LAN Network Ports. Connects to your devices using network cables (Ethernet cables). Internet port (or WAN Network port). Connects to the modem using the provided Ethernet cable. Connects to the provided power adapter. User manual instruction guide for Wireless Home Router FAST5280 SAGEMCOM BROADBAND SAS. Setup instructions, pairing guide, and how to reset.
I recently moved to a new house and one of the very first things I invested in was an internet connection. Just like most broadband connections, the wire for the router was pulled inside from the corner of the flat. To make sure the long trail of wire didn’t spoil the looks, we thought to mount the wireless router there itself.
Everything was fine unless we were using the internet connection in the kitchen or the balcony. The connection strength was almost nil at these places and that’s when I thought to use my old router as a repeater.
I was able to extend the range of my Wi-Fi by turning an old router into a repeater and I documented all the steps involved in it. So if you need a helping hand in setting up your home wireless connection, read on.
Step 1: Getting the Wi-Fi Details from the Main Router
The very first thing you need to do is find out the details of the Wi-Fi connection you are currently connected to. You’ll need the SSID name, i.e. the name under which the router is broadcasting the Wi-Fi, the password used to connect, and finally the security type. The easiest way to get this information is by connecting to the Wi-Fi network and selecting Properties from the right-click context menu.
The SSID is the network name you connect to and the Security type and Network security key are under the Security tab in the wireless properties. Make a note of these settings on a notepad before proceeding to the next step. These settings are also available in the router admin settings, but that won’t be necessary.Note: If you are using Connectify or any other virtual hotspot as a base Wi-Fi network, the default security type is WPA2 security.
Step 2: Reset the Old Router and Connect
After you have all the necessary details from the primary router, plug in your old adapter and reset it to factory settings. Most of the time there is a dedicated reset key or you might have to press and hold the WPS button for a few seconds. Resetting the router and starting from scratch is the best practice to follow.
Having done that, disconnect from your primary wireless network and connect to the secondary router using an ethernet cord or Wi-Fi. If you do reset the router, the default Wi-Fi SSID and the passcode should be written on the device or on the instruction manual. You can also open the product support page to get the info.
Wired or wireless, wait for the computer to obtain the default IP and connect to it using your default browser. Most of the time, the default IP is 192.168.0.1 but the range can vary depending on the manufacturer settings. On the login page, try using the default credentials as ‘admin’ for both username and password.
Step 3: Configuring the Router as Repeater
Once you are in the router control panel, open the wireless settings. In these settings, you will find an option called the Operations Mode. Select this and change it to Repeater. Then click on the Search/Survey button to find the list of all the available wireless networks around you.
After you find your network on the list, click Connect, provide the Wi-Fi password of your primary connection, and save the settings. If you are not asked for the wireless password, open the wireless security page and configure the settings manually.
The wireless security settings and passcode must match the primary router, which is the same information we got from step 1. Finally, you will get an option to reboot. After the reboot, you will see that the secondary router is set to repeater mode with the same Wi-Fi name.
Step 4: Placing the Router
If your primary router is at one end of the house, don’t place the secondary router at the other end. Instead, place it somewhere in the middle where you still get half of the wireless range. This will boot the signal to the other end of the house where the signal of the first router never reached.
You can now enjoy seamless internet connection throughout your house without losing connection. This is especially good for balconies, when you can’t miss out on the daily news while sipping a hot cup of freshly brewed coffee and enjoying the fresh morning air. Depending upon the router, you might have some additional questions about the configuration. Please ask them in the comments and I will do my best to answer.
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5 Ways to Boost Your WiFi Signal
TalkTalk has a new router available to its 4 million broadband customers in the UK. The router is made by Sagemcom and called the FAST 5364. The company will sell you one for £120 here but it comes for free if you get the Faster Fibre Broadband package; or for £30 with the Fast Broadband package.
TalkTalk’s previous router was the Huawei HG633 or for some luckier customers the HG635, or perhaps a DLINK DSL3782. The HG633 is a poor product with slow WiFi performance and 100 Mbps Ethernet ports. The FAST 5364 looks like an effort to put things right. It is not worth £120 (you can get a better 3rd-party router for that money) but it is well worth £30 as an upgrade.
The router comes in a smart box with a big emphasis on the step-by-step guide to getting started.
The router itself has a perforated plastic case with a flip-out stand. On the back are four Gigabit Ethernet ports, a WAN port, a VDSL/ADSL Broadband port, a WPS button and an on-off switch. There is also a recessed Reset button.
A handy feature is that the WiFi details are on a removable panel. The router admin password is on the back label but not on the removeable panel – better for security.
Presuming you are a TalkTalk customer, it should just be a matter of connecting the cables and turning on. In my case it took a little longer as I am not a TalkTalk consumer customer. I connected up, then logged into the admin at http://192.168.1.1 to enter my username and password for the internet connection, following which I was online. An LED on the front turns from amber to white to confirm.
There is an oddity though. The FAST 5364 has a red Ethernet port marked WAN. This should be suitable for connecting to a cable modem or any internet connection via Ethernet. However when I tried to use this it did not work, but kept on trying to connect via ADSL/VDSL. Either this is deliberately disabled, or this is a firmware bug.
