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Changing Router And Isp

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#1 the_moose


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Posted 03 October 2007 - 04:23 PM

Hi all. I hope this isn’t bad form, but I’m posting this question on a few different forums to try and get a broad spectrum of views. I would appreciate any advice or people’s comments on their experience with different routers and with different ISPs, or any suggestions as to how I can improve things …

We have a Dell Dimension 8300 (spec at the bottom of this post) which we use as a family computer. For various reasons this computer is in a top floor extension room, about 20’ away from our phone line master socket - but this distance is through several walls and 2 floors. In the near future we intend to get a laptop for our children to do their homework etc on, and we anticipate this being mainly used in the kitchen. The kitchen is on the same level as the master phone socket and again about 20’ away - but this time only through a couple of walls. At present I have a BT Home Hub to connect my PC to the internet through a wireless connection. We do live some distance from the exchange, but quite often my download internet speed is only about 30-40 kbps. This is obviously very slow, and BT have been unable (or unwilling) to help me sort it out - they‘ve done line tests which show it should be faster, and their only suggestion was to connect via the test socket under the cover of the master socket - this made no difference.

I am fed up with BT, but fortunately I am coming to the end of my contract with them and investigating other options. I think I should be able to get a better router if I buy one separately rather than keep using the Home Hub - has anyone got any suggestions about brands or what to look for? Also is it possible to get a “range extender” so I can put it half way from the main router (which I have been told needs to be connected to the master phone socket) to the desktop upstairs?

Finally, has anyone (I guess this will be a UK only question) got any input for me on ISPs. I guess I’m the same as most people when I say that my priorities are reliability of connection and equipment, good customer service, and finally the ability to provide a reasonably high broadband speed… we don’t use the net to download films yet, but we could really do with 2-4 Mbps for streaming videos and the number of songs the boys want to download.

Many thanks to any of you that have got this far, sorry it’s boring but we really would appreciate any help you can give us.

Cheers, Moose and family.

Dell dimension 8300 with a Pentium 4 with hyperthreading technology (no idea, just copying it!)
3.0GHz 800fsb and 1MB cache
8x/4x DVD+R/+RW and 16x DVD
120GB 1st SATA hard drive (7200rpm) with 8MB Databurst cache
2.5GB DDR 400 Dual channel memory (2x256MB, 2x1GB) (was 2x256, I added the extra memory myself, so it might not work properly)
Creative Labs 5.1 Audigy2 Audio card
128MB DDR NVidia GeForce FX 5200
Windows XP Pro SP2

... and in an effort to keep all the horrible things away, I've got: AVG 7.5 internet security suite, AdAware 2007+, Spybot S+D, Privacy Guardian, Spyware Blaster, Spyware Guard, Spyware Doctor, Reg Mech, Windows Defender and CCleaner - all of which I keep updated regularly (although after a bad experience with Reg Mech I've still got it - but daren't use it!) I also run Secunia PSI beta to try and keep me on top of my updates, but if anyone can suggest a better way to do this I’d be grateful as it appears to have stopped working since a foray into the inside of the computer to upgrade the memory!

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#2 Bonneville


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Posted 03 October 2007 - 05:20 PM



There are numerous companies that offer very good network wireless extenders,Visit Here

I'm not over convinced that changing your ISP from Bt is the full solution to your problem. As you may see, I also reside in the Uk and cannot in all honesty want for a better broadband service. I suppose if you reside in a cabled area, Virgin Media would be the best option ( formely Blueyonder ) to Bt. Obviously if you could connect your Bt Hub to your desktop via the 10/100 LAN fast ethernet cable you would enjoy far faster speeds.I know Bt say that you can enjoy speeds of up to 8mbs, but, in reality, this rarely come to fruision.The best that I have ever achieved is 6.4mbs.
Whether you change to Tiscali, Orange,Talk talk, or whoever,unless they are cable operators, you are still going to be using the same old copper cables that Bt use for data transmission.

Just my thoughts of course, but I would be more inclined to look too a network wireless extender for your situation.

Best Wishes,


Edited by Bonneville, 03 October 2007 - 05:21 PM.

Is all that we see or seem, but a dream within a dream ?

#3 RandomUser


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Posted 03 October 2007 - 06:11 PM

Hey there "the_moose",

So first off, let me say that the speeds you're getting through what appears to be a WIRED connection hardly sound reasonable.
This could be caused by interference or poor wiring/cabling. You have a few options from wired to wireless solutions which are explained
below. Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with BT as I reside in the States.

I agree with Bonneville about various companies making Range Extenders, certainly far more that just Netgear. Not to overwhelm you,
but there is also a means to send your Service over the powerline. (ethernet-over-powerline) This method has mixed reviews although in
a best case scenario it works just as fast as your ISP's Speed. (not the 100mps of most switches) Those come in both a wired and wireless
option. The wireless option provides greater flexibility and is thus more expensive.

In the case of Range extenders or any Wi-Fi product, you're limited to interference and the standards by which the technology is based.
This can cause issues if you have a wireless phone on the same channel as a wireless router or access point.

I would say that if you have a technician out again, have them check the lines in the walls if possible. Be careful though as you don't
want any new holes without considering the benefits and shortcomings. To test your actual speed, I would try something like speedtest.net
Not sure if that works in the UK the way it does here. Further, I would check smallnetbuilder.com for the specifics on your home network
and what you can do to improve the signal.

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