Picture of a Speedstream® 4200 Router

SpeedStream® 4200 Guide

The SpeedStream 4200 Router with SecureRoute™ is a powerful yet small and simple communication device for connecting your computer or local area network (LAN) to the Internet. The SpeedStream Router was first released in March 2004. There were 2 models released, the 4100 and the 4200. The only difference being the 4200 comes with a USB port.

The major component of this modem is the Texas Instruments AR7 Chipset which you can find more details on in our SpeedStream Specifications sections. You will also find instructions on How To Configure the SpeedStream 4200 in Bridge Mode which will fix any issues you are currently having with VoIP.

Use the following links to find the information you are looking for about the SpeedStream 4200 Router.

Introduction

The SpeedStream 4200 Router is a modem with a combined router and firewall supporting an embedded PPPoE client which means service providers get easier deployment and users get connected without having to load special software or bother with setting up confusing connection settings. The SpeedStream Router has a full-featured Web-based management and diagnostic tool set, making support and configuration very easy.

The routing features include: support for Network Address Port Translation (NAPT); Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP); and Domain Name Server (DNS) relay. Support for ADSL1, ADSL2, ADSL2+ and RE-ADSL standards with with streamlined deployment and interface flexibility makes the SpeedStream DSL Router the perfect solution for residential and small business deployments.

The Modem has been used in Australia as the recommended Modem for BigPond since it was added to the Approved Modem list in July 2004. At the time it was considered a cheaper alternative to the Thomson SpeedTouch - 510 ADSL Modem (although many would say an inferior alternative).

It has also been widely distributed by Optus although Optus made a number of modifications to the original firmware.

As Modems go, it has been extremely reliable which is why Australia’s 2 biggest ISP's have used it for so long. They would not have distributed it if they thought it was going to be difficult to support or if it was going to create more problems for them. The Fact that the modem includes a Provisioning configuration page using the TR69 protocol, also referred to as TR-069, means the correct settings can be easily maintained by the ISP's.

See the Technical Specifications of the SpeedStream 4200 Router for a complete list of the Technical aspects of this Modem/Router.

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SpeedStream 4200 Review

The SpeedStream is a small black device that, with a firmware upgrade, is capable of supporting ADSL2+. For the majority of users the SpeedStream 4200 will provide trouble free operation and allow you to connect up to your BigPond or Optus ADSL connection just by running the provided CD.

The only major problem that surfaced was the fact that the modem would overhead and reboot during the summer months if not ventilated properly. Probably due to it’s small size an inability to dissipate the heat properly.

It was not really until VoIP became more popular that the other major issue with this modem became apparent. That is its implementation of NAT/NAPT.

Summary:
If you have one of these devices, don't throw it away. You should change the configuration to Bridge Mode and spend you money investing in a good Router that supports QoS and make sure it also supports the ability to be set up as "End point Independent" for UDP. If you have an Optus supplied modem, you can find details on how to set an Optus SpeedStream 4200 Modem in bridge mode here. Because of the way that Optus have modified the default firmware you need to ensure you DON'T use the Optus Bridge Mode. I have also prepared a Video to show How To Bridge the Telstra BigPond supplied SpeedStream.

Review Summary
The Good:
Readily available in the Auction market place
Can be acquired easily at very reasonable prices
Can be Wall Mounted. (improves ventilation, uses less space)
Reliable on the Older Telstra DSLAM hardware

The Bad:
Can Overheat in confined spaces
Often contains Locked firmware
Newest Firmware does not operate at full ADSL2+ Speed
Not VoIP Compatible

Other SpeedStream 4200 Reviews

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The SpeedStream 4200 Router and VoIP

Because of the Router’s implementation of NAT the 4200 device is not suitable as a VoIP router. This is because it prevents internal devices from communicating to different external services using the same Port there is no way that a Gateway VoIP device can operate using it in the default Router configuration. This is especially true if the ATA uses the same internal port (5060) to talk to multiple Sip Servers. It also means that receiving calls via Direct IP dialing is impossible.

NAT and/or NAPT are required in a Router to enable multiple computers to access the internet at the same time in a Home/Office network. A discussion on the types of NAT (and NAPT) is beyond the scope of this guide so I'll keep it simple. Basically, the default settings enables NAPT mode but the implementation used is what is commonly referred to as Symmetrical NAT. It also suffers from an extremely short Timeout period for the ports that are opened.

The definition, taken from RFC3489, is as follows:
"Symmetric: A symmetric NAT is one where all requests from the same internal IP address and port, to a specific destination IP address and port, are mapped to the same external IP address and port. If the same host sends a packet with the same source address and port, but to a different destination, a different mapping is used. Furthermore, only the external host that receives a packet can send a UDP packet back to the internal host."

The easiest way to verify this is to run the WinStun utility (you can Download the WinStun Utility here). It reports the following: (Note: enter stun.xten.com for the STUN server as the default one no longer seems to work)
NAT Mapping is not endpoint independent - VoIP will NOT work.
Does not preserve port number
Does not support hairpin of media.

STUN is not always necessary these days because most VSP's support NAT on their SIP servers or they utilise Outbound Proxies for NAT handling. However it is necessary in some situations including if you wish to receive direct IP Dialing calls and if you intend to use an IP Phone as an External Extension for a central IP PBX. Unfortunately STUN and Symmetric NAT just do not work together!

