Sky ADSL2+ UK, PfSense and DG834G (PPPoA Issues)

  • Hello all!

    I have had the great fortune of purchasing 3 terminal PC's (MaxTerms, Via C3's) that boot from compact flash cards, a cheaper alternative I found to Alix boards. PfSense was duly thrown onto one in the effort to create a better router with better VPN characteristics and to complement my learning (aspiring to be a CCAr).

    Anyway, onto my situation. The scenario is as follows:

    1x DGTeam Flashed Netgear DG834G, options include modem only mode and PPPoE Relay.
    1x Sky Broadband connection, I believe ADSL2+, it connects via PPPoA.

    What I have been trying all day to achieve is to enable PPPoE mode on PfSense and then use the Netgear DG834G as a modem only device. This is completely unsuccesful. The line is up, but I believe LCP is not being negotiated. This leads me to believe that PPPoE is being used the entire way, i.e. it's trying to talk to my ISP's routers with PPPoE rather than PPPoA.

    What is my solution to this problem? I can only think to use an Ethernet based ADSL modem that will pass through/half bridge the connection.

    Many thanks,

  • Netgate Administrator

    You should be able to get this to work.
    Please post any log information from either device.
    Any errors?
    What leads you to believe that LCP is not being negotiated?


  • @stephenw10:

    You should be able to get this to work.
    Please post any log information from either device.
    Any errors?
    What leads you to believe that LCP is not being negotiated?


    Sky uses PPPoA

    The PfSense & DG834G relay function exclusively use PPPoE.

    There is no ATM stack, and Sky explicitly does not support PPPoE.

    I can view modem status with PfSense trying to connect and it says 'LCP Is not up'.

  • Netgate Administrator

    I am not familiar with the DGTeam firmware or the DG834G router/modem so I'm afraid I can't be more specific.
    If sky don't support PPPoE at all (many ISPs do even whilst claiming they don't) and your modem cannot do PPPoE to PPPoA bridging then you may be out of luck.

    You can always fall back to double router/NAT setup but obviously that's far from ideal.

    I am using the Draytek V120 modem with Plusnet successfully.


  • Sky 100% don't support PPPoE unless you use the Connect package through BT Wholesale. The LLC network requires PPPoA.

    The DGTeam firmware and the DG834G offer PPPoE relay, where the router retains some routing facility, and the modem only mode offers pure PPPoE connection (dumb modem). The ATM stack is non existent.

    I am going to purchase a Draytek Vigor 120, watching one on eBay alternatively it seems is the cheapest.

  • Netgate Administrator

    Although I am using the V120 I have to say it hasn't been without issue.
    It did at one point 'forget' it's firmware and I had to reload it. It does occasionally crash, like once every 3 months. It seems to run hot so I recommend you place it somewhere with good airflow and not in direct sunlight etc.

    There are many firmwares available for it, and they are not well documented. I have tried most of them!
    Currently I am using:

    System Status
    Model Name	 : Vigor120
    Firmware Version	 :
    Build Date/Time	 : Aug 16 2010 11:14:51
    ADSL Firmware Version	 : 332201_A Hardware: Annex A

    I know another Plusnet customer who was also using one ended up having to send it back several times. I got mine from Ebay so that wasn't an option.
    I does seem to be about the only device that can do a true PPPoA to PPPoE bridge. (The V110 and V100 can also do it)


  • Hmmm. That's a bit disconcerting.

    What other alternatives are available? Would you do anything differently?

    3 months doesn't seem /bad/ as there will probably be a power cut or something untoward like this fairly irregularly (plug falling out, me messing about).

    Heat shouldn't be an issue but thanks for mentioning.

    Maybe I am better off just buying it from Dabs and having the return policy and warranty with no messing about.

  • Netgate Administrator

    Before I got this I had heard nothing but good things about this modem and if you look for reviews and such online it is still highly thought of.
    Would I buy one again? Yes. There really isn't much alternative if you need a PPPoA-PPPoE bridge, at least that was the situation last time I researched it. However since it's only a software problem there may be other devices offering similar functionality.
    I would look for one on Ebay if you can get it cheap enough. As with all things on Ebay you have to accept that there may be a reason it's being sold cheap.  ::)
    Draytek's returns policy seems to be quite good.

    By the way I heard that Sky have run out of IP addresses and that it's now taking longer and longer to connect as a result. Have you experienced this at all?


  • After messing about on the weekend (Saturday morning/afternoon), in terms of constantly disconnecting and reconnecting, I had terrible download speed all day (7Hrs+ of 200Kbps). This was soon resolved through no effort of myself Sunday evening.

    I can't say I've noticed anything else. I will report back if I do once I receive the DrayTek however (I'm going to bite the bullet on note of peoples opinions towards Draytek as a company and because I'm pretty much out of options).

  • Just an update to this. The Draytek Vigor 120 works perfectly. A quick reboot of PfSense and the WAN connection came up.

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