Superfast Broadband upgrade

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Message 1989019 - Posted: 6 Apr 2019, 9:32:14 UTC

As part of my cutting back on distributing computing, nearly all of my rigs have been moved to the garden room at the rear of the house. However the house router is at the front, hence a lousy wifi signal to the couple that are working out there. Got it better by ditching the wireless cards, and buying a Netgear wifi extender and hard wiring the rigs to that via an RJ45 hub. It still loses the router signal 3 - 4 times a day though.

Sadly Ultra fast Broadband from BT hasn't reached my town yet, but in the meantime I just upgraded my Broadband package to Superfast Fibre + Wifi which gives you the new Smarthub Mk2 and a disc for each room.

Anyone else got this and is it any good? OK the download speed drops from 67mbps to 63, but gotta be worth trying for an extra £5 a month.
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Message 1989023 - Posted: 6 Apr 2019, 11:18:35 UTC - in response to Message 1989019.  

Are you sure that it's the WiFi which is dropping out? I'm also on BT FTTC, still with BT Home Hub 5 (Type A). Ever since my WAN connection speed was uprated from 50 Mbits to 67 Mbits, the frequency of broadband dropouts and router reconnects has vastly increased.

It's become normal to see


whenever I turn on a monitor: that's not a WiFi / LAN problem (all my machines are hard-wired), but a WAN problem. If I'm active in a browser at the time, the router will 'helpfully' tell me the the router's red light has come on, and redirect me to an internal router troubleshooting page.

In the case of both error messages, it's a typical case of the software detecting a problem, but the programmer making a totally false assumption about what might have caused it and leading you down a blind alley.

I see that my current connection speed has dropped from 67 Mbits to 65 Mbits. Hopefully the auto-training sessions will finish soon, and the router and exchange software will be able to agree on a stable speed. Then the connection resets can drop to once per week, and I can try to nudge the router to performing them overnight, when I'm not active at the keyboard or (worse) in the middle of a teleconference. I do wish BT would allow us to specify 'active times', and allow us to schedule router retraining outside those hours.
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Message 1989027 - Posted: 6 Apr 2019, 12:12:52 UTC

I also have FTTC and the router is a BT Hub 6. inside the house it is fine, as my day to day rig is hard wired in. it is too far to run an RJ45 cable all through the house to the garden room. Hence it has to be a wifi connection.

It is a wifi problem because there is a status light on the Netgear extender that goes red against the router connection. When it connects back the light goes green. Any pc out there will simply say cannot connect to broadband. Usually comes back in about 45 mins so no major drama, just an irritation really.

But the new router will need 3 to 4 days to decide the max reliable download speed - 5%. The type 6 hub cannot schedule re-training sessions but the new Smart 2 might. But knowing your location 67mbps is pretty good. I'm 1/2 mile from the cab and 2 mile from the exchange and I cand top mid 60's. This BT Wholesale test will tell you whay they have capped your line at

http://speedtest.btwholesale.com/

Then go to extra diagnostics. My download is capped at the exchange to 62 and upload at 20.

But I've had BT home hubs 3, 4,5, and now 6, and each one is better performance. So the new Mk 2 is worth having for that alone. And if the wifi is more reliable as well, then a bonus.
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Message 1989034 - Posted: 6 Apr 2019, 13:05:47 UTC
Last modified: 6 Apr 2019, 13:07:39 UTC

A tip!

Don't go the extender route, it just planly sucks and have been all along (mostly).
Go the Mesh route.

Build a good network with for instance Unifi devices or perhaps their home appliance Amplifi.
It's so worth it and you can wireless extend it with flawless stability.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_LRCnQXa8M

For most people it's enough with a Unifi Security Gateway, Directly connected to a UAP-AC-M and take another UAP-AC-M to Mesh further. Done!

If you want a Switch go for a USW 8 Port and use the number 8 port to power one of the Accesspoints with PoE.

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Message 1989058 - Posted: 7 Apr 2019, 5:12:38 UTC

I do like these claims of Ultra fast Broadband from BT, how does it get past the rules on product description?

I have to make do with a download speed of 381.17 Mbits from Virgin;-)
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Message 1989067 - Posted: 7 Apr 2019, 6:37:34 UTC

Hi Vyper - Many thanks for the Mesh info, but security gateways and UAP's seems more like a sledgehammer to crack a nut for my domestic needs. I only have 4 computers in the garden room, only two of which are running at any one time. They are so slow that even if they only connected once a day for a couple of hours that is all they need really. If I was running a business with say 20 rigs then that would be different and I would have to consider a more professional solution.

Hi Nick - BT's ultrafast broadband is claimed to provide 300 mbps, and that is FTTC with the last leg over existing copper cables. FTTP. For home use is very expensive unless offset as a business overhead.

The broadband upgrade I have gone for is just an extra £5 a month, gives me the latest Home hub/router and hopefully a stronger wifi signal. Even the Netgear extender was a cheapy model at £17.50. My rigs are after all a hobby not an income. I just wondered whether anyone else had gone down my route and if so what was the result like.

