Revisiting How To Bypass Bell’s HH400 Hardware With Your Own Router… Along With Some Commentary About ASUS And Bell

When I first got my Bell Fibe Internet install, I set it up to use my own router to get to the Internet because I never, ever use my telco’s suppled gear for these reasons. Originally, I was using the PPPoE bypass method as described in this article to make this happen, which worked fine except for this:

Now I’m paying for 1.5 Gbps down / 940 Mbps up from Bell. And I am not getting those speeds using PPPoE bypass. And I know that the router is the cause because this is the speed that I get directly from the HH4000:

From the Bell hardware I was getting more than I was paying for.

So I put in a support ticket with ASUS who makes my ZenWiFi AX XT8 mesh router, but I have to say that their tech support was absolutely abysmal in terms of helping me to troubleshoot this issue. More on that in a bit. That negative support experience with ASUS made me go down the rabbit hole of tying to figure out how to maximize the speed of my connection using my XT8. And I hit on a method that so far seems to be stable. Though I will provide the following caveat: Your mileage may vary in terms of using this method depending on what router you are using. And it is a bit on the challenging side to set up. So if you’re not comfortable with the steps below, I would suggest not doing it at all.

In short, what I did is use DHCP and then use Bell’s “Advanced DMZ” feature to give the XT8 an external IP address which avoids the dreaded double NAT. The first time I tried it, this was my experience:

 I did some more experimentation with the “Advanced DMZ” functionality built into the HH4000. My conclusion is that it isn’t very stable based on the fact that it broke HomeKit support and VPN connections from my network to another network would not work at all or very well. Thus I would avoid this option entirely.

It now turns out that I should have done a bit more experimentation. Which I got a chance to do a few nights ago when my wife was not at home. With her not being at home, it gave me the freedom to tinker with the home network without getting yelled at.

We will start with the HH4000. You should connect a CAT 5e or CAT 6 cable from HH4000 10Gbps Port which is the silver one on the right hand side on the back of the HH4000 to the WAN Port on the router. One thing that I should mention is that you need your router to have a 2.5 Gbps port or faster for best results. If you have a 1 Gbps port on your router, you will never ever achieve a speed faster than 1 Gbps up and down. In my case, I have a 2.5 Gbps port on my router, so I will get speeds up to 2.5 Gbps up and down.

Once you do that, here’s what you should do next:

  • Go to 192.168.2.1 using a browser and be prepared to type in your HH4000 password
  • Click on “Advanced Tools and Settings”
  • Click on “DMZ”

This is where things start to get tricky. That’s why I have this screenshot:

I’ve redacted anything that I think is sensitive from this screen shot. But here’s what you need to do next:

  • Turn on “DMZ”
  • Put a checkmark next to “Advanced DMZ”
  • Under the word “Device”, find the MAC (Media Access Control) address for your router. That address is usually looks something like this: 2C:54:91:88:C9:E3. And it is likely located on the back or bottom of your router. Once you find it, click the “>” so that there is not only a checkmark next to it (as is the case with the first item in the screen shot), but it also gets copied to the right as pictured in the screen shot under the words “Active Device”.
  • Click save.

For bonus points make sure that under “Advanced tools and settings” it looks like this screen shot:

Specifically, turn off UPnP, DLNA, and SIP ALG as pictured above.

You should also deal with the WiFi on the HH4000 as well to cut down on potential WiFi interference:

  • Go to ‘Manage my Wi-Fi’ and do the following: 
    • Change “Whole Home Wi-Fi” to OFF. 
    • Under “Primary Wi-Fi network” click on “Advanced settings”.
    • Uncheck “Keep a common network name (SSID) and password for both 2.4 and 5 Ghz bands.”
    • Turn OFF the 2.4GHz network but leave the 5.0GHz on so that you can get back into the HH4000 if you need to. Or you can turn it all off as rebooting the HH4000 will turn the WiFi back on again.
    • Turn off Guest Network 
    • Click “Save”

Pro Tip: In my case, I just turn the WiFi off entirely and I have an Ethernet cable plugged into one of the gigabit ports of the HH4000. That way I can plug in a laptop via Ethernet and log into the HH4000 if I need to.

