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New networking equipment (fttc) - recommendations?

vultura
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New networking equipment (fttc) - recommendations?

Since upgrading to 80/20 a week ago and getting poor speeds (see http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,108726.0.html), it seems one of my issues is my own network setup.
Current setup:
Living Room, 200Mb homeplug connected to a 5 port 10/100 switch, which in turn connects to xbox 360, blu ray player, DLNA capable TV and SnakeOS based NAS (not used often).
Upstairs are two more 200Mb homeplugs connected to two desktop PCs with Gigabit capable integrated network.
In the hall is the OR modem, Technicolor TG582n router which connects to a further 200Mb homeplug.
I also have a Zyxel NSA310 NAS (not currently connected), which is gigabit capable.  It had been connected up until last week when I disconnected my old DG834GT router.  Just haven't got around to reconnecting it.
I use wifi for a netbook and laptop.
Now I had considered using an alternative router to the TG582n (even before I ordered the fibre upgrade) to get better features and wireless range.
The Asus RT-N56U router seems to get some good reviews and the price isn't out of the question.  Any thoughts on it or a better alternative?
I am thinking I need to replace the 200Mb homeplugs with something faster, the 500Mb versions maybe.  The ones on 7dayshop seem a good price - http://www.7dayshop.com/7dayshop-500mbps-high-speed-mini-homeplug-powerline-ethernet-network-adapter.   Solwise have 1Gb versions on offer 3 for 2 - http://www.solwise.co.uk/net-powerline-gig-pl-1000m.htm.
Or am I better off going for fast wifi adapters to give better throughput than the 200Mb homeplugs?
Happy to replace the 10/100 switch with a gigabit version if need be.
Any thought/tips/advice please?
Thanks

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27 REPLIES 27
vultura
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Re: New networking equipment (fttc) - recommendations?

Today I spotted an Asus RT-N66U on eBay, had a quick read of some reviews and went back to click the buy-it-now button (£55ish posted) and it had already gone Sad
Currently £110 on Amazon, really tempted to buy it.
Has anyone seen my signature, it's gone missing.
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: New networking equipment (fttc) - recommendations?

IMO £55 for one of those would have been a bargain, looks to have some very good specs and features.
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 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
vultura
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Re: New networking equipment (fttc) - recommendations?

Quote from: _Adam_Walker_
would have been a bargain, looks to have some very good specs and features.

I was tempted to just click and go, but I decided to do some homework first and missed out.  Had only been used for a week or so.
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g1dtf
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Registered: ‎19-02-2011

Re: New networking equipment (fttc) - recommendations?

I'm currently using an N66U but my fibre is not due to be installed till next Tuesday. I am currently using a Thompson 586v8 in bridge mode (modem only) and feeding it to the WAN port on the N66U. The wireless range on both 2.4 and 5ghz is great, the speed also seems ok but will know better when I get my fibre installed.
Andy.
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lexusuk
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Re: New networking equipment (fttc) - recommendations?

Hi vultura,
If it was me I think i'd stick with the powerline adapters.  Sadly I don't know anyone who owns a set of 500Mbps or 1000Mbps adapters to give you any feedback.
vultura
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Re: New networking equipment (fttc) - recommendations?

Quote from: g1dtf
I am currently using a Thompson 586v8 in bridge mode (modem only) and feeding it to the WAN port on the N66U. The wireless range on both 2.4 and 5ghz is great, the speed also seems ok but will know better when I get my fibre installed.
Andy.

Thanks Andy for user feedback.  Be interesting to know how the speeds, etc are when on fttc.
Quote from: Alex
If it was me I think i'd stick with the powerline adapters.  Sadly I don't know anyone who owns a set of 500Mbps or 1000Mbps adapters to give feedback.

Thanks for reply Alex.  I have found some 500Mb  ones on eBay for similar money to 200Mb ones.  Tempted to buy a pair and see what results I get.
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Re: New networking equipment (fttc) - recommendations?

