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Which Wireless Router?

edited April 2010 in Not Sports Related
I am keen to improve the broadband speed in our house and was surprised when I did a speed test to find our results amongst the best in our village. I suspect that we are probably just running too much stuff off of a router (Netgear DG834G) that might not be up to the job. I use an iMac the kids are often gaming on a PS3 and an Xbox and occasionally Mrs Stig joins in with a laptop. Our service is Talk Talk Pro. Anyone got any suggestions for a (not too expensive) router that would speed things up a bit?
Cheers
Stig
«1

Comments

  • The router won't do a damn thing for your internet connection speed. It might sort out a moody wireless signal - but the bottleneck is your internet connection - since the speed you connect to your router over the private (local) network is about a hundred times faster than the upstream bandwidth.

    If it was your router at fault you'd know it - you'd get hardly any connection at all, as the main thing that would be going wrong would be a saturation of half-open TCP connections (basically, too many connections being made at once and not being taken down efficiently by the router). On top of that, you'd get loads of random router reboots.

    If you're on DSL, it will be the distance you are from the exchange (attenuation) and SNR (noise) on your line that determines how good your line is. Don't waste money on a new router, as it won't help.
  • Build a bonfire, build a bonfire put the Xbox on the top put the PS3 and Laptop in the middle and burn the ........................>Robert's your father's brother

    and I know it doesn't scan well
  • Leroys bang on, is it slow when only 1 machine is using it? Try the speed test when all machines are active.
  • [cite]Posted By: Leroy Ambrose[/cite]The router won't do a damn thing for your internet connection speed. It might sort out a moody wireless signal - but the bottleneck is your internet connection - since the speed you connect to your router over the private (local) network is about a hundred times faster than the upstream bandwidth.

    If it was your router at fault you'd know it - you'd get hardly any connection at all, as the main thing that would be going wrong would be a saturation of half-open TCP connections (basically, too many connections being made at once and not being taken down efficiently by the router). On top of that, you'd get loads of random router reboots.

    If you're on DSL, it will be the distance you are from the exchange (attenuation) and SNR (noise) on your line that determines how good your line is. Don't waste money on a new router, as it won't help.

    You've done this before! The only other thing you can do is to move to an exchange area that is being upgraded to fibre by a large national telecoms provider or move closer to the exchange you are served from
  • Thanks very much for your help everyone - it's much appreciated. Mixed feelings really, it's nice to be told to save your money, but disappointing to find out there's not a quick fix. Still, that bonfire idea sounds bloody good, and at least I can moan back at the kids when they are moaning at me about it ;-)
  • There may be something you can do to at least mitigate the effects of SNR - if that's what's causing your poor performance. First up, check the line stats on your router. This can usually be done by browsing to the router's home page (generally http://192.168.0.1 or http://192.168.1.1 on most home networks) and looking for a menu entry somewhere called 'Status' - which will usually have an entry for 'Statistics' or something similar. Alternatively, since you've got a Netgear router, try using RouterStats - a free piece of software that will let you monitor the SNR levels. Check out the stats on the router's webpage, or run RouterStats to find out what your average SNR level is - then hunt around the net to see if this suggests there may be a problem.

    If you find your SNR is high, you could try installing an ADSL faceplate - which is specifically designed to reduce noise and tuned for DSL - I've seen lots of home DSL installations experience near-miraculous levels of improvement through installing ADSL faceplates. They're only about 20 quid and are a breeze to fit.

    Personally, I wouldn;t touch DSL with a bargepole. Cable FTW - when I was looking to move out last year (I didn't do it in the end), one of the top priorities for me was that wherever I moved to was a cable area. DSL is a horrible, horrible POS compared with cable - but of course, being 'online' is utterly essential for me because of my work, so I guess most people can handle the outages, disconnects and shitty traffic-shaping.
  •   Leroy Ambrose 36 minutes ago  # 7
    There may be something you can do to at least mitigate the effects of SNR - if that's what's causing your poor performance. First up, check the line stats on your router. This can usually be done by browsing to the router's home page (generally http://192.168.0.1 or http://192.168.1.1 on most home networks) and looking for a menu entry somewhere called 'Status' - which will usually have an entry for 'Statistics' or something similar. Alternatively, since you've got a Netgear router, try using RouterStats - a free piece of software that will let you monitor the SNR levels. Check out the stats on the router's webpage, or run RouterStats to find out what your average SNR level is - then hunt around the net to see if this suggests there may be a problem.

