Hitron CNG3 802.11n modem bridge mode setup with 802.11 ac third party router

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Hitron CNG3 802.11n modem bridge mode setup with 802.11 ac third party router

I just recently purchased the hitron cgn3 802.11n modem/router and I wanted to find out if I use this modem in bridge mode with an 802.11ac third party router, would I be able to obtain even faster download and upload speeds with respect to my wirelessly connected 802.11 ac clients as opposed to simply using the hitron in gateway mode without a third party router???

 

I know that the 802.11n hitron modem/router offers dual band connectivity but will it cap both the download and upload speeds if bridged with a third party 802.11ac router? (I thought 802.11ac connections offered up to 3 times faster speeds compared to 802.11n connections)

 

And if the internet speed isn't really affected by using a third party 802.11ac router then what benefits would I get from using bridge mode other than improved wifi range?? The reason I'm asking is because I'm planning on using a wifi printer, an  OOMA Voip phone system and three HTPC's with 802.11ac connectivity. 

 

Any response would be greatly appreciated Smiley Happy

 

Thanks in advance.

 

 

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Re: Hitron CNG3 802.11n modem bridge mode setup with 802.11 ac third party router

In a nutshell, bridge the CGN3, install an 802.11ac router and don’t look back. Once bridged, the CGN3 is a modem only, at which point the router does everything else, firewall, port forwarding, wifi, etc, etc. You will see faster download / upload wireless speeds with an 802.11ac router. That being said, if you haven’t bought a router yet and its on your list of things to do, ensure that it has gigabit WAN and LAN ports and that it has external antenna. I run an Asus RT-AC68U, which has 802.11ac, and I’m very satisfied with it.

 

The CGN3 maxes out at 200 / 21 Mb/s download / upload running a 5 Ghz network which I did use previously. The 2.4 Ghz network, which I did not use maxed out around 100 / 20 Mb/s from what I remember of the test that I ran. It has other problems however in that it does not run mixed 20 Mhz / 40 Mhz wide channel operations on 2.4 Ghz networks. So, if you have a number of devices which might include single antenna, single data stream devices which typically run 20 Mhz wide channels, while all of the other 2.4 Ghz devices that you have run dual antenna, dual data stream 40 Mhz wide channels, the CGN3 will lock down to the lower single data stream 20 mhz wide data rates. Most but not all routers these days are certified for mixed 20 Mhz / 40 Mhz channel operations, switching transmit modes back and forth as necessary to run max data rates to all devices.

 

Running a wired speedtest with the CGN3 in Gateway mode I would typically see 327 / 21 Mb/s on a 250 / 20 Mb/s service. Running the CGN3 in Bridge mode with the RT-AC68U doing all of the router duties, I see 330 / 22 mb/s, so there is a slight increase in bridging the CGN3 and running a router. Wireless, using 802.11ac, I see 325+ / 22 Mb/s on a gaming laptop instead of 200 / 21 using n mode on the CGN3. Our Acer n mode only laptop sees 200 / 21 Mb/s no matter which device is running the network, CGN3 or RT-AC68U. So, your measured wireless rates will really depend on the end test device, and that is an important consideration to keep in mind when you look at your end results.

 

You will probably see an increase in range using a router with external antenna.   Although the antenna gain figures for the CGN3 aren’t too bad at all, my personal opinion is that using external antenna on a router versus circuit board mounted antenna on the CGN3 yields practical improved results which can’t be overlooked. On top of that you have a processor which is dedicated to router only duties, instead of dealing with DOCSIS and router duties on the CGN3. If required, you can usually change external antenna provided that you do the research to find compatible higher gain replacements.

 

Planning on VOIP and wifi printer. Those will be, or should be much easier on a third party router, depending of course on what you already have or what you eventually buy. HTPCs running 802.11ac should see better performance with an 802.11ac router, simply due to running in ac mode instead of n, and possibly due to increased receive signal levels at the HTPCs, as they should support explicit beamforming which requires both transmitter and receiver to support it. Whether or not you see a data rate gain from beamforming is dependent on a number of items of course, as is usual with wifi paths. If you are interested in technical details on 802.11ac beamforming, here is a reference that explains the finer details behind it:

 

http://chimera.labs.oreilly.com/books/1234000001739/ch04.html

 

If you haven’t bought a router yet, and considering your use of supporting three ac HTPCs, you might want to consider the new generation of routers which are now on the market, such as the RT-AC87U, and others which support Multi-User Multi Input Multi Output (MIMO). MIMO allows multiple data streams to run between the router and the device, essentially one data stream per antenna. A word of warning however, they are not cheap, typically running in the $300 range. The RT-AC68U that is commonly mentioned here in this forum only supports Single User MIMO, essentially “a single multi-antenna transmitter communicating with a single multi-antenna receiver” at a time. Multi-User MIMO transmits and receives multiple data streams from multiple client devices simultaneously. Running the HTPCs at their max data rates, would you notice a difference between Single or Multi-User MIMO? That is a very good question. It would depend on the resolution that you run and the site considerations, ie distance and obstacles between the router and the HTPC. If you have any friends nearby with one of these types of routers, maybe you can invite the router over for a test session. The friend might need an appropriate bribe to accompany it.

