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Disappointing 21CN/maxDSL Comparison

ihardcastle
Dabbler
Posts: 24
Registered: ‎20-12-2007

Disappointing 21CN/maxDSL Comparison

Hi all,
It's now 1 week since I got the ok from PlusNet that my line should be speeding up but 1 week on and I am only getting the same speed I did when I first upgraded to 8mb, let me explain....
I upgraded to 8mb when they announced the trial for it way back when. At the time I was able to connect at around 7500kbps which was pretty impressive, at the lowest it would be 6900+.
About November time last year I noticed my speed reducing at a rapid rate and until I opted in to the 20mb trial I was only getting 3800-4500kbps which is pretty poor.
Since last week my speed has increased but only back to what it was when I had a 'proper' 8mb connection so I know I can go faster but so far I am pretty dissappointed.
Is it likely to go any faster? Here is a recent status from my router, as you can see it's pretty slow today....again:
			
Down Up
Data rate 6270 446
Noise margin 6.4 18.5
Output power 21.2 12.5
Attenuation 37.0 20.6

From all accounts my router can support ADSL2+, it's a Belkin F5D7633 firmware F5D7633-4Av1_UK_1.00.000
Thanks
42 REPLIES 42
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,933
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Registered: ‎06-04-2007

Re: Disappointing 21CN/maxDSL Comparison

The front and back covers of the user guide say the router is designed to meet ADSL2+ specification though since I didn't spot any mention of this internally within the document it makes me wonder. But that's for another time.
With an attenuation of 37dB you should be able to sync above 10000kbps on 21CN, and previously 7000kbps on maxDSL as you had at one time. You mentioned the maxDSL sync reducing to at most 4500kbps last November. Did you carry out any diagnostic work to investigate the cause of those reduced sync speeds?
I think your line was noisy, or had another fault prior to migration to 21CN and unfortunately that problem is still present. In my opinion you need to locate and correct the problem to get the potential speeds your line should be capable of. Have you read and worked through the information in the following Comms blogs:
Broadband Speed Faults: How to diagnose?
My Broadband Doesn't Work!
David
David
ihardcastle
Dabbler
Posts: 24
Registered: ‎20-12-2007

Re: Disappointing 21CN/maxDSL Comparison

Hi thanks for the reply.
I've not done any detailed tests on the line but I do regularly carry out speed tests and it has been consistantly slow for a few months, probably no more than around 4500.
Over the past week I have been reconnecting every day to try and get the speed up and I think the highest I achieved was just short of 8000, probably around 7900 ish. I retried again last night and it connected really low at around 5100-5200 (i'm at work now so I don't have the exact speed).
I've just checked my exchange and it appears to be operating ok and has been as far back as 2nd Feb which is as far back as it shows.
It is possible that it is the router but i'd like to at least like to rule out the line before I shell out for a new router.
Is there anything plusnet can do to test the line as I am pretty much limited to reconnecting the phone line and doing speed tests.
Thanks.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,785
Thanks: 986
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Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Disappointing 21CN/maxDSL Comparison

Is there any background noise when you use the phone? (Try the quiet line test 17070 option 2).
Have you got any extensions? If so have you checked the router stats when plugged in to the test socket without a telephone plugged in?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£14.40/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
ihardcastle
Dabbler
Posts: 24
Registered: ‎20-12-2007

Re: Disappointing 21CN/maxDSL Comparison

Hi, thanks for the info on the line test. I will try this tonight.
As for the other questions.
I don't have any extensions other than the one which runs upstairs to the router. This has been in since I first got broadband in 2001/2002 ish so I doubt it's that.
I haven't tried unplugging the phone yet so I will try that tonight to get a reading.
This has been a gradual problem over a few months with the same setup for years, nothing has changed which is why I suspect the line is at fault. The fact that when I reconnect the phone line to the router I get varying levels of connection speeds sounds like noise or some other line/exchange issue to me.
I'll do some more investigations and post an update tonight.
Thanks.
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Disappointing 21CN/maxDSL Comparison

Quote from: ihardcastle
I don't have any extensions other than the one which runs upstairs to the router. This has been in since I first got broadband in 2001/2002 ish so I doubt it's that.