    If you find your SNR is high, you could try installing an ADSL faceplate - which is specifically designed to reduce noise and tuned for DSL - I've seen lots of home DSL installations experience near-miraculous levels of improvement through installing ADSL faceplates. They're only about 20 quid and are a breeze to fit.

    Personally, I wouldn;t touch DSL with a bargepole. Cable FTW - when I was looking to move out last year (I didn't do it in the end), one of the top priorities for me was that wherever I moved to was a cable area. DSL is a horrible, horrible POS compared with cable - but of course, being 'online' is utterly essential for me because of my work, so I guess most people can handle the outages, disconnects and shitty traffic-shaping.

    What language is that ?.
    :-)
  • [cite]Posted By: S_E_7[/cite]Leroy Ambrose 36 minutes ago  # 7
    There may be something you can do to at least mitigate the effects of SNR - if that's what's causing your poor performance. First up, check the line stats on your router. This can usually be done by browsing to the router's home page (generally http://192.168.0.1 or http://192.168.1.1 on most home networks) and looking for a menu entry somewhere called 'Status' - which will usually have an entry for 'Statistics' or something similar. Alternatively, since you've got a Netgear router, try using RouterStats - a free piece of software that will let you monitor the SNR levels. Check out the stats on the router's webpage, or run RouterStats to find out what your average SNR level is - then hunt around the net to see if this suggests there may be a problem.

    If you find your SNR is high, you could try installing an ADSL faceplate - which is specifically designed to reduce noise and tuned for DSL - I've seen lots of home DSL installations experience near-miraculous levels of improvement through installing ADSL faceplates. They're only about 20 quid and are a breeze to fit.

    Personally, I wouldn;t touch DSL with a bargepole. Cable FTW - when I was looking to move out last year (I didn't do it in the end), one of the top priorities for me was that wherever I moved to was a cable area. DSL is a horrible, horrible POS compared with cable - but of course, being 'online' is utterly essential for me because of my work, so I guess most people can handle the outages, disconnects and shitty traffic-shaping.

    What language is that ?.
    :-)
    English.
  • Leroy what is the benefit of living in an LLU enabled exchange area?
  • Stig...what's it like to have.........,,, "The only router in the village?"
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  • Bing - LLU is 'Local Loop Unbundling' - meaning telcos other than those who laid the copper to your premises (BT in the vast majority of cases - unless, like Stu, you happen to live in Hull where it's owned by Kingston/Karoo/Whatever they're calling themselves today). In theory, it's supposed to lead to greater competition, so a better deal for the consumer. In reality, in most non-urban areas it doesn't mean anything as it's not cost-effective for any telco to give a toss about anyone not based in a large area. There are some decent ones, but, in the main, they're all as bad as BT in many respects.
  • edited April 2010
    you may be suffering from several things in my experience, this can depend on various things including the type of service you subscribe to i.e. business vs retail standard, and possibly wireless issues, time of day etc

    things to try

    try connecting direct to the router with several devices using ethernet cable only with no wireless connections working, and see if you get same problem - I find cable to router connection to be more reliable than wireless

    try connecting at different times of day - you may be on a high contention ratio, i.e. 50-1 rather than say 20-1 the former being retail type service the latter being business, this basically establishes the top number of other customers you may be competing with on your connection.
  • As this seems to be turning into the "Ask Leroy about I.T." thread - what did you think about the vote on the Digital Economy Bill last night?
  • [cite]Posted By: aliwibble[/cite]As this seems to be turning into the "Ask Leroy about I.T." thread - what did you think about thevoteon theDigital Economy Billlast night?
    Absiolute f***ing disgrace. The moral, ethical and financial arguments about digital copies of media notwithstanding, it's just another one of those rushed-through pieces of knee-jerk legislation (like the 'Violent Pornography' bill) which give the state and corporations even more power over peoples' lives than they already have. The slippery slope is getting slippier...
  • The thing that annoys me about it more than anything is that it doesn't just punish the person who has committed the "offence" without going through due legal process, but anyone who shares the facilities used to commit the "offence" as well. If your teenage son gets done for speeding repeatedly and loses his licence as a result, they don't impound the family car, but if he repeatedly downloads music illegally, this bill gives them the right to suspend the family internet connection, without any kind of trial.
  • WSSWSS
    edited April 2010
    I watched it unfold on BBC Parliament last night, and Leroy, you're going to love this...

