FTTP installation questions.

ron swanson

Active Member
I'm finally getting a fibre connections in a few weeks and am just looking for some information and advice from people who have been through the process.

I was looking at getting the modem installed behind the TV in the living room, the router currently is in my hallway and with a wireless extender I currently am able to get a good signal in my annex which doubles up as an office/games room.

If I can get it installed behind the TV I would probably be moving it from it about 20 feet away from it's current position but in doing this I use a wired connection on my sky box and hopefully help ease my connection issues with that. Sky actually installed an wired connection between the two boxes so I was going to unplug the mini from the main box and plug that into the router as well if that would help with the drop outs on the mini too.

My main concern with moving it from it's current position is the signal strength to the annex. Which was where I was considering a mesh system. If I placed a mesh disc where the current router is sat and then another in the annex am I correct in thinking that the mesh would work and broadcast the signal in my the same way my current setup does.

I would consider an ethernet box in the annex also as I put earlier sky connected the two boxes with a cable so I could use that from the modem to an ethernet box then connect my sky box and consoles with a wired connection but if I'm being totally honest the medusas head of cables in the annex is not something I particularly want to add to! That's if my thinking that sky installed a standard ethernet cable between the boxes is correct.

I'm trying to get a balance between signal and tidiness if that makes sense, I know wireless will always be slower than wired but I'm ok with that.

Just after some opinion and advice really.

Bit of a long post so thanks for reading.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
In data networking a "modem" and a "router" are very different things - a typical SOHO "get-you-on-the-Internet" omni-box sometimes contains both, though a few so-called "cable" routers that omit the modem, either because the line termination is presented on ethernet (ie a modem is not required) or someone wants to use a separate modem for some reason.

"Routers" join networks together, thusly a router is the demarkation point (topologically) between "your" network and whatever other networks you connect to, which in the SOHO use case is almost always the rest of the world via you ISP.

Attached to the "Using Two Routers Together" FAQ pinned in this forum is a block diagram of what's in a typical SOHO router.

So wherever you place a "modem" you need to (at least topologically) cable a router downstream of it then everything else (topologically) downstream of the router. If you are getting FTTP installed, then the line box probably presents onto ethernet (ie it effectively is your modem) so you'll need to cable a router to that. You cannot have "just" a modem if you want to use more than one device.

No-one can predict how any Wi-Fi deployment will work as there are just too many variables in effect, (at least not without a site survey and even then it sometimes throws up some surprises when we turn it all on.)

Generally, it's best to get as much as possible onto wires, especially things that don't move and "backhaul" links between infrastructure elements such as routers, switches, AP's, etc. to leave as much Wi-Fi "air time" for the remaining Wi-Fi devices where it's more useful. If you have any cables in situ, then take advantage of them where you can and use alternate methods (such as Wi-FI, HomePlugs,) where you have to.
 
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ron swanson

Active Member
In data networking a "modem" and a "router" are very different things - a typical SOHO "get-you-on-the-Internet" omni-box sometimes contains both, though a few so-called "cable" routers that omit the modem, either because the line termination is presented on ethernet (ie a modem is not required) or someone wants to use a separate modem for some reason.

"Routers" join networks together, thusly a router is the demarkation point (topologically) between "your" network and whatever other networks you connect to, which in the SOHO use case is almost always the rest of the world via you ISP.

Attached to the "Using Two Routers Together" FAQ pinned in this forum is a block diagram of what's in a typical SOHO router.

So wherever you place a "modem" you need to (at least topologically) cable a router downstream of it then everything else (topologically) downstream of the router. If you are getting FTTP installed, then the line box probably presents onto ethernet (ie it effectively is your modem) so you'll need to cable a router to that. You cannot have "just" a modem if you want to use more than one device.

No-one can predict how any Wi-Fi deployment will work as there are just too many variables in effect, (at least not without a site survey and even then it sometimes throws up some surprises when we turn it all on.)

Generally, it's best to get as much as possible onto wires, especially things that don't move and "backhaul" links between infraastructure elements such as routers, switches, AP's, etc. to leave as much Wi-Fi "air time" for the remaining Wi-Fi devices where it's more useful. If you have any cables in situ, then take advantage of them where you can and use alternate methods (such as Wi-FI, HomePlugs,) where you have to.
Thanks for that.
I'm thinking of using the using the ethernet cable sky installed between the boxes as the wired link between the house and the annex and utilising a wifi extender in the annex that is plugged in via ethernet to give myself a signal there. So far this is probably the simplest thing I can think of.

