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Broadband speed test

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Best place to check is on the bt speedtester (assuming you're not on cable). You can find that here:

http://speedtester.bt.com/

You'll need to use IE for it, as it doesn't like firefox much. If you're just switching to an 8mb product it does take about 2 weeks for the exchange to train your line and find the optimum speed.

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Thanks for those links guys :)

Well I have done the tests which seem to suggest that I'm only getting half the performance I should.

Since Paul has mentioned that the line has to be trained I will keep trying for the next week or so to see if

I get an improvement.

Brian :)

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Are you on ADSL over BT phone lines Brian?

The further away from your local exchange you are the slower the speed will be - ADSL is an "upto 8mb" service. I was only getting about 3 mb on my "upto 8mb" service before I changed to cable broadband. Depends on time of day as well - you may get slower speeds in the evenings.

You will only really notice the speed increase when downloading large files. Normal browsing of webpages will seem about the same.

Cheers

Martyn

Hi Martyn

Yes I am on ADSL over BT phonelines. I was getting around 4mb on my last test, so going by what you say

that's quite normal then :)

I shall try downloading something later this evening and let you know what happens

Thanks

Brian :)

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Brian, my 3mb was poor. An acceptable speed these days for an upto 8mb service would be about 6 to 7mb. People are very fortunate if they get over 7. I would hope you can get some improvement on your 4mb at the moment.

Hi Martyn

Sorry about that; having looked back I realise I'd misread your previous answer :)

I thought because 3mb was what you were getting, then mine was acceptable, but in fact it's poor.

Would the fact that I live in the middle of the countryside mean that I'm a long way fom the exchange?

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4mb is pretty average, if not slightly above average for ADSL, so you're not doing bad!

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Brian,

I think because i had extension cable for my phone line in the house probably reduced speed further as well as distance from the exchange, plus an old modem. This was a couple of years ago though. ADSL MAX is now used which is supposed to improve speed. Apparently I am supposed to get 6.5mb if i still used ADSL now.

Have a look at http://www.samknows.com/broadband/checker2.php and enter postcode and or phone number. Then click on BT ADSL and this will give you info about what you can expect - distance from your exchange and expected speed.

Cheers

Martyn

Hi Martyn

I have done the above test and it says that my line will support 2Mbps and greater and that I am 1.43kms from the exchange :)

and also the exchange is available for Max services. :)

4mb is pretty average, if not slightly above average for ADSL, so you're not doing bad!

Yes I'd be happy with that to be honest, as it's better than I had before, and also, the upgrade was for free. :)

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Hi Brian, if you run the BT speedtest it'll also give you details on your line etc, print them here and we can let you know what sort of speeds you should expect.

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Guest Shetland Coastie

Hmph! Ive just moved into the country and Im only getting 0.5mb on a supposedly 'up to 8mb' line. When I demanded a refund I was told that price is dependant on your download limit not on the speed you are getting. Sounds a bit like an excuse to me :)

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Tis the way it works unfortunately, it's worth trying the bt speedtest to see what your line is capable of though, as if it's a case that your line could go much faster but your isp can't, then you may the opportunity to move on to someone else!

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Hi Brian, if you run the BT speedtest it'll also give you details on your line etc, print them here and we can let you know what sort of speeds you should expect.

Cheers Paul

I'll do that a little later, as I'm just about to tidy up and have a spot of tea :)

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Guest Shetland Coastie

Tis the way it works unfortunately, it's worth trying the bt speedtest to see what your line is capable of though, as if it's a case that your line could go much faster but your isp can't, then you may the opportunity to move on to someone else!

Unfortunately been there and done that! Aparrently the exhange is 5 miles away so as they say in the Russian Marines its 'toughski I need to control my languagetski' or so Im told!

:)

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Doh!!

I'm assuming there's no cable in Shetland yet either :)

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Guest Shetland Coastie

Doh!!

I'm assuming there's no cable in Shetland yet either :)

Nope, although we don't have these sodding swear filters either :)

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I would recommend these links below. They are regarded by many as the most accurate speedtests.

http://www.dslzoneuk.net/

http://www.thinkbroadband.com/

Now if you choose the dsl zone test you will have to register with the website (free). Now I prefer to use the custom test by actually typing in my sync speed of my router. You can find out your sync speeds by accessing your router via web interface and clicking on broadband connection. You will only need to find out your downstream speeds rather than upstream.

Whilst you are checking your connection on your router you might aswell check what your line attenuation is (down). Your line attenuation is pretty much what dictates the speed you actually recieve. Many refer to the distance from your exchange when checking broadband speeds but its actually the level of DB that is on your line. The further the distance from the exchange the greater your DB will be. This is caused by the length of the copper cable and the amount of noise increases with the length of the copper cable. The higher the number of DB the lower your router will sync at thus meaning lower download speeds.

I shall give you an example because I have just switched to O2 which uses ADSL+2 rather than the bog standard BT ADSL. What this basically means is O2 install their own equipment in the exchange which means greater speeds at cheaper prices.