    One of the opposers asked a question along the lines of: "What measures are the government going to put in place to stop people who are innocently using their connection getting in trouble for people 'jumping' on their connection and using it illegally"

    The answer by the prat Stephen Timms I think his name was, was: "We will advise people to use a password to protect their connection"

    The whole thing enlightened me to the way the HoC works and I tell you what, it absolutely terrified me. 50 clauses in that bill, and it took them an hour to go through one. Got pushed through anyway - great for democracy eh?
  • [cite]Posted By: aliwibble[/cite]The thing that annoys me about it more than anything is that it doesn't just punish the person who has committed the "offence" without going through due legal process, but anyone who shares the facilities used to commit the "offence" as well. If your teenage son gets done for speeding repeatedly and loses his licence as a result, they don't impound the family car, but if he repeatedly downloads music illegally, this bill gives them the right to suspend the family internet connection, without any kind of trial.
    That is exactly the argument I used a few weeks back when debating this with a bunch of people who were of the (increasingly misguided) opinion that "if you haven't done anything wrong, you haven't got anything to worry about". Used that argument on them and none of them had any comeback. Thing is, there isn't any decent advocacy group for opposing this legislation - and as soon as it goes through, the BPI will increase it's staff tenfold and start aggressively pursuing test cases. It's an absolute f***ing disgrace.
  • let's hope it gets shredded in the Lords then
  • [cite]Posted By: razil[/cite]let's hope it gets shredded in the Lords then
    Not a chance. Most of the old farts in there don't know what the T'internet IS, let alone understand the ramifications of cutting off access to it on the whims of the record/film industry. The ones that do are firmly in the pocket of industry, so it'll sail through. Then we'll end up like the yanks, where they sue people who are dead, 85-year old ladies whose wlan has been pwned and parents who don't understand what their kids are doing online - or how to prevent them doing it
  • [cite]Posted By: SoundAsa£[/cite]Stig...what's it like to have.........,,, "The only router in the village?"
    Oh, you know, it's pretty quiet out here in Llanddewi Brefi.
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  • [cite]Posted By: Leroy Ambrose[/cite]Bing - LLU is 'Local Loop Unbundling' - meaning telcos other than those who laid the copper to your premises (BT in the vast majority of cases - unless, like Stu, you happen to live in Hull where it's owned by Kingston/Karoo/Whatever they're calling themselves today). In theory, it's supposed to lead to greater competition, so a better deal for the consumer. In reality, in most non-urban areas it doesn't mean anything as it's not cost-effective for any telco to give a toss about anyone not based in a large area. There are some decent ones, but, in the main, they're all as bad as BT in many respects.

    Thanks. If you live in an LLU area, do you get a faster connection?
  • Possibly - All LLU is really about is giving competing telcos access to BT's network. When they chuck their own equipment in the exchange, it's likely to be faster than BT's - though in my experience, not as reliable. In any case, you're still using BT's 'last mile' (the copper in the trench to your door from teh exchange), which is usually the location of most performance and speed problems. Another thing you need to consider if you;re thinking of going with another provider is the grief and hassle associated with switching. You need to get a MAC code from your current supplier and switch that over to the new one. Since they are losing you as a customer, you can expect problems, delays and outright hostility from then when you attempt to do it.

    Simple answer is that LLU should give you a faster connection, but there's no guarantee it will, and you have no comeback afterwards if it doesn't, as you'll be required to sign up for a minimum of 12 months.

    The whole nonsense of privatisation of BT is that BT laid the network in the first place, so they have no vested interest in seeing 'their' copper get used by other telcos for profit. All privatisation has done is make BT even more intransigent than they used to be - and chuck yet another layer of inveiglement into getting a fault repaired whilst they toss it around between the various different arms of BT. Cable is - in theory - much, much better - but Virgin have the market utterly cornered, have no competition and since they took over my area from Telewest (who were pretty cruddy anyway), the service has gone rapdily downhill.

    It's all bollocks. Any time I deal with comms companies, either at home or at work, I need to go and have a lie-down for a couple of hours after.
  • I've been persevering with BT home hub 2 and 3 disks for the last year, not been a great experience, not helped I expect by the brick/stone central fireplace in my house.

    The thing is so temperamental and takes ages when rebooting could that be my local internet which I expect being semi rural is copper at least to the cabinet if not more, or changing any config (I switched off 5g briefly and the thing just hangs although perhaps that due to the way devices connect).

