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Is there a better router out there?

Merluza
Grafter
Posts: 35
Registered: 05-06-2011

Is there a better router out there?

I'm still using the Thomson router I was sent when I joined up, it still trundles along at the same speed it did all those years ago and that's the problem, it trundles. My download speeds have never been anything to brag about but they're ok, just. I am again starting to wonder if a different router would improve performance and if so which?
Am I kidding myself here when the reason is the old copper wiring I still have to rely on or can I make it better? All replies and opinions, and recommendations, gratefully received.
36 REPLIES
cedlor
Grafter
Posts: 687
Thanks: 2
Registered: 02-04-2015

Re: Is there a better router out there?

Which router do you have and what firmware issue does it have - maybe post your stats as well, and a BTW speed test result.
Merluza
Grafter
Posts: 35
Registered: 05-06-2011

Re: Is there a better router out there?

How do I get these?
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,030
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Is there a better router out there?

SteadVex
Grafter
Posts: 40
Registered: 17-08-2014

Re: Is there a better router out there?

pretty much any router will be better!
there's often deals on tp-link ones for under £30 if you use any wireless devices you won't regret changing the router Wink depending on your needs you can get a decent one from £18 delivered
if its of any use I bought this cheap one for work as we had a BT Business Hub which required rebooting almost daily, this has 7 wired devices via a dumb humb, and between 4 and 25 wifi devices connected at anyone time, including some on an isolated guest Wi-Fi network, remains rock solid for months on end Smiley in my instance line speed went from 3.5mb/s  to 8mb/s, again its more so the poor quality bt hub

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008I3GCNU
a friend of mine who's not with plusnet but has the same Thomson  router that plusnet supply, his line speed went from 0.8mb/s to just under 4mb/s by changing the router! to be fair, they had been using theirs for a few years too

if your confident logging into the router to enter a password i'd recommend changing  Cheesy
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 12,592
Thanks: 3,867
Fixes: 25
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Is there a better router out there?

No router can do better than the limitations set by the line - it depends on what the issue is.  Your comment reminds me of sales patter I heard from a young buck in PC World extolling the virtues of 54Mbps wifi to a clearly non-tech savvy mother. "He will be able to game much better with this router, though you'll also need to upgrade the wifi cards in the PCs too...".  I should mention that this was back in the days of when only the very best of phone lines could get any service approaching 8Mbps.  There is no point spending money on a better router if the line is running at its full potential and the router is not actually the limiting factor.
@Merluza,
Please post the information requested by Jim so that we can see what the real problem is before you go wasting money on something you might not need.
Merluza
Grafter
Posts: 35
Registered: 05-06-2011

Re: Is there a better router out there?

Thanks for the info so far, I tried to get the stats but they kept timing out!! I'll have another go. The download and upload speeds are remarkably constant but slower than I know they can be. At present they show around 4.5 Mbs down and .9 up. A few years ago this was 6-7. I'll try again to get some stats.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 12,592
Thanks: 3,867
Fixes: 25
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Is there a better router out there?

That's interesting in itself!  What's timing out?  Which Thompson router?
You ought to be able to get the router stats without difficulty.  Are you connected via a wire or wifi to the router?
Merluza
Grafter
Posts: 35
Registered: 05-06-2011

Re: Is there a better router out there?

The stats that timed out were the BT speedtest ones, they ran snappily enough then gave me the timeout message just before the upload test completed. I'm away from the router at the moment but I'm pretty sure it's the Thomson 585v7, it's going on for 4 years old now and hasn't had any firmware updates as I'm using a Mac and you can't install these directly I believe. I'm connected by wire and the router runs from an old style BT phone jack.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 12,592
Thanks: 3,867
Fixes: 25
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Is there a better router out there?

The 585v7 is a bit long in the tooth and I think somewhat more than 4 years old!
PlusNET might be able to do a remote firmware upgrade. Usually a request on here is all that's required.
Merluza
Grafter
Posts: 35
Registered: 05-06-2011

Re: Is there a better router out there?

