Rogers new Hitron Technologies CGN2 router is hopeless

Rogers Hitron Technologies CGN2 router/modem is a failThe new Rogers Hitron Technologies CGN2 modem/router has been starting to pop up as Rogers aggressively pushes the upsell, telling their customers that the old modems won’t support the higher speeds. I remember that game well as before I finally ditched Rogers internet at home they aggressively sought to upsell me on higher packages and newer modems for the bigger payouts.

At $4 a month extra, you push enough of the Hitron CGN2 modem/routers and it produces a tidy little revenue stream every year. The problem is, as we’ve found and Google searches seem to agee, the Hitron Technologies CGN2 in its factory configuration is absolutely hopeless.

We were on a job site installing equipment this week where a CGN2 was pushed on the client. The first complaint we heard was for wireless reception. Rogers claims the CGN2 has better wireless performance than its predecessors. That may be the case if the predecessors were dismally bad. The wireless performance of the CGN2 is very poor to put it mildly. Range is dramatically reduced and is significantly less than a $35 Asus router. Probably one downfall is the fact that the antenna is actually built into the unit and can’t be aimed or replaced.

The second issue was that we couldn’t keep the computers connected to the internet. That’s a major problem. Every time we rebooted the CGN2 the computers on the network stopped connecting to the internet. We’d have to plug a computer directly into the Hitron CGN2 and then power cycle the router before the computer would connect. We couldn’t get a second computer to connect. Funny enough, after two hours of waiting the second computer would finally get an internet connection. An hour later the third computer came on. Eight hours later the fourth computer would finally come online. If you change a setting in the CGN2 (in our case the IP address), the router would reboot and we had to start the process all over again.

Another issue that we had was that every time we changed a setting we could no longer access the interface of the Hitron CGN2. We had to plug a computer into it directly, power cycle the router and then wait. If we tried connecting to the CGN2 or pinging it from any other computer we would get no response or not found errors in the browser.

These are rather significant problems, considering that they are the main reasons why people would buy a modem/router to begin with. Well, what was there to do? We called Rogers and sure enough the rep on the other end of the line gave his pitch about why our clients had to have the horribly performing Hitron CGN2 as opposed to the Cisco DPC3825. Finally the rep indicated that he could bridge the router so that it would function strictly as a modem, disabling all of the rather useless features. I say they’re useless because if you can’t get online and stay online there’s not really a whole lot of point. Sure enough the rep remoted into the router, disabled all functionality and effectively “bridged” it so that it functioned strictly as a modem.

We installed our own router, a rather inexpensive Asus RT-N10+ (a great little unit for the money) and suddenly everything just worked. The computers all got online instantly (and better yet, stayed online). The VOIP phones started working perfectly. The wireless range was significantly improved and functional. The Blackberries happily jumped on and stayed on. All was well in the network.

If Rogers manages to convince you that the Hitron Technologies CGN2 is the only way to go, make sure to convince them to “bridge” the unit to become a simple modem and buy yourself a decent little router. In the end you’ll have much less grief. As always if you need a hand with this or any other network problem, contact us at 705.739.2.FIX (349). We’re always glad to help!

EDIT 16/3/13:

I’m having people write in and asking how they can bridge the Hitron themselves.  Presuming you have the CGN2 model, follow these steps:

Under the Capability Setting area remove the check marks from the following 4 areas:

  • Residential Gateway Function
  • UPnP
  • HNAP
  • USB

Then click the Apply button and wait for the modem to reboot.

Posted on in Client Experiences, Helpful tips