Results with any powerline adapters will depend, to some extent at least, on your house wiring.  Separate upstairs / downstairs ringmains can reduce speed between the two.  Of course, there's always the 'unknown' of interference on the house wiring.
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AxeMurderer
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Re: New networking equipment (fttc) - recommendations?

I'm going to weigh in with an alternative viewpoint.
I have my modem and router in the living room. The router has wired connections to a NAS, BluRay player and some other stuff. My main laptop is usually about 10m away from the router, not quite in line of sight. Upstairs, separated from the router by a 14" thick solid brick wall, I have 2 PCs, wired to a wireless bridge (a Dlink DAP 1522).
Speeds:
wired directly into the modem, I can get pretty much full rate (73Mb/s)
wired directly into my router, a bit less, but still 70+. Incidentally, although I don't use it, my 582n is a little faster than my own router, wired
the laptop, wirelessly, manages 60+
the PCs upstairs also manage 60+
So it is possible that better wireless kit could outperform at least your current powerline adapters.
I would leave your powerline connection to the living room 10/100 switch as none of the kit attached to that will ever demand much bandwidth.
But I would (I did) certainly invest in a router with better wireless performance than the 582n. I like routers with several physical aerials; I distrust those with internal aerials (though the DAP 1522 obviously performs adequately so internal aerials can be made to work well). I also don't expect any ISP to provide a router that can match the best available on the open market.
vultura
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Re: New networking equipment (fttc) - recommendations?

Quote from: w23
Results with any powerline adapters will depend, to some extent at least, on your house wiring.  Separate ringmains can reduce speed between the two.  Of course, there's always the 'unknown' of interference on the house wiring.

Yes, I know they can vary a lot.  However I can't be dealing with cat5e cables running all over the house.  I started out with the 85Mb versions and soon changed to 200Mb when i knew how they worked in my property.

Quote from: AxeMurderer
I'm going to weigh in with an alternative viewpoint.
I have my modem and router in the living room. The router has wired connections to a NAS, BluRay player and some other stuff. My main laptop is usually about 10m away from the router, not quite in line of sight. Upstairs, separated from the router by a 14" thick solid brick wall, I have 2 PCs, wired to a wireless bridge (a Dlink DAP 1522).
Speeds:
wired directly into the modem, I can get pretty much full rate (73Mb/s)
wired directly into my router, a bit less, but still 70+. Incidentally, although I don't use it, my 582n is a little faster than my own router, wired
the laptop, wirelessly, manages 60+
the PCs upstairs also manage 60+
So it is possible that better wireless kit could outperform at least your current powerline adapters.
I would leave your powerline connection to the living room 10/100 switch as none of the kit attached to that will ever demand much bandwidth.
But I would (I did) certainly invest in a router with better wireless performance than the 582n. I like routers with several physical aerials; I distrust those with internal aerials (though the DAP 1522 obviously performs adequately so internal aerials can be made to work well).

An interesting viewpoint and if I replaced the router with something better I could maybe try that out for myself.
For reference I am looking at the TRENDnet TPL-401E2K  homeplugs, they seem to perform pretty well according to smallnetbuilder.
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lorisarvendu
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Re: New networking equipment (fttc) - recommendations?

