France Telecom - Orange Livebox

23 Replies

Does anyone know or understand the difference between a Orange 'white' non professional livebox and the 'black' professional livebox. i am on my 5th 'white' livebox since january 2014 and about to be replaced again. The problem is a question of speed. Every time I have a new livebox my speed is fast and gradually deteriorates even though i reset and restart regularly. Orange one word. WORTHLESS. I should add that I am employed in IT and understand ADSL and network connections but this particular problem is defeating me even with training in Netgear, D-Link and Cisco products.

Featured Classified


Sola178 1415797883

I have only had one Livebox and its performance has remained constant. Perhaps your fault lies elsewhere. 

[email protected] 1415798092

Wish it were so. I have technicians analyse the telephone line on multiple occasions and I have same speed deterioration problem across the complete internal network.  I know when the problem is getting really bad because my UK VOIP telephone line suffers.

MisterAngry 1415800379


I have never changed my live box in 6 years,  the speed goes up and down like a yoyo but Ii am 7 km from the switch and probly last on the line, it ranges from 2.5mb,  today its 1.5mb  upload is always around 0.85 / 0.90 mb .  The reson is their's a filter in line on the server which if sees any problems slows the speed, re botting will not do anything  you can have the filter removed . Contact orange ,  and they will always send  a guy next day and he will look busy but do  FA just to get his call out fee 

Mr A

Crosbie-616759 1415819047

Consider buying something other than a Livebox/Neufbox, e.g. a TP-Link ADSL router/modem.

How does the speed reduction manifest? Do you find that you initially get 8Mbps and in a few days it never rises above 2Mbps?

How far away from your exchange are you? >5km?


icanthearyouwhatareyouonabout 1417132599

White Live Box is Old Hat - New Live Black is an N router got better Wi Fi Coverage. I'm pressuming your Phone filter has been changed over the years! Have you ran a Speed Test morning Luch and evening ? Have you attempted to alter the settings on your router. Are you running the router from an Extenstion or main phone line

icanthearyouwhatareyouonabout 1417132927

You shouldn't be shutting down and resetting it - If the problem persists phone orange threaten that you have been offered a deal with SFR! Get Orange to do the work - you need to phrase it that they are at fault, don't ask them ! They will charge you if no fault is found just like BT in the UK!

icanthearyouwhatareyouonabout 1417133113

If all Fails move to SFR - Belkin and Net Gear N Routers are thev only ones worth having - £100 + models

[email protected] 1417165443

Thank you to all of you who have replied and proffered opinion.  I can now report.  France Telecom.Orange have installed a new line, a new black livebox and,  wait for it.....  Given me a 10€ per month rebate for 12 months.  I am now paying 30.90€ per month for my broadband, all calls to French ladlines and mobiles, and, international landlines.

[email protected] 1417165718

In addition. I have established, technically, that France Telecom are basically cheating the French public with their white livebox against the business black box.  I have had both white and black independentlt tested.  The modem in the white box is 'throttled'.  This means that it is designed specifically for a 50-1 contention ratio and therefore limits the throughput of data in and out.  The business black livebox has different software and is designed for a 20--1 contention ratio and so is NOT throttled. My download and upload speeds are the same but the trough put of data is so significantly quicked.

So keep complaining and eventually they cough.

jodie-609942 1417169146

Could you replace a "white" orange box with a Belkin or netgear router and not be throttled then?


[email protected] 1417169857

Hi. Theoretically yes.  It really depends on whether you are using FT/Orange voip telephone or traditional landline.

Traditional landline then reasonable straight forward.  VOIP phone and you have to understand the DNS settings built into your white livebox first.

And then of course there's always what FT?Orange are doing at their end. I believe this to be depoendent on where you live. If you are really really rural it may be that they have throttled the broadband at their end to try to ensure everyone on thet 'Pipe' as it is known, get reasonably the same speed.

icanthearyouwhatareyouonabout 1417176866

Complain to Orange that there is a fault on the White Box either threaten to move or get a New Black box upgrade ( Try the Black box before commiting to buy your own router )  You should be able to collect new router from local Orange Shop - it shouldn't be a problem as you pay rental on it!

Dudley 1417260046

You can buy or rent a white box (ADSL) Payback is around 18 months.The black box (VDSL) can only be rented. You see them on ebay, but plug one in, and Orange bill you rental.

VDSL is faster for shorter circuits, but makes little difference at the technical limits of telephone line length.

The VOIP service, whilst reliant on a specific DNS, need the all important SIP parameters.  Rumour has it that Orange don't use SIP and  there is a specific custom chip on the Liveboxes.  SIP settings are not given out by Orange and many attempts to work them out have failed.The settings have never leaked, so a custom chip looks likely.