Next you have to go to your router and set the WAN port to use DHCP. How you do that depends on the brand of router you have. So you should check your router’s instructions to get instructions on how to do this.

Now here’s the important part. Power off (pulling the power plug is your best option) both your router and the HH4000. Go find something to do for a couple of minutes. Then power both devices back up. First the router and then the HH4000 once the router is live. If all goes well, you should have a connection to the Internet.

After I confirmed that I was back online, I was able to get this result via the XT8’s built in speed test:

Time to declare victory and have a beer as now I am getting the speed that I am paying Bell for via the XT8.

A couple of notes. I found that two things affected what speed that I could get. The first was QoS or Quality Of Service. Having it on slowed my speed significantly. Having it off increased it significantly. So I’m keeping that feature off. The second thing that affected my speed was a feature called AI Protection which ASUS says “not only protects your connected devices from compromise, but also your family from inappropriate content and unhealthy internet usage when using their smart devices.” Because it scans all the packets coming and going to and from the router for threats it will slow your connection. But based on my testing, it only slowed things by a tiny degree that is only noticeable on a speed test. So I’m going to leave this on because of the security that it provides. If you have similar settings on whatever router you are using, you should check those to maximize your speed.

This configuration has been stable for the last few days, but I will continue to monitor it and I am prepared to revert back to PPPoE bypass if stability becomes an issue. And trade speed for stability as a result.

Now this is the part of the article where I get to rant for a bit. Let’s start with Bell.

Consumers should not have to go through this much effort by using either the above method, or the previous method that I was using, to use their own hardware. And what is driving this level of effort is that Bell for whatever reason insists on using PPPoE on their Fiber connections in Ontario and Quebec (as far as I know, if other places in Canada use PPPoE on Bell’s Fiber connections, please let me know in the comments below). PPPoE was designed for DSL (digital subscriber line) connections and not for high speed fibre connections. Which without going deep into the weeds, this means that this protocol isn’t designed for this volume and speed of traffic. The fact that Bell continues to use PPPoE in 2022 is mind blowing. Much like the lack of IPv6 on their network, Bell really needs to do something about that. While they are at it, they could copy Rogers and just have a proper bridge mode on their modems. While I am sure that Rogers does not want their customers using bridge mode, and people like me are edge cases to them, Rogers at least gives their the customers the option of bridge mode and they even document how to enable it which is a good tech support call deflection strategy. Meanwhile, Bell has no such ability on their modems or documentation even if they did, which is a #Fail. The fact is that having a proper bridge mode would make life a lot easier for consumers as they would not have to go through these sorts of gymnastics just to use their own hardware.

The other part of my slow upstream speed issue was the ASUS ZenWiFi AX XT8 router and how it handles PPPoE traffic. Now to be fair to ASUS, most consumer routers do a craptastic job of handling high speed PPPoE traffic. And because of that, if you want to do PPPoE bypass on your Bell connection because you may not be able to use the method above, you need a really fast router to keep up with the high speeds of a fibre connection that uses PPPoE. If you’re on team ASUS, the only routers that I am aware of that can keep up with a 1.5 Gbps connection that uses PPPoE are the RT-X89X or the GT-AXE16000. But I would not be surprised that if you go to Bell’s 3 Gbps service or higher using either of those routers, that you’d run into a version of the issue that I had with the XT8 as either of those routers are only somewhat faster than my XT8 mesh router. I should also point out that either router is super expensive and complete overkill for most people as they’re aimed at the competitive gaming market. Alternately if you are not on Team ASUS, you can opt to get enterprise class hardware from a company like Netgate or Mikrotik which are not only complete overkill for most people, but they come with a level of complexity in terms of setting them up and operating them that most consumers aren’t used to. But this sort of gear will give you the performance that you need for this use case because it’s enterprise class gear designed for high performance. Either way, if you choose not to use Bell’s hardware for your network, and you want or need to use the PPPoE bypass method, you will need to spend significant amounts of cash to get the speed that you are looking for, and potentially deal with a more complex solution. Which goes back to Bell’s use of PPPoE and why they need to get rid of it sooner rather than later as consumers shouldn’t have to spend large amounts of money and deal with higher level of complexity just to use their own gear instead of Bell’s.