On the contrary, I'd say that there is a very strong possibility that the extension is the cause. After the quiet line test the next most important thing to establish is if the problem is inside or outside of your house - checking the stats when the router is plugged in to the test socket without any extensions will very quickly establish that.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£14.40/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
ihardcastle
Dabbler
Posts: 24
Registered: ‎20-12-2007

Re: Disappointing 21CN/maxDSL Comparison

I've just done the quiet line test and I can't hear a thing so I think the line is clean.
I can't test the router direct in to the phone point downstairs because the splitter is built in to the wall, it's a BT installation so there is a box with a built in splitter which has an output for LAN and phone. Plugging a splitter in to the phone connecter doesn't work. The cable running upstairs runs in to a converter which converts the end in to a phone point. It's a bit excesive but it works and has done for 8-9 years so although it could be the weak link I am pretty sure it isn't because I can connect at high speeds, it's just intermitent.
I am coming to the conclusion that it may be the router. I think whatever BT have done to get me on to ADSL2+ has reset something so my speeds are better than they were but the router is limiting me.
I might try and get a new router this weekend because it's frustrating me now.
Here is the latest connection details I have:

Downstream    Upstream
Data rate 6263 448
Noise margin 6.1 17.7
Output power 21.0 12.5
Attenuation 36.0 20.6

If you have any more ideas please let me know.
Thanks.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,785
Thanks: 986
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Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Disappointing 21CN/maxDSL Comparison

Won't the router plug straight in to the "LAN" side of the built in splitter with a standard length cable?
I'm not sure exactly what that box is however. Any chance of you posting a photo of it?
I wouldn't go as far as getting another router until we get to the bottom of what's going on at present.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£14.40/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
ihardcastle
Dabbler
Posts: 24
Registered: ‎20-12-2007

Re: Disappointing 21CN/maxDSL Comparison

I've attached a photo of the box.
The connection on the left is just a standard LAN connection, the one on the right is for the phone. The problem I have is that my router is an ADSL router so I don't think I can connect it up, the only input is the phone line input and there are 4 LAN connections for my computer and laptop etc.
From what I remember, as it was some time ago, there are only a few pins in use on the box for the LAN connection. I think this is just to carry the signal upstairs where it is changed in to a phone point. See attached picture of that as well.
The white cable is the one from downstairs, the green cable goes to the back of my router.
Thanks for your help so far.
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Disappointing 21CN/maxDSL Comparison

Those photos are perfect and told me exactly what I wanted. It's as I expected. What you have called the LAN side of the box is actually a standard ADSL connection from a splitter. You will find that the green cable from your router will plug in to that socket which will eliminate your extension (the LAN is actually the ethernet side of your router).
If the stats are not better when using that socket, then if you undo the two screws on the front you will find the lower half all comes away and you will find the test socket inside as shown in my earlier post.
If you can do those checks and we can then discuss your options from there depending upon the results.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£14.40/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: Disappointing 21CN/maxDSL Comparison

