Upgrading my Plusnet Accoun to wirelsee

Discussion in 'Broadband' started by tim....., Aug 26, 2015.

  1. tim.....

    tim..... Guest

    Having been a Luddite for far too long I have decide that it's time to get a
    wireless router

    Does the team think that I should accept the router that PN will/may offer
    me, or should I go and buy something else (presumably "better")

    TIA

    tim
     
    tim....., Aug 26, 2015
    #1
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  2. "tim....." wrote
    wireless router
    me, or should I go and buy something else (presumably "better")

    I have been quite happy with the Technicolor supplied and have had no need
    for support in 2 years.
     
    Michael R N Dolbear, Aug 27, 2015
    #2
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  3. tim.....

    Graham J Guest


    Using Ethernet cables to connect all your devices will save you endless
    distress.

    Wireless can only really be guaranted to work within the same relatively
    small room. The signals do not travel well through walls, floors, hot
    water tanks, copper piping, or the metal mesh used to hold plaster onto
    walls. In short, everyting your house is made of will conspire to block it.

    Further, wireless uses a single shared spectrum with collision
    avoidance, so it is inherently half-duplex, and its performance degrades
    rapidly with congestion.

    It's not a sensible solution to the problem of connecting a device to a
    router. It has been hopelessly oversold. But in some circumstances it
    might be adequate for your needs.

    If you have spare money, put in Ethernet cables and re-decorate. Also
    buy a network switch to increase capacity to accommodate all the devices
    you want to connect.
     
    Graham J, Aug 27, 2015
    #3
  4. tim.....

    Tim+ Guest

    Hmm, not too many network ports on my iPad or phone or Now TV box.
    It's a very sensible solution to connecting smaller handheld and other
    portable devices. Much easier to boot up an iPad than a laptop to browse
    net content. For most folk, it's quite good enough and preferable to
    stringing one's house with spaghetti.

    Tim
     
    Tim+, Aug 27, 2015
    #4
  5. tim.....

    Bob Henson Guest

    I agree to some extent concerning ethernet - but unless you are wiring a
    new house as it is built, or prepared for major building works, it isn't
    practical for many. A compromise alternative way is to use ethernet
    powerline adaptors which (on UK electrical systems, anyway) work a treat.

    I agree that WiFi is hit and miss. I've spent weeks trying to find out why
    all my WiFi kit worked fine with the exception of my tablet. Finally, I
    solved the problem by accident when a change to a fibre connection fixed it
    - by providing a much better router. Woody is quite correct to say that it
    does matter which router you have. As a bonus, my phone (the only thing I
    have that is new enough to use it) is now connected to the 5Ghz band and it
    is much better for it.

    I think the difference in view depends on what kit you have. If you have
    laptops (or desktops), then your solution is the one to go down if it is
    practical. If it is not practical (i.e. most houses with a wife/girlfriend
    in them :) ) then the powerline adaptor is the way to go. If you have
    tablets and phones, ethernet is not an option at all, so it has to be a
    WiFi router - in which case it has to be a good router.


    --
    Bob
    Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England

    Wife - a woman who has ceased to be your girlfriend but resents anyone
    trying to fill the vacancy.
     
    Bob Henson, Aug 27, 2015
    #5
  6. tim.....

    PeeGee Guest

    I've just received the latest PN router (2704n) which is locked down so
    it only suitable for the technically challenged. It also has lots of
    complaints about its wireless capability and a few acceptables. I think
    it is overpriced at £0.00 including delivery - I didn't ask for it, BTW!

    --
    PeeGee

    "Nothing should be able to load itself onto a computer without the
    knowledge or consent of the computer user. Software should also be able
    to be removed from a computer easily."
    Peter Cullen, Microsoft Chief Privacy Strategist (Computing 18 Aug 05)
     
    PeeGee, Aug 27, 2015
    #6
  7. tim.....

    Martin Brown Guest

    If it is free then why not give it a try? Wireless works pretty well
    provided you set a decent strong password and use WPA for security.

    These days most providers send out routers with secure passwords but
    plenty of ageing ones are still around with stupid known defaults and
    broadcast their model number in their SSID to advertise the fact!
    For the very fastest devices I would agree but video streaming over a
    modern Wifi link is trivial these days even in a Victorian house.
    It is true that the manufacturers range estimations are based on US
    cardboard and wood houses. Victorian plasterers using chickenwire in
    some walls is a bother in my house but not unduly so.

