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BT speed checker 'manipulated' for better results?

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woober
Grafter
Posts: 25
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Registered: 12-08-2017

BT speed checker 'manipulated' for better results?

Hi all

I've been with Plusnet for about 6 months now and I've had no issues other than the inconsistency of the data speed. I've looked on this forum for ideas and the advice given is to check my speed using the BT speed checker but that's where my problem is.

My MAXIMUM speed available is here 1.1Mbps. If I check my speed with the BT checker it usually shows somewhere close to what I signed up for, if I use any of the other speed tests available at busy times it is usually half or less. Example, last night (Saturday) at around 5.30pm it took 3 or 4 goes to get the BT checker to work but eventually it measured up as 0.76Mbps but immediately doing a check on Ookla showed only 0.08Mbps.

Right now (10.30 on a Sunday morning) internet is working ok and Ookla is showing a ping of 12ms and download of 1.16Mbps, so at moment all is fine and dandy.

Is there anything I can do to improve the line speed at busy times?

Thanks.

27 REPLIES
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 10,022
Thanks: 1,562
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Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: BT speed checker 'manipulated' for better results?

Hi,

A warm welcome to the forums.

The important speed is the router synch speed. If that is stable and close to the expectation for the line's length then that's all you need to worry about. That is the maximum speed which is quoted at sign up.

Actual DATA throughout speed will always be less and is subject to how busy the internet connection is. That includes the connection between your PC and the router and the concurrent use within your home network.

Not all speed tests are equal - some bend the light - as a comparable reference to the BT speed test (the only one if merit for chasing a speed complaint) that provided by Think Brosdband is fairly dependable and transparent in that it reports both single and multi threaded throughputs.

As for how to ensure you are getting the best possible - we would need to see your router stats.
woober
Grafter
Posts: 25
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Registered: 12-08-2017

Re: BT speed checker 'manipulated' for better results?

Hi Townman.

Thanks for your reply. I'm not really sure what sync rate is, my router does not have anything described as such, I guess it's just a measure of data speed?

Here is a screen shot of my router info taken late last night when a test showed the line speed was up near it's max...

 

router1.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is this any help?

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 10,022
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Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: BT speed checker 'manipulated' for better results?

That is most helpful - thank you.  Oh that's grim - long line - rural?  The attenuation suggests that you ought to see something around 2Mbps synch speed.

That router reports Synch Speed (the speed at which ones and zeros can be sent over the line) as DATA speed which is not the same.  The synch speed is raw bit rate, to send usable data it needs additional bits for error checking and line control.  Therefore DATA speed will always be less than SYNCH speed.  The best DATA speed will not be more than 88% of the SYNCH speed - assuming no error correction / retransmission or network congestion.

SYNCH speed is a measure of raw bit speed between your router and the exchange, whereas DATA speed is a measure of how fast data can be moved - at that time - between your PC and some test service somewhere on the internet.  That is impacted by the speed and capacity of...

  • Your PC
  • The connection between your PC and the router*
  • Errors, retransmission and flow control overheads between your router and the exchange
  • Capacity and the above between the exchange and the data speed service
  • The responsiveness to the data speed service

* The performance of your network very much depends on how you are connected (Ethernet or wifi) and what else is using the home network.

There is some possibility that your synch speed might be improved a little.  At the time these stats were captured the DS noise margin (SNRM) was only 4.9dB - a reduction from what would have been the initial value of 6dB.  This is reflected in the fact that the maximum 'data' rate (synch speed) is less than the reported (current) rate.  This implies that there is some source of noise on the line ... which will lead to problems.  Is the router connected to the master socket?  Take a look at the speed issues topic - see the link below.  There's also some checks worth doing too.

Broadband is not going to work well if the "phone" line is not working properly.

Please perform a quiet line test - dial 17070 select option 2 using a corded phone plugged into the test socket behind the face plate of the master socket. It should be silent. A noisy phone line (or no dial tone) will have a marked adverse impact on the performance of broadband.

If the line is noisy or there is no dial tone, then a PHONE LINE fault needs to be raised with your phone provider. If this is PlusNet, you can report a fault on line using the button below.