The most common symptoms of failed VoIP when using this device are:

  1. Calls drop out after 30 seconds.
  2. Calls will drop due to failure of re-invite messages to pass through to the VoIP device.
  3. One way Audio (They hear you, but you can not hear them)
  4. Unable to receive incoming calls.
  5. Advanced features, like conference calls etc, will fail.

The most frustrating thing with this device is that in some situations and with some combinations of ATA and VoIP Service provider it will actually work most of the time. One example is a Grandstream HT 386 and the Engin network. The main reason for this is because the Engin network negotiates a 60 second registration time which effectively keeps the port open. While this was true for my initial testing, Engin have recently made changes to their network which can no longer guarantee it will work at all!

The Good news is that they are extremely easy to change into Bridge mode and then you can attach it to a good quality Router that will also provide some level of QoS. I have prepared instructions on how to Bridge a SpeedStream 4200 Router which you can refer to. (see below)

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Configure a SpeedStream 4200 Router in Bridge Mode

It is surprisingly easy to configure the SpeedStream 4200 in Bridge Mode. Even if you have never performed this type of configuration before I will guarantee, if you follow the instructions to the letter, you will achieve this in under 5 minutes.

For a Telstra/BigPond supplied SS 4200 Router you can watch a Video I have prepared to demonstrate the step-by-step process to set up Bridge Mode on the SpeedStream 4200. Note This should also apply for any version supplied by other Internet Service Providers. You can watch the How to Setup a BigPond SpeedStream 4200 Router video here.

If you have an Optus supplied Modem, then simply follow the step-by-step instruction on the How to Setup an Optus SpeedStream 4200 Modem/Router in Bridge Mode page. If you are not sure what IP Address your Router is currently using see the How to find your IP Address and the IP Address of your Modem or Router page which includes a video showing you exactly how to find out.

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SpeedStream 4200 Technical Specifications

You will find details on the technical Specifications of the SpeedStream 4200 on this page. Included is a complete list of the technical attributes, the Features and benefits and a photo of the circuit board.

Also included is the technical details of the AR7 Chipset that is used in the Router.

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How to Reset a SpeedStream 4200 to Factory Defaults

Resetting the modem may be required if you have changed the modem’s settings and wish to reset it to the factory default configuration.

Note: Resetting the modem will remove the current configuration details and you will need to re-enter your ISP account details. This can be simplified by using the Self Installation Kit CD normally provided.

Using the tip of a ballpoint pen or unfolded paperclip, press and hold the Reset button located on the bottom of the router. The Power LED will blink red once, indicating that the reset has begun. Continue depressing the Reset button for four seconds or until the power LED begins to blink alternating red-to-green. Then release the Reset button.

Another method of resetting to the default configuration is to login to the Router using Telnet and at the “xsh>” prompt issue the following command:

do mfgcfg
The device will automatically reboot.

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SpeedStream 4200 Firmware

There are several version of Firmware available for the SpeedStream 4200 Router. Unless you have a particular reason you should generally stick to the version that was installed by the original supplier of the Router. I have included several versions of the English Firmware version.

The only real difference with the Firmware, if you wish to use it for another english speaking location, should be definition of the VPI/VCI settings. As long as you know what settings are applicable for your location and/or ISP you will be ok.

The following Firmware and Drivers are available from our SpeedStream 4200 Firmware Download page along with our easy to follow SpeedStream 4200 Update Firmware Manual -- includes a Step-by-Step Video and Workbook.

SpeedStream 4200 Firmware Downloads
Latest BigPond Firmware : A8P
(ADSL2+)
Update_D240_A8P_106-71_a056_v1s.zip
Latest Optus Firmware : A93
(ADSL2+, Vista compatible)
Update_004_D240_A93_106_117_6190_v1r_1471823.zip
Latest Generic Firmware : A8M
(ADSL2+)
Update_D240_A8M_106-65_1210_v1r_1437101.zip
Older Generic Firmware
(This has been stated as VoIP compatible, but I doubt it!)
Update_D240_A5Y_106-15_j045_v1r.zip
SpeedStream 4200 USB Drivers Downloads
Drivers - USB(Vista) USB_WIN_drv_4.9.0.135[1]_1447813.zip
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SpeedStream 4200 Command Line Interface (CLI)

The Command Line Interface (CLI) is a common way of performing Advanced configuration changes to a modem. Generally it is implemented via a Telnet interface and the SpeedStream is no exception. There does not appear to be any “Official” manual available for the Router however after some investigation I have identified some of the settings available and have prepared a list that you can use. NOTE: This should only be used if you are familiar with working with Modem/Router Devices at this level. Watch this space for More Information!

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Where to Buy a SpeedStream 4200 Router

This device is only available from an ISP and is not normally available from a Retail Outlet.

Therefore the best place to purchase a SpeedStream Modem/Router is on eBay as often the people selling them do not appreciate their actual value and you are able to pick them up for next to nothing! Below you will find a listing of what is currently available.


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Other References

Below is a list of other sources and references you may find helpful if you require more information regarding the SpeedStream 4200 Router.

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