Slightly off topic even cableing the sky boxes together made no difference to performance so I'm going to cancel the subscription for the mini which will leave the cable unused.

I'm trying my best to keep things as tidy as possible. I'm hoping BT will be able to give me a little more advice when they do the installation but trying to get myself as prepared as possible before that.

In my old house I had a FTTC installation and when I had that I had a separate modem and router that was a couple of years ago so I'm not sure if BT will give me an all in one solution this time around or not. All I know is they are sending me a new smart hub.

We've got 3 locations in mind for the installation of the box.
 

wormvortex

Member
It will be two boxes. You will get an Openreach ONT which is where the fibre connection terminates and from that an ethernet cable will link to the BT smart hub which should be sent in the post.
 

ron swanson

Active Member
It will be two boxes. You will get an Openreach ONT which is where the fibre connection terminates and from that an ethernet cable will link to the BT smart hub which should be sent in the post.
Thanks, thats what I was anticipating but wasn't 100% sure. I'm guessing that I plug anything I want cabled into the smart hub?

My TP link extender has an AP mode so I'm thinking at least short term to pinch the ethernet cable sky used to connect the boxes together to link the TP extender to the smart hub and utilize it as a wireless AP in the annex.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
My TP link extender has an AP mode so I'm thinking at least short term to pinch the ethernet cable sky used to connect the boxes together to link the TP extender to the smart hub and utilize it as a wireless AP in the annex.

That's best way (fastest and most reliable) to facilitate a backhaul link to an AP if you can.

If you want some additional ethernet ports in the same location, you could "cripple" an old router and use it as an AP/switch combo (or look for an old router with an "AP mode" - though not all have it.) How to cripple an old router is described in the "Using Two Routers Together" FAQ pinned in this forum. Or add just add a switch as well - but that's an extra box of course.

BTW - IIRC some of the newer BT SmartHubs have their own "mesh" Wi-Fi capability, (I believe you have to buy the extra "discs" (AP's) as I think BT call them.) When your Smarthub turns up, have a look and see what it offers and whether it's any use to you.
 
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ron swanson

Active Member
That's best way (fastest and most reliable) to facilitate a backhaul link to an AP if you can.

If you want some additional ethernet ports in the same location, you could "cripple" an old router and use it as an AP/switch combo (or look for an old router with an "AP mode" - though not all have it.) How to cripple an old router is described in the "Using Two Routers Together" FAQ pinned in this forum. Or add just add a switch as well - but that's an extra box of course.

BTW - IIRC some of the newer BT SmartHubs have their own "mesh" Wi-Fi capability, (I believe you have to buy the extra "discs" (AP's) as I think BT call them.) When your Smarthub turns up, have a look and see what it offers and whether it's any use to you.

Thanks.

I've never been a big fan of homhubs in any of their various forms. I was going to let the engineer set it all up and once I know it's all working go back to using my TP Link equipment. I managed to get an ethernet box (TP link) cheap of amazon so I should hopefully be able to give myself a few options with regards to what I do. Ideally I would like the sky boxes wired to the router to eliminate the connection issues which seem to stem from the wifi connection to the main box.

I'm just looking forward to having a decent internet connection again it's been ages since I moved and lost my FTTC connection that while was only 30meg was far better than the fluctuation between 4 and 6 meg I currently get.

Appriciate all the advice you've given me. I just hope theres no late hitches on their end!

Thanks again for everyone for their time.
 

ron swanson

Active Member
Thought I would give an update.

The installation took place on friday the fibre connection was installed behind the TV so my skybox is hardwired. The speed is still settling down a bit but in the house I typically get around 120meg wireless there.

I ended up purchasing a deco M5 dish for the annex as my old vr400 router and my re305 couldn't get above 20-30 meg and seemed to constantly disconnect.

The deco is connected to the hombehub via ethernet. Well via an ethernet box and currently everything is working. I'm going to hardwire my consoles when I get time to do it properly to see if I can get a little bit more speed and use the wifi just for phone, laptop etc. But wifi in the annex sits around 95meg when i perform a speed test which considering I was on a 4-5meg connection is nothing short of a revalation.

