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Broadband hints, tips and questions
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stephen
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Joined: 18 Nov 2004
Posts: 348

PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 3:52 pm    Post subject: ADSL Max is here! Reply with quote

BT enabled ADSL Max on our exchange yesterday, along with pretty much every other one in the country, so we can potentially get up a to 8Mb. What speed you can actually get depends on how good a signal you can get, which is primarily governed by how far away you are from the exchange. You can get an indication of what speed you can get by using the BT Availability Checker (which says I'm good for 6 to 8 Mb Smile )

Your ISP will let you know what the options are for upgrading your connection to use ADSL Max. Eclipse will be announcing their plans on Monday 4th April.
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stephen
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:50 pm    Post subject: ADSL Max thoughts Reply with quote

In common with many ISPs, Eclipse have changed all their ADSL products now that ADSL Max is available. Gone are the old Flex and Home Broadband ranges (although anyone with those packages can keep them, I guess). They now have "Home Broadband" (as fast as possible but with monthly download limits) and "Evolution Broadband" (as fast as possible with no download limits but some reduction of performance on lower prices packages).

I'm thinking about upgrading to "Home broadband option 2", as the 10Gb monthly cap gives plenty of room for the ~3Gb/month I actually download and I'd rather have everything at the fastest speed.

I think of it as a bit like a having a car that can go as fast as you want (within the speed limit, of course:wink:) but is limited to (say) 1000 miles/month. I'd rather have that than a car that can go as far as you want every month provided you don't want it to go above 50mph.

It does rather depend on the price difference though and whether the Talkmore package is included in the price, as my existing "Home Broadband 5GB" package had the Talkmore calls deal thrown in for free, and I kind of like that.

One thing worth pointing out to anyone thinking of upgrading to ADSL Max is that, although your existing hardware will work with it, if you are using a ADSL modem/router that connects to your PC's USB port you might want to consider getting a network ADSL router instead that will connect on a network port or via wireless networking. Have a look at this news item on ADSLGuide.org.uk for more details (scroll down to the bottom), and also these notes from BT.

Is anyone else going to upgrade to ADSL Max?
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Pieter
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Joined: 11 Aug 2005
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Location: Catterline

PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once I get my router back I'll definitely upgrade. I suffered from randon disconnects and after various tests the router was identified as the problem, so I had to return it to the manufacturer and hopefully I'll receive a replacement soon.
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stephen
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 9:51 am    Post subject: Speed tester Reply with quote

Just found another speed tester site - http://www.kbps.co.uk/

I just ran one and got these results, which seem OK to me.
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stephen
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 9:55 am    Post subject: ADSL Max upgrade problems Reply with quote

Just a word of warning to anyone who will be upgrading to ADSL Max - there is a slight problem with the system that means you might stay on your existing connection speed for up to 3 days after the upgrade has occurred unless your router/modem is switched off when the upgrade happens. More details here and here.
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Pieter
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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, put my regrade order in on Monday the 1st of May and in the early hours of Wednesday the 3rd of May my router was connected at 8Mbps. However, this didn't mean increased download speeds straight away due to the line 'training' issues described by Steve. In fact, line 'training' can now take 10 days rather than 3 days, so no point logging a fault within the first 10 days after the regrade.

As suggested by ohers, I did try leaving the router switched off for extended periods of time to try and re-initiate the training, but on Monday the 15th of May my download speed was still just below 2Mbps so I contacted my ISP (Zen). They asked me to try the usual things before logging the fault with BT, so I did: connect router to master test socket, try a different filter, factory reset router, log in with BT test account etc. Then on Tuesday morning I got back in touch with Zen, the fault was logged with BT, and a few hours later the fault was resolved.

I haven't done any extensive testing yet, but I've noticed a considerable difference with larger downloads or when viewing online media content (videos etc). I don't think you would notice much difference from a 'standard' ADSL connection if you're just browsing websites etc (latency doesn't change). I'll post some speedtest results later. We're lucky in the sense that our telephone exchange is very near the village, which means the quality of the telephone line (signal to noise ratio) is very good, which in turn means fast and reliable broadband (perfect for ADSLMax).

