HOWTO: Connect Deco M5 to Singtel ONT (Router Mode) + Bypassing Singtel Router altogether

HOWTO: Connect Deco M5 to Singtel ONT (Router Mode) + Bypassing Singtel Router altogether

HOWTO: Connect Deco M5 to Singtel ONT (Router Mode) + Bypassing Singtel Router altogether
HOWTO: Connect Deco M5 to Singtel ONT (Router Mode) + Bypassing Singtel Router altogether
2023-12-13 06:34:33 - last edited 2023-12-17 14:33:56
Tags: #Singtel ONT Singtel TV IPTV
Model: Deco M5  
Hardware Version: V3
Firmware Version: 1.7.3 Build 2023-009 Rel. 59213

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DN6gvMoKlL4

 

First some comments on the above URL:

You may follow the above official video link on how to connect your Deco to Singtel
You may substitute Modem for Optical Network Terminal (ONT) in the above video (Not sure if Singtel is still giving out Modems)
One thing to remember: You may be able to use only LAN1 port of the ONT

 

1. Connecting Deco (Router mode) to Singtel ONT (with Singtel Router in between)

 

I do not know if the above link sets up the Deco in Access mode or Router mode - read somewhere that (TPLINK  or Singtel - do not know who) Customer Support insists it  should be access mode only. But you may be able to use it in Router mode if you are NOT going to connect Singtel TV set-top box to the Deco.

 

Why router mode? There are certain features which do not work in access mode (you can see the explanation in the app for the features not supported in access mode). It was also that TrendMicro protection (if bundled with Deco) did not work in access mode on older firmware (hopefully this is fixed now).

 

Details

My Plan: Singtel Fibre Home Bundle (Fibre Broadband + Home Digital Line)
Singtel TV: No (Surrendered)
Singtel Wifi Gigabit Router AC Plus
Deco model: M5
No. of units: 3
Firmware version: 1.7.3 Build 2023-009 Rel. 59213 (latest)

Deco app: v3.6.34 (latest)

 

Physical Setup: Singtel ONT LAN1 <---> Singtel Router <---> Deco M5 (Main)

 

On the Deco app:


a. More > Internet Connection

Internet Connection Type: You may leave it as Dynamic IP  
(OR)
Set it up as Static IP with an IP from the Singtel Router's DHCP range; In this mode you can specify the DNS servers you want to use e.g.: google 8.8.8.8/cloudflare 1.1.1.1 

If you have made modifications: Save

 

b. More > Advanced
Operation Mode: Wi-Fi Router

IPTV/VLAN: Disabled (yes, that is correct - as there is no Singtel TV)
Save


2. Connecting Deco (Router mode) to Singtel ONT directly (No need for Singtel Router!)

 

Yes, this is indeed possible but this does have a major problem unfortunately.

 

Until a few days ago (Time of writing: Dec 2023), I had this setup running for more than 2+ years (along with a port designated for Singtel TV on one of my Decos even though I did not have Singtel TV). 

 

Eventually I had to dismantle this setup since I could not make it work anymore (though this is my preferred setup as I do not need an extra device in between)

 

What is the problem?
Once you get it working initially, it can continue to function without any issues until you reboot the Decos. But once rebooted, the main deco may not be able to connect to Internet at all. It gives a message 'No internet access or no WAN IP obtained' 

 

In such a case, you will have to fall back on the Singtel Router and start all over again (if you had a working setup before, remove the other Decos first)

 

For example, the following situations require the reboot of the Decos (and you may face issues with Deco after that): 

  • Firmware upgrade
  • Fix issues with some devices not able to connect to wifi (which requires a reboot of all the Decos btw)
  • Physical re-organization of the Decos without any config. changes

 

Sidenote:

Sometimes it (reboot of all Decos) works without issues and at times it does not (even powering off everything including ONT, multiple times) - I had varying degrees of success and there is no sure way to make it work

 

How to set it up anyway (updated after initial posting)
Set it up as shown in the video with Singtel Router in between. You may need to leave it running for a few hours.

 

Then:

  • Switch the ONT connection from Singtel Router to Main Deco
  • Operation Mode: Wi-Fi Router
  • Change Internet Connection Type to 'Dynamic IP' (it might take a few seconds to switch if the previous setting was different)
  • IPTV/VLAN: Enabled, ISP Profile: Singapore-Singtel. Also, select a port for IPTV. The app has a possible bug: If it shows only one port (port 1 whereas we are supposed to select the other port for IPTV), select that. Save.
  • It will try to save the new config. but will fail. If you try to reboot the main deco, that will also fail
  • Remove the Power for the main deco & wait for a couple of minutes
  • Power on the main Deco
  • Try the IPTV/VLAN config. again. This time it will be able to Save. For me, this somehow brings the internet back online on the deco magically after a few seconds. But if I try to get smart and try these steps without the Singtel Router, it never works :-( 
  • (If the internet connection still does not come up after a few attempts, it may be a good idea to give up on this setup)
  • You may turn off the Singtel Router 
  • Once everything is working, add the other Decos. Then you can select a port for Singtel TV on other Decos as well.