 

Hope this helps.



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Posts: 6,833

Re: Hitron CNG3 802.11n modem bridge mode setup with 802.11 ac third party router

In a nutshell, bridge the CGN3, install an 802.11ac router and don’t look back. Once bridged, the CGN3 is a modem only, at which point the router does everything else, firewall, port forwarding, wifi, etc, etc. You will see faster download / upload wireless speeds with an 802.11ac router. That being said, if you haven’t bought a router yet and its on your list of things to do, ensure that it has gigabit WAN and LAN ports and that it has external antenna. I run an Asus RT-AC68U, which has 802.11ac, and I’m very satisfied with it.

 

The CGN3 maxes out at 200 / 21 Mb/s download / upload running a 5 Ghz network which I did use previously. The 2.4 Ghz network, which I did not use maxed out around 100 / 20 Mb/s from what I remember of the test that I ran. It has other problems however in that it does not run mixed 20 Mhz / 40 Mhz wide channel operations on 2.4 Ghz networks. So, if you have a number of devices which might include single antenna, single data stream devices which typically run 20 Mhz wide channels, while all of the other 2.4 Ghz devices that you have run dual antenna, dual data stream 40 Mhz wide channels, the CGN3 will lock down to the lower single data stream 20 mhz wide data rates. Most but not all routers these days are certified for mixed 20 Mhz / 40 Mhz channel operations, switching transmit modes back and forth as necessary to run max data rates to all devices.

 

Running a wired speedtest with the CGN3 in Gateway mode I would typically see 327 / 21 Mb/s on a 250 / 20 Mb/s service. Running the CGN3 in Bridge mode with the RT-AC68U doing all of the router duties, I see 330 / 22 mb/s, so there is a slight increase in bridging the CGN3 and running a router. Wireless, using 802.11ac, I see 325+ / 22 Mb/s on a gaming laptop instead of 200 / 21 using n mode on the CGN3. Our Acer n mode only laptop sees 200 / 21 Mb/s no matter which device is running the network, CGN3 or RT-AC68U. So, your measured wireless rates will really depend on the end test device, and that is an important consideration to keep in mind when you look at your end results.

 

You will probably see an increase in range using a router with external antenna.   Although the antenna gain figures for the CGN3 aren’t too bad at all, my personal opinion is that using external antenna on a router versus circuit board mounted antenna on the CGN3 yields practical improved results which can’t be overlooked. On top of that you have a processor which is dedicated to router only duties, instead of dealing with DOCSIS and router duties on the CGN3. If required, you can usually change external antenna provided that you do the research to find compatible higher gain replacements.

 

Planning on VOIP and wifi printer. Those will be, or should be much easier on a third party router, depending of course on what you already have or what you eventually buy. HTPCs running 802.11ac should see better performance with an 802.11ac router, simply due to running in ac mode instead of n, and possibly due to increased receive signal levels at the HTPCs, as they should support explicit beamforming which requires both transmitter and receiver to support it. Whether or not you see a data rate gain from beamforming is dependent on a number of items of course, as is usual with wifi paths. If you are interested in technical details on 802.11ac beamforming, here is a reference that explains the finer details behind it:

 

http://chimera.labs.oreilly.com/books/1234000001739/ch04.html

 

If you haven’t bought a router yet, and considering your use of supporting three ac HTPCs, you might want to consider the new generation of routers which are now on the market, such as the RT-AC87U, and others which support Multi-User Multi Input Multi Output (MIMO). MIMO allows multiple data streams to run between the router and the device, essentially one data stream per antenna. A word of warning however, they are not cheap, typically running in the $300 range. The RT-AC68U that is commonly mentioned here in this forum only supports Single User MIMO, essentially “a single multi-antenna transmitter communicating with a single multi-antenna receiver” at a time. Multi-User MIMO transmits and receives multiple data streams from multiple client devices simultaneously. Running the HTPCs at their max data rates, would you notice a difference between Single or Multi-User MIMO? That is a very good question. It would depend on the resolution that you run and the site considerations, ie distance and obstacles between the router and the HTPC. If you have any friends nearby with one of these types of routers, maybe you can invite the router over for a test session. The friend might need an appropriate bribe to accompany it.

 

Hope this helps.