It's a Thomson 585 v8.
This is published on the High Speed Broadband page
Estimated line speed:
There's no speed estimate currently held on your account.
Current line speed:
4.8 Mb
A speed test comes in just under that. In terms of stats I don't know what stats you may be wanting or how to find them. The info from Oldjim only takes me to speed testers and the speed is always close to 4.5 up and between .5 and .9 down. I don't think there is anything wrong with the connection, it's stable but it's just slow, Plusnet won't agree, they tend not to, it's well within their acceptable limits I'm sure. I can live with this for the time being but I would like something closer to what is offered, and have had it previously, if there is anything that PN could do, such as the firmware update, fine, if they are looking please do it. I don't want to buy another router but once they supply the router it seems we are together for life, and it is ageing alongside me, and no updated routers ever appear or are offered for sale.
SteadVex
Grafter
Posts: 40
Registered: 17-08-2014

Re: Is there a better router out there?

Quote from: Townman
No router can do better than the limitations set by the line - it depends on what the issue is.  Your comment reminds me of sales patter I heard from a young buck in PC World extolling the virtues of 54Mbps wifi to a clearly non-tech savvy mother. "He will be able to game much better with this router, though you'll also need to upgrade the wifi cards in the PCs too...".  I should mention that this was back in the days of when only the very best of phone lines could get any service approaching 8Mbps.  There is no point spending money on a better router if the line is running at its full potential and the router is not actually the limiting factor.
@Merluza,
Please post the information requested by Jim so that we can see what the real problem is before you go wasting money on something you might not need.

apologies, but wasn't the original post asking if there is a better router, and basically, there are a lot of better routers, I've never seen an ISP supplied router that can sustain a good high quality connection with the exception of Sky Routers & BT Open Reach Modem's, the Thompson one is just a dire piece of equipment, its built to a price, and that price is cheap. What I said may sound like an idiot saying sales, but its based on countless times of replacing said Thompson routers with better quality ones, ideally its nice to try a different one first I agree, but stats from one router alone don't mean much in my book, although, tis a starting point I agree!  Smiley
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 12,592
Thanks: 3,867
Fixes: 25
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Is there a better router out there?

The context of the question was ... Because it only trundles along.
There is an implied assumption that a different router will do better in the absence of any evidence that the other limiting factors have the capacity to do better.  There is little point in spending hard earned cash on a 'better' router only to find it can go no faster due to the limitations of the line - the distance from the exchange for example.  Personally I'd want to know that having spent cash, I'll see benefit from it.  Until recent years I have always bought my own routers - you get nowt worth having for free - until I had particularly bad problems on a line and I was persuaded to take a PN router as a reference.  To my surprise, it performed well, delivering better xDSL synch than anything else I'd used.  Indeed after the firmware upgrade its running my line well above expectations at 3dB.  XDSL stability is excellent - indeed I was gutted by a recent xDSL 'failure' just 20-30 days short of a 500 day continious uninterrupted xDSL session.  With an attenuation over 50dB I'm never going to see much over 5.5Mbps no matter how good the router might be.
@Merluza,
Look here for access details for router stats - http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/frogstats.php
nickplus
Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: 08-12-2015

Re: Is there a better router out there?

I've just upgraded from the old Thomson TG585 v7 router to a shiny new (approx. £45) TP-link TD-W9970 and my speed doubled and is solid with none of the wireless dropouts (on a clear channel 6), manual modem re-starts etc. No changes to copper.  There are other cheaper modems, but it has been the best £45 I have spent in a long time. Suffered for ages before this, thinking it was the copper.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 12,592
Thanks: 3,867
Fixes: 25
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Is there a better router out there?

Each person's situation will be different - in your case it does sound as though wifi performance might have been your limiting factor.  Certainly the Thomson routers do not compare well to the 'best' routers in respect of WiFi, but for many they are more than adequate.  Wifi being the limiting factor can be easily tested by comparing relative performance when connected via wif to being connected by Ethernet to the router.