Now I would like to comment on the tech support that ASUS provides. It’s horrifically bad. I spent over two weeks with them running around in circles trying to help them understand what my problem was, which was that this router performs poorly via a PPPoE bypass setup, but performs just fine in the setup that I describe above. Then I ended up sending them endless sets of logs and exchanging endless emails with them to see if they could debug what was going on. The case ended up going to the “next level of support” (their words not mine) at ASUS. And the best that they could come up with is that I had a bad cable between the HH4000 and the XT8. Which is illogical as the PPPoE bypass setup created the slow upstream issue, and a DHCP setup like the one that I had outlined above does not create this issue. Which following that logic chain eliminates the cable as a possibility for the slow upstream issue, and points to a problem with the XT8 router. An organization the size of ASUS should have tech support people who can follow that logic and come to that conclusion. But clearly they don’t and out of frustration, I asked them to close the case.

What is worse is that all this troubleshooting was done via email which is the absolute worst way to provide tech support. Especially with complex issues like this. Getting onto a Zoom session or a phone call would have likely resulted in some sort of positive progress, and maybe even a solution. But they didn’t go that route and the net result of this rather negative experience is that it drove me to look at other options that avoided the use of PPPoE to get better performance from the XT8. It also made me decide that I won’t be recommending ASUS gear to my home and prosumer clients anymore. And chances are, my next router at home won’t be an ASUS product. While ASUS has great hardware, their support doesn’t meet the mark. Having competent tech support adds to the value of the gear that a vendor like ASUS makes. Or in this case, not having competent support detracts from the value of the gear that ASUS makes. So if the people at ASUS are reading this, they might want to look at this negative situation and make changes internally to make sure that they’re not on the wrong side of a public post like this as this sort of #Fail reflects poorly on ASUS as a brand. And will likely affect their future sales.

Rant over.

If you have any questions about setting up your Bell Fibe connection to use your home router via either of the methods that I have described, please leave a comment below or drop me an email and I will do my best to assist. Oh, and if you’re ASUS or Bell and you want to speak to me about what I said above, I’m a very easy person to find and I’d be more than willing to chat with you. All you have to do is take a look at my About page for contact details and we can go from there.

37 Responses to “Revisiting How To Bypass Bell’s HH400 Hardware With Your Own Router… Along With Some Commentary About ASUS And Bell”

  1. […] UPDATE #2: There is an alternate way of doing this that appears to be stable for me and might work for you. Details are available here. […]

  2. Hi there,

    Thanks for a great article, I am going to be attempting this shortly. The only difference is that I am going to be using ASUS AX89X router as my main router (which will be getting Internet connection from HH4000 via 10GB Ethernet or SPF+ connection since and then connecting ASUS AX89X has both 🙂 I also have 3GBs Bell Fibe service currently as I recently switched to (same price than 1.5GBs so no brainer)

    And then I am hoping to utilize pair of XT8s to blanket my home with increased wifi speeds.

    A few questions for you please if you don’t mind :

    1) I am assuming that once I get the Internet from HH4000 into my ASUS AX89X router via the 10Gb port, I could utilize the second 10Gb port on the Asus and feed it into QNAP 10GB switch which will take care of all my wired Ethernet jacks in my home 🙂

    2) Do you recommend that I then run pair of XT8s as AiMesh or as Access points ? I am hoping to set them up with wired 2.5Gbs backhaul as they both have 2.5Gbs port on them. I would put them each on first and second floor of my house and connect them back to the QNAP 10Gb switch via wired Ethernet jack on each level on my house (wires within walls lead each Ethernet jack to that QNAP 10GB switch wich also has 20 2.5GBs ports 🙂 )

    3) When do you recommend that I turn off wifi on Bell HH4000 if at all ?

