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Should I stay or should I go to BT Fibre 2 to shut my sons up

Gillybilly
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Registered: ‎17-08-2020

Should I stay or should I go to BT Fibre 2 to shut my sons up

Having been a PN broadband and phone customer for the past 9 years, I have been generally happy with the service until this last year.  After upgrading to Unlimited Fibre Extra and plugging a booster upstairs, both of my sons (20+ and keen gamers) shout constantly as the signal slows or drops amid a game of COD or Rocket League.   This problem occurred prior to the Covid slow down and obviously has not improved.  

My contract ends a month today and they are trying to convince me to change to BT Fibre 2 which promises 48mb stayfast and are offering a £75 credit card at the moment.  My question is, as they use the same systems, can a BT Router make all the difference or will I just be paying more for the same facility?  I know the easiest solution would be to evict the kids, but I quite like them and they pay digs.

Any advice would be appreciated.   

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Baldrick1
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Re: Should I stay or should I go to BT Fibre 2 to shut my sons up

@Gillybilly 

The only difference is the hub. The BT one is better. Many of us has bought one from an auction site such as Ebay. These work fine on your Plusnet service. You will find the setting instructions pinned at the top of the Router board.

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Gillybilly
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Re: Should I stay or should I go to BT Fibre 2 to shut my sons up

@Baldrick1  thanks for that suggestion.  I take it Plusnet will not have a problem if I swap out their Hub One for a BT router and this will give me the download speeds Plusnet promised.  

Baldrick1
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Re: Should I stay or should I go to BT Fibre 2 to shut my sons up

@Gillybilly 

Plusnet are quite happy for you to use any hub you like.

Note that there is no guarantee from Plusnet, BT or any-one else regarding wireless speed. I guess that your sons are referring to the new BT Smarthub 2 offer where they will give you a Smarthub 2 and extra disks? I assume that you are aware that this costs even more per month? It might be the case that you would be better off with repeaters.

Perhaps if you gave some more details on exactly what your problems are and we can give a more detailed response regarding oyur option.

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Gillybilly
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Re: Should I stay or should I go to BT Fibre 2 to shut my sons up

@Baldrick1   

 

I have the Plusnet Hub one and a Netgear wifi range extender plugged in at the top of my stairs.

My son's Playstation gives him router info and the download speed when he logs in to play a game.  He states that it regularly shows at around 12Mbps.  I upgraded to the Unlimited Fibre Extra in order to avoid lagging as it promises an average 66 Mbps.  I did a phone line check through BT just now and it shows VDSL range 80 to 62.2. 

We use wifi for 5 mobiles, tv's and laptops, although the boys are driven nuts with it when they game, I haven't really looked into it until now as my contract only has a month to run and I can look around for better deals.  At the time when they have complained I have checked for issues online and run speed checks using the Netgear app, but nothing obvious shows and I generally put it down to volume of traffic. 

Occasionally I have changed the channel on the router but that is only a short term solution.  I have limited technical knowledge, as you can probably guess, I just do not want to change ISP for no gain.  I did look at the BT add on's, of which they are many and was hoping I would get away with not having their additional discs..

I think that I was relying on a magical router arriving.....

What other info can I provide?

MarkC68
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Re: Should I stay or should I go to BT Fibre 2 to shut my sons up

I would recommend either getting a BT router as mentioned by others or another decent 3rd party router. I've just changed from Sky where we had no issues with WiFi and had an extender upstairs which my children used to connect their Xbox, speed was usually in the region of 45mbps. I have joined PN primarily for cost and ability to add BT Sport to our Sky TV service reasonably cheaply. I have monitored speeds over the first 14 days over WiFi and these have been very erratic to say the least. The extender has been showing as low as 12mbps and even next to the router I've been getting 25ish, PN forums are aware of issues with the firmware affecting the Hub 1 router, which is basically a pile of sh..! I've set up a new 3rd party router and haven't had a single issue with WiFi in the house, it's all down to the very poor hardware provided!
Gillybilly
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Re: Should I stay or should I go to BT Fibre 2 to shut my sons up

@MarkC68 

 

Thanks for your reply.  What router did you opt for in the end?  I can see that the BT hub's are available on Ebay for about £30.  I also want to sign up to BT Sport, so will have to look at both BT and PN and see who will provide the better value in the long run, with the price hikes about to take place at PN.  Shame PN cannot provide better technical spec equipment.

