to determine if they will in fact get their money’s worth out of the new modem or router. There are also other issues such as securing your own LAN by installing a firewall or router that only you control versus the possibility of Rogers staff being able to determine what is on your LAN that is connected to a Rogers modem. That is a whole different discussion.

 

6. The possibility exists that your external cable system is not delivering the data rates that it should. This can be caused by a breakdown in the cable or connectors. Neither one lasts forever, and every once in a while the cable and connectors need replacing. It is a simple process to look at the power levels and signal to noise ratios for the cable. Log into the modem, navigate to the DOCSIS WAN page and copy the downstream and upstream tables and paste them into this thread. A quick look will usually determine if there is a possible problem.

 

7. Did you set up the CGN3 and use the USB setup key to enable a guest account. If so, you are splitting the maximum radiated power allowed for the device into 2, in order to run both networks. As a result, you would end up with a shorter range for your actual network. I’ve run into this and ended up with a third ghost network that also eats into the maximum power output. If you did use the key to setup a guest account you should go in and turn it off. You will also have to check to determine if you ended up with a ghost network transmitting and if so, you will have to exchange the modem. Reading through the following thread starting at post #9, onwards, should explain how to look for a guest or ghost network transmitting from your CGN3. Detection of the networks is the same in either case.

 

http://communityforums.rogers.com/t5/forums/forumtopicpage/board-id/Getting_connected/page/1/thread-...

 

Last but not least, have a read through my CGN3 summary on the following page:

 

http://communityforums.rogers.com/t5/forums/forumtopicpage/board-id/Getting_connected/message-id/190...

 

Ok. Having read all of that, let us know if you are looking for any assistance to sort out your network issues.



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