    4) This method is different than PPPoE Bypass that you also documented – which one should I pursue in your honest opinion – if you could provide pros and cons based on my that would be great 🙂

    5) I am really after best (better than now) wifi speeds in my house if that’s achievable with my equipment: ASUS AX89X as a main router and pair of Asus XT8s – feel free to recommend any other approach if that makes more sense to you. I am really hoping to get closer to 1GB wifi speeds throughout my house – is that achievable with my proposed setup ?

    Thanks so much, I hope you don’t mind if I contact you if I run into issues setting up the method that you described and tested ?

    Regards,
    Marek

    P.S. If I don’t get any responses via this website is it OK to email you nerd@theitnerd.ca ?

    • Good day. Thanks for the kudos. In answer to your questions:

      1. I personally have not done what you are proposing. But there is a YouTuber named TechMixr who did something similar to what you are proposing to do. Here’s the video that explains this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRSUdiOlBZM

      2. I would recommend this setup. Though you will lose speed as it’s going from a 3 Gbps connection down to 2.5 at each XT8 node. You will likely have to play with what ASUS calls its roaming assistant to make sure that devices connect to the right node relative to where it is in your home.

      3. I did a list in this article of the things that I would tun off. In my case, I killed the WiFi entirely along with UPnP, DLNA, and SIP ALG.

      4. The original PPPoE bypass method should be the first thing to try. It’s more stable and easier to set up, but because of the PPPoE overhead you might not get anywhere near 3Gbps up and down. In fact, I would surprised if you did. Thus the second method would be the better way to go.

      5. WiFi speeds are a tricky thing. I did an article on the speeds that I get in my environment with a pair of XT8 that has insane amounts of WiFi access points to fight through. Not to mention concrete walls that they have to deal with. I am also using wireless backhaul so that’s a factor. So you could in theory get 1 Gbps speeds. But if you get anything about 500 or 600 Mbps, and you live in a heavy metropolitan area with neighbours close by, I would take that.

      I hope that helps. Let me know if I can clarify anything.

      • Thanks again – some clarifications based on your answers 🙂

        2) I would recommend this setup. Which one ? Do you recommend that I then run pair of XT8s as AiMesh or as Access points ?

        When you say I will be losing speed , how so? Are you talking about wifi speeds or my network speeds ? Remember that from Asus router I am going 10Gbs out to my QNAP switch which is 10GB/2.5Gbs so via wired (locally)I will get my 10 Gbs speed to devices that support that speed and or 2.5GBs to devices that support it. Wifi will never get to that speed period but 1GBs wifi speeds should be achievable , I think ?

        Please note that I am planning using my XT8 nodes for wifi either in AP mode or imesh as I have whole house wired already. So my local LAN will give me full speed to all the devices that support 10Gbs will it not ?

        4) Once again, you are stating “that but because of the PPPoE overhead you might not get anywhere near 3Gbps up and down. In fact, I would surprised if you did. Thus the second method would be the better way to go”
        I believe that TechMixr is getting that full speed and once again wired should be no problem to achieve in my opinion .

        5. WiFi speeds are a tricky thing – I am already getting 300-500 with HH4000 and 6 pods but I would like more 🙂 so really hoping for close to Gbs wifi speeds with this otherwise it doesn’t make sense for me to do it 🙁 and invest all that money in the extra equipment.

        Thanks again . I hope that I am getting this right 🙂

      • Hello again.

        In answer to question two, I was talking about network speed. You have a 3Gbps connection coming into your home. But the connection between the nodes are 2.5 Gbps. Which means you’re leaving 500 Mbps on the table. Given that you are unlikely to see more than 1 Gbps via WiFi, it may not matter.

