cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

FTTC installation - PlusNet router wifi is appalling

redtela
Grafter
Posts: 28
Thanks: 2
Registered: 28-05-2015

FTTC installation - PlusNet router wifi is appalling

First things first, I'm a new FTTC customer, paying for 80/20 unlimited. I know full well that I've only had an active account for a few days and that the IP profile is still settling down.
As a new customer, I thought it was a little odd that the PlusNet router comes with instructions of where/how to plug it into the Openreach modem, yet PlusNet didn't include said modem in the package. The OpenReach engineer chirpily remarked "PlusNet are the only ones that don't provide the modem for some reason,  let me grab you one from the van..."
Hey ho, installation went smoothly.
Once installed (knowing that the IP profile wouldn't allow full speed), I was curious, so I ran a speed test. 35Mbps I think it was. Not what I'm paying for, but impressive, and I'll let the profile settle before querying.
A few days later (today), I ran a speed test again on my phone. 2Mbps. What? Let me run that again. 1.4Mbps. What?!? So I ran the speed test from my PC, 39Mbps. Hmm... I accept that LAN is 100Mbit, and WiFi (for me) is 54Mbit, but that doesn't explain the difference.
Luckily, I have an old Linksys cable modem that I've previously flashed to run DDWRT. So I set that up to & connected uplink to LAN3 on the PlusNet router, and enabled WiFi on the Linksys. Let me be clear here, I'm adding a network hop! I then wired the PC into the back of the Linksys for a fair comparison.
Phone: 39Mbps or thereabout.
PC: 39Mbps or thereabout.
I then connected my phone to the PlusNet router WiFi, less than 4 Mbps. Connect back to the Linksys, just short of 40Mbps again. No other changes made, other than a different router (again, adding a hop!). When connected to the Linksys, I see ping RTT values of roughly 20-45ms (perfectly fine). When connected to the PlusNet router WiFi, I see ping RTTs in the region of 250ms!
I've also reproduced the same findings using my laptop, and the OH's laptop. And my son's tablet, and my tablet. NOTHING is capable of getting more than 10Mbps out of the PlusNet router, but happily pulls 4x that from the Linksys. I'm serious considering replacing the PlusNet router with the Linksys & getting rid of the hop.
For clarity (and before the trolls start): If I walk out of my front gate & throw a stone, I could break a window on the exchange.
@PlusNet support (if they read the forums): what the hell is going on with the default options for WiFi on your router? (I assume it's another Alcatel under the branding - I've not had a look yet).
23 REPLIES
AshPowell
Grafter
Posts: 46
Registered: 28-05-2015

Re: FTTC installation - PlusNet router wifi is appalling

Can you not connect your Linksys router to the Openreach modem via PPPoE? (if it has that functionality), then no need for the Plusnet Router.
Just to note.. I had my fibre installed not too long ago, and the Openreach engineer bought the modem in with him.. Every time I've had fibre that's whats happened, so I think that's the standard way.
Hopefully your Linksys router supports PPPoE to sort your problem with plusnet router WiFi range
Highlighted
redtela
Grafter
Posts: 28
Thanks: 2
Registered: 28-05-2015

Re: FTTC installation - PlusNet router wifi is appalling

Quote from: AshPowell
Can you not connect your Linksys router to the Openreach modem via PPPoE? (if it has that functionality), then no need for the Plusnet Router.

It does, which is why I said I'm considering swapping the PlusNet router for the Linksys & removing the added hop. However, that means re-running a few cables.
I have the knowledge to do that, you by the sounds do, but most of PlusNet's customers probably won't, unfortunately.
pwatson
Rising Star
Posts: 2,468
Thanks: 8
Fixes: 1
Registered: 26-11-2012

Re: FTTC installation - PlusNet router wifi is appalling

Some corrections and clarifications:
Quote from: redtela
The OpenReach engineer chirpily remarked "PlusNet are the only ones that don't provide the modem for some reason,  let me grab you one from the van..."

