When we contract any fiber optic modality with companies such as Movistar, Vodafone, Orange, Grupo Masmóvil or Digi, the operator is responsible for providing us with a router with integrated ONT on a rental basis. A few years ago, the operators provided the ONT on one side, and a neutral router on the other, in this way, we would have a total of 2 devices to connect to the Internet instead of all integrated in one. However, due to the firmware of these routers, it is difficult to configure them in bridge mode to later use our neutral router, therefore, we have to buy an ONT to be able to connect to the network and use our own router. Today in this article we are going to explain everything about the change of ONT in the operators, and we are also going to recommend some models.
What is an ONT and what is it for?
The ONT or also known as Optical Node Terminal , is the device that connects to the end user, that is, at the customer’s home, to connect to the GPON or XGS-PON network of the operator in question. The objective of an ONT is to provide the conversion of the optical signal into an electrical signal, providing an Ethernet output with an RJ-45 connector, to subsequently use a neutral router that will establish the Internet connection. An ONT is nothing more than a device that has the fiber optic input, with the typical SC connector that connects from the PTRO (Optical Network Terminal Point) to the ONT itself through the single-mode fiber cable that is normally colored yellow, although there is also white.
The ONT is a link layer device, it is in charge of communicating with the OLT (Optical Line Terminal) that is in the operator’s central office, and making way for the connection. The ONTs must be authenticated against the operator’s OLT to be allowed to send and receive data. Depending on the operator, different authentication modes are used. For example, with Movistar we only need to know the IDON that has been installed in the default router, however, other operators such as Grupo Masmóvil need an “ONT password”, that is, a password for authentication that the installer does not generally provide us with this information, nor the operator itself.
Having an ONT is completely necessary if we want to connect to the operator’s GPON or XGS-PON fiber optic network. The problem is that most operators that use direct coverage use routers with integrated ONT, and on many occasions the firmware allows us to configure it in bridge mode to later configure a neutral router with the Gigabit or Multigigabit Internet WAN. This is a problem because we would have double NAT, and if you are thinking of buying your own router, it is very important that the neutral router has the public IP address and not that of the operator.
How to know which ONT is the best for my connection?
If you are interested in buying an ONT and using it with your operator, you should know that not just anyone will do . Although all operators comply with the GPON or XGS-PON standard, and also the ONTs that we can buy anywhere, the truth is that we depend on several factors to make them compatible, especially when managing authentication with the OLT of the operator. There are some ONTs that do not allow you to configure IDONT, or simply are not able to authenticate correctly against the OLT, so this ONT will not work for you.
The most important recommendation that we are going to make from this article is that you buy an ONT that the operator has previously used in its network . For example, Movistar has been using the Huawei HG8240 and Huawei HG8240H as ONTs for its Internet connections for many years. If you want to replace the operator’s HGU router and buy an ONT to have a full-bridge and use your own neutral router, the best thing you can do is buy one of the “old” ONTs on the second-hand market, to be 100% sure % that it will work correctly. The same happens with other operators, it is highly recommended to get an ONT (make and model) that they have used before, and if it is second-hand that has already been used in the operator in question, the better, because we will make sure that the firmware it is perfectly compatible with the operator’s OLT.
When you buy an ONT, you should know that the operator is not going to provide you with any type of support, so you should make sure that this new ONT is going to be usable and you are not going to have any problems with authentication or compatibility. It is very important that you previously investigate how to replace your operator’s ONT, the simplest is Movistar/O2 since the IDONT can be copied directly from the router when it is in installation mode, however, other operators make this task really complicated, and even directly impossible if you don’t have an ONT password that you must use.
Once you know for sure that you can buy an ONT because you have the IDONT data and/or password for authentication, it’s time to see what ONT we have available on the market.
Fiber ONT for use with your operator
You can currently buy all the ONTs that we are going to indicate below, some of them are the “free” version of the same model that has been used by Internet operators in Spain for years, so they should be compatible and there is no problem. We will also make some comments about the different ONT models so that you know if it is compatible or not.
Ubiquiti UFiber Loco
This ONT is one of the best-selling and most recommended, because it has really good compatibility with the different operators, especially with Movistar. This model is capable of providing you with a speed of symmetrical 1Gbps on the Movistar network without any problem, according to the comments of several users through the forums. This model is compatible with the Movistar/O2 network, although you should bear in mind that, if you have IPTV with Movistar TV, you will not be able to use this ONT at the moment, because it seems that it has problems managing the Multicast traffic that arrives , so you will not be able to use this feature.
If you have the Movistar/O2 operator and you want an ONT for Internet connection and VoIP, this model is one of the best you can buy, and it is perfectly compatible with this operator, except for the TV part as we have indicated, although it is it may work correctly in future firmware revisions. Currently on the Internet there are many tutorials on how to configure this very interesting ONT for the blue operator.
This ONT has several profiles that are adapted to different brands that operators have been using. For example, profile number 2 refers to Huawei’s ONTs, for this reason it is ideal for Movistar/O2 and also for any connection through NEBA. Profile 4 refers to the manufacturer ZTE, so it would be compatible with Orange, Jazztel or Digi.
This is one of the most popular ONTs for Orange and Jazztel operators, it is one of the best options in terms of quality/price and also size, because it is a really small device. ZTE has been on the Orange/Jazztel network for many years and this particular ONT has been used for many years, so if you can get your hands on the “free” model, it should work fine for you.
As we have indicated before, our recommendation is that you buy second-hand ONTs that users have tried in operators and that work for them, because we depend on many external factors that will cause them to not work correctly. The price of this ONT is around 20 euros, so it is worth trying.
This model is quite cheap and is available in stores like Landashop for less than 20 euros, a very competitive price. This ONT is very basic but it will allow us to connect to the operator’s network, however, before buying this model you should read and ask the store directly which operators they have tested it on, in order not to make mistakes when trying to change the Operator’s ONT for this model.
As you have seen, we currently have few options in terms of ONTs available on the market, the main problem is the operators, due to their form of authentication and compatibility.
The best ONT that you can buy is one that has previously been used by a user and has put their experience on the Internet, to highlight the Ubiquiti ONT that has several profiles and offers us very good compatibility, in fact, there are very good comments about this device through the different forums, especially if you have Movistar/O2.