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Re: Hitron CNG3 802.11n modem bridge mode setup with 802.11 ac third party router

Thank you very much, you've answered all of my questions in detail. 

I was in fact looking at that exact same Asus Router, received many good reviews on newegg.ca

 

Very much appreciated Smiley Very Happy

 

Thanks again

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Re: Hitron CNG3 802.11n modem bridge mode setup with 802.11 ac third party router

ahdfahf:

 

I upgraded to the Hybrid 150 plan and bought a CGN3 almost 3 months ago. I can vouch for the ASUS AC68U, which I bought from Newegg.ca a few days later, where I posted a review under JiminToronto. The ASUS really was "plug-and-play" for me and it solved a couple of problems with the CGN3. Rogers One Number (VOIP) did not have any audio with the CGN3 and my wireless printer didn't work either. Both problems were fixed by the router without me having to do a thing except set up a security key for the wireless printer. I have an old iPhone 4S and my download speeds are at least 50% faster than they were with the CGN3. I was quite surprised at that because I didn't realize the iPhone was capable of the speeds I'm getting now, which are in the high 40mbps range, although it does vary a bit on Ookla speed tests. I really like the router and its options, plus the GUI is very straight forward. One of the things I do is check my internet usage on the router by using the Traffic Manager, then I look at My Rogers usage to see if they agree, which they do without fail. The router is very stable and I've never had a "crash". My current up time is around 45 days since I last rebooted it.

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Re: Hitron CNG3 802.11n modem bridge mode setup with 802.11 ac third party router

For those who have CGN3 (in bridge mode) and Asus RT-AC68U router... If both of these devices are located in the basement of a two-storey townhouse, do you think the signal strength would be adequate in the the second floor bedrooms? I am with the Fibre 60 plan.

Thanks.

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Re: Hitron CNG3 802.11n modem bridge mode setup with 802.11 ac third party router

Two floors up, I wouldn't guarantee that would work.  Do you already have a 68U or are you looking to buy one?   Do you have ethenet cabling intalled in the home, but possibly not fully connected and therefore not in use?



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Re: Hitron CNG3 802.11n modem bridge mode setup with 802.11 ac third party router


@Datalink wrote:

Two floors up, I wouldn't guarantee that would work.  Do you already have a 68U or are you looking to buy one?   Do you have ethenet cabling intalled in the home, but possibly not fully connected and therefore not in use?


I have a friend with a 68R (which is just the Best Buy version of the 68U) in a townhouse, and he says his iPhone 5 can't pick up the 5GHz upstairs. 2.4GHz works fine. Router in the basement. In my experience, the iPhone 5 isn't the best 5GHz receiver out there, who knows how a full-sized laptop would do.

 

If you have Ethernet cabling in the home, the obvious solution is to set up another access point upstairs.

 

(And yes, it does seem like everyone I know has a 68U, doesn't it?)

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Re: Hitron CNG3 802.11n modem bridge mode setup with 802.11 ac third party router

Thanks Datalink.  We are moving into the townhouse soon enough, but I am trying to plan ahead (and yes, I plan on buying the a 68U too).  The previous owners mentioned thay did have ethenet cabling installed and had a router in one of the 2nd floors bedrooms.  I will try searching the forum how to add another access point upstars, but if there is a link or a brief set of steps involved that you know of, perhaps you could direct me to it please?

Thanks so much.

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Re: Hitron CNG3 802.11n modem bridge mode setup with 802.11 ac third party router

Thank you very much

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Re: Hitron CNG3 802.11n modem bridge mode setup with 802.11 ac third party router


@elevit wrote:

Thanks Datalink.  We are moving into the townhouse soon enough, but I am trying to plan ahead (and yes, I plan on buying the a 68U too).  The previous owners mentioned thay did have ethenet cabling installed and had a router in one of the 2nd floors bedrooms.  I will try searching the forum how to add another access point upstars, but if there is a link or a brief set of steps involved that you know of, perhaps you could direct me to it please?

Thanks so much.


I would test it first with just the 68U in the basement, see how well it does with your devices. Also, 2.4GHz should reach upstairs no problem - depending on your performance needs and the congestion in your area (a townhouse wouldn't be as bad as an apartment building), perhaps you're happy enough with that.

 

If you want to add another access point, just pick up another Asus router. They have an 'access point mode' that makes the software setup very, very, very easy.

 

One other thing you could consider is the 56U instead of the 68U. The 56U has only 2 streams (so maximum N speed of 300 megabits instead of 350, AC speed of 867 megabits instead of 1300, assuming you had 3-stream-capable clients) and lower range (no external antennas), but it also costs substantially less. A 56U in the basement in router mode and a 56U upstairs in access point might work VERY nicely in your case...