 

What are the expectations for your line?

Please use the following links to check the services available and their estimated speeds. From the first link, please record and report back the distance from the exchange. The second link advises of which fibre services (if any) are available on your line and their anticipated speed.


 

woober
Grafter
Posts: 25
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Registered: 12-08-2017

Re: BT speed checker 'manipulated' for better results?

Hi again Townman.

Thanks very much for your very detailed reply, there is a lot in there for me to think about. There are a couple of things I can answer straight away though.

I am not rural and not that far from a cabinet, I live in the middle of a massive housing estate. The Kitz line checker says I am 4.14km (line of sight) from the exchange, but not how long the cable length is. Incidentally I have a mate who lives about 1/4 mile away and annoyingly he gets about 18Mbps on normal broadband. I guess the cable goes the long way round to me.

Yes router is in the master socket, house only has one phone socket.

I don't have a cabled phone I can check the line with, I'll try and borrow one from work tomorrow and give that a go.

I don't understand why any of this would make my data volume drop so much at busy times though, surely this would be constant. The 0.1Mbps is a lot like having dial-up back in the day, the buffering is just so tiresome.

Thanks.

 

 

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 10,022
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Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: BT speed checker 'manipulated' for better results?

There is little point exploring data speed whilst sync speed is a bit suspect. Really need to know what the speed projections were from those links. The synch speed is a little below what might be expected for your line's reported attenuation, but it's a big percentage difference. Need to understand why, before worrying about the data speed. That could be drastically impacted by a high error rate arising from noise or interference. That interference could be time related. The slow speed could be down to back haul (links from the exchange to the internet) capacity issues.

On ADSL the distance from the cabinet is of no merit (very applicable to fttc though), it's the total length to the exchange. There's every possibility that your mate is on a different (sub) exchange. We've lots of situations like that in North Cheshire.
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 4,160
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Registered: 21-04-2017

Re: BT speed checker 'manipulated' for better results?

Hi there,

 

Just completed a few tests and no issues are flagging up. Your sync speed is above your estimates & fault threshold rate [which is determined during the initial 10 days of service].

 

I have however noticed you're able to get fibre broadband which provides a much faster speed, if you're interested.

Featured Products

Downstream Line Rate(Mbps)

Upstream Line Rate(Mbps)

  High Low High Low
VDSL Range A (Clean) 65.3 48.1 19.3 13.2

 

Anoush

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Help Team
woober
Grafter
Posts: 25
Thanks: 2
Registered: 12-08-2017

Re: BT speed checker 'manipulated' for better results?

Thanks for your input, so what do I do now. How do I check for noise on the line? Is listening to the quiet line the only way? Seems a bit low tech.

woober
Grafter
Posts: 25
Thanks: 2
Registered: 12-08-2017

Re: BT speed checker 'manipulated' for better results?

Just to give an idea how slow my connection is at the moment, when coming from the community page and clicking on the broadband button on this forum, the broadband index page just took 25 seconds to open. I'm sure Freeserve was faster than this :-(

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 10,022
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Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: BT speed checker 'manipulated' for better results?


woober wrote:

Thanks for your input, so what do I do now. How do I check for noise on the line? Is listening to the quiet line the only way? Seems a bit low tech.


Not low tech at all - you are listening for audible noise as a first stop diagnostic.  Line tests tend to be not capable of detecting line noise.

Broadband is not going to work well if the "phone" line is not working properly.

Please perform a quiet line test - dial 17070 select option 2 using a corded phone plugged into the test socket behind the face plate of the master socket. It should be silent. A noisy phone line (or no dial tone) will have a marked adverse impact on the performance of broadband.

If the line is noisy or there is no dial tone, then a PHONE LINE fault needs to be raised with your phone provider. If this is PlusNet, you can report a fault on line using the button below.


 

What are the expectations for your line?

Please use the following links to check the services available and their estimated speeds. From the first link, please record and report back the distance from the exchange. The second link advises of which fibre services (if any) are available on your line and their anticipated speed.