Hi vultura
My problems are similar to yours, in that I have a little office at the end of a ground floor extension, where my three main desktops are (two Windows and one Linux server).  I've got network-aware Blu-Ray, Sky Box, and a chipped Xbox v1 (running XBMC) in the living room, my son has an Xbox 360 and laptop upstairs, and there's a FreeNAS box in the garage. 
When we were on ADSL we used 85Mb Homeplugs all over the house, which gave us around 50Mbps transfer speed, but when we moved to 40Mbps FTTC we found that we were getting 32Mbps directly from the router, but only 20Mbps through the Homeplugs, making them a bottleneck.
I took the plunge and replaced them all with 200's, which was quite expensive as I had 4 to replace, plus we also had a wireless extender allowing decent wi-fi access in the rest of the house .  This was because our router is in the extension, outside the original double-skin wall of the house, and it's wi-fi signal simply didn't reach.
Anyway.  Replaced 4 Homeplugs (and the wireless extender) with 200Mbps versions, and immediately noticed that I was only getting 20Mbps through the Homeplug network.  Since 20Mbps was a massive improvement on the previous 2 I wasn't that bothered.  However I decided to try a couple of 1Gb Homeplugs, since Solwise's web page said they were compatible with the existing 200 network.  Well they weren't.  I could not get them working in tandem.  So I quickly sold them off to a mate who just wanted a 2 Homeplug solution.  I'm sticking with the 200's for now. 
My suggestion is that if you're going to try 1Gb Homeplugs, you'll be better off replacing the lot.  Homeplugs still fetch a good second-hand price on eBay (especially the 200AV's) so you'll get some of your money back.
Luckily for us, we're in the process of extending over the garage, and the builder says he can build 4 CAT5 extensions in, removing the need for almost all of our Homeplugs.  Yay!
-Dave
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You know what a turtle is? Same thing.
vultura
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Re: New networking equipment (fttc) - recommendations?

Quote from: lorisarvendu
Hi vultura
My problems are similar to yours, in that I have a little office at the end of a ground floor extension, where my three main desktops are (two Windows and one Linux server).  I've got network-aware Blu-Ray, Sky Box, and a chipped Xbox v1 (running XBMC) in the living room, my son has an Xbox 360 and laptop upstairs, and there's a FreeNAS box in the garage. 
When we were on ADSL we used 85Mb Homeplugs all over the house, which gave us around 50Mbps transfer speed, but when we moved to 40Mbps FTTC we found that we were getting 32Mbps directly from the router, but only 20Mbps through the Homeplugs, making them a bottleneck.
I took the plunge and replaced them all with 200's, which was quite expensive as I had 4 to replace.
Anyway.  Replaced 4 Homeplugs (and the wireless extender) with 200Mbps versions, and immediately noticed that I was only getting 20Mbps through the Homeplug network.  Since 20Mbps was a massive improvement on the previous 2 I wasn't that bothered.  However I decided to try a couple of 1Gb Homeplugs, since Solwise's web page said they were compatible with the existing 200 network.  Well they weren't.  I could not get them working in tandem.  So I quickly sold them off to a mate who just wanted a 2 Homeplug solution.  I'm sticking with the 200's for now. 
My suggestion is that if you're going to try 1Gb Homeplugs, you'll be better off replacing the lot.  Homeplugs still fetch a good second-hand price on eBay (especially the 200AV's) so you'll get some of your money back.
-Dave

Thanks for the reply Dave.
I am aware that I would need to upgrade all of the homeplugs, as I have read the co-existence side of things isn't great.  I mentioned buying a pair to test the speed, well I would unplug the 200s whilst I did so.  Then if they tested ok just order a 2nd pair.
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Re: New networking equipment (fttc) - recommendations?

Quote from: lorisarvendu
Luckily for us, we're in the process of extending over the garage, and the builder says he can build 4 CAT5 extensions in, removing the need for almost all of our Homeplugs.  Yay!

Cat5e, I hope!
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.
hymermanbill
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Re: New networking equipment (fttc) - recommendations?

I have a pair of these installed http://www.broadbandbuyer.co.uk/Shop/MFR/Category.asp?CategoryID=708&SupplierID=45  and they are excellent. Initially I had the modem and router ( TG582 )by the master socket and my computer connected via these homeplugs and the speedtest results were 46mb down and 10mb up, I then moved the modem and the router to the computer ( I have a data extension fitted by BT ) and connect my machine directly to the router and I get exactly the same speeds that way as I did through the home plugs.  I have to say that I also get exactly the same speeds on my laptop which is connected to the router in the same room by wireless.  On all setups I downloaded the nero trial which is 293mb and each one reported a download speed of 5.7mb per sec and downloaded the file in just over 50 seconds.
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Re: New networking equipment (fttc) - recommendations?

Just to be pedantic (and for clarity), that would be 5.7mB per sec (=45.6mb/s - 'B' for Bytes, 'b' for bits).
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.