If you choose O2s ultimate package (20mb) and you have a line attenuation of only 4DB your router will sync around 23000kbps meaning 20mb actual download. A line attenuation of 4DB requires excellent internal wiring, live next door to exchange. If your attenutation is 20-30DB you are likely to recieve between 14-16mb. If your attenuation is around 40DB then you can expect between 10-12mb. This also applies to bog standard ADSL (BT, AOL, Tiscali etc) because if your DB is only 4 then you are likely to get the full 8mb, however a 40DB attenuation will only give you around 3-5mb.

There isn't much you can do about your line attenuation apart from improving your internal wiring. You should always make sure you connect via master socket than extensions to get the most out of your connection. You can also perform a test by removing the bottom faceplate from your master socket and then plugging your filter into the test socket. You can actually replace the faceplate of your mastersocket with this Faceplate which may improve your download speeds by around 1-2mb.

Personally if anyones exchange is enabled for LLU broadband i.e O2/Be, SKY I would strongly recommend they switch. Im now paying only £10 for 12mb download, 1.3mb upload and my download limit is around 200GB! the upload speeds are superb for online gaming. I know BT are releasing their ADSL+2 service over the next few years but in the mean time you might aswell save a few quid by switching to these providers. There are plans for BT to replace these copper lines with FTTC & FTTH. What these mean is fibre to the cabinet from exchange and then copper to home (Virgin use this) and also fibre to the home from exchange. Many of us will recieve FTTC, but due to the huge cost it will be a while before this rolls out. Still the bonus of Fibre optics means distance isn't a factor and you could technically get 40mb. In around 10 yrs time 100mb broadband will be commonplace in most homes!

By the way plugging router into test socket is the best way of making sure internal wiring isn't at fault if you're using extensions from master socket.

Edited by THE EYE IN THE SKY

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Whilst you are checking your connection on your router you might aswell check what your line attenuation is (down). Your line attenuation is pretty much what dictates the speed you actually recieve. Many refer to the distance from your exchange when checking broadband speeds but its actually the level of DB that is on your line. The further the distance from the exchange the greater your DB will be. This is caused by the length of the copper cable and the amount of noise increases with the length of the copper cable. The higher the number of DB the lower your router will sync at thus meaning lower download speeds.

I shall give you an example because I have just switched to O2 which uses ADSL+2 rather than the bog standard BT ADSL. What this basically means is O2 install their own equipment in the exchange which means greater speeds at cheaper prices.

If you choose O2s ultimate package (20mb) and you have a line attenuation of only 4DB your router will sync around 23000kbps meaning 20mb actual download. A line attenuation of 4DB requires excellent internal wiring, live next door to exchange. If your attenutation is 20-30DB you are likely to recieve between 14-16mb. If your attenuation is around 40DB then you can expect between 10-12mb. This also applies to bog standard ADSL (BT, AOL, Tiscali etc) because if your DB is only 4 then you are likely to get the full 8mb, however a 40DB attenuation will only give you around 3-5mb.

There isn't much you can do about your line attenuation apart from improving your internal wiring. You should always make sure you connect via master socket than extensions to get the most out of your connection. You can also perform a test by removing the bottom faceplate from your master socket and then plugging your filter into the test socket. You can actually replace the faceplate of your mastersocket with this Faceplate which may improve your download speeds by around 1-2mb.

The line attenuation is a big problem here. I live on a relatively new estate (built in 1995), which really should have had a new exchange built for it. Instead, they just seemed to 'tack' on the new lines and as a result, my line length is ridiculous for an urban area.

My attenutation is 50db as a result, meaning I can barely make 4Mbps on ADSL. They've introduced ADSL2, but with this line it would bearly see 5.5Mbps so its pretty pointless.

Still, its all academic really as my ISP (Karoo) throttle speeds at peak times meaning nothing gets above 100Kb/sec. No option to change to any other ISP either, as theres no BT lines here! A complete monopoly.

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The line attenuation is a big problem here. I live on a relatively new estate (built in 1995), which really should have had a new exchange built for it. Instead, they just seemed to 'tack' on the new lines and as a result, my line length is ridiculous for an urban area.

My attenutation is 50db as a result, meaning I can barely make 4Mbps on ADSL. They've introduced ADSL2, but with this line it would bearly see 5.5Mbps so its pretty pointless.

Still, its all academic really as my ISP (Karoo) throttle speeds at peak times meaning nothing gets above 100Kb/sec. No option to change to any other ISP either, as theres no BT lines here! A complete monopoly.

Not got cable in your area? I'd have thought a new estate would be ready cabled especially in an urban or suburban area.

Then you can forget attenuation, distance to exchanges and so forth and the juicy download speeds of 3000 Kb/sec (on top package).

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Not got cable in your area? I'd have thought a new estate would be ready cabled especially in an urban or suburban area.

