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Are there any routers that actually work reliably with this service?

andyp24
Dabbler
Posts: 18
Registered: 2 weeks ago

Are there any routers that actually work reliably with this service?

Hi all

 

TLDR:  I had longstanding problems with the Plusnet Hub One router needing reboots when the TV service/Netflix etc froze, and it wasn't very good for Xbox gaming. Replaced it with BT Smart Hub 6, which worked flawlessly for months, but now disconnects from internet frequently. Is there anything else I can try - eg another router that is compatible with Plusnet Fibre and TV service? 

 

Full explanation:

 

I've been a long-time Plusnet customer, and upgraded to fibre with the TV service about 3 years ago I think. We get 30Mbs down and 7.5Mbs up, which is the fastest possible in our location (due to aluminium cable between us and the exchange, it's never going to get faster, Openreach have told me).

 

We used the HomeHub One that came from Plusnet for ages. For general web surfing it wasn't bad, but with TV, streaming services and my son's Xbox it was never very reliable. When watching the BT Sport channels or Netflix for example, it would frequently stop working, and the only solution was to reboot the router via the main switch and wait several minutes for it to reconnect again - not ideal when watching films, and very frustrating with live sport. The Xbox would "lag" frequently during gameplay - (you'd have to ask my son what that means!).

 

Plusnet's advice was to replace my Devolo HomePlugs with their recommended BT ones (even though the Xbox wasn't connected via HomePlugs). I did this, and it made absolutely no improvement to any of the problems - if anything the TV issues were more frequent.

 

 

A few months ago, I read on here that the BT Smart Hub 6 could be used with the Plusnet service including TV, so I bought one and installed/configured it. It worked wonders for the Xbox, but the TV would still sometimes stop, so I replaced the recommended BT HomePlugs with my original Devolo ones, and it was flawless. Not one single problem for about 6 months.

 

Until recently. A couple of weeks ago, the Smart Hub 6 started disconnecting from the Internet randomly. The first few times a reboot fixed it, but after that it disconnected and would not recover. I assumed for a short while that there was a problem at Plusnet, and decided to ring up and check. But I knew the first thing they'd say was that they couldn't support "non-recommended" equipment - even though it had been working far better than the recommended ones ever did. So I plugged in the old Hub One again, and to my surprise it connected fine, suggesting that the problem was "inside the house". 

 

I left it for a few days like that, and it stayed connected consistently, but we had the old problems of lagging and loss of  TV channels etc back as before. So I then Factory Reset the Smart Hub 6, set it up for Plusnet again, and it reconnected OK. But in the couple of days since then, it's disconnected itself briefly twice.

 

So, the upshot is: Plusnet's supplied equipment isn't actually good enough to deliver the service it offers. BT's Router and the Devolo HomePlugs are good enough, but for some reason the router has now started disconnecting frequently.

 

Is there anything else I can try? I need a router which actually works properly - ie can sustain the throughput for gaming, Netflix, BT sport etc without falling over and needing rebooting (unlike the Hub One), but can actually stay consistently connected to the Fibre broadband (unlike the Smart Hub 6). But obviously it has to be compatible with the Plusnet Service including TV. What are my options please?

 

Thanks

Andy

41 REPLIES
VileReynard
All Star
Posts: 11,430
Thanks: 343
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Registered: ‎01-09-2007

Re: Are there any routers that actually work reliably with this service?

Homeplugs give a variable performance - any chance of running a piece of ethernet cable - which is the only truly reliable type of connection.

Have you tried resetting the homeplugs (as a temporary attempt at a fix)?

andyp24
Dabbler
Posts: 18
Registered: 2 weeks ago

Re: Are there any routers that actually work reliably with this service?

Thanks for the reply.

 

Unfortunately, no, there's no possibility of running ethernet from where the router is (at the master socket).

 

Besides, the fundamental problem is not the HomePlugs. When the modem/router is working, the Devolo HomePlugs are fine. What has been happening in the last couple of weeks is that the Hub 6 disconnects itself from the Internet (light goes orange etc) and nothing works, whether it's via the HomePlug network or directly ethernetted into the router.