But with Seti mostly a 5 days a week project these days anyway, it makes you wonder at times why any of us bother in the first place :-(

Many thanks for all advice.
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Message 1989081 - Posted: 7 Apr 2019, 9:02:00 UTC

how does it get past the rules on product description?


Because the whole country does not have Virgin cable, in fact even in areas where Virgin cable is available not all homes are connected.

I live in a flat and the lease holder flatly refuse to have "unsightly cable" installed when it was free.

Of course when the 240V mains supply failed to several flats and the only way to reinstate it was large "unsightly cables across the whole rear of the flats that was different.

Since then they have relented, but Virgin will now charge for digging up a large area of pavement and no one wants to pay for that.

So my BT Broadband is the fastest I can get.
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Message 1989085 - Posted: 7 Apr 2019, 9:27:06 UTC

Yep, Bernie makes some good points.

Cable TV and Cable internet are relatively new innovations in the UK in the overall scheme of things. They will mainly provide it only in large city suburbs where it is economically viable. And I know that Bernie gets a higher download figure than I do because he is likely nearer his exchange than I am. The rest of us have to rely on the old BT copper local cabling which was designed for analogue voice calls. But with clever technology they can now send digital transmissions down the same cables.

I think I'm right in saying that in all new housing estates BT is installing FTTP as it costs in while trenches are open for other services. It ain't economic to retrofit elsewhere. We have lived here for 35 years and certainly we were told 25 years ago that the local cabling had been there since the year dot and needed re-cabling. Yeah piggies might fly.

But I am a residential customer and don't need superfast downloads/uploads to run a business, that is a different ballgame. Like Bernie I enjoy having a tinker and try stuff, but he is likely to get Ultrafast before I do, given where he lives. Which is slightly annoying because my exchange is also an SSC (Sector Switching Centre) apart from housing the local exchange.
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Message 1989092 - Posted: 7 Apr 2019, 10:16:14 UTC
Last modified: 7 Apr 2019, 10:17:01 UTC

I have a fiber to the cabinet connection, with a maximum speed of 30 MBit/s. But what would be the use of a faster connection? I have 13 SETI@home completed tasks trying to upload, plus two climatepredictio.net tasks, which also try to upload since April 2. They took 13 days each and I am lucky since climateprediction. net has no deadline, so I won't lose any credit.
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Message 1989111 - Posted: 7 Apr 2019, 11:33:13 UTC
Last modified: 7 Apr 2019, 11:37:12 UTC

because he is likely nearer his exchange than I am


Actually nearer to the street cabinet. For speeds much over 10meg ADSL is not up to the job.

Fibre is run to the DSLAM (digital subscriber line access multiplexer) in the street cabinet where it then connects to the copper to customer premises, however this uses VDSL (Very-high-bit-rate digital subscriber line).

Which originally required a separate modem on the BT home hubs in use then. Now the modem is built in.

Personally I never found the Wi-Fi on BT Home hubs to be that good, I had one with intermittent Wi-Fi, it would stop and require a hub reboot, and another where it just stopped completely.

As I have something like 20 odd smart home devices on Wi-Fi that was not good enough, so I ditched the BT Home hub and brought myself a proper broadband router that lets me access every single option and setting and actually "sees" all my devices, something no home hub I had would every do (apparently a long time bug with home hubs).

Which is slightly annoying because my exchange is also an SSC (Sector Switching Centre) apart from housing the local exchange.


So is mine,
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Message 1989141 - Posted: 7 Apr 2019, 14:56:22 UTC

Which is slightly annoying because my exchange is also an SSC (Sector Switching Centre) apart from housing the local exchange.

So is mine,

I thought it was also a trunk exchange in addition. Oh well it matters not. But yes, every 100 yards from the cab to your home matters in signal degradation. Unfortunately for us we are the last houuse in the scable leg on our side of the street. So every HR joint back vis a dozen footway boxes (JBF2's)
doesn't help.

The only smart device we have is the Samsung HD TV, but I use powerline adaptors to feed that. Speed is not of the essence there, just a net connection for s/w upgrades.

It appears that the new kit is due for dekivery tomorrow so we shall see what we see.
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Message 1989152 - Posted: 7 Apr 2019, 15:44:30 UTC - in response to Message 1989085.  

Cable TV and Cable internet are relatively new innovations in the UK in the overall scheme of things

As I have had the same connection since Sept. 1996, I wouldn't call it new. Difficulty in installing in profitable areas is probably one of the major reasons why it hasn't taken off everywhere.

I choose the cable route as being just over 2 miles from the exchange BT could only give me a very slow speed modem connection, The cable connection has been in four different hands, Nynex, Cable and Wireless, NTL and now Virgin.
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Message 1989372 - Posted: 9 Apr 2019, 11:18:16 UTC

The new Smart Hub V2 arrived plus what they call a "disc" The disc is actually a bloody great dish that needs plugging in. In effect it does what the old Netgear extender did with WPS pairing.