Then you can forget attenuation, distance to exchanges and so forth and the juicy download speeds of 3000 Kb/sec (on top package).

I would avoid Virgin like the plague due to their traffic management system.

http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/3563-vi...ent-update.html

Seems pointless having these speeds if you're restricted to the amount you can download.

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I get between 6.6 to 7.7 mb so it's not bad.

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They are enormous limits TEITS, only the most heavy downloaders are ever going to get close to those I would have thought - they're daily amounts, so on the top package that gets you 6gb every day between 10am and 3pm, 3gb between 4pm and 9pm - most people won't hit that in a month, let alone a day, plus I'm assuming the rest of the time it's unlimited.

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I've never had any issue with it. In general I don't need to download over 134GB of data a day (or indeed 3GB between 4 and 9). Think I've only fallen foul of it once when I grabbed a whole series of American Dad in under 20 mins. The download speed dropped right down for a few hours (to 5mbps which isn't exactly slow) before being restored a few hours later.

(To put these values into scale - 134GB would be about 130 DivX films or about 30 DVD quality films. Between 4 and 9 you could get 3 DivX films or not quite 1 DVD quality film. In which case download overnight!)

Sure a few people might find it restrictive but since most other broadband providers can't even get close to delivering that volume of data when running at full speed it really isn't an issue.

I like cable as it is extrememly reliable and even when you move house the service will still be pretty much the same without worrying about how far the exchange is and how well your ancient copper phone line will perform.

The only downside is the poor upload speeds - I can only get about 80k/sec when I download from my home server from anywhere else on the internet.

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Not got cable in your area? I'd have thought a new estate would be ready cabled especially in an urban or suburban area.

Then you can forget attenuation, distance to exchanges and so forth and the juicy download speeds of 3000 Kb/sec (on top package).

No cable, no BT lines, no other ISP choice in Hull. Its always been that way and doesnt look like changing. OFCOM arent interested either, according to them its completely legal.

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What a pain in the backside, I guess Hull is pretty unique in that respect.

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They are enormous limits TEITS, only the most heavy downloaders are ever going to get close to those I would have thought - they're daily amounts, so on the top package that gets you 6gb every day between 10am and 3pm, 3gb between 4pm and 9pm - most people won't hit that in a month, let alone a day, plus I'm assuming the rest of the time it's unlimited.

Depends really on the package you have and how you use your connection. The days of just surfing the web are becoming a thing of the past as more people begin to use their broadband for services such as the BBCi player and online gaming.

For example let me use Virgins L package and the restrictions between 4pm-9pm . Now the limit is only 1.2GB a day and if this limit is breeched your connection is reduced by 75% for 5hrs. Now 1.2GB is very little these days, for example a demo on the xbox live marketplace is around 1-1.3GB, downloading 2-3 programs on BBCi player will use around 1GB. What if a family of 4 share the broadband connection via 2 PCs & gaming consoles. You will quickly find you have reached your daily limit within a short space of time. What if you want to make use of the HD movies you can download on Xbox marketplace! You can forget about this with Virgin media because these average around 5-6GB. You will have to become nocturnal if you want to download these.

Here is another way of looking at it.

If you have the 10mb package and are restricted to 1.2GB between 4pm-9pm this equals to only 18min of downloading. If you have the 20mb package and are resticted to 3GB between 4pm-9pm this equals to only 22min of downloading. Because of this you have to ask yourself what is the point of having such speeds when you cannot use them. I understand these are daily limits and at other times you can download more data but a majority of people want to use their connection between 4-9pm. I understand why ISPS introduce such systems because otherwise heavy downloaders would hog all the bandwidth but I do not agree with the limits and times this traffic management system is in place.

I personally don't download very much apart from the odd program on the BBCi player. My online gaming uses very little because I don't often use the xbox marketplace. However the point is should one day I spot a demo I want to play or a HD video I want to download then I can do so if I wish without restrictions. I find it ironic that Virgin advertises "the mother of all broadband" and yet on xbox live the majority of people who lag are those with virgin media. Now technically speaking Virgin should be the best ISP due to the fibre optic cables but poor management means this isn't the case.

There are many who agree if you look at these reviews.

Virgin 6 out of 10, O2 9.38 out of 10

Virgin 3/10

O2 8/10

Virgin 4/10, O2 9/10

Yup, I download/upload nowhere near as much as these trigger values, but for heavy users (gaming , P2P etc) then yes these traffic management systems can be a pain. I am more than happy with Virgin Broadband giving me over 4 times the speed ADSL could ever give me. Horses for courses I suppose.

You're quiet right in what you say and if you don't participate in gaming for example you aren't going to notice many problems.

However times are changing and online gaming is becoming more popular with something like 7million registered Xbox live members. We are also beginning to see HD streaming and because we now have the ability of connecting our consoles via our PCs via our network we can download a HD video on our PC and then watch this on our HDTVS.

May I suggest that these heavy users are becoming the norm as more services become available.

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