 

 

MarkC68
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Re: Should I stay or should I go to BT Fibre 2 to shut my sons up

I've got a TP Link VR2100 with a RE300 range extender from the same firm, set up under their Onemesh system. It works well for me as both on the same SSID, previously had to connect to the extender separately for solid WiFi upstairs. Unfortunately I have an old house, solid walls up and down, so WiFi can struggle to reach everywhere with just a router, however there are no excuses for the router from PN which doesn't work correctly stood next to it! It has cost a bit though but there are a lot of recommendations for the newer BT Hubs which you can get easily and cheaply on a well known auction site 😀.
Baldrick1
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Re: Should I stay or should I go to BT Fibre 2 to shut my sons up

@Gillybilly 

Your wireless performance is definintely leaving a lot to be desired. What I think that you should do is start again from scratch and go through the following tests in turn and report back your findings.

1. Notwithstanding the range of speeds that you should be getting, what is actually being received? To check this you need to do a speed test with a computer connected directly to the router via an Ethernet cable. Switch off the laptop wireless so that there's no confusion. This should be up around 60Mpbs ot higher. If it's much lower then there's no point in progressing issues with wireless. Whatever you do it cannot be faster then this. If it's low then stop and come back for advice on how to confirm that it's not a problem on your property, after which you can report a fault.

2. if test 1 is OK then connect the computer wirelessly to the router, not extender and do the same test. Position the computer in the same room but several feet away from the router. If that's low then try separating the wireless  bands (I always recommend that this is done anyway). See https://community.plus.net/t5/My-Router/2-4ghz-and-or-5ghz-best-practice/m-p/1351966#M840. After you do this assuming that you have a dual channel computer you will find that there is now an additional band when you look at your device wireless network settings. Try speed test using each band in turn and see which is best.

3. Repeat test 2 when closer to your extender but now connected to the extender wireless SSID not the Plusnet one.

These three tests should give an insight into the source of your poor speed which will help in giving hopefully more constructive advice on your options.

 

 

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Gillybilly
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Re: Should I stay or should I go to BT Fibre 2 to shut my sons up

@Baldrick1 

 

I have just run the test 3 times through the btwholesale test recommended by Plusnet- download speeds were 47.68, 59.48 and 52.77.  Huh

 

Obviously not achieving the 66 Mbps promised by PN and that was connected directly to the router with the ethernet cable.

Gillybilly
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Re: Should I stay or should I go to BT Fibre 2 to shut my sons up

@Baldrick1 

As per previous post - speed through ethernet cable were 47.68 - 59.48 - 52.77

I did an additional diagnostic on the BT speedchecker using my phone line which showed download speed of 38.17Mbps the acceptable range of speed was 40Mbps -63.81Mbps.

Although the speed was lower than 60Mbps, I decided to follow the rest of the steps you mentioned anyway :-

Speed test for download using wireless were - 44.64, 34.50, 38.17

I separated the 2GHz from the 5GHz and then measured the speeds on these two and the extension upstairs.  I had to use my mobile as my old laptop couldn't find the 5GHz signal.  

2GHz showed 130Mbps    5GHz showed 780Mbps

Extension upstairs 2GHz showed 130Mbps    5GHz showed 650Mbps

 

Does any of this make any sense.  I have taken images of all of the tests should you have any other questions.

 

 

 

Baldrick1
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Re: Should I stay or should I go to BT Fibre 2 to shut my sons up

@Gillybilly 

Yes it tells us a lot. First of all you have a problem with your dsl connection to the router. There's two tests to do to confirm that it's not your internal wiring at fault:

1. Take the front off the BT Master socket, you may need to remove two screws. In the back box you will find the Test socket. First plug a wired phone in here and do a quiet line test by ringing 17070 and selecting option 2. If there's any background noise then report a phone not broadband fault. Unless the line is quiet you are unlikely to get full broadband speed.

