Technology. Dissected, discredited.

Orcon Homehub Update

, posted: 30-Sep-2008 13:57

So after a relatively pain-free experience with an Orcon Homehub at work I decided to get one for home.
My main motivation was my wondering if my DLink DSL-502T & a WRT54G modded to run DD-WRT were causing double NAT issues and resulting in slow connections/torrents. You would imagine an all in one solution would at least half the possible causes for slow speeds. And since upgrading so far so good - more green lights than amber in Azureus/Vuze.

But as I've come to get used to the Homehub, I was hoping to get a feature of Leopard/MobileMe working - Back to My Mac.
The general use is to setup a zero configuration VPN between your various Macs that aren't all in the same location. If this thing
actually worked it would be an awesome. Remote Desktop/VNC, File Sharing - even Bonjour support all with no complex setup. The problem is it only works in ideal configurations - and most of those are centred around America's cable connections - and not an ADSL setup in NZ.

Back To My Mac - no fun Back to the Homehub - although offering uPnP, it would seem to be lacking true NAT-PMP support. Via this Apple Discussion, I've found that looks like the same issues but on a BT Homehub (which is in no way the same box as Orcons).
OK, so the problem is that the BT Voyager 2100 only supports the WANPPPConnection service of UPnP, while Apple currently only supports the WANIPConnection service. There's a chance Apple could add WANPPPConnection support in a future release, but until then you're out of luck.
When I used Lighthouse, a dynamic port forwarding utility for OS-X, to give me some in depth info, it reports -
Lighthouse could not associate with the router '' because of invalid protocol implementations
The router '' sent invalid responses to Lighthouse's requests to associate with it. This may happen if your router doesn't support NAT/PMP or UPnP (please check its manual) or because their implementation is incomplete. It may help to upgrade your router to its latest firmware version (information on how to do this should also be present in the router's manual).

So my options would be to loose the Homehub, replacing it with a NAT-PMP supporting ADSL2+ Modem, ideally that supports Bridge mode - this turns it into a dumb modem that forwards everything through to your routers WAN port - including login and authentication - and hopefully NAT/uPnP. The I can use my Airport Extreme to get proper NAT-PMP.
I did some reading and it would seem that the newest revision of the DLink DSL-502T does this - look out for Revision C.

Has anyone out there managed to get a bridged modem connection working into their router and if so what gear are you using?

Also - Orcon seem to be shipping a 2nd revision of the Homehub, its still based on a Siemens SX763, the new model has a WPS button on the back to allow for easy Wireless pairing (if you're other gear supports it). The new Homehub also has a Orcon Logo screened on the top and theres no standard Siemens packaging - just a Orcon branded slip around a white box.  

Other related posts:
Vodamoan - new connection pains
Fine Tuning Mac Mini, Logitech Harmony, Plex Nine & EyeTV
Using a MacMini with a Logitech Harmony remote control

Comment by Wonderferret, on 1-Oct-2008 10:39

I had issues with double nat/ upnp as well but in a windows environment.

I got a Draytek Vigor 110 from the UK and used that with my wrt54 and all is well.

Basically the 110 is an adsl modem that translates pppoa to pppoe. It passes the realworld IP to the wrt54 and you setup authentication etc in the wrt54 using pppoe.

Drayteks website show how to config it with an airport as well :)

Comment by Ragnor, on 1-Oct-2008 19:05

You can avoid double NAT by setting up your DLink DSL
502T in ppoa half bridge to your WRT54GL.

Basically the 502T does the dsl and ppoa connection and then assigned your public ISP assigned ip address to your WRT54GL as it's WAN address.

You may need to updated the Dlink's firmware to the latest to get the half bridge options.

Author's note by lotech, on 1-Oct-2008 19:11

Yeah only the second generation models (Revision 3) support Half
Bridge mode unfortunately.

Comment by Ragnor, on 1-Oct-2008 21:14

You could always get a Dynalink RTA130, they are sub $20 on trademe. 

They are commonly given out by ISP's when you change ISP.  I actually have at least two from changing ISP in the last 2 years.  They seem very solid and have worked perfectly in half bridge for me.

Originally I was using a Linksys AM300 but it had problems on ISP's where the default gateway is on a different subnet to the public ip assigned to the wan port (eg: telstra pdq, xnet).  Firmware updates fixed the AM300 for this situation awhile back but the RTA1320 sync's at a higher rate for me.

Tons of them on trademe

Comment by froob, on 2-Mar-2009 19:59

I have a Linksys AM300 running in half bridge mode with a D Link DIR 300 (running dd wrt) acting as my router. Seems to work fine on my Orcon connection and avoids the double NAT. The setup also gives a much more stable connection than my previous setup running a D Link DSL502T (rev 1) as the router. I'm apparently quite far from the exchange.

lotech's profile

New Zealand

I run a post production company specialising mainly in TV & Commercials. I also do graphic and motion design when it's there to be done. I've used Windows my whole life, but am now run Macs exclusively in our office and at home. Few issues. It just works.

My current setup is a Early 2008 17" Macbook Pro (C2D 2.5Ghz, 4gb, 320Gb, UWXGA Screen).