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Router noise overhead shock

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Router noise overhead shock

Trying to discover the cause of my periodic loss of sync problem, a BT broadband engineer came to carry out some line tests this morning (PN's earlier woosh test and BT's own remote line test had previously reported that my line tested at 49 and 50dB respectively, ie over the limit for 2Mb).

The engineer tested the line at the extension I normally use (not the master) and declared it well within 2Mb spec at 38dB. He then took another test using my Netgear DG824M router plugged into the same extension and found that it was adding 12dB - hence the previous high remote test results. (All my other bits and pieces - eg Sky TV modem, 56k fax modem and cordless phone system - were plugged in and active throughout all his testing btw.)

He said that a router should add no more than 2 or 3dB noise overhead and advised me to get a different one. I told him I had already tested three different routers during the latest prolonged sync failure two weekends ago and none had managed to get me connected. He suggested trying Belkin or D-Link.

I am concerned that I could shell out for a stream of routers, none of which does any better than the 12dB overhead of the Netgear (and it does need to be a lot better in order to get down to the BT recommended 43dB). And since the sync problem isn't continuous, I might not find out that a new router wasn't cutting the mustard until several weeks had elapsed - along with all chance of a refund. Can I therefore ask PN to carry out a woosh test as soon as I buy a new router to see if the result is better? If not, I can send it straight back for a refund. I don't know of any other way to get to grips with this problem.

I've raised a query with Netgear but it's an email system and can take a week or more to get an answer.

Any other thoughts?

Simon
36 REPLIES
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Router noise overhead shock

My experience has always proven that you get what you pay for as this is especially true of ADSL routers.

You might want to have a look at Draytek - they are not the cheapest, but I have one on my line and it is top notch stuff.

Also worth noting that - draytek do what they call a "UK2" version of their firmware - taken from the readme file inside the firmwire download on www.draytek.co.uk

"The special 'UK2' version of the firmware is only for use where the standard firmware cannot sync. reliably on your ADSL line, for example on very long line with high attenuation. Use the standard firmware otherwise. To obtain the 'UK2' firmware, download it separately from the web site."

This may just be the router which sorts you out and allows you to get the full 2Mb on your line. Certainly worth a shot in my opinion!
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Router noise overhead shock

Simon,

I have pm'd you on this one.

Whilst not doubting the BT guy it would be of interest to me and netgear to delve into this a bit more.

we have found that the DG834 series with updated firmware will generally reduce snr. A Netgear router increasing snr is not good news.
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Router noise overhead shock

I'd be interested to see the outcomes also, can you post statuse reports for us?
(I guess others may also be interested as the DG834xx seems a polular choice...)
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Router noise overhead shock

Hi James,

This behaviour should not be exhibited on an 834 with current firmware.I have yet to see an incidence of increased snr with this kit.

I cant vouch just as strongly for the 824. But will dig further (with Simon's permission) to get an answer.

I am not in any way saying the BT guy is wrong but the fact that about three other routers made no difference is making me doubt the reasoning.
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Router noise overhead shock

After a house move, my Netgear router wouldn't synch over a line, which was just inside the limits for a 1Mbs connection, whereas a BT Voyager 105 would connect.
Fortunately it was proved that there was a fault on the line, which once rectified would in theory allow the support of a 2Mbs connection (tested by BT engineer from my house)
Following the connection and evidence that my line would support a 2Mbs connection, a Whoosh test showed that my line would not be capable of a 2Mbs connection.
Whilst the whoosh test was done, my DG834 was connected, I'm wondering now if it could be something similar, as the BT guy got his stats for my line, and confirmed its capability using his Voyager 105 Modem.
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Router noise overhead shock

Quote
My experience has always proven that you get what you pay for as this is especially true of ADSL routers.

You might want to have a look at Draytek - they are not the cheapest, but I have one on my line and it is top notch stuff.

I may well do so. But unless you too are on a borderline ADSL line, I guess that most routers would appear to be doing a good job. A 12dB noise overhead sounds bad - but you wouldn't notice any problem unless your line was above 30dB without the router. Do manufacturers publish their noise overhead tolerances within the specs? At least now I'm able to tell, with the help of a woosh test, exactly how much overhead the router is adding.

Simon
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Router noise overhead shock

I will certainly post here any further news or discoveries. I should add that the BT engineer double-checked his findings by running two separate tests (twice each - once on the extension, once on the router). One was the standard woosh test and the other was the superior (he said) APTS test. Both tests produced identical results which he said confirmed that my router was killing my line (and presumably has done so since my intermittent sync problems first started at the end of 2003 (although my recent sync outage two weekends ago - after the storm - was a real shocker).

Simon
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Router noise overhead shock

Just from personal experience my DG834 seems to add less noise than my other router (Solwise SAR715).
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Router noise overhead shock

Hi Simon,

I'm off for week and half from tomorrow, but if you PM Ben when you've got the new router he should be able woosh the line for you.
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Router noise overhead shock

Thanks, Dave.

Simon
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Router noise overhead shock

Quote
I cant vouch just as strongly for the 824. But will dig further (with Simon's permission) to get an answer.

Permission granted, Mark - like a shot.

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I am not in any way saying the BT guy is wrong but the fact that about three other routers made no difference is making me doubt the reasoning.

To be fair, three routers in total have been tested on my line and two of them were the same model, ie DG824M. The third was an Apple Airport Base Station purchased in 2001 and I was never really happy with that for a number of other reasons including PITA configuration and frequent dropouts even on my old 56k line.

Simon
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Router noise overhead shock

Quote
Quote
My experience has always proven that you get what you pay for as this is especially true of ADSL routers.

You might want to have a look at Draytek - they are not the cheapest, but I have one on my line and it is top notch stuff.

I may well do so. But unless you too are on a borderline ADSL line, I guess that most routers would appear to be doing a good job. A 12dB noise overhead sounds bad - but you wouldn't notice any problem unless your line was above 30dB without the router. Do manufacturers publish their noise overhead tolerances within the specs? At least now I'm able to tell, with the help of a woosh test, exactly how much overhead the router is adding.

Simon


Any equipment adding 12db of noise is not good equipment in my books. For your information, i don't know if I would be classified as "borderline" ADSL. I do know I was one of the last group of people to get broadband because before September 2004, BT reported that my line was "too long to support ADSL" - when they then relaxed the distance restrictions, that's when I was then able to dump my 28.8 modem dialup of 5 years Smiley

www.samknows.com says I'm 3.5Km from my exchange and my Draytek reports that the down stream MAX rate it would be able to obtain is 3840000 bps (even though I'm currently still only syncing at 576000 bps) - this 3840000 figure also seems to fluctuate up and down a bit, depending on the line quality/noise conditions of the line etc.

It also reports this:

NE Current Attenuation : 60.0 dB Cur SNR Margin : 13.0 dB
Far Current Attenuation : 31.5 dB Far SNR Margin : 21.0 dB

I very rarely get dropouts and the link is solid. It will be interesting to see what speed increase I get next month (assuming BT stick to their schedule). I believe the figures above are only good enough for a 1Mb line but I've read on here that BT will be relaxing the attenuation conditions on that too soon so maybe I'll get 2Mb - who knows Smiley

PS: I'm not even using the UK2 draytek firmware either. The standard firmware does the job.
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Buy a BT branded router

I would have thought that the answer is to buy a BT branded router rather than wasting money on other pot-luck brands.

Alternatively, buy your router from your ISP.
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Router noise overhead shock

Because its BT branded does not make it good. Draytek and Netgear equipment could not in anyones terms be classed as "pot luck" kit.

They, by far, out class anything that BT markets.