 

What I need is a modem/router which can reliably keep connected to the service, and reliably deliver the throughput for TV  / Xbox etc. The Hub One can only do the first of these, the SmartHub 6 can only (at the moment) do the second.

 

Does anyone know if the Asus DSL-AC66U works well with Plusnet / TV.... I've seen some users on the BT forum saying it's OK.

VileReynard
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Registered: ‎01-09-2007

Re: Are there any routers that actually work reliably with this service?

You can spend waste lots of money on modem/routers.

If you are connected to a rotten line, there may be no sensible fix.

If two separate routers have failed to connect to the BT line, then nothing short of going for cable (if it exists) is likely to fix your problem.

Unfortunately, routers are sold on their claimed wi-fi performance - and not on stability.

You could try some long phone calls with Plusnet to raise an intermittent fault, so that the BT can be forced to investigate if re-routing your line is possible?

Note:- the only bit of wiring that counts is that from the green box to your house. The rest of it back to the exchange will be actual optic fibre.

andyp24
Dabbler
Posts: 18
Registered: 2 weeks ago

Re: Are there any routers that actually work reliably with this service?

Thanks again. I've already been round the loop with PlusNet / Openreach several times with this one.... there is no spare capacity on the only other reachable green cabinet, so they cannot (or will not) re-route, and there is no plan to replace the aluminium cable between us and our cabinet about 0.5km away. (There is no Virgin cable within 3 miles of our street, so that's not an option either)

 

That said - this is the situation:

PlusNet Hub One - remains connected to Internet very stably. Devices such as laptops/phones connected via wifi, and NAS via ethernet continue working fine. IP services through the YouView box however frequently stop working, and Xbox gaming is "laggy". Router reboot is required to get the YV channels working again.

 

Smart Hub 6 - loses connection to VDSL service (orange light) frequently, causing everything over ethernet and wifi to stop. But when the Blue light is on, showing the internet connection is up, YouView services and Xbox work flawlessly.

 

To me, this suggests that the modem/router is the source of the problems. If the line was really dodgy, the Hub One would surely disconnect as often as the Hub 6 does (but it doesn't). If the HomePlug infrastructure wasn't OK, the TV channels should freeze as often for both routers (but they don't). The only change is swapping one modem/router for the other - one gives a stable internet connection but freezes up for the high-demand services like TV and gaming; the other gives great performance for those high-demand services until the internet connection drops off completely.

dws1900
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Registered: ‎17-09-2018

Re: Are there any routers that actually work reliably with this service?

@andyp24

 

Hi

1. Can you supply the line statistics from each of the routers?, with your modem(s) connected to the master socket with a filter.

2. Ask Plusnet for a printout of the line status (GEA test)

3. Are the problems related to a particular time(s)?

 

Liam_M
Newbie
Posts: 1
Registered: 2 weeks ago

Re: Are there any routers that actually work reliably with this service?

I am changing to Toople.com Broadband.

I am currently with Post Office broadband and was considering PlusNet but after seeing PlusNet's appalling reviews on TrustPilot, I have decided to go with Toople.

Having looked into them, Toople had an excellent TrustPilot score.

PlusNet's list was full bad reviews.   

VileReynard
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Posts: 11,430
Thanks: 343
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Registered: ‎01-09-2007

Re: Are there any routers that actually work reliably with this service?

You will still have the same piece of Aluminium wire and still be dealing with Openreach.

andyp24
Dabbler
Posts: 18
Registered: 2 weeks ago

Re: Are there any routers that actually work reliably with this service?

Hi all

 

@VileReynard the comments about moving to another ISP weren't mine, so your reply about the aluminium cable etc almost certainly doesn't apply to whoever wrote it. As it's the first post written by that user, who appears to have registered on the forum to say nothing other than they're moving to Toople, I suspect a bot of some kind.