Performance and specification
The good news is that performance on the FAST 5364 is good. Here is the spec:
Antennas: 4×4 5GHz and 3×3 2.4GHz
WiFi: 2.4GHz Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n) and MU-MIMO 5GHz Wi-Fi (802.11 a/n/ac)
Broadband: ADSL2+ & VDSL2
A point of interest here is that the WiFi supports a technology called Beamforming. This uses an array of antennas to optimise the signal. It is called Beamforming because it shapes the the beam according to the location of the client.
In addition, MU-MIMO (Multi-User, Multi-input, Multi-output) means that multiple WiFi streams are available, so multiple users can each have a dedicated stream. This means better performance when you have many users. TalkTalk claims up to 50 devices can connect with high quality.
The FAST 5364 is managed through a web browser. Like many devices, it has a simplified dashboard along with “Advanced settings”.
From the simple dashboard, you can view status, change WiFi network name and password, and not much else.
If you click Manage my devices and then Manage advanced settings, you get to another dashboard.
Then you can click Access Control, where you get to manage the firewall, and set the admin password for the router.
Or you can click TalkTalk WI-Fi Hub, where you get more detailed status information, and can manage DHCP, Light control (literally whether the LED lights up or not), DNS (this sets the DNS server which connected clients use), DynDNS (which supports several dynamic DNS providers, not just DynDNS), Route for adding static routes, and Maintenance for firmware updates, logs, and setting an NTP server (so your router knows the time and date).
Or you can click Internet Connectivity so you can set a DNS server to be used on the WAN side as well as username, password and other settings if you cannot connect automatically.
Sagem Network Support
Firewall and port forwarding
The firewall in your router is critically important for security. Further, users often want to configure port forwarding to enable multi-user online gaming or other services to work.
Dealing with this can be fiddly so most modern routers support a feature called UPnP which lets devices on your network request port forwarding automatically.
Personally I dislike UPnP because it is a security risk if an insecure device is present on your network (cheap security cameras are a notorious example). I like to control which ports are forwarded manually. That said, UPnP is better in some ways since it allows the same port to be forwarded to different devices depending on what is in use. It is a trade-off. Ideally you should be able to specify which devices are allowed to use UPnP but that level of control is not available here. Instead, you can turn UPnP on or off.
On the Port Forwarding screen, you can add rules manually, or select Games and Applications, which automatically sets the rules for the selected item if you specify its IP address on the network.
You can get to this same screen via Connected Devices, in which case the IP address of the selected device is pre-populated.
The Firewall management gives you four levels:
Low: Allow all traffic both LAN->WAN and WAN->LAN. Not recommended, but not quite as bad as it sounds since NAT will give you some protection.
Medium: Allow all traffic LAN->WAN. Block NETBIOS traffic WAN->LAN. This is the default. More relaxed than I would like, presuming it means that all other traffic WAN->LAN is allowed, which is the obvious interpretation.
High: Allow common protocols LAN->WAN. Block all traffic WAN->LAN. A good secure setting but could be annoying since you will not be able to connect to non-standard ports and will probably find some web sites or applications not working as they should.
Custom: This seems to be the High setting but shown as custom rules, with the ability to add new rules. Thus with some effort you could set a rule to allow all traffic LAN->WAN, and block all traffic WAN->LAN except where you add a custom rule. To my mind this should be the default.
Most home users will never find this screen so it seems that TalkTalk is opening up its customers to a rather insecure setup by default, especially if there are bugs discovered in the router firmware.
I am asking TalkTalk about this and will let you know the response.
The most obvious missing feature, compared to previous TalkTalk routers, is the lack of any USB port to attach local storage. This can be useful for media sharing. It is no great loss though, as you would be better off getting a proper NAS device and attaching it to one of the wired Ethernet ports.
Next, there is no provision for VPN connections. Of course you can set up a VPN endpoint on another device and configure the firewall to allow the traffic.
I cannot see a specific option to set a DHCP reservation, though I suspect this happens automatically. This is important when publishing services or even games, as the internal IP must not change.
There is no option to set a guest WiFi network, with access to the internet but not the local network.
Overall I would describe the router and firewall features as basic but adequate.
TalkTalk vs third party routers
Should you use a TalkTalk-supplied router, or get your own? There are really only a couple of reasons to use the TalkTalk one. First, it comes free or at a low price with your broadband bundle. Second, if you need support, the TalkTalk router is both understood and manageable by TalkTalk staff. Yes, TalkTalk can access your router, via the TR-069 protocol designed for this purpose (and which you cannot disable, as far as I can tell). If you want an easy life with as much as possible automatically configured, it makes sense to use a TalkTalk router.
That said, if you get a third-party router you can make sure it has all the features you need and configure it exactly as you want. These routers will not be accessible by TalkTalk staff. I would recommend this approach if you have anything beyond basic connectivity needs, and if you want the most secure setup. Keep a TalkTalk router handy in case you need to connect it for the sake of a support incident.
TalkTalk users are saying that the new router performs much better than the old ones (though this is not a high bar). For example:
Sagem Network Login
“this is a very very good router with strong stable wifi. It is a massive upgrade to any of the routers supplied currently and its not just the wifi that is better. I get 16 meg upload now was 14 before”
That sounds good, and really this is a much better device than the previous TalkTalk offerings.
Sagem Network Client
My main quibble is over the questionable default firewall settings. The browser UI is not great but may well improve over time. Inability to use the WAN port with a cable modem is annoying, and it would be good to see a more comprehensive range of features, though given that most users just want to plug in and go, a wide range of features is not the most important thing.