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Optimising internet - new router?

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Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎09-11-2018

Optimising internet - new router?

Hi

We've got Plusnet fibre broadband with a Plusnet Hub One router that we've had for about 4 years but due to the layout of the house, we also use a BT powerline extender for additional WIFI and some BT extender sockets as well. Both my kids are now gaming (Fortnite!) one upstairs on his PC, the other via XBox and from time to time the systems starts lagging or cutting out altogether.

I want to do something to improve it, but not sure what the best plan is. New router? New extenders? Don't have a lot to spend on this so want to put the money where it is going to make the most difference.

Any ideas appreciated!

Thanks.

10 REPLIES 10
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Grafter
Posts: 26
Thanks: 1
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎01-12-2016

Re: Optimising internet - new router?

How are the console and computer connecting to broadband in the house? You mention powerline extenders and bt extender sockets?

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Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎09-11-2018

Re: Optimising internet - new router?

At the moment, the Xbox connects via an ethernet cable into the BT wifi home hotspot (which connects through the power system) and the gaming PC connects via a BT extender 600 which also connects through the power system.

I read somewhere that too many extenders plugged into the powerlines can cause them to disconnect and unlink, which is one thing that happens. But just using WIFI doesn't give my son the speed he needs for gaming.

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Grafter
Posts: 26
Thanks: 1
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎01-12-2016

Re: Optimising internet - new router?

Ideally as part of fault finding you need to take a step back and disconnect all but one device and see how things run. I would suggest just attempting to use the xbox console on its own first connected by whatever method it connects (I'm struggling to imagine your network setup in my head as it sounds like you have quite a few devices).

 

See how the xbox runs. if its good then start adding a device at a time. Next add the bt extender that the pc connects to. see how it runs. Then add the pc.

 

really for online gaming you want as few hops between the computer/console and the router as possible. In my house it's just me and no one else to share. My router sits behind my Tv and my console connects directly into my router using a network cable.

 

Another option i would suggest, and this won't be popular is to measure out how long it is between your router and either the xbox or the gaming computer. Then buy a long cat5 network cable. some computer shops could probably make one up for a few pounds for you. Yes it does mean trailing it through the house temporarily BUT if this works well. Then you know that your network setup is letting you down somewhere.

Personally i have never been fond of powerline connectors. But i appreciate it's the only option for some households.

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Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎09-11-2018

Re: Optimising internet - new router?

Yes I agree that would be ideal, but the faults we've had have been pretty intermittent, so it's tricky to do a proper test in teh middle of everyone needing their devices!

And yes, the ideal would be for the router to be near the gaming pc and the xbox, but again that isn't possible. Getting a cat5 network cable temporarily might be an idea...

Do you think it would be worth looking at a new router, or is it better to invest in improving the system round the house?

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Seasoned Hero
Posts: 5,499
Thanks: 2,433
Fixes: 163
Registered: ‎30-06-2016

Re: Optimising internet - new router?

Powerline units can be extremely flaky and restrict speed. Rather than spend money on routers or extenders you would get a faster more reliable connection if you install Ethernet cables to the locations of your equipment. The cable is quite thin and a permenent installation with Ethernet wall sockets can be very neatly installed with a bit of work. 

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Pro
Posts: 236
Thanks: 88
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Registered: ‎24-11-2015

Re: Optimising internet - new router?

I totally agree with what @Baldrick1 is saying. I used to use TP Link AV powerline adaptors to connect my desktop PC to the router. I used to get frequent dropouts and slow downs (Speedtest.net would come back around 10mbps on a 38meg FTTC connection) with only 2 adaptors.

I started to suspect the power line adaptors and tested my PC with a wireless card and got 34 meg download and a stable connection.

If if you don't want to switch to Ethernet cables long term, I would suggest you test the connection to the PC with an Ethernet cable to rule out the power line adaptors.

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Grafter
Posts: 26
Thanks: 1
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎01-12-2016

Re: Optimising internet - new router?

Definitely test with cat5 first before going any further as suggested. That would be a first step without having to spend massive amounts of money. Getting cat5 connections put into the two rooms for the pc and xbox will probably be the most guranteed way of getting them a good connection.

 

You might even be able to get them installed in the house or routed via the outside of the house with little hassle and at a reasonable price.

 

get a cat5 cable first and go from there.

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Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎09-11-2018

Re: Optimising internet - new router?

Thanks all, that’s really helpful.

Now back to basics - where do I get a cat5 cable from? And I assume I plug one end in the router and the other in the Pc or Xbox?
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Seasoned Hero
Posts: 5,499
Thanks: 2,433
Fixes: 163
Registered: ‎30-06-2016

Re: Optimising internet - new router?

Don't use Cat 5, use the higher performance Cat 5E type. You can get Cat 6 and even Cat 7 but you will not need the extra performance.

Where you get it from depends on whether you want a length made up or whether you are thinking of going for the full monty and doing a permanent installation. You will find all the bits on Internet sites such as Ebay and Amazon, but if all you want is a made up length already fitted with connectors to try then you can get a 5m cable from Screwfix (if you have one near) for £4.99 (Part 50334) or 10m for £5.69. (Part 27015). Argos also (Part  864/8732 or 855/7414).

Yes one end goes into any one of the yellow LAN sockets on the router. The other end plugs into your PC, Xbox or anything else that needs internet access and can take an Ethernet connector.

 

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Grafter
Posts: 26
Thanks: 1
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎01-12-2016

Re: Optimising internet - new router?

good catch @Baldrick1i forgot to add the e to cat5! I actually saw a 10m one in asda earlier so they are easy to find.

 

You could always pop in an independent computer shop, its possible the staff maybe able to make one up to your specific length. When i was an IT engineer i just made up all my own cables with the left overs we had.