One for the techies

Discussion in 'Gadgets and Gizmos' started by Oreo, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. Oreo

    Oreo Active Member

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    I committed to another 12 month contract with Virgin Media so that I could reduce my bills.

    As part of the package they 'upped' my broadband to 152mb speeds.

    Now I know my way around a PC etc but I've never really understood the tehnical side of the speed thing.

    Since my broadband was upgraded I feel like my internet speed is a lot slower.

    I've tried running a speed test however not sure what the results mean. Also, I use wifi so not sure if it could be the router that is on the way out (as it's now two years old).

    Before I go to Virgin and have a moan what kind of speeds should I be realisticly be expecting from 152mb broadband?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. keith

    keith Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    ok wow, lots to this.

    First thing to say is Virgin has had a recurring issue with packet loss (data being lost in transit and having to be resent) which makes connections seem very slow. I believe that it affected a lot of people this weekend but in theory is now fixed. So, if you've been testing this weekend, you may well be seeing that.

    Secondly, even though your raw internet speed may be fast, remember that the speed you see depends on how fast the internet site you're going to is. For example, this site runs on a server I look after, say you have a very fast internet connection but my server is poorly, you'll see it being slow.

    Next, yes, a common mistake is to connect via wifi and measure speed that way. If you're interested in testing your speed, you should use a good old ethernet cable and attach your pc direct to your router whilst you do the testing (ideally with nothing else connected via wifi). This is a good one because if your test is great when connected direct but rubbish by wifi then blam, you've found the problem. Wifi, depending on the type you have, can top out at 100/54 or even 10Mbs and thats before you take account of distance from the router and walls in the way. In other words yeah wifi could well be slowing you down massively.

    So, plug direct to the router and do a speedtest.net which will give you an objective speed rating. Post the results here if you like :)
     
  3. Oreo

    Oreo Active Member

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    Thanks Keith,

    I've just done a speed test, both without anything else connected.

    With eithernet cable download speed is 65.79mbps and upload speed of 12.12mbps

    Wifi download speed is 14.63mbps and upload speeds of 12.29mbps (that's sitting around 10 feet away from the router)

    So it looks like the router is a big part of the problem.

    Unless i've understood this wrong, the eithernet cable is around half the speed that's advertised? I understand I won't get the full speed advertised as this is an 'up to' rate, but should I be getting slightly better than that?
     
  4. keith

    keith Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    yeah your wifi looks rubbish. Soooo a new router, or at least wifi component, is in order.. usually easier to just get them combined in one. Look for one that does wifi AC ideally but remember that wifi can be affected by all sorts of things, microwaves etc... 10 foot away is a good test though :)

    Yeah the cable speed does look about half speed although wow, 60 odd Mbs is very very good, excellent really, for a home internet connection at this point in time (give it 5 yrs and it may look low but for now is excellent :).. but I get that you want the most you can achieve :yes:

    I don't know what the cable socket/cable is either on that router. It may be that the router only has a 100mbs port which will give you less than 100 anyway and nowhere near what the line is capable of.

    You could be being "contended" at several points in the network too. In other words, although your physical connection may be 150Mbs to the virgin network, at the end of the street, virgin datacentre, virgin internet line etc. all have other people using the same resources at the same time which results in you not getting the max. Try at different times day/night :) you may find a huge fluxuation and if you do, contention is the issue.

    I think for now, a nice new router, make sure it's capable of the new speeds and see if you can see what statistics it's giving.

    Look for reviews from people on the same service as you on the router though. I've had a battle recently on an 80Mbs service from bt finding a router whose CPU was strong enough to keep the data rate up.
     
  5. Oreo

    Oreo Active Member

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    Thank you for this. Really appreciated.

    The router itself is a virgin one that was supplied two years ago. Should I try asking for one of thier newer ones (if I can get it as a freebie?).

    I guess the ones they supply are pretty rubbish as they're cheap but that does highlight how poor they are.

    Thanks again, at least I now know where the problem is.
     
  6. keith

    keith Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    yeah always worth a shot ! I dont know how new the wifi in your pc is either , if THAT'S old, even if the router is new, it wont be able to connect at a great speed (wifi chips have got a lot faster in recent years). You can get a USB wifi to upgrade it etc but for the moment I think it's worth looking at the router
     
  7. Oreo

    Oreo Active Member

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    Yeah my laptop is pretty old now. It must be around 4 years old which I think could have a lot to do with it.

    Just done a download test on my iphone via the wifi and got a download speed of 41.9mbps.

    Thanks again for your help, I'm going to research a new router anyway to get the most out of my new speed.

    :)
     

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