2. Plug a filter in to the Test socket and repeat my original Test 1 above, that is a wired Ethernet connection to the router  directly. If your speed is better then you have a problem with your internal wiring so again come back for more advice. If it's still poor then you need to report a speed fault to Plusnet. If you can, leave the router plugged into the Test socket via the filter until Plusnet have addressed this.

3. Now to your wireless issues. First your phone speed tester is rubbish but it is giving some sensible clues as to what's happening. Can you do the test using a different speed tester such as the one from Thinkbroadband? Your phone is reporting silly speeds but we can perhaps use them for comparison.

Looking at the upstairs speed results shows that the 2.4 GHz band is slower than the 5GHz one. The convention is that the 2.4 GHz band is slower but travels greater  distance than the 5GHz one so there's a crossing point when the faster at short distance 5GHz signal drops down and the 2.4 GHz band is the better at distance. What I suspect might be happening is that the extender is getting its data from the slower band and then redistributing it on both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. If this is the case then even if your devices connect to the extender on the faster extender band band then even though the device can communicate with the extender much faster the extender can only pass the data back to the router at the slower rate rate. Does that make sense?

One thing to try is to go into your Hub advanced wifi settings and unlock the two bands as earlier suggested. Then switch off the 2.4 GHz band. If not then go back and switch the 2.4 GHz band off and the 5GHz band off. Do your speed tests after each optionn. If the extender does not connect in one of the modes then factory reset it and try setting it  up again.

Let us know how you get on.

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Gillybilly
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Re: Should I stay or should I go to BT Fibre 2 to shut my sons up

@Baldrick1 

 

Thank you for that info, I will test the line later today before swapping the PN Hub 1 with the new BT router that arrived today. 

As a result of my question on this forum Plusnet Support contacted me with the following message:-

Testing from this side I can see currently we're seeing 69.2Mbps download getting to the router with no signs of this being effected by anything or having dipped lower in the last 15 days. I've tested your phone line and looked over your account for any other underlying issues that could alter the speeds also and nothing looks to be out of place currently. Looking at the speed test results you've posted on the Forums it hints that's somethings out of place somewhere. I'd advise if you're not already however, to make sure that no one else or other application is using the connection at the time of testing the speeds as this can skew the results and could explain the 3 different readings you saw despite speeds showing steady to the router.

I read this as the fault is not with the line into the house and maybe at the time of the test, there was something using the the internet causing the low results..  I also received a telephone call basically repeating the above.  The only suggestion to improve the situation was paying £65 for another line into the house or obtaining additional broadband from Virgin as I already have a connection to the house.  We discussed the poor spec of the PN router as maybe being part of the problem, apparently there is a new better spec one in the pipeline.

I appreciate all your help and advice with this and with the idiot proof (hopefully) guide for setting up the BT router.   It is a good weekend to do the testing and setting up, as the gamers are away camping for the weekend.   Thanks again.

Gillybilly
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Re: Should I stay or should I go to BT Fibre 2 to shut my sons up

@Baldrick1 

 

Just realised that I do not own a wired phone, do they still exist?  Is it sufficient to plug the base unit and use the handset?  Does it make a huge difference to the speeds recorded if there are wifi connections in use?  if so how do you shut everything down before testing? Via the router?

Baldrick1
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Re: Should I stay or should I go to BT Fibre 2 to shut my sons up

@Gillybilly 

You can still buy wired phones, they are less then a tenner from the likes of Argos. You can use a wireless one but is you have any background noise you don't know whether it's caused by the phone or not. I keep a wired phone in the cupboard for testing and to use if we have a power cut.

The thing to note is that you can only use your available bandwidth once. So if some-one is using  say 40Mbps be it wired or wirelessand your line's maximum is 70Mbps then a speed tester will report the remaining 30Mbps as your download speed. Sorry, I should have mentioned this earlier. All you need to do is ideally shut down all other machines whilst doing a speed test ot at least make sure that they are not being used.

I assume that you are aware of this procedure to set up your BT Hub? https://community.plus.net/t5/My-Router/Using-the-BT-Smarthub-6-on-a-Plusnet-Account/m-p/1587673#M85...

Edit

I  will add a bit about distributing the signal better in a bit

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