Shiny Adventures

Shiny Adventures

of a software developer, @jhipster board member, @jugpaderborn organizer and father

Frederik Hahne
tp link VR600v with congstar

After the recent thunderstorm killed my old Fritz!Box we needed a new router. As I never used a lot of the features a Fritz!Box has to offer I looked for alternatives. Finding a router with integrated modem and phone functions reduces the amount of devices, In the end I needed to decide between the highend devices Fritz!Box 7590, TP-Link VR2800v and the entry level VR600v. I would have also considered the mid level VR900v but currently only the older revision v1 is available.

As I was not willing to pay nearly 200 euros for a devices I only need a very small amount of features I got the VR600v.

After setting it up and follwing every wizard step I went nearly crazy as neither internet nor phone worked. I must admit in that case the setup of a Fritz!Box is much easier. So I started to look for some information what was wrong via mobile phone tethering and 2G speed…​

Finally I found in the congstar forum an entry about setting the VLAN ID to value 7. I did and it worked! So far so good.

Set VLAN ID to 7

Now the phone. There are two options to select from:

  • congstar(via QSC)
  • congstar(via Telekom)

Looking at the information about our provider there was no word about the actual provider. So I selected via Telekom first and of course it was wrong. After switching to via QSC the phone started to work.

I was quite happy and started to look how to integrate my Pi Hole with the new router. Setting a custom DNS was quite easy but the DHCP server of the TP Link didn’t work well. In general setting static IPs was a pain and you couln’t give names to the entries. Furthermore the local name resolving didn’t work at all (at least with the pi hole). Both worked very well with the old Fritz!Box. To solve this I just disabled the DHCP server of the router and also use the DHCP server of the pi hole server.

Overall I like the hardware of the TP Link (external antennas, fast wifi) but not so much the software. There are a lot of options, but it feels a like it is not ready, at least compared to the mature Fritz!OS imho.

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