 

How is your line performing?

Please post your router stats; for PN TG582n and 2704n routers use the buttons below, for other routers look at the Kitz link.

Also run a BT Wholesale speed test (ideally using an Ethernet wired PC with the WiFi turned off) then run the further diagnostics and post the results here. DO NOT REBOOT the router!

Also find your CURRENT SPEED (PlusNet line profile) from the PlusNet user portal - you will need to log in.


 

woober
Grafter
Posts: 25
Thanks: 2
Registered: 12-08-2017

Re: BT speed checker 'manipulated' for better results?

So I get home from work tonight and thought I'd check my emails whilst food is cooking, once again internet is painfully slow, chrome sticks up a message saying page has become responsive. Great.

 

I thought I'd do a performance test, here's the result of the BTW one;

 

 

speed test 1608.JPG

 

I think this is a little bit optimistic bearing in mind the max speed I'm signed up for is 1.1Mbps, BT massaging the speed figures again maybe?!?, so run the test again;

 

 

speed test 1608a.JPG

 

 

 That's a little more realistic, then did this one, it's got Plusnet on it so should be ok;

 

 

speed test 1508b.JPG

 The way pages are loading at the moment I think even the last set of figures are optimistic.

 

I haven't managed to find or borrow  a hard wired phone to check for noise on the line, looks like I'm going to have to go and buy one. Ridiculous. Not happy.

woober
Grafter
Posts: 25
Thanks: 2
Registered: 12-08-2017

Slow and getting slower.

Thought I'd post a new thread asking for help rather than advice.

Managed to get hold of a hard wired phone and done a quiet test, no discernible noise but I am an old git with tinnitus.

BT speed test says I have a problem, didn't do the third part of the test as I couldn't get my username to change on the router.

 

speed test 1708a.JPG

 

I've seen speed tests here as low as 0.08Mbps down with latency of 2400ms, internet has never dropped but Chrome quite often pings up the page unresponsive message. Like most I work day hours, so all of this is around the 'busy' hours of 6pm to 9pm ish.

 

Could someone please offer some constructive advice, not a load of self help click boxes. I realise all the ISPs want is for everyone to be on fibre so they can collect the relevant revenue, the numbers suggest my line should support speeds of up to 2Mbps, I've never seen that with Plusnet. 

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 10,022
Thanks: 1,562
Fixes: 19
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Slow and getting slower.

There is no assurance that the 2Mbps figure is correct ... which is why (if you want help) other information was requested from you.  Other community members are just customers like yourself and only have access to information provided by you.  If you want help from community members, then you need to provide the requested information.

BT speed reports are just that - a report of what is happening at the time you run the test.  Such reports provide no reliable information on what the line should deliver.  Though the report implies a maximum speed of 2Mbps without the other information requested there is no assurance that figure is reasonable - it could be more, it could be less.

I have asked the mods to merge this new topic into the original one so that the information requested and provided can be seen in one place.  News that there is no discernible line noise if useful.  Sight of the router stats, speed profile and the speed estimates for your line from the other links provided will enable people to offer the help / advice you seek.

Moderator
Moderator
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Re: Slow and getting slower.

Moderator's note by Dick (Strat) Topics merged for the reason as stated by Townman above.

Customer and Forum Moderator.
Product of the Tyrell Corporation
woober
Grafter
Posts: 25
Thanks: 2
Registered: 12-08-2017

Re: Slow and getting slower.

I give in, I'm beaten.

Just spent 2 hours trying to get the RouterStats software to talk to my Plusnet (Sagem) 2704n router. Routerstats won't recognise the Plusnet helpdesk URL to enable me to get the data into it.  After a bit of www searching it appears as if the Plusnet version of this router is locked so as a lot of the options available on the parent router are not accessible and hence I can't monitor any router stats.

Looks like I've got limited options, pay more for what will most likely be a poorly performing fibre service or stick with my poorly performing broadband service. To take it further I could raise a ticket but the line would probably get checked during the day and as I've said before at quiet times the speeds are 'tolerable'.

Over and out.