This is incorrect - BTOR supply the modem, it's their property.  Some other ISPs (notably BT and Sky) now supply combined modem/routers
Quote from: redtela
so I ran a speed test. 35Mbps I think it was. Not what I'm paying for, but impressive, and I'll let the profile settle before querying.

This isn't down to 'profile settling' - I'd suspect that you've been provsioned on the 40Mbps product by mistake.  Contact Plusnet to resolve
Quote from: redtela
WiFi (for me) is 54Mbit,

The maximum throughput of 802.11g is actually around 22Mbps (not that this is responsible for the very poor performance you're experiencing)
Quote from: redtela
I'm adding a network hop!

Assuming you are connecting the routers together via LAN ports (rather than PN LAN > Linksys WAN) you are not introducing another hop.
Quote from: redtela
For clarity (and before the trolls start): If I walk out of my front gate & throw a stone, I could break a window on the exchange.

This is irrelevant for FTTC, the relevant distance is from you to your cabinet.

As others have said, either swap the PN router for the Linksys (not sure why you need to re-run cables?), try a different wireless channel and then (if this is no better) report the PN router as faulty...
redtela
Grafter
Posts: 28
Thanks: 2
Registered: 28-05-2015

Re: FTTC installation - PlusNet router wifi is appalling

Quote from: pwatson
Some corrections and clarifications:

Ah, the "I know better than you" troll...still... I'll play along.
Quote from: pwatson
This is incorrect - BTOR supply the modem, it's their property.  Some other ISPs (notably BT and Sky) now supply combined modem/routers.

Irrelevant. At no point in ANY communication from PlusNet was it specified that the OpenReach modem would be provided by the attending OpenReach engineer. The modem is a pre-requisite of a successful connection.
Quote from: pwatson
This isn't down to 'profile settling' - I'd suspect that you've been provsioned on the 40Mbps product by mistake.  Contact Plusnet to resolve

Absolutely no point, as according to PN literature there's nothing they can do until the profile has settled. Also, this link shows I'm sync'd at 77.4Mbps: https://portal.plus.net/my.html?action=data_transfer_speed
Quote from: pwatson
The maximum throughput of 802.11g is actually around 22Mbps (not that this is responsible for the very poor performance you're experiencing)

No, that would be the "estimated real world throughput" that you're talking about. If it was indeed the maximum, then my speed test results are physically impossible. See this link for a pretty comprehensive explanation: http://www.speedguide.net/faq/what-is-the-actual-real-life-speed-of-wireless-374.
I was practically sitting on top of the router while running the tests. 0 metre distance between phone/tablet and the PlusNet router.
Quote from: pwatson
Assuming you are connecting the routers together via LAN ports (rather than PN LAN > Linksys WAN) you are not introducing another hop.

That's funny, because tracert tells me that there is an extra hop there. My Laptop IP is 10.0.0.101, which as I presume you're aware, is not served by the PlusNet router DHCPd. Given that NAT is required to get me from 10.x.x.x to 192.168.1.x networks, then yes, there is indeed an extra hop added.
Quote from: pwatson
This is irrelevant for FTTC, the relevant distance is from you to your cabinet.

Again, not quite accurate. Given that a fault may occur at any point along the line. But still, you bit.
Quote from: pwatson
As others have said, either swap the PN router for the Linksys (not sure why you need to re-run cables?), try a different wireless channel and then (if this is no better) report the PN router as faulty...

