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Old 23.04.2008, 10:36
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Checking/improving your ADSL speeds

Many of us wonder if we are getting the advertised speeds from our ADSL connections.

Here's an exceptionally interesting and well—written guide: http://tech.msn.com/howto/articlepcw.aspx?cp-documentid=6555722.

The speed test tool is great and the paragraphs about signal-to-noise ratio (or SN margin) and line attenuation are absolutely accurate even in Europe. Hopefully you can access the tech parts of your DSL modem to examine those values - quite simple with my FRITZ! box. Finally, paragraph 4 is also spot on, detailing the things inside your house that can drastically degrade DSL.

As is often the case, it's US-oriented but it's still very relevant to Switzerland. The principles of DSL are identical here.

The whole article is of particular interest to Bluewin TV users, as it may help detect why you are seeing freezes/macroblocks etc.

The article doesn't include my (and BT's) favorite cause of degradation - using a 4-wire phone extension cable to extend the phone connection from the wall socket to your ADSL modem inside your home. Only 2 wires are actually used - the unused wires just pick up interference which degrades the speed. It's hard to find 2-wire extension cables but worth the effort!

Enjoy!

RS
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Old 23.04.2008, 10:43
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Re: Checking/improving your ADSL speeds

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The article doesn't include my (and BT's) favorite cause of degradation - using a 4-wire phone extension cable to extend the phone connection from the wall socket to your ADSL modem inside your home. Only 2 wires are actually used - the unused wires just pick up interference which degrades the speed. It's hard to find 2-wire extension cables but worth the effort!
RS
Most of the phone cables I've seen here in Switzerland seem to be two-wire. Well, at least the ones I've cut apart.
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Old 23.04.2008, 10:55
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Re: Checking/improving your ADSL speeds

im a blury head about ADSL, DSL,,may be a stupid thing to ask, I wonder, hispeed cablecom or bluwin DSL, which one is better and worth to pay for a month.?
thank you...
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Old 23.04.2008, 11:12
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Re: Checking/improving your ADSL speeds

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Most of the phone cables I've seen here in Switzerland seem to be two-wire. Well, at least the ones I've cut apart.
If you're buying an extension cable and need to check if it's 2 or 4 wire, proceed as follows:

Locate an end that has the small US-style phone plug crimped on. Examine it very carefully (you may want to use a magnifying glass). You'll see the plug has 6 fine grooves for a possible 6 wires. The coloured outer insulation of the wires can be seen through the clear plastic if you look very carefully. On a 2-wire cable, only the centre two connections have a wire - all the other grooves are empty. Sometimes you'll find 4 wires - these cables are best avoided.

RS
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Old 23.04.2008, 11:28
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Re: Checking/improving your ADSL speeds

I find Wifi normally contributes to huge latency.

The amount of open connections your router supports, especially when you run P2P software, is pretty important too. Most routers support 256, which is pretty cack, with the stock firmware. Firmware like openwrt will let you increase this to about 4000, and depending on what router you have you'll see a decent speed increase (more accurately you are less likely to experience poor performance with a lot of net activity).

If you have an old PC spare, don't care about the electric and have somewhere to leave it where the noise isn't a problem checkout Smoothwall or ipcop. I found I got a huge performance increase on my ADSL connection with a Smoothwall box handling routing.
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Old 23.04.2008, 11:54
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Re: Checking/improving your ADSL speeds

I agree with Peachy; running Tomato firmware on a WRT54GL, I can maintain decent speeds but when I P2P, I can cause it to reboot (I actually think that this was a bug in an old version of the firmware).

Set to 1024 connections and downloading P2P stuff and streaming video saturates the effective bandwidth of the wireless connection.

If you get bad results on speed tests, try with a wired connection
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Old 23.04.2008, 14:22
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Re: Checking/improving your ADSL speeds

I get the same result wired or wireless.

Can't do anything about the router, this was provided by Swisscom, with 4 port Hub and Wireless. Guess I could search for an alternative, but not sure if this will work with the connection I have.

Phones are run over cat5e to each extension socket. Also cable coming into house is cat5e.

Will check out the Link to see if there is anything else I can do to improve this.
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Old 23.04.2008, 14:33
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Re: Checking/improving your ADSL speeds

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I get the same result wired or wireless.

Can't do anything about the router, this was provided by Swisscom, with 4 port Hub and Wireless. Guess I could search for an alternative, but not sure if this will work with the connection I have.
It will.

I'm on Swisscom and have a cheap arse Linksys AM200 modem attached to Smoothwall using PPPoE.
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