    In a modern house I'd expect the signal to reach outside the perimeter
    of the property with ease - unless you have mirrored walls throughout.
    That is a possible factor in a built up city as was the tendency of
    every BT modem to sit on channel 11 by default (I think now fixed).
    It is perfect for mobile devices like tablets and laptops. Even better
    if the router will allow you to put the printer on the network.
    These days I'd be more inclined to use ethernet over powerline - the
    adaptors are cheap and reliable. I have wired ethernet between the
    places that are in effect inside a Faraday cage but wifi covers the
    house and will reach the Village Hall with my high gain antenna.
     
    Martin Brown, Aug 27, 2015
    #7
  8. tim.....

    Martin Brown Guest

    It takes about 3' stone walls with chicken wire plaster to stop my
    signal. The dead spot is behind that former core section of the house.

    Everything else gets illuminated OK because I have the router installed
    high up well above the ground floor ceiling level. In a modern house I
    doubt there is a problem although any foil vapour barriers might prevent
    signal escaping into the garden so easily.
    Depends if the PN router upgrade is free, gratis and for nothing he
    might as well try that first. If buying then a quick review of the
    current offerings and recommendations is wise to avoid buying a lemon.

    I am presently using EE's default router (in part because their support
    team won't accept diagnostics off any other kit). It is marginally
    better on my noisy ADSL line than my bought predecessor and the Wifi
    signal is almost as good. Wifi signal quality varies with the weather
    too - a wet roof reflecting more signal back down into the house...
     
    Martin Brown, Aug 27, 2015
    #8
  9. tim.....

    Martin Brown Guest

    There is your answer. FOC so try it and see - chances are it will work
    plenty well enough unless you have a demanding Victorian build home.

    If it doesn't then buying a decent wifi router for £40-60 is your nect
    option - these days worth having one that can take a USB printer on the
    network and/or 3/4G dongle as connectivity backup.
     
    Martin Brown, Aug 27, 2015
    #9
  10. tim.....

    chris Guest

    I used the PN router for several years with no issues. The interface is
    a bit slow, but you rarely need to go into it. I ran it 24/7 and it only
    required a reboot on a couple of occasions.

    I have since bought a new dual band router (TP-link Archer) as the PN
    one was struggling with the smart TV we bought, often dropping iPlayer
    or 4OD connections - the TV is about as far away you can get from the
    router in the house. The 5GHz signal is rock solid.

    So, ignore the wifi naysayers, ethernet is not a viable option for 95%
    of people and pointless for smartphones and tablets. Wifi does work, but
    do think about where you put the router: somewhere relatively central
    without too many (thick) walls in the way of where you're most likely to
    use the wifi.

    The only caveat I'd say is if you live in a block of flats with
    paper-thin walls; the interference from neighbouring routers may swamp
    your wifi.
     
    chris, Aug 27, 2015
    #10
  11. tim.....

    Bob Henson Guest

    In the latter case, you could always line the adjoining walls with earthed
    kitchen foil :)

    --
    Bob
    Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England

    I went for a medical and asked the doctor, "How do I stand?" He said,
    "That's what puzzles me too!"
     
    Bob Henson, Aug 27, 2015
    #11
  12. As long as you're doing this to *add* wireless capability so you can
    connect more devices, rather than to *replace* (perhaps in the
    interests of tidiness) the cabled connection you're presumably already
    using that seems like a good idea.

    Wireless modem/routers (sometimes they're called "hubs") usually
    include several ethernet connectors so as long as you don't intend to
    move your existing computer, you can, and should, continue to use the
    existing ethernet cable connection with that computer simultaneously
    with any other devices you connect by wireless.
    Everyone will have their own recommendation, but this is what I'm
    using and I've found it to be pretty good-

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00K6D2ESM?keywords=8800nl&qid=1440670046&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

    This actually replaced a cheapTechnicolor router (TG582n) and in my
    case the wireless performance noticeably improved without any
    particularly technical tests. My bedside internet radio has completely
    stopped dropping out and re-synching which it would previously do
    several times an hour.

    Two other things I like about the Billion device are-

    1. It contains both ADSL and VDSL modems, so can work on either
    system. Not many modem/routers in this price range can do this. If you
    are using "standard" ADSL but might want to upgrade to VDSL ("fibre"),
    you wouldn't need to replace the box, just change a setting.

    2. It runs very cool to the touch, unlike most other small gadgets
    which are noticeably warm. I haven't bothered to make electrical
    measurements of power consumption (which is difficult to do accurately
    at low values anyway), but the lack of waste heat is surely a good
    sign, indicating superior efficiency, and a valuable property for
    something that is required to be powered all the time.

    Rod.
     
    Roderick Stewart, Aug 27, 2015
    #12
  13. tim.....

