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Is it worth upgrading BT HomeHub 1.5?


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#1
Batbloke

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We live in a very rural area, with a very long line to the local exchange.  We don't have gas, let alone fibre!

 

We currently use a very old wireless router which has never been changed, mostly because its never caused any problems.  I suspect though that some more recent ADSL wireless routers may offer faster wifi connections around the house and might also manage to extract a little more speed from what is a very slow broadband connection.

 

Prompted by a recent need to sort out a PC problem (with some great help elsewhere on here) and in the process of acquiring or building a new PC, I started thinking about other aspects of the installaiton here.  So.....oss it worth upgrading the router  and, if so, what would people recommend in these circumsstances?

 

Thank you,

 

Denis

 


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#2
terry1966

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to be honest no changing your hub is not going to increase your wifi connection speeds.

 

not knowing your connection speed or hub details, lets say your using an older 802.11g hub (54Mbps) which would give you real world throughput of about 20Mbits a second, this is probably still much faster than your internet connection to the outside world of say 2Mbps on a slow connection far from the exchange.

 

where a newer hub with n or ac connection speeds will make a difference though is if your transferring files from 1 pc to another (both with n or ac wifi, or 1 connected by wire)  on your local lan.

 

link with more info on wifi speeds :- http://www.speedguid...of-wireless-374

 

:popcorn:

 

should add if your having a bad connection because of distance (range) from your hub so not getting the full speeds over wifi that is possible from your internet connection then yes you may benefit by getting a newer hub which has better signal range.

 

another link explaining wifi :- http://www.trustedre...-the-difference


Edited by terry1966, 14 February 2016 - 11:43 AM.

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#3
paws

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Hi Batbloke,

 

Just to add a couple of thoughts to Terry's excellent reply, when you are on a copper wire connection at a long range from the exchange then it's important to check a few things, to make sure there are no basic faults in your set up.

 

Have a look at the following:

 

1 Check that your BT Home Hub is plugged into the BT master socket (don't try and use a socket that is an "extension" ....it should be the master socket.

 

2 Perform a speed test using your customary wifi connection and then immediately perform another speed test with wi fi disabled and using an Ethernet cable twixt Hub and computer.... is there any significant difference in speeds between wifi and Ethernet? (you may need to perform the test a number of times to rule out as far as possible any temporary/momentary differences.

 

3 Next try plugging in your Home Hub into the test socket of the BT master socket (the test socket on modern BT equipment has a moulded horizontal line running across the face of the socket and the face plate is removed by unscrewing carefully the two securing screws and moving (again very carefully) the face plate to reveal the test socket directly underneath. check speeds again using both wi fi and Ethernet.... if the speeds achieved directly via the BT test socket are significantly greater than when plugged into the face plate socket then this indicates a problem with the telephone wiring in your home.

 

4 Check that your ADSL filters are working OK, try new replacements if in doubt, and make sure that all BT sockets, extensions as well, throughout your home all have an ADSL filter installed correctly ... Note any "splitters" used should be downstream of the ADSL filters, the ADSL filters being plugged directly into the BT wall sockets.

 

5 If you use Wireless range extenders these can reduce your speeds and sometimes the reduction is significant... if you need to extend your range then its usually best to use an Ethernet cable instead, although Homeplugs that use the houses internal 230v wiring can be an effective solution.

6 Wifi signals can be attenuated by the presence of walls, doors, ceilings, twixt your BT Home Hub and your computer, and also can be affected by machinery, metal filing cabinets and other barriers to the transmission of a good signal, Interference can also arise through the use of DECT phones, baby alarms and other equipment working on the same or similar frequencies.

 

Lastly some folks hide away their Home Hub (router) often placing it on the floor behind or even underneath furniture etc and that's a sure way of decreasing the effectiveness of the signal... it should be out in the open, and just as with the placing and orientation of a portable transistor radio, some trial and error on its exact location and orientation may be required with speed checks on wi fi  to identify the best position.

 

When you are getting slow speeds because of your distance from the exchange then its important to not lose too much speed once the signal gets to your home and hopefully these simple and very basic tips may help...

 

Sorry if they seem too simple and basic for your particular situation but maybe they will help someone else who comes across this problem and is looking for a solution via a search engine.

regards

paws


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#4
Batbloke

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Hi Guys,

 

Sorry for the late reply - little work spike.  Shouldn't complain really!

 

I think the last BT guy who came here told me that the cable run was between 5 and 6km from here to the exchange.  I will need to check some of the other things mentioned (and read through the links Terry kindly provided) but in haste, I can at least comment thus:

 

My Hub is plugged in to the master socket and my main PC is directly cabled to it.  Other computers around the house use WifFi.  I do all my speed tests from the directly connected machine.  I guess I was hoping that that a more modern ADSL router might be able to improve the speed over the external line but from what you folks are saying, I suspect not.  It's possible that the house 'phone wiring might be degrading the external connection so that's something I shall investigate further and report back.