One other, not plural. Also, you don't know why I need to re-run cables because you've no idea of the network setup within my house. There's no point in trying a different channel, since the PlusNet router is configured by default to auto-select channel (as is my Linksys running DDWRT).
Yet further, the point of the OP was that the PlusNet WiFi is rubbish (in my experience, YMMV). A customer should not be expected to swap provided equipment with their own just to get "better than abysmal" speeds.
g1000
Grafter
Posts: 186
Thanks: 1
Registered: 08-03-2014

Re: FTTC installation - PlusNet router wifi is appalling

39 Mbps download speed is impossibly high on 802.11g/54 Mbps data rate.
It also seems far too low for a wired connection on your line.
Something is amiss there, perhaps you can try the BT Wholesale speed tester (off-peak and wired to begin with) to get some results and check the BTw IP profile. I would solve the wired issues first before tackling the wireless, though I personally have had no problems getting 74 Mbps download speed using that Plusnet router (it is a Sagemcom 2704N using Broadcom wireless) on devices inc laptops, phones, tablet.
pwatson
Rising Star
Posts: 2,468
Thanks: 8
Fixes: 1
Registered: 26-11-2012

Re: FTTC installation - PlusNet router wifi is appalling

redtela - I posted in the spirit of being helpful to both you and others that may read your post. 
- Modem supply - The BTOR engineer lied.  PN do not supply the modem (irrespective of whether they explicitly tell you this)
- Speed proflle - Either there's an error in the product or there's a fault on your line.  It will not come good on it's own...
- Using an extra router as a WAP - Disable the DHCP server on the secondary router, set its management IP address to something in the same subnet as the primary router LAN (but outside the DHCP scope) and plug the routers together LAN<>LAN.  Effect - No NAT, no network hop...
- FTTC line length - Speed is governed by the length of the line from you to the cabinet, not to the exchange.  If a fault on your line between the cabinet and the exchange causes noise etc then this can impact FTTC speed but, assuming your line is quiet, it should have no effect.
You have two issues:
Speed - <40Mb down is wrong and should be reported.  What upload speed do you get?
Wifi - The massive ping time points to a fault with the device rather than basic router wireless performance. 

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,279
Thanks: 28
Fixes: 4
Registered: 22-06-2012

Re: FTTC installation - PlusNet router wifi is appalling


Quote
At no point in ANY communication from PlusNet was it specified that the OpenReach modem would be provided by the attending OpenReach engineer.

See below a small extract from the PN fibre installation guide, just copied from the PN website. Hope that this helps to clarify matters

Quote
A new BT fibre modem (the engineer will bring this) will be plugged directly into your master socket. You'll then just need to plug your new fibre router into this with one of the included yellow Ethernet cables. The engineer will then be able to answer any questions you have.

Re the router wifi, there are numerous threads on the forum referring to the poor wifi. Personally I changed to an Asus router 3 years ago.
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 1,932
Thanks: 16
Fixes: 3
Registered: 24-07-2014

Re: FTTC installation - PlusNet router wifi is appalling

Having read through this thread, I confirm sync is 80Mbit.
Wireless is different, and whilst I'm not aware of any problems with the router, this could be a problem with your unit, or it might just be something that can be improved with a setting change.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Tony T
 Plusnet Help Team
redtela
Grafter
Posts: 28
Thanks: 2
Registered: 28-05-2015

Re: FTTC installation - PlusNet router wifi is appalling

Quote from: pwatson
- Modem supply - The BTOR engineer lied. 

Rather a bold statement, considering you weren't there. The engineers remark, as I previously posted, was "PlusNet are the only ones that don't provide the modem for some reason,  let me grab you one from the van..." - I personally fail to see how that is a lie...
Quote from: pwatson
Using an extra router as a WAP - Disable the DHCP server on the secondary router, set its management IP address to something in the same subnet as the primary router LAN (but outside the DHCP scope) and plug the routers together LAN<>LAN.  Effect - No NAT, no network hop...

I am well aware of how to convert the DDWRT Linksys into a hub. Whilst there would be no "hop" at OSI Level 3, there is still a hop at Level 2. Somewhat of a misnomer, but worth clarifying, in case it's of help to others etc...
Irrespective, traditional logic states that adding a hop increases RTT, reducing bandwidth as a consequence. I was point out that the inverse is actually true in this case.
Quote from: pwatson
- FTTC line length - Speed is governed by the length of the line from you to the cabinet, not to the exchange.  If a fault on your line between the cabinet and the exchange causes noise etc then this can impact FTTC speed but, assuming your line is quiet, it should have no effect.