        In answer to question four, TechMixr got full speed using a 1.5 Gbps connection. Not 3 Gbps. PPPoE overhead and a router’s ability to hand it is a concern and I haven’t seen consumer gear get speeds much above what TechMixr got via PPPoE.

        In terms of question five, it’s hard to predict what you might get in terms of WiFi speed. Better equipment will help somewhat. Dumb question. When you say “pods”, you mean the Bell pods?

  3. […] That wasn’t a big deal as after thanking the tech and sending him on his way, I set it up in this manner again which only took a few […]

  4. Hello again,indeed, and thanks so much for taking teh time to converse about this 🙂 I really appreciate that! This is really what it means to be part of the Internet community in my opinion and I have learned so much!

    So about my network speed 🙂 I am expecting to get full 3GBs internet speed to wired devices that will have 10GBs connection to my QNAP switch as I am getting it now (to my main desktop that has 10Gbs network adapter I am getting 3Gbs up and down! so full internet speed that I am paying for) Otherwise why would I even attempt to do this if I can achieve this today with Bell HH4000 being fed into QNAP 10GBs switch (out of HH4000 10Gbs port)

    Note that I am strictly talking about WIRED speed as my house is fully wired with CAT6 cabling and each Ethernet jack is plugged in (via CAT6 cables in walls) into that QNAP switch that has 4 – 10GBs port and 16 2.5GBs ports. So what I am basically going to change is this (at least try) :

    I will have 10GBs port connected from Bell HH4000 into my 10 GBs ASUS AX89X router port. And then I will do PPPoE pass-through from Bell HH4000 into my router. Remember that this particular router has 2 of these 10Gbs network ports (RJ45 and SFP+). So once PPPoE pass-through is done with to the ASUS AX89X router and I am getting the full 3Gbs internet speed into it which I should!
    I will then use the other 10GBs SFP+ port from ASUS AX89X router to feed that into QNAP 10GBs switch which if it works (and I believe it should) it will give me full 3Gbs up and down speeds to my main desktop and to whole network (i.e. each Ethernet jack that has connection back to that switch should in theory get either 10Gbs or 2.5Gbs connection to it , depending what is on the end of that each Ethernet jack. Most of devices i.e. streaming etc… will connect at 1GBs wired and that’s OK but my network will be future proof once 2.5Gb connections will become more prevalent in such devices. And please keep in mind that still only talking about WIRED speeds internally on my local wired Network. At this point , I have not even started optimizing wifi coverage speeds yet as I am planning to do that with pair of Asus XT8s as I am hoping to use them as either iMesh or AP (Access Point) nodes (I will test both and decide which one setup gives me more of the coverage and wiffi speeds improvement)

    Here is a link to what I am hoping to achieve:
    (I am just going to replace ET with XT units in this example)

    https://dongknows.com/best-multi-gig-wired-backhaul-aimesh-combos/#extra-mixed-wi-fi-6-and-wi-fi-6e-multi-gig-wired-backhaul-aimesh-combos

    Keep in mind that each of Asus XTs units have a 2.5Gbs port which I am hoping to use as wired back haul and spread them to first and second level of my home as my main router is in the basement. So I am hoping to get quite a great wifi coverage and potentially better wifi speeds that I am getting now (as close to 1GBs wireless as I can)

    The only unknown at this point is will the XT satellitenodes work as such as I am going to connect them via Ethernet jack on each level of my house (utilizing their 2.5Gb port) through my walls back to my multi-gig QNAP switch, which has 2.5Gbs ports. Hopefully this work and I will let you know how it went 🙂

    But before attempting to incorporate XTs into my network, I am also going to test my ASUS AX89X router and its range, coverage and wifi speeds first and perhaps it will be more than enough for my 2500 sq feet home 🙂 That would be incredible actually and I have heard great deal of very favorable info on this router. And if the wifi speeds are improved I will then turn off wifi on Bell HH4000 for good and never use it but only use PPPoE pass-through into my router.