Oh dear, not an especially nice set up, installed by BT you say Roll eyes I see that's their standard NTE2000 master ADSL/POTS splitter.
OK, let's try and deal with this in a logical order.
First, because you are under the impression this has been a gradual deterioration, it must be the line. Unfortunately, not necessarily.
The cause may be any of the following (in no particular order) -
1) The Line 2) The NTE2000 3) The Router 4) Your internal wiring 5) The Line Card at the exchange
I think we can eliminated 5) as you've moved to ADSL2+ from MAX, not likely both were/are faulty.
1) Just because you didn't hear anything on a quiet line test doesn't mean it hasn't got an intermittent problem that wasn't showing at that instant. Have a think back, since your problems started have you heard any crackling or other intermittent noises on your line at any time? Such problems can appear to clear up for an undefined period.
2) This is just a filtered face plate and can be removed just like the standard faceplate on any master socket and will reveal the test socket behind. You will need to borrow/obtain a decent quality filter such as the BT MF50 'Rat-tail' filter. You can plug this into the test socket and plug your phone and router into that. You should use a corded phone whilst carrying out all these tests.
If you see an improvement, then suspect the plate or your internal wiring. As Jelv has already said you can plug that green cable from your router into the ADSL socket, this will eliminate your wiring (4)
3) If no improvement in either case, then borrow another router to try.
Bear in mind an intermittent connection on you line or wiring may cause a loss of sync and if noise is still present when a resync occurs, you sync speed will be lower. Keep checking your phone line especially at the instant if you spot a loss of sync. Who do you pay your line rental to?
As your extensions are 'plugged in' rather than hard wired, it will also be a good idea to remove the plugs from the sockets (all of them) and push them in and out a few times to try and ensure a 'clean' connection.
Finally does that extension cable for the phone run parallel to the ADSL cable for any distance, and do both extension cables have any identifying marks on eg. CAT5e, CW1308 or whatever?
Edit: Forgot about Cordless phones, do you use one/did you change it around the time your problems started?
ihardcastle
Dabbler
Posts: 24
Registered: ‎20-12-2007

Re: Disappointing 21CN/maxDSL Comparison

To my suprise the green cable did fit. I wasn't sure at first because it didn't feel like it wanted to go but I thought what the hell and jammed it in there, but believe me when I say it is a LAN connection because it is it hehe. It's the same size and same connection as a standard CAT5 plug.
Anyway, after moving my router again I can now for sure rule out the extension cable. I got exactly the same results Sad even after a few attempts.
Now on to answer Anotherone's comments:
1) It's hard to say I have noticed any problems on the line because to be honest I don't use the land line phone, I can't remember the last time I made a call or spoke to anyone on it for longer than a minute. I guess mobiles are more convenient Smiley
2) I do have a splitter, it came with my router. I don't think it's anything fancy though. I could try that aswell.
3) I have thought of that but everyone I know is on cable. I live in an area where for some reason they decided not to lay any cables.
Other points:
I have 2 wireless phones, one is a master which is connected to the box I mentioned and the other is just a slave to it, it has no connection to the phone line. I've had these for a few years now so I don't think it's them.
I can't see any markings on the extension cable so I can't help there i'm afraid, but it is slightly thinner than CAT5 cable so it is probably standard phone cable.
The extension cable runs up the stairs and in to the 'office/dossing around room' where the cables do meet but only briefly, no more than a few centimeters here and there as both cables sort of hang down and touch.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,785
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Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Disappointing 21CN/maxDSL Comparison

When you got the same results with the router plugged in to the main socket, had you unplugged the lead from the phone socket?
You do need to try with the splitter that came with the router in to the test socket (without any phone attached).
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£14.40/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
ihardcastle
Dabbler
Posts: 24
Registered: ‎20-12-2007

Re: Disappointing 21CN/maxDSL Comparison

I used the LAN style plug on the box and ran the green cable from that to the back of my router. From what's been said I need to remove the face plate and try the test socket with the splitter. Just plugging the splitter in to the phone socket on the box doesn't work, I guess because the phone line has already been split.
I'll give it a quick go and get back to you.
Thanks.
ihardcastle
Dabbler
Posts: 24
Registered: ‎20-12-2007

Re: Disappointing 21CN/maxDSL Comparison

Right I think we are getting somewhere now.
I removed the face plate and connected splitter straight in to the socket which was under it. So this removes all the variables, it's just router straight in to the phone point via a totally different splitter.
I connected the green cable from the splitter to the router and waited for it to connect and when I checked I still had the same results. In fact it's currently saying 5883 for the down speed, the up speed is always the same at 488.
I think we can safely say it is either the router or the line.
I am pointing slightly towards the line though because I have been able to get speeds very close to full 8mb at around 7500kbps so I know the router can take it. It's this varying connection speed thing that is bugging me which sounds like the line may be at fault somewhere.
Any more ideas?
Thanks.