Again, slight inaccuracy. Speed is governed by the fault rate along the entire network path between my device and whatever remote device I'm talking to, not solely on the distance from the cabinet to the master socket (FYI: The cabinet is just the other side of my front hedge). A faulty device in my local exchange, in Manchester, London, New York or anywhere else can cause speed issues (anyone remember the BGP-overwrite issue that wiped out large areas of the Internet briefly a few years ago?). Absolutely anything that increases fault rate, increases CRC re-transmission (or in the case of UDP, increases packets dropped). The length of copper from me to the cabinet is only one factor in that (due to the fact that resistance = resistivity x length, increases in resistance above a given threshold start to introduce errors, before the signal finally decays). Fibre is immune to that factor because it doesn't use an electrical signal.
Now, I trust that points made are clear to the readers at home...
....
Quote from: tijara33
See below a small extract from the PN fibre installation guide...

Many thanks, given your comment I have just searched for the Fibre FAQ, and found the text you mention in the "what happens on the day" question. I still personally believe it should be openly stated, rather than having a customer go hunting. Maybe it's also in the instruction booklet that came with the PlusNet router - I'll agree not to quibble about that, after-all, it's in the past.
...
Quote from: g1000
39 Mbps download speed is impossibly high on 802.11g/54 Mbps data rate.

You'd think so wouldn't you? It transpires that it's unlikely, rather than impossible. But I just went to check, and the PlusNet router claims to be capable of b/g/n... yet it clear isn't doing all that well. The Linksys is rather aged (with a whopping 2Mb RAM), so has a mini DDWRT installed - combined with the chipset, it's only capable of G, but seems rather happy to run flat out (at least for short bursts).
Quote from: g1000
perhaps you can try the BT Wholesale speed tester (off-peak and wired to begin with)

More hassle than it's worth at this stage (faffing around with the auth credentials in the PlusNet router WAN settings). However, if the line speed issue continues, I will be doing that prior to raising a support ticket.
...
Quote from: plusnettony
Having read through this thread, I confirm sync is 80Mbit.

Many thanks for checking. I've just run another test & seen a very slight improvement (wired connection was a little over 41Mbps down). Ping RTT seems fairly stable at 14ms. At the end of the day, the speed is far superior to the PlusNet ADSL broadband we were on before, so I'm happy to sit on it & see what happens. If it continues for more than a week or so, I'll raise a support ticket to look into it.
Re the router: It'd be lovely to have a log output on the thing (or better yet, full shell access to poke around). But I see that the router has a "Wifi Enabled" option... that may be the setting that I end up toggling if it's not going to get used.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,279
Thanks: 28
Fixes: 4
Registered: 22-06-2012

Re: FTTC installation - PlusNet router wifi is appalling

Quote
I'll agree not to quibble about that, after-all, it's in the past.

Wow, that's extremely magnanimous of you: not only is it in the past, it's also in black & white.  Cool
pwatson
Rising Star
Posts: 2,468
Thanks: 8
Fixes: 1
Registered: 26-11-2012

Re: FTTC installation - PlusNet router wifi is appalling

Questions:
In each case, use the BT wholesale speedtest at http://speedtest.btwholesale.com/ (No router reconfiguration is required)
What speed do you get with a PC (configured for PPPoE)  plugged straight into the OR modem?
What speed do you get (wired) using a PC and the PN router?
What speed do you get (wired) using a PC and the Linksys router plugged into the OR modem? (The 40Mb throughput may be a limitation of this device?)
g1000
Grafter
Posts: 186
Thanks: 1
Registered: 08-03-2014

Re: FTTC installation - PlusNet router wifi is appalling

Quote from: redtela
Quote from: g1000
39 Mbps download speed is impossibly high on 802.11g/54 Mbps data rate.