    So that is the plan 🙂 Please let me know if you see any glaring omissions or assumptions on my part in this ?
    You know this stuff more than I do so any words of wisdom/gotchas would be really appreciated.

    Yes, TechMixr got full speed using a 1.5 Gbps connection. But that’s because I believe that he was testing it with that speed i.e. he did not have 3Gbs as he only subscribe to 1.5GBs from Bell at this time. So I am hoping to get that full speed with the setup that I outlined above 🙂 We shall see – if not then there is no point of doing this as I am getting that full speed (up and down) today to my main PC.

    Yes, “pods” are Bell WIFI 6 pods which I have 6 in my house and with them in place. They each have 2 -1GBs ports on them so I have majority of them wired back into my QNAP switch via in wall Ethernet jacks for wired backhaul. So far, I am getting anywhere from 200-450Mbs wifi speeds throughout my house which isn’t really that bad so if I am not going to achieve significantly better wifi speeds or greater coverage I may as well stay with that setup. However, they each cost $5 per month so if you do the math, my router with be paid off within a year or 2 🙂
    The wifi speed close to the Bell HH4000 router comes at ~650Mbs if I do my speed test on my iphone 12. So that’s respectable as well. We shall see if I am going to get better wifi speeds from my ASUS AX89X router which I think I should be (based on the research on the web)

    Sorry about the long winded response buy I wanted to make sure that I had explained properly what I am attempting to and rely on your feedback if that’s even feasible 🙂 Thanks for all the feedback so far and thanks for listening!

    Marek

    • Okay. Gotcha.

      From the QNAP wired switch to things like your NAS will get full speed. So you’re good there.

      The plan makes sense in terms of how you are going set this up and you are going to test this also makes sense. I don’t know what your home has in terms of walls and the like, but I suspect that you will need to use the XT8’s to get the speed that you want. While the X89X has insane range and the speed can be off the hook, having the XT8s with a wired backhaul will give you better coverage and decent speed. I looked over my notes and I found a client of mine who was getting mid 600’s Mbps on a gigabit connection with wireless backhaul. But there wasn’t a whole lot for them to compete against from his neighbours as he lives in place which doesn’t have a whole lot of people with WiFi for whatever reason. So it is possible depending on your environment.

  5. Awesome, thanks for the feedback 🙂 We shall see – I will let you know my results as soon as I have them.

    Not NAS will get full speed from that QNAP switch but anything else connected to it will/should get the full speed- either 2.5Gb or 10Gbs (depending which port is is connected to and what’s the speed of the network adapter at the client side. On the devices that will be connecting to my QNAP switch that have full 10Gbs pipeline I am fully expect to see full 3Gbs internet speed 🙂 up and down as that QNAP switch is very good.

    Yes, and I am really hoping that wired backhaul on XT8s would push my wifi closer to 1GBs wireless 🙂 Mid 600Mbs is not bad either!

  6. Great article thanks very much for the detailed explanations! I will be heading down this journey in a couple of weeks with Bell and pfsense as my router.

    I’m a little unclear on the VPN results (from your network to others) at the end of this method.

    With the DHCP method, are you able to VPN from your network to other servers?

    Thanks Again,
    Paul

    • Hello. I use multiple VPNs to get to a few of my clients with no connection or speed issues. My wife is also able to use her work VPN with no issues in terms of connection or speed. So it would say that VPNs are a non issue.

  7. Thanks for the great articles (PPOE and Advanced DMZ). Its very informative and well written and explained.

    I am looking to use one implementation in couple of weeks with BELL 1.5 Gbps service. I have a pfsense router which has only 1Gbps ports for now. So, I am good if i top out around.

    Are you still liking the advanced DMZ setup?