The Hub tells me it is downloading at 71 mbps, but my line is still capped at 62 mbps. We'll see what changes in a few days. I get an orange light on the disc extender not a blue one so the signal at the moment seems no better that it was outside. Certainly no worse though. MIght play around with the positioning of it

Patience is a virtue they say, a decent beer in the meantime is mandatory :-)
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Message 1990114 - Posted: 15 Apr 2019, 6:04:16 UTC

Well, the latest is that the hub has configured itself to be a WiFi Hot Spot, and we have a steady blue light on the remote dish in the garden room. Slightly faster download speeds and better WiFi performance.

If and when we get the ultra fast service it will be a new home hub again. All good fun!

I'll get the mods to close this thread later today, as there seems little interest in it being mainly UK based.
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Message 1990263 - Posted: 16 Apr 2019, 17:17:09 UTC
Last modified: 16 Apr 2019, 17:20:40 UTC

The mods have kindly temporarily unlocked this thread to allow me to give you an important update.

As I said earlier, I have just connected the latest BT Home Smart Hub V2, But today the heating engineer came along for the annual boiler service, and observed that the Nest controller wasn't connecting to the Internet, and he also couldn't get in via his IPhone either..

After lots of faffing about it transpires that all my kit, including the Samsung smart TV was all hard wired. The new hub needs it's WiFi kicking into activation for some reason. After 3 tries he got the Nest controller to connect and then so did his smart phone. The remote WiFi dish is specially linked to the Home Hub, and not using general WiFi.

WiFi was switched on in the Home Hub Admin panel, but that apparently isn't enough. I have reported this anomaly to BT.
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Message 1990269 - Posted: 16 Apr 2019, 17:41:40 UTC - in response to Message 1990263.  
Last modified: 16 Apr 2019, 17:42:47 UTC

Ok... I'll bite...

The remote WiFi dish is specially linked to the Home Hub, and not using general WiFi.


Are you on an old telephone line for your internet?

Or are you at some idyllic remote location whereby you have a "WiFi dish" that points at some radio mast across the valleys?


Good luck!
Martin

ps: Why oh why was the UK not on full fibre optics to the home 20 years ago?... And why still struggling on with rusty wires still!?...
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Message 1990272 - Posted: 16 Apr 2019, 18:01:06 UTC

Are you on an old telephone line for your internet?

I am on FTTC but old fashioned copper cabling from the cab to the house.

Or are you at some idyllic remote location whereby you have a "WiFi dish" that points at some radio mast across the valleys?

No South London. But the latest Superfast + WiFi package from BT gives you a Smart Home Hub MkII plus a "disc" for each room. I term it a "dish" because it is so big!

Why oh why was the UK not on full fibre optics to the home 20 years ago?.

$$$$$$$$$ FTTP is here but only costs in for home businesses not home leisure.
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Message 1990276 - Posted: 16 Apr 2019, 18:28:41 UTC - in response to Message 1990272.  

the latest Superfast + WiFi package from BT gives you a Smart Home Hub MkII plus a "disc" for each room. I term it a "dish" because it is so big!

Nope... Anything running over 200 years-old telephone wires should not be called "Superfast". Who are Marketing trying to kid???...

And ok, that sounds like some sort of WiFi mesh setup to spread and saturate the WiFi bands all around... Sort of like WiFi 'extenders'?


Using physical ethernet cables is always the more reliable if you can put them in place... WiFi can work well enough provided you don't rely on it too much.

Good luck!
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Message 1990277 - Posted: 16 Apr 2019, 18:31:46 UTC - in response to Message 1990272.  

$$$$$$$$$ FTTP is here but only costs in for home businesses not home leisure.

I have my suspicions it is more a game of monopoly and sweating excess profits...

We've had very low cost fibre equipment available for a very long time now... For well over a decade even for domestic use...

And then again, that's a topic more for the Politics forum... ;-)


Good luck for your telephone wires and WiFi!
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Message 1990356 - Posted: 17 Apr 2019, 9:47:49 UTC

Nope... Anything running over 200 years-old telephone wires should not be called "Superfast".

What are you wittering on about??

Alexander Graham Bell, invented the telephone in 1875. In the 1880's to 1900 the telephone spread rapidly in the UK with mainly overhead wires. the first automatic exchange was in 1912 in Epsom. The first underground cabling was around WWI I believe. My local exchane was built in the 1930's and the street cabling was probably 1960's in my road.

BT markets

Standard Broadband as 52 mbps
Superfast broadband as 67 mbps
Ultrafast broadband as 150 mbps

Of course they are marketing terms a 5 year old could understand that.

We've had very low cost fibre equipment available for a very long time now... For well over a decade even for domestic use...

10 years is not a "very long time" and it is not at "low cost"

And ok, that sounds like some sort of WiFi mesh setup to spread and saturate the WiFi bands all around... Sort of like WiFi 'extenders'?

Yes that set-up is generally known as a mesh arrangement. And yes the BT disc acts in effect like as a WiFi extender like my previous Netgear one did. The Netgear was able to be used with any make of Router, the BT disc/dish is specifically paired to the new BT Smarthub MkII.
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Message boards : Number crunching : Superfast Broadband upgrade


 
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