You'd think so wouldn't you? It transpires that it's unlikely, rather than impossible.

It is a fact that it is impossible. It is far in excess of even the theoretical maximum throughput that can be achieved: http://www.qca.qualcomm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Atheros_range_whitepaper_whitepaper.pdf
Quote from: redtela
Quote from: g1000
perhaps you can try the BT Wholesale speed tester (off-peak and wired to begin with)

More hassle than it's worth at this stage (faffing around with the auth credentials in the PlusNet router WAN settings). However, if the line speed issue continues, I will be doing that prior to raising a support ticket.

As another has said, no reconfiguration of the router is needed. In the meantime, Plusnet checked the sync for you and confirmed it is full speed. With the unexpected results you have even without using the Plusnet wifi, I think it would be wise to start troubleshooting in the manner pwatson suggests.
redtela
Grafter
Posts: 28
Thanks: 2
Registered: 28-05-2015

Re: FTTC installation - PlusNet router wifi is appalling

Quote from: pwatson
What speed do you get with a PC (configured for PPPoE)  plugged straight into the OR modem?
What speed do you get (wired) using a PC and the PN router?
What speed do you get (wired) using a PC and the Linksys router plugged into the OR modem? (The 40Mb throughput may be a limitation of this device?)

1st & 2nd tests requires a longer cable than I currently have available (though if needs be, I'll make one on Monday when I'm back in the office).
3nd requires tinkering with the settings on the Linksys. I do accept your speculation re the bottleneck, but I've previously used this very device at work, where it was in use as a WiFi bridge to conduct performance testing & comparisons between LT2P and PPTP. I've seen this Linksys device establish LAN <->WAN link speeds (including the hop) of 100Mbit.
All of this is also getting away from the point. *IF* it transpires that there is a fault with my line, the appropriate place to discuss that is with PlusNet support directly - not this forum. As I have repeatedly stated, if I feel the need to raise a ticket, I'll do so. I'll also conduct a variety of tests to furnish PlusNet support with appropriate details when raising the ticket (I think it's clear from my posts by now that I'm not a stereotypical home user).
Quote from: g1000
It is a fact that it is impossible. It is far in excess of even the theoretical maximum throughput that can be achieved: http://www.qca.qualcomm.c...whitepaper_whitepaper.pdf

*sigh* Qualcomm whitepaper is hardly scientific fact. Mostly because it's heavily biased (notice how their Ath chipsets are at the top of the graphs??) Here, let me show you a few more links on the subject:
http://classroom.synonym.com/theoretical-maximum-throughput-wifi-18050.html
http://its.uiowa.edu/support/article/2168
And finally, because you appear to believe I am doing the impossible, I've just been in the shell on the Linksys to determine the chipset and probe the settings. It transpires that it's using "Afterburner" which is a variant of "Super G" on the Broadcom chipset. See this link for a discussion on the two:
http://www.tomsguide.com/us/linksys-wrt54gs-wireless-wrt54gs,review-250-11.html
Quote from: link
If you assume that Super-G does adjust, however, the speed advantage goes to Afterburner, since its 36 Mbps clearly beats Super-G's non-bonded 26 (or so) Mbps. On the other hand, as Figure 7 shows, Afterburner's speed drops pretty quickly with distance and / or obstacles - enough so to question whether Afterburner provides any significant benefit under real-world conditions.

My apologies for not determining that it was a variant of "Super G" before posting...
pwatson
Rising Star
Posts: 2,468
Thanks: 8
Fixes: 1
Registered: 26-11-2012

Re: FTTC installation - PlusNet router wifi is appalling

Quote from: redtela
the appropriate place to discuss that is with PlusNet support directly - not this forum

This is a community forum where users try and help each other out.  You've clearly just come here for a rant.
Best of luck with your issue.
<Plonk>