Use Any Router with Vox Fibre

nDdKING

Active Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2008
Messages
34
#1
Hey guys,

A friend of mine living in Durban North recently got a 50/5 Mbps Vumatel/Vox fibre line and connection. The install techies removed his upper-mid end Asus VDSL modem/router that he had recently purchased in anticipation of upgrading to fibre and replaced it with a small white Mikrotik RouterBoard. The Mikrotik had pathetic WiFi range and the installers refused to give him the admin password so he couldn't even alter the router's configuration (ie: he couldn't change his WiFi password, add port forwards, change QoS settings, set static IPs, etc...).

When he asked if they could rather reconfigure his Asus router to work on his fibre line he was told the Mikrotik router is locked to the line. After the installers had left my friend reconfigured the Asus router to work in WAN DHCP mode and connected it but was unable to get any traffic across.

He explained the situation to me and I figured that the line is locked to the MAC address of the Mikrotik router. I confirmed this as follows:
  • I connected his PC via ethernet cable to the WAN port of the Mikrotik router
  • I then ran an ARP on his PC to determine the MAC address of the Mikrotik's WAN NIC
  • I wrote down the MAC address and disconnected the Mikrotik router
  • Connected his Asus router to his PC and set the WAN config of the router to spoof the Mikrotik's MAC address (he had already correctly set his router's WAN connection to use ethernet DHCP instead of VDSL)
  • Connected the Asus router's WAN port to the Vumatel fibre to copper CPE box
  • Bingo, internet working at full speed and he has at least 3-4 times the WiFi range, 5GHz WiFi (he streams 4K content from his PC to laptop so this is important for him), and total control over his router
I am a bit perplexed as to why either Vumatel or Vox have taken this approach. It's a shame they have handicapped what is otherwise a great service with a weak router that the customer has no control over. I'm fairly sure this is against the CPA also and drastically weakens the customer's network security (they can't update the router firmware if an exploit is found or even change their WiFi password).

I strongly recommend that Vumatel/Vox remove this arbitrary restriction or at least properly inform the customer of the situation, provide them with the router credentials and make it easier to use the router of their choice.

Hope this helps someone!
 
Last edited:

Greglsh

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2009
Messages
538
#2
Hi
As far as I know, that would be Vox that has done that, Vumatel only supply the Fibre line, your ISP supplies the router. I agree that this is not on, I sort of understand they dont want the "basic" user changing settings then blaming them when it does not work. I think you should get a choice of YES I want your router as I dont need to change anything or NO I want my own router.
 

nDdKING

Active Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2008
Messages
34
#4
Hi
As far as I know, that would be Vox that has done that, Vumatel only supply the Fibre line, your ISP supplies the router. I agree that this is not on, I sort of understand they dont want the "basic" user changing settings then blaming them when it does not work. I think you should get a choice of YES I want your router as I dont need to change anything or NO I want my own router.
Thanks for the info mate, and yes, completely agree. It's a major infringement on the user's rights and most importantly security IMO. Opens all sorts of potential attack vectors like DNS hijacking. Especially if Vox is using the same credentials on all the routers.
 
Last edited:

-Misfit-

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2010
Messages
265
#5
Yes this is Vox. At work we have fibre with them and it's the same story. I know our IT is almost weekly sending requests to change/fix things that could easily be done by ourselves, but they do not want to give us access to the router. Maybe we should start looking into how to get the credentials from the router as has been done for Vodacom?
 

nDdKING

Active Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2008
Messages
34
#6
Yes this is Vox. At work we have fibre with them and it's the same story. I know our IT is almost weekly sending requests to change/fix things that could easily be done by ourselves, but they do not want to give us access to the router. Maybe we should start looking into how to get the credentials from the router as has been done for Vodacom?
Either get a different router and follow what I did above OR I suspect you can factory reset the Mikrotik router and set your own admin username and password.
 

Sopbeen

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2007
Messages
258
#8
You can request access info for your router. Vox then sends you a waiver that you need to fill in/sign. Basically says they will charge you for support in the event that you need it and its determined that you messed up.
 

rawoke

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2009
Messages
276
#9
Ja its kinda strange... I can see why they did it... Most people(not in this forum) probably doesn't give two hoots about their router.. Only us semi-tech-people :p Wellll i know my grandma doesn't care about her router...
Cause she knows the children will :D
 

mister

Executive Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
7,060
#10
Screw them... just reset the Mikrotik and set your own password. If you are willing to invest some time the Mikrotik can do all sorts of fancy stuff if required, and you could use your older router just as a wireless access point.
 

lordrage

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2006
Messages
573
#12
I am on openserve and vox and just put in the information into my own router (username and password for the ISP) and I was connected. No issues. I used that mikrotic router for less than a week. I am not sure if it differs for different fibre providers but mine was honestly super easy (as easy as putting in ADSL settings)
 

Flipside

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2006
Messages
489
#15
Was your router the first router plugged in straight after the installation or was the Mikrotik plugged in first?
Yes, used my own router before the installer came.
I can't remember if I ever tried the Microtik, unfortunately I don't have a 3rd router to test with.
 

mister

Executive Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
7,060
#17
I am on openserve and vox and just put in the information into my own router (username and password for the ISP) and I was connected. No issues. I used that mikrotic router for less than a week. I am not sure if it differs for different fibre providers but mine was honestly super easy (as easy as putting in ADSL settings)
on openserve you can change routers whenever. vumatel locks their authentication to the mac address of the first router connected, so to change routers you need to clone the mac address, or ask vuma to reset the lock
 

Johnatan56

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 23, 2013
Messages
24,306
#19
:unsure: how long as vox been around compared to cool ideas ? do cool ideas actually own any of there own equipment ?
Is that a joke? Cool Ideas has been around since 2011, but have pretty good products/support, which is why on MyBB they are rated the number one ISP.
https://mybroadband.co.za/news/adsl/229951-best-adsl-and-fibre-isps-in-south-africa.html

(P.S. https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/how-to-use-theyre-there-their
And https://english.stackexchange.com/q...a-space-before-a-question-or-exclamation-mark)
 

altie79

Active Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2014
Messages
37
#20
If you are lucky enough to sneak in your own router before the Vox installer guy comes around, you dictate the router to be used. If you want to change routers afterwards, that can also be arranged with Vox. The second option is obviously just more time consuming.
 
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