    Also, I have been reading forums where folks are losing connectivity for couple minutes when the HH4K reboots/changes IP. Did you see this with either PPOE or advanced DMZ? Similar to your situation, i cannot have any downtime with the wife also Working from Home 🙂

    Thanks
    Sam

  8. Do you have home phone and tv with bell?

    I also have pfsense as my router/gateway and will be trying the advanced dmz method. I am hoping I can just plug the bell tv box and phone box into my switch and it will work. Do you know if this will work?

    hh4000 -> pfsense -> switch —
    |—– tv
    |—– phone
    |—– computer

    • Hello there. Some random questions and comments.

      – When you say “phone box” is this a non-Bell VoIP box of some sort? I ask because your phone plugs in directly to the HH4000 via the RJ-11 port on the left hand side of the HH4000.

      – Your Bell TV boxes normally connect wirelessly to a hidden WiFi connection on the HH4000. I cannot recall if they have Ethernet. I believe they do but I am not 100% sure about that. If they do, I see no reason why they would not be able to connect to your switch and work.

      – Connecting a switch (ideally to the 10Gbps port on the HH4000) should be fine. But I have to ask, are you connecting a switch that has faster than Gigabit speeds?

      Please advise.

  9. Hi, an update, I gave up on XT8s and bought instead a pair of ET12s and switched HH4000 to the newest Bell router which is Giga Hub wifi 6E router and see if I will be able to achieve this ? I was not able to get full speed with XT8s. One question is do I really still need ASUS AX89X router anymore with this setup, or can I just simply use one of the ET12 as a router in PPPoE bypass mode and the second EP12 as either mesh node or access point ? Any ideas ?

    Thanks,
    M.

    • As I understand it the Giga Hub has WiFi 6E and that is the only difference that anyone has found. The rest of it is apparently the same. And the ET12’s from what I understand work the same way as the XT8’s. So what I have outlined is in theory possible.

      The other thing that I should note is that if you are running the latest firmware that supports AiMesh, you SHOULD be able to use any combo of Asus routers to do a mesh network. The only thing that I question is what they will use as the backhaul channel. I say that because they have the following band layout:

      2.4GHz 4×4
      5GHz 4×4
      6GHz 4×4

      My thinking is that the backhaul is on the 6Ghz channel. That won’t talk to the AX89X as far as I know. But I haven’t played with this mesh router so I am not 100% sure.

      Another random thought, the AX89X has a 10Gbps port which will max out whatever connection Bell gives you. So I would be using that to connect to the Bell hardware.

  10. OK, thanks for suggestions/ideas. Since the AX89X is wifi 6 not 6E, I would like to get rid of it completely and do PPPoE bypass mode from Giga Hub 10Gbs port to ET12 2.5Gbs port which in theory would give me 2.5Gbs internet speeds to any devices that can support that (My Bell Fibe is 3Gbs so I will be loosing 0.5G but that’s a small price to pay as I only have couple devices that will support that speed anyway) and I don’t want to use wireless back haul but rather wired.

  11. What’s the best router to use if you got a bell giga borne hub aka HH4000? I want to setup pihole or use a router that uses openwrt

    • I don’t have a best router recommendation unfortunately as I haven’t tried any routers other than my XT8. Though I just got a TP-link to review in the next couple of weeks.

  12. Thanks for the writeup, I was able to get this working with my router (Netgate 5100 running pfSense) on the first go.

    Once thing I’ve noticed is that if both the Home Hub 4000 and pfSense need to get rebooted for whatever reason (auto-on after an extended power failure), then even though my router gets an external IP address from the HH4000, I can’t connect to the Internet until I login to the Home Hub, remove and then re-add my router to the ADMZ.

    Have you experienced this problem?

    • What happens if you simply restart the HH4000? I ask because that’s what I had to do when I first started experimenting with this setup.

      Also I have have not had the need to restart to restart due to the issue that you are describing as I never had this issue.

      • I haven’t tried restarting the HH4000 a second time but that kinda defeats the purpose of having a self-maintaining setup. I would probably be home to kickstart everything after an extended power outage (my UPS only lasts up to 5 minutes, really need to get a new one!), but this is still sticking in my craw. I haven’t had to restart either the Home Hub or my router under normal usage but I do like to test these things to make sure everything will start up by itself if I’m not around to do it myself.