Speed and contention ratios are related. For example, I have a 40MB/s service. If I choose to share that between 49 other people, we all get 40MB/s if only one person uses it at any one time.  If I stream a radio all day, I'll permanently take some of that speed, so less is there for the other 49.  At some stage the system grinds to a halt as we all stream video etc.  If you want to know the max speed, do a test a 4am when there is a good chance the other 49 people are asleep. Or pay for 20:1 contention.  As an analogy, think how fast you can drive on a road until you meet someone else. A 20:1 contention is a wider road compared to a 50:1, but same speed.

There is plenty of conspiracy theories on slow speed; special filters, throttling, speed settings. Why would an ISP upset its customers; it would always provide the technical best, within the price paid.There is a lot of copper between you and them. A slight crackle will have your speed dropping off like a brick, untl it resets itself, or you reset it.  Took me 6 months to work out I lost my speed after strong wind, and it turned out a bush was rubbing the phone line.  I cut the bush and repaired the cable.  Max speed returned.

FREE voip is a joke, full of break up; Bouygues is cheap, but only email support that the forums say goes unanswered. Orange do at least seem to have good structure in place, and there are shops you can goto for a new (rental) box or other problems.

Crosbie-616759 1417261737

As an IT expert myself, I use a TP-Link ADSL modem, and a Cisco box to use Nomado's VoIP service (for outgoing calls only).

Aside from the independence aspects, this means my Orange landline still works during a localised power cut (or if the ADSL goes down).

I repaired my neighbour's interior telephone cable the other day (his missus cut the wire during decorating thinking it was no longer used), and I was a little surprised when he wondered why the ringer on a phone extension socket had stopped working some time ago. When you get a Neufbox/Livebox, you are (usually) no longer using the telephone wiring for telephony, but the entirely separate 'VoIP' socket on the back (even if you keep the same number). My question is: does the old line stop working for outgoing calls too? Is there no dial tone either?

icanthearyouwhatareyouonabout 1417266596

It's dead - why do you need to know this

Crosbie-616759 1417283922

I thought it would be dead, but just thought I'd check my assumption. There may have been a policy of enabling outgoing calls to 112, for example (which would be useful in a power cut).

The good thing about the Cisco VoIP box is that it handles incoming calls from the landline transparently - and in the event of a power cut, transparently passes the handset through to the landline (instead of the VoIP service).

icanthearyouwhatareyouonabout 1417290527

Cheaper Package deal ! Have mobiles as Back up - but yes I would prefer your method!  What is the Brand and Model ? Was it a UK spec?


Crosbie-616759 1417347581

See the links in my earlier post for further details.

I notice that Nomado appear to have greatly simplified the umpteen different packages they used to offer into essentially just three. My deal was called something like Global 50 - which for €50 per annum provided 50 hours of free international landline calls each month, with reduced rate to mobile and premium numbers (unfortunately including voip numbers - by Orange, SFR, etc).

sambanova 1417512123

We are on our 8th box, the first few were the old grey type and the others were the whte ones. I have never had any thing but good and helpful service from Orange both from the English and French speaking technical support service, have never been charged and have always been either able to collect a new one locally or the engineer has provided one on a callout. Speeds have been fine. I have no idea why the boxes keep breaking down but as long as we keep getting replacements we are not bothered.

Dudley 1417546043

Lightning can damage anything connected to the phone line, even if the strike is some distance away.I get a text from Orange telling me to unplug the box whenever lightning is due.

Rumour has it they won't replace ones damaged when they have 'an alert' in place.

tperla 1512416231

Look boyz-'n-girlz, since this discussion started Bouygues has installed 4G in the Gers. If living in the countryside, however, you must look to find if a close water-tower is transmitting 4G. 

That is done by looking at the Bouygues 4G map for the Gers. So, go here:

Then in the "Votre Recherche" box, type your town's postal code. As you do so, the box will suggest variants, so continue until you get exactly your postal-code and village name correctly. Below the box is an identifier that suggests the name. Select OK only when the full name of the village is set.

Then punch "OK"

If the entire screen is pink with only an identifying pointer to your address, that means there is coverage. BUT, note the plus "+ & -" buttons on the upper left. Us the minus button to bring up a map with town names that you recognize. There may be spots in the countryside where there is no red but white colour. It can happen that you live outside a village where there is a white-zone, so be careful.

If you've got a question about coverage, go to the Bouygues boutique in Auch, where they perhaps can answer it. If not, take out a subscription and move the Bbox around to see where the reception is best.

Think also of setting up a 4G external-antenna to get the best reception. 

Iolanthe-611425 1512751145

One of the first really useful and informative discussions for a very long time

kcsun-598284 1512753551

tperla - have you got one? what do you think of it?

we are in the red zone so it is available to us

i think you are limited to 200gb a month?

reviews seem to suggest it is not good from 7-9 in morning and 4-7 in evening as people using their mobiles to and from work

Join the discussion