    NY Guest

    Yes, PN's Technicolour routers seem to be as reliable and as fast as any
    other make (TP-Link, Netgear etc). The only problem I have with them is
    navigating through the menus which are a lot less intuitive, particularly to
    find wireless key screen and broadband line stats screen.

    One thing to be aware of. PN use proprietary firmware which has the username
    hard-coded into it - you can change it from the menu but it reverts to the
    original one if you connect it to a different PN connection... as I found
    out when someone gave me their old Technicolour router as a spare when they
    got a new one and I tried it on my PN line: I put in my username/password
    and wondered why it connected and then stopped working after a few seconds
    and the username had reverted to the friend's values. Apparently if you ring
    PN they will remove the router's serial number from their system in this
    situation so it no longer happens.
     
    NY, Aug 27, 2015
    #13
  14. tim.....

    Tim+ Guest

    The main reason to accept and use, at least initially, the supplied router
    is that technical support is geared towards dealing with problems with
    their own kit, not third party stuff.

    So, get you line up and running and then if you're happy with the service,
    get a combined vdsl router/modem as it doesn't half reduce the clutter.

    Tim
     
    Tim+, Aug 27, 2015
    #14
  15. tim.....

    Woody Guest

    Methinks two bits of misunderstanding there Rod.

    A hub is a device to which Ethernet is connected and which broadcasts
    to all ports anything received from one port - it does not per se do
    anything like the work of a router.

    A switch is a hub with intelligence and learns which addresses are
    connected to which port and only sends messages out on the required
    port. On a router with four ethernet connections those connections
    usually work effectively as a switch.

    A router is a very different beast, acting as a switch for anything
    within its own network, and as an outside interfaces to addresses
    outside its own network.

    The Billion device does NOT contain both ADSL and VDSL modems - the
    modem is one and the same but can handle the different types of data
    of the two systems. In most cases BT will provide a modem which has an
    ethernet connection and this unit can be made to work as a cable
    router, i.e. one that only uses ethernet in and out.

    I have a TP-Link AC750 Archer D2 on cable and it works a treat.
     
    Woody, Aug 27, 2015
    #15
  16. tim.....

    tim..... Guest

    what do you mean by "clutter"?
     
    tim....., Aug 27, 2015
    #16
  17. tim.....

    tim..... Guest

    I hate having cables nailed to the skirting, round all edges of the doors
    etc

    and I certainly don't want them traipsed across the middle of the floor

    The only alternative would be going up in the roof and back down again -
    sorry too much effort
    I shall be plugging my main computer into the Ethernet plug just as now, but
    I need to connect my tablet and TV in the living room.

    There's only me. I shall never be using two devices at the same time

    tim
     
    tim....., Aug 27, 2015
    #17
  18. tim.....

    Tim+ Guest

    Well normally you get an openreach modem which you then have to connect by
    ethernet cable to your PN router (as it doesn't have a built in modem).

    This modem has its own power supply so now you have two boxes, two power
    supplies and extra spaghetti. One router/modem is a lot tidier.

    Tim
     
    Tim+, Aug 27, 2015
    #18
  19. [snip]
    What you say is correct, but a typical domestic "internet box" will
    contain some or all of these things, or at any rate the wherewithall
    to connect several devices to each other and to the internet, some by
    wireless if required. Rightly or wrongly, some ISPs (BT and Virgin
    come to mind) do refer to their combined device as a "hub".
    I haven't seen a circuit diagram so couldn't say exactly what
    electronics it uses to do it, but one way or another it contains
    whatever is necessary to work on both systems, ADSL and VDSL, which is
    all a prospective buyer needs to know. You can use one of these on
    ADSL then upgrade to VDSL without having to buy a new box, or any
    other hardware - just change a software setting and carry on.
    One other device I was considering was made by TP-Link, another one
    with both ADSL and VDSL capability. I think what decided the matter in
    the end was that my modem/router location is on a little shelf high up
    in a corner, and the Billion device stands upright with its indicator
    lamps at the front, while the TP-Link one lies flat. You might think
    this a silly reason, but there probably isn't much to choose between
    the two by performance, as people speak highly of both brands, so I
    thought I might as well get one I can see properly.

    Rod.
     
    Roderick Stewart, Aug 27, 2015
    #19
  20. tim.....

    tim..... Guest

    I don't know if it's free - I'm not a "new" customer.

    I haven't phoned up to ask yet (I wanted to be prepared with my "answers")
    Hm,

    the last time I asked about wireline (not here) I got a batch of answers
    suggesting it was a waste of time

    I'm also a bit stuck (and the source end) for where to plug it in, unless I
    put it on a 4-way extension- will that reduce performance?

    tim
     
    tim....., Aug 27, 2015
    #20
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