 

Best wishes

 

Denis


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#5
paws

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Hi Dennis

 

It's possible that the house 'phone wiring might be degrading the external connection

 

If you plug in your Home Hub via the BT test socket that is behind the faceplate then that eliminates potential problems with your house phone wiring...

 

if the fault is on BT's side of the master socket then they have to pay for a fix, however if its your side of the Master socket then it down to you and it can be the best part of £200 for BT/Openreach to call and fix (if its your side, that is!)

 

That's why performing a speed check whilst plugged into the test socket (behind the master socket's faceplate) is so important!

Regards

paws


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#6
Batbloke

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I tried the test socket and it didn't appear to make any difference :(

 

On the upside, I saw an advert in our local paper this morning from these people: http://wireless.abinternet.co.uk/ABInternet/ 

 

When I put my post code into their coverage checker, to my surpsise, I found that I was in an area where they claim to be able to deliver 50mb/s.  I was highly sceptical however, the coverage checker identifies the location of the base station, which is about 4km distant, and I can see the masts from ground level across the valley.

 

It's a bit more expensive that we what we currently pay BT but I have asked them to at least undertake the necessary survey to see what's really achievable and if it's even 50% of what they claim is available, I may well sign up.

 

Cheers

 

Denis


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#7
terry1966

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without actually knowing anything about that company, i can tell you yes there is no physical reasons why they can't provide you a 50Mbps connection over wifi that i know of if you have line of sight to their masts.

 

if you think about it ac wifi is capable of speeds well over 400Mbs so accounting for distance and signal strength i can't see why they couldn't deliver the claimed 50Mbs to you, only difference will probably be in latency/ping times probably, so if your into online games then the slower latency might have an impact there but for most things people do on the internet there won't be any problems. eg. watching video's.

 

http://www.speedtest...hat-is-latency/

 

:popcorn:


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#8
paws

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Hi Batbloke,

I tried the test socket and it didn't appear to make any difference :(

 

No, its not sad, its Good!.... :D

 

If the test socket didn't make much difference to the speeds then it indicates that there probably no problem with your house's phone wiring, and therefore no need to call out BT Openreach and risk a £200 chargeout....

 

One final point that might be worth considering, please forgive me if you are up to speed on all this, but some of my customers have gone in for a faster broadband connection (around 50 to 60 mbps) and paid varying amounts for this ranging from £10 per month extra (Fibre to Cabinet) and have been disappointed with the results compared with their old speeds of around 2 or 3 mbps or so.

 

They were under the misaprehension that a faster broadband connection would increase the speed of their computer..... whilst of course its only the broadband connection that has increased speed and not their computer.

 

Some of these customers, who children have may have left home, have no interest in downloading the latest blockbuster videos or other huge files, or music or streaming entertainment channels, gaming across the net, and having multiple devices all absorbing bandwidth whilst at the same time Skyping folks across the world!.... in these circumstances and when the computer is used just for working on say spreadsheets, documents, photos, sending and receiving emails, a little light surfing (asking Mr Google questions, comparing prices for goods and services, and booking holidays etc) they would be hard pressed to detect any significant difference in the performance they are experiencing with a faster and more expensive broadband speed, compared with their old set up.

 

If you don't do the things mentioned in the first "list" above then I would be inclined to think long and hard before going in for the faster more expensive connection.....HOWEVER if you are wanting to do those things then I would suggest you go for it! as it will make a significant difference...

Regards

paws


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#9
Batbloke

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I may be wrong, but I suspect latency would only be an issue on sattelite services where the round-trip distance becomes significant, even at the speed of radio waves.  A client of mine who lives and works in the Brecon Beacons has sat broadband and when we were discussing this issue last year he did comment that sometimes the latency issues cause him serious problems with video conferencing and the like.  My business is pretty much a one-man band and a few seasonal sub-contractors so we're not really in that league and I have no plans to try to be so.  If I could, I'd retire tomorrow!!

 

I'm not a gamer - I'm a consultant biologist/ecologist so I work with a lot of large data files, multi-layered maps and the like.  It sounds very grand but ours is a very seasonal business so this time of year we don't earn a lot. I don't use things like SKYPE although I guess I might if the current connection wasn't so poor.  I do enjoy watching a good movie though and, rightly or worngly, we have Sky, and it woudl be great to be able to use the on-demand services in real time, rather than having to plan a couple of days in advance. 

 

As far as fibre is concerned, a nice thought but we're more than 1.5 miles from the nearest public road and the nearest fibre I'm aware of is at least five miles away from the nearest point on the road so it's highly unlikely to reach us any time soon.  My farmer neighbour would happily dig a trench from the road if it eveyr got that far but part of it woulf be across publically owned land (Forestry Comission) and you just know they'd want a hefty fee to let hm do that.

I'll let you all know how the atuff with AB Internet pans out.  Thanks again for all the suggestions, help and adivce.

 

Cheers

 

Denis

PS the lack of smile when finding my house wiring was probably OK was down to it being a potential easy (and cheap) fix if it had proven to be a problem!


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#10
paws

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:thumbsup:


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