 

@dws1900 Thanks for the reply. I'll certainly try and post stats if I can. Here's what I get from the BT router at the moment. (Some fields removed for security)  Does this give any clues why it might be suffering internet disconnections? I can try and get stats from the other router at another time if it's important (although ideally I'll get this one working reliably, as it's great when it's connected). I can also try at another time to get the printout you suggest from Plusnet. No time-of-day correlation to disconnections that I've noticed. As I said, it worked flawlessly (zero disconnections) for 6 months approx, and then suddenly became unusable.

 

Cheers

Andy

 

Product Name:

BT Hub 6A

*************

SG4B1000B540

05-Feb-2019

1.0

1.64.0

0 Days, 5 Hours 11 Minutes 56 Seconds

7.76 Mbps / 30.00 Mbps

7756 / 35027

6.2 dB / 8.6 dB

26.3 dB

 

0/38

G_993_2_ANNEX_B

Fast Path

20653 MB Uploaded / 69949 MB Downloaded

 
*********@plusdsl.net

Not active

Plusnet*****

Channel 6

Plusnet***** different SSID from 2.4GHz name

Channel 36

WPA2 (Recommended)

Mode 1

On

************

-

7.33.1

dws1900
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Registered: ‎17-09-2018

Re: Are there any routers that actually work reliably with this service?

@andyp24

 

Hi

I think the SNR is a bit high, this may be due to a number of issues that your modem will not be able to determine, hence the

request to get a GEA printout. The test can detect other issues such as crosstalk and interference which may affect your service.

Remember, adsl/vdsl uses radio signals, it's not total fibre.

The request to try the other modem was for comparison purposes, if you get similar figures then you either have two defective modems, unlikely and unlucky, or it may be a line/dslam issue.

 

 

andyp24
Dabbler
Posts: 18
Registered: 2 weeks ago

Re: Are there any routers that actually work reliably with this service?

Sure, I can swap modems again tomorrow - just have to find a gap where the kids aren't watching stuff!

 

Thanks for the help.

VileReynard
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Posts: 11,430
Thanks: 343
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Registered: ‎01-09-2007

Re: Are there any routers that actually work reliably with this service?

Note that:-

6.2 dB / 8.6 dB

This is commonly abbreviated as SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio) - which is wrong.

Generally a low Noise margin indicates a good quality line, although it will be sensitive to noise; A higher Noise margin will be more stable on poor quality lines - but is likely to run at slower speeds and have a higher latency (ping time).

So you might want to increase that download noise margin.

dws1900
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Registered: ‎17-09-2018

Re: Are there any routers that actually work reliably with this service?

@VileReynard

@andyp24

 

Re SNR.

I think that the Plusnet hub, and probably most domestic modem/routers, adjustment of the snr thresholds is not possible.

I can do it on my Vigor, however, since transferring to vdsl from adsl, I left it to its own devices.

Currently its 3db on the DL, 6db on UL (huawei dslam) which usually drops DL from 6db to 3-4dB on connection.

My line has 30dB attenuation 1.5k from the dslam,  according to multiple GEA's.

Currently sync is 22Mbs, downloading is 20Mbs.

@andyp24 appears to be closer, so the un-congested dl/ul speed should be higher until later on when the congestion starts Sad

Never seen unplanned  disconnects for a while , approaching 100 hours (I powered it down during the week to reconfigure the power) 

In addition, internal wiring from the masterbox is CW1308 2pair cable.

 

VileReynard
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Posts: 11,430
Thanks: 343
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Registered: ‎01-09-2007

Re: Are there any routers that actually work reliably with this service?

I think you'd have to arrange for Plusnet/BT to modify noise margins (up or down).

dws1900
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Posts: 115
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Registered: ‎17-09-2018

Re: Are there any routers that actually work reliably with this service?

@VileReynard

 

Possibly, however when I commissioned my line, I used the PN hub for ten days as stated in the PN documentation, the snr's may have been tweaked via TR069, it disconnected a few times in the early mornings.

As there is no snmp capability I could not track it in the monitoring system.

When I did log in and looked at the troubleshooting page, the snrs were about the same as the Vigor's 

 

@andyp24

You mentioned the wiring was aluminium, how did you find this out?, and how old are the lines?