Can you connect red directly to fibre box?

Our area has been recently wired with fibre with speeds up to 3Gbps.

My neighbour has had it installed. This is the box they install:

The router provided by the ISP (Community Fibre, UK) has one WAN port and 3 ethernet ports. The WAN port looks like an ethernet port.

Currently, I have a wireless router on the blue network. The red network connects to my current ISP’s modem.

If I switch to the new ISP, can I run an ethernet cable from the red ethernet port on ipfire to the centre socket in the photo above and set red to use DHCP? Would ipfire negotiate the connection to the ISP ie act like the WAN socket on their router?

Or do I have to use their router (I’d set to “modem” mode and disable WiFi since I have a separate WiFi network on blue) to connect to the above box then connect one of the router’s LAN ports to red network on ipfire?

The router is Linksys SPNMX56, similar to this.


@praful Absolutely, you, can connect the red port directly to the box in the image above. It’s called an ONT (Optical Network Terminal) and my IPFire red port is connected directly to my ONT with a ethernet cable. The only difference between you and me is I have a static IP address and I need to use PPPoE to submit a username and password, however, DHCP should work as well.

1 Like

@markadewet thank you for taking the time to answer my question and for telling me what the box is (ONT)! Nice to know the term. I currently have a static IP address and will ask for one from the new ISP. It’s good to know that I may have to use PPPoE, something I wasn’t aware of until your reply.

@praful Only a pleasure, sir. You may not need to use PPPoE it depends on your setup with the new ISP. If you look here at the wiki: - Step 5: Network Setup
there are three setting options for the RED interface when you first set up IPFire:
2: Static

@markadewet thanks again - and the link will be helpful!

I’ve been reading that the ISP I’m considering issue static IP addresses to businesses only and for consumers use CGNAT, something new to me. After some reading, I think this might cause a problem for me because I have VPN set up on ipfire. Currently I have a static address. When I had a dynamic IP address I used with ipfire. But from my reading CGNAT won’t allow dynamic DNS since one (ip4?) ISP address maps to many customers. It’s possible they also issue a dynamic ip6 address, in which case I could go back to using dynu? Please correct me if I’ve misunderstood what I’ve read!

I’ll have to talk to the ISP to get some clarity.

Thanks again

off topic, but can’t help noticing how primitive that installation is done… it will cause problems down the line. The fiber is not protected and exposed to external damage, those small clamps will eventually fall off. :zap: :no_entry:

Can agree, get rid of that cheap box :slight_smile: hyperoptic simply uses DHCP on the UK and they at least used to offer static IPv4 addresses for their consumer products.

You might have to copy the MAC address of that Linksys device in case they locked it to that - like hyperoptic do.


@sec-con, @ms - the wiring does look amateurish! It’s my neighbours box. Hyperoptic is not in the area yet. That fibre cable has four wires. So four different companies can provide fibre here. So far Community Fibre have claimed one of the four slots. Maybe Hyperoptic will claim another.

I have 7 months for my current contract to finish. Maybe before it’s finished, Hyperoptic will claim one slot.

With my ISP I had to first assign the MAC Address from the router provided by the ISP to my IPFire (WUI menu Network > Assign MAC Address), then it just worked with plugging in ethernet cable from ONT to IPFire.


I don’t think I can say anything good about Hyperoptic apart from that it is better than no internet at all. I heard good things about Community Fibre tho.

1 Like

@raffe thanks - good to know.

This is one technique for connecting. Mainly there are two kinds of identification

  1. the ISP provides a router and identifys the customer by the router’s MAC
  2. the ISP provides a modem which does the identification, the customer is identified by the MAC of the first device connecting to the modem

In case 1. changing the device for WAN access means either to mimic the router by MAC or to register the new MAC at the ISP.
In case 2. a change of the device demands just a restart of the modem.
Case 2. is getting more and more rarely. Most ISP use a combined modem/router which can’t be set to bridge mode ( that is the modem functionality ).


@ms my neighbour is very happy with Community Fibre so far. Once I get clarity on CGNAT and using my VPN, I’ll know whether to switch.


1 Like

If one end has CG-NAT and the other does not, then the CG-NAT end should be able to initiate a roadwarrior-like connection to the other end.

You can still have a regular N2N connection but you need to make sure that the side behind the CGNAT initiates it.