 

Possible guess on why this issue is happening (only speculation as I have no way of knowing):
1. I noticed the Singtel router gets a static public IP (WAN IP) but without any netmask/gateway/other details. This could be confusing the main Deco (but works well with the Singtel Router).
Update: Following the above steps today, I could get the internet connection working on main Deco once. I examined the WAN IP details (from Singtel) and they are in order (with netmask/gateway & DNS Servers). So this looks more of a problem with Deco (than Singtel not supplying the correct IP details for the WAN interface)
2. It is also that the static IP that Singtel assigns varies (changes every few months?). Possibly this could explain why the Deco was working at times after reboot (when there is no change) and whenever there is a change in the IP (comes into effect only after everything is powered off), it does not connect at all.

 

Perhaps someone from TPLINK can work with Singtel and sort this out - though I am not pinning my hopes on this. I did have a TPLINK support request raised a few months back on this issue but it did not go anywhere.

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Re:HOWTO: Connect Deco M5 to Singtel ONT (Router Mode) + Bypassing Singtel Router altogether
2023-12-14 09:14:59 - last edited 2023-12-14 09:15:10

  @Decotech 

Hi, Thank you very much for the detailed information.

I noticed you updated the support ticket as well and maybe the engineer needs some time to review all the previous case record.

 

In the meantime, I wondered whether you have cloned the MAC address of Singtel router to Deco before.

I think maybe when Deco was rebooted/restarted and tried to request for a new WAN IP address, Singtel ONT refused due to the MAC address did not match.

Best regards.

 

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Re:HOWTO: Connect Deco M5 to Singtel ONT (Router Mode) + Bypassing Singtel Router altogether
2023-12-17 14:21:03 - last edited 2023-12-17 14:23:28

Hi @David-TP 

 

Thanks for the reply.

 

I talked to Singtel & they confirmed there is indeed some restriction (due to compatibility issues with third party routers - which is understandable from a Singtel support perspective)

 

I enabled MAC Cloning. There is some improvement this time:  Now the deco is getting WAN IP (Singtel IP) consistently but still no internet connectivity!

 

Then with MAC cloning enabled, I had to disable & enable IPTV/VLAN a few times as part of this experimentation (a time consuming one at that).

 

This is what I observed:

After I enable of IPTV/VLAN each time, whenever the port settings for IPTV is changed (for the main or other decos), it is getting a new (WAN) IP address. But the internet connectivity stays up only for a minute or less (I was continuously pinging 8.8.8.8).

Sidenote: When IPTV/VLAN is disabled, it is not able to get any IP from Singtel (but this is expected)

 

There is definitely a bug in the app: Everytime I enable IPTV/VLAN,  it only shows 'Port 1' for the main deco for IPTV (for other decos, it shows both ports for selection). My understanding is that when Port 1 on main deco is being used for Internet, it cannot be used for IPTV. My expectation is that it shows both Ports like other decos for the main deco (or at least shows only the unused Port 2 for IPTV) but it does not. Nevertheless, I proceed with what is shown.
 

As expected, there is no internet connectivity. Even after the reboot of all decos ('reboot the network')/power off/on all decos, there is no internet connectivity as long as the main deco comes back online with Port 1 as the port for IPTV (the main deco does not get any IP for WAN either).

 

But if I keep trying multiple times (with various settings change e.g. enable bridge mode & subsequently disable) and somehow if the main deco comes back online showing Port 2 as the IPTV port (this is the correct/expected setting), the internet connectivity comes back and stays online.

 

So I think that this bug could be the root cause: the app showing only Port 1 (for main deco) whenever IPTV/VLAN  is getting enabled (no Port 2 available for selection) & there is some issue with saving/restoring this when all the decos are booted up/power-cycled - if it comes back up correctly with Port 2 for IPTV, it works. Otherwise no.

 

Coming to think of it, i think this bug existed in the previous app versions as well. I was referring to my internal notes (as I have spent many days now on this issue over the past couple of years, i took notes) and there was a mention about the left/right port confusion (what the app showed versus what it should have been) - The older version was using left/right ports instead of Port 1/2 for IPTV ports!

 

 

 

 

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Singtel ONT Singtel TV IPTV
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