        Next time I’m able to, I’ll see if rebooting the HH4400 works around the issue.

      • To be clear I am suggesting this as a troubleshooting step. If you get into this situation and you restart the HH4000 and Internet access magically comes back on, then the HH4000 is having trouble for whatever reason dropping the router into the DMZ. You might have to delete everyone from the DMZ section of the HH4000 and try it again to see if that makes a difference.

        In my case, I’ve had two power outages and everything came back up both times. So I know that this works. I also have an UPS but only lasts 39 minutes.

      • Had a chance to dive into this some more tonight… so you were correct: rebooting the HH4000 after its initial power up seems to resolve the issue with my Internet remaining down even though my router gets an external IP address in the ADMZ.

        Interestingly, the problem seems to be that the HH4000 does not create the necessary route to send traffic out (in my case, the route is a default to 10.50.43.234). However, either rebooting the HH4000 or restarting the WAN interface in pfSense adds the missing route and all is well.

        So now I guess I need to decide what’s more important to me: not using PPPoE (being unable to access the HH4000’s web UI, lower performance) vs having to do a juggling act whenever one or both of those devices have to be restarted. I’m leaning towards going back to PPPoE for now since my router seems capable enough of handling it and I rarely need to go into the web UI much.

        Would be nice to NOT have to use PPPoE, though…

      • What sort of performance do you get via PPPoE? Are you getting the speed that you are paying for?

      • The 5100 I’m using only has gigabit ports, looking to get a cheap box from AliExpress with 2.5Gbe ports to replace it. Without PPPoE, I was getting between 900 to 925 mbps on speed tests. With PPPoE, I seem to be getting between 850 to 915. The ancient CPU on this (Atom C3558) goes about as high as 30% during the speed tests. Not a huge difference speed-wise but it’s there.

      • Thanks for that info. I am toying with the idea of doing what you’re doing and moving back to PPPoE passthrough if the PPPoE performance is close or equal to what I would get from using the Bell hardware.

      • Curious why you’d consider going back to PPPoE if your setup is working? I think I’d prefer to go back to ADMZ if I could, to eliminate PPPoE protocol overhead and eliminate the burden of my router running a PPPoE client. If it wasn’t for the fact that the default route isn’t set up after a cold boot of both devices, I’d have stuck to the ADMZ option.

      • My main concern is that I would be travelling again and I would have to talk my wife through restarting the modem and the router. While she’s smart at what she does for a living, IT is not her thing. Ideally, Bell’s hardware would just make this all a non issue by having a proper bridge mode. But since it doesn’t…..

      • Yes! A proper bridge mode would be great but I’m not holding my breath. Maybe we’ll get it in the Home Hub 5000… 😉

        I thought you said you went through two power outages and everything came up fine for you? If that’s the case, then I wouldn’t worry about switching back to PPPoE.

      • Yeah. I have gone through 2 power outages with no issues. But there’s a first time for everything. And it tends to happen when I am away on business.

      • For me, the problem is 100% reproducible after a cold boot but I understand your concern. Plus, given that I rarely need to reboot anything, chances are I’ll be the one who forgets what needs to be done to get the Internet back online… :-/

      • lol! I know exactly how you feel.

      • Forgot to mention I’m on the Fibe 1.5 plan.

      • When i got BELL setup, i tried the ADMZ set up right away as itnerd had good performance. But, i had the exact same issue as you describe here and it was re-producible using pfsense. I tried couple of reboots and moved quickly to PPOE as the whigning got louder at home. PPOE worked right off the bat. I had my first proper modem reboot yesterday (during the day – why why why BELL?) and it came back up within 5 min with no inteference. I was tempted to hit the “Connect” button on my pfsense but wanted to see how long it would sort itself out. Was going to try ADMZ today being a holiday and all but i am sure based on responses in reddit and here, i am going to run into the same issue. So PPOE it is for now..

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