    After getting some BT advice in person on where to position the router and discs things did improve a bit in terms of coverage, but I also have an intermittent problem with Sky Boxes dropping their connection and having to be reset every few weeks which is a pain, so much so that I'm looking at putting in ethernet for that system.

    Would be grateful for advice please: is anyone else having a similar experience? Are there much better routers out there (and why are they better?)?

  • edited December 2021
    Highly recommend the BT Home Hub mesh. You can use it with any router and can add Disks as required.

    I have wifi throughout my entire property at 300-400 mbps and full length of my garden and my office at around 100mbps. 5 disks cost me £220 far cheaper than any of the competitors, if not quite a perfect set up (using up 5 plug sockets, plus one for the main router). 

    It does sound like your property & location could be the main issues. I would also recommend a new sky box before worrying about installing ethernet or go for a powerline socket for that device. 

    Powerline sockets have two plugs one goes by the router, the other by the device you wish to wire in (sky box). You then pop an ethernet from the router to powerline socket 1 and another from powerline socket 2 to the sky box. 
  • razil said:
    I've been persevering with BT home hub 2 and 3 disks for the last year, not been a great experience, not helped I expect by the brick/stone central fireplace in my house.

    The thing is so temperamental and takes ages when rebooting could that be my local internet which I expect being semi rural is copper at least to the cabinet if not more, or changing any config (I switched off 5g briefly and the thing just hangs although perhaps that due to the way devices connect).

    After getting some BT advice in person on where to position the router and discs things did improve a bit in terms of coverage, but I also have an intermittent problem with Sky Boxes dropping their connection and having to be reset every few weeks which is a pain, so much so that I'm looking at putting in ethernet for that system.

    Would be grateful for advice please: is anyone else having a similar experience? Are there much better routers out there (and why are they better?)?

    Is it Sky Q that you have?
  • I had @Greenie Junior rewire my house.

    Getting Cat6 ports in was a great shout by him. All smart TVs/computers etc plugging straight into walls and not impacting on WiFi - makes such a difference.

    Realise that’s a massive job but if you are having electrical work done, consider it.
  • Dazzler21 said:
    Highly recommend the BT Home Hub mesh. You can use it with any router and can add Disks as required.

    I have wifi throughout my entire property at 300-400 mbps and full length of my garden and my office at around 100mbps. 5 disks cost me £220 far cheaper than any of the competitors, if not quite a perfect set up (using up 5 plug sockets, plus one for the main router). 

    It does sound like your property & location could be the main issues. I would also recommend a new sky box before worrying about installing ethernet or go for a powerline socket for that device. 

    Powerline sockets have two plugs one goes by the router, the other by the device you wish to wire in (sky box). You then pop an ethernet from the router to powerline socket 1 and another from powerline socket 2 to the sky box. 
    Would agree entirely re getting a mesh set up. 

    I have virgin fibre and the router element of the hub is shit. I only live in a fairly small terraced house but struggled to get strong wi-fi throughout the house. I tried a number of extenders with limited success. 

    During lockdown I decided to take the plunge and get a Mesh system. I purchased the Deco X60 package (3 hub pack) and it’s one of the best things I’ve bought. Easy to install and I now have a rock solid wireless signal through the house and garden. 

    Mesh systems are comparatively expensive - but definitely worth the investment in my experience. 
  • cafcpolo said:
    razil said:
    I've been persevering with BT home hub 2 and 3 disks for the last year, not been a great experience, not helped I expect by the brick/stone central fireplace in my house.

    The thing is so temperamental and takes ages when rebooting could that be my local internet which I expect being semi rural is copper at least to the cabinet if not more, or changing any config (I switched off 5g briefly and the thing just hangs although perhaps that due to the way devices connect).

    After getting some BT advice in person on where to position the router and discs things did improve a bit in terms of coverage, but I also have an intermittent problem with Sky Boxes dropping their connection and having to be reset every few weeks which is a pain, so much so that I'm looking at putting in ethernet for that system.

    Would be grateful for advice please: is anyone else having a similar experience? Are there much better routers out there (and why are they better?)?

    Is it Sky Q that you have?
    yes, sorry should have said
  • WSS said:
    I had @Greenie Junior rewire my house.

    Getting Cat6 ports in was a great shout by him. All smart TVs/computers etc plugging straight into walls and not impacting on WiFi - makes such a difference.

    Realise that’s a massive job but if you are having electrical work done, consider it.
    that is indeed what I am looking at but its quite a challenge in a listed property of this age
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