Zen was very quick to process my regrade order (remember Monday the 1st of May was a public holiday), and also their technical support department was very quick and efficient to resolve the fault. However, it's a shame that the actual BT ADSLMax regrade path is still not without any issues. In addition, as far as I am aware, currently all ISPs have download caps on their home ADSLMax broadband products. This might not be appropriate for everybody. I've got a 50GB monthly download cap (no upload cap), which is fine for me. I much prefer the faster speed in combination with a reasonable download cap versus the 'slower' speed without a download cap. At least it means that when I do use it I get most enjoyment out of it.
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stephen
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PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2006 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I have finally, after about a month of trying, managed to order an upgrade from Eclipse. There seems to be a problem upgrading from the "Home Broadband 5Gb + Talkmore" pacakge that I was on because the broadband and talkmore were in the same package. This meant they had to cancel and reprovide the talkmore part as a separate package before they could upgrade the broadband part.

Unfortunately it took several emails and phone conversations to get them to sort the order out as I was bounced between sales, customer services and development. It was all far from impressive and I found it a very frustrating experience.

Anyway - it is now going thourgh and I have an activation date of "no later
than 24 May 2006". I'll let you know how it all goes.
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tommo
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Joined: 12 Dec 2005
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Location: Tamden Park, Catterline

PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 3:07 pm    Post subject: Wireless Routers and Networks Reply with quote

Dear fellow village-techno heads

my boy have finally dragged me to the evil pit that is broadband (Despite 20 years in IT i cant be bothered with these things at home)

anyway - since I'm a bloke and an IT person now that I'm goign to do it I have to have the best ever I'm thinking about setting up wireless-N adsl router so that I can take advantage of the apprarently massive difference in speed it has over ordinary wireless G and old B. It even appears to have better timings than ethernet when connected sweetly if you believe the hype.

So anyone got "N" already installed and able to give me some real life experience feedback???

Currently looking at a linksys wag300N router which goes straight into the adsl port and looks like the proverbial "dogs". It has some rather nice configuration software and potenital for lots of good connections to game consoles, HDTV and so on for the future. A bit over the top for now but........
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Pieter
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Tommo,

I think the experiences with draft 802.11n products are mixed. They perform well under the right conditions, but speed drops dramatically with distance and it doesn't cooperate very well with existing 802.11b and 802.11g products in the area or on the same network. I would recommend to read the various articles here: http://tomshardware.co.uk/tomsnetworking/wireless_tn/index.html.

Cheers,

Pieter
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tommo
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Location: Tamden Park, Catterline

PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that's a good site thanks - reviews are a bit mixed as you say although I think they are trying to test it against all things for all men.

I'm trying to find out whether the linksys firmware will allow the router to be upgradable to stadard N when it comes in instead of draft cos that's the key for me I think - i'd almost rather take the plunge now than buy and then buy again as long as I know it can be upgraded with a download later.

Our place will not need any backwards compatible links (i.e. g and b) cos we dont have any to start with and I'd be inclined to get a matching n-card for my laptop anyway.

gives food for thought though and better than just reading the product hype.
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tommo
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well folks I've taken the plunge and gone for a 802.11n (draft) linksys router and PCI adapter not like me to go bleeding edge but hey.

There appears to be some good firmware upgrade releases available already and they will supply upgrades all the way through to standard 11n when it is ratified, so here goes....Will let you all know how i get on and no doubt ask for hints and tips to prove it works better or otherwise. Just waiting for the boradband account set up info to come through in the next day or so...........
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stephen
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Better get the security nailed down PDQ - you don't want your neighbours thieving all your bandwidth. I've heard that they're a bit dodgy... Wink
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tommo
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

256 bit encryption plus I'll send the boyz round to ask you constant questions all the time if you do.......

Smile

anyone got any good free anti=virus suggestions ? currently going to pinch zonelabs free firewall and all the usual adware and spybot stuff but open to suggestions on anything that looks good and free......( as the actress said to the bishop)
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stephen
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ZoneAlarm Firewall
AVG Antivirus
AdAware offline malware scanner
Ewido malware scanner and removal

The last time I even saw a virus it didn't manage to get off the floppy disk it had infected, and that must be comfortably over 10 years ago.

I also use FireFox as a browser instead of MSIE. I've not seen a popup ad in about 5 years.
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tommo
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks - was sizing up avg last night looks pretty ok. Havent heard of ewido though will take a look.
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