Very happy at the moment but just looking to fine tune everything now
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Of the order of 95mbps is about as fast as a 100mbps ethenet link would "speed test" at. It may be that you've got a 100mbps ethernet link in the pathway. If you have and want to go faster, you'd need 1000mbps (AKA "gigabit") ethernet links.
 

ron swanson

Active Member
Of the order of 95mbps is about as fast as a 100mbps ethenet link would "speed test" at. It may be that you've got a 100mbps ethernet link in the pathway. If you have and want to go faster, you'd need 1000mbps (AKA "gigabit") ethernet links.

I'm pretty sure the cable that sky installed was 100mbps as it's function was to link the two boxes together and nothing more. I've just sort of 'borrowed' it for now to just get the internet up and running in the annex

I've got a couple more deco discs so I can try an experiment with placement, I tried to do it quickly yesterday and basically I made a hash of it and it's something that I need to look at doing when I've got a little more time as I'm pretty sure I messed up the placement of them.

I'd just like to see given the limitations of my cabling if mesh is much difference performance wise but it's a weekend job for sure!

Thanks for the information.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
If the cable is UTP, it's not impossible that it's limiting a link to 100mbps: 2 pair Cat5 would do so. But if it's Cat5e or better, unless it's got a wiring fault, it's more likely that 100mbps operation is a function of the equipment being used. The best way to know would be to check out the datasheets and see what speed they operate at.
 

ron swanson

Active Member
If the cable is UTP, it's not impossible that it's limiting a link to 100mbps: 2 pair Cat5 would do so. But if it's Cat5e or better, unless it's got a wiring fault, it's more likely that 100mbps operation is a function of the equipment being used. The best way to know would be to check out the datasheets and see what speed they operate at.

Sky installed it to link the 2 boxes together and I don't have any documentation that came with it. It's plugged into the homehub in port one on the yellow lan ports.

The ethernet box is a gigabyte box so I'm inclined to think it's the sky cable.

Any way I could use the home hub to look at the cable and see if it's limited? If so is there anything I could do about it? At the moment I don't really fancy getting another cable installed to be honest.

Do you think the mesh system is likely to perform worse than what I currently get in the annex? I can get a home hub signal in here but it comes in at about 3mbps so not much use.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
It would be worth checking what your "ethetnet box" actually is - cite the make and model number, it's usually writte on the "serial number" label if nowhere else.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
What colour is the light on the switch with the sky cable. It should be green on the top left of the port. If it’s top right then it’s running at 100meg.

It’s unusual not to terminate all the connections in the cable and you can’t buy just 100Mb cable.
 

ron swanson

Active Member
What colour is the light on the switch with the sky cable. It should be green on the top left of the port. If it’s top right then it’s running at 100meg.

It’s unusual not to terminate all the connections in the cable and you can’t buy just 100Mb cable.
The cable sky installed that I'm borrowing for the internet connection is marked up on the side as CAT5 UTP which I think is 100meg as a limit which would explain the limit I'm hitting on speed wouldn't it?

I'm really out of date with all this stuff to be honest but I'm pretty sure that the sky cable.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
Is it cat 5 or cat 5e? Cat 5 went out with the dinosaurs and if yours for sky q I doubt it would cat 5.

Cat 5e will do 10 gigabit over short lengths.

Hence if you check the flashing lights on the box it will confirm what the connection speed is.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Cat5 is still used by some telco's for extending phone circuits - OpenReach used it when they moved my master socket way back when.

From Cat5e onwards IIRC it's mandatory for UTP to be 4-pair whereas Cat5 can be 4-pair or 2-pair. If it is 2-pair Cat5, then that would explain why it cannot support gigabit. 10/100 ethernet only uses 2 pairs of wires in the cable, gigabit requires all four. So if a cable is "only" 2-pair cat5, then it would explain why it's only 10/100mbps.

The electrical signalling and data encoding for gigabit ethernet is significantly different to 100mbps - gigabit ethernet is not simply "100mbps, 10 times faster."
 

ron swanson

Active Member
Is it cat 5 or cat 5e? Cat 5 went out with the dinosaurs and if yours for sky q I doubt it would cat 5.

Cat 5e will do 10 gigabit over short lengths.

Hence if you check the flashing lights on the box it will confirm what the connection speed is.
It just says CAT5 on the cable.

Sky installed it to connect the boxes together as we were having dropout issues.
 

oneman

Well-known Member
It just says CAT5 on the cable.

Sky installed it to connect the boxes together as we were having dropout issues.
It should only be a problem if all 4 pairs are not wired up, cat 5 should still run at 1gb over short distances. Its actually quite hard to get hold off these days, even for telcos. Lowest spec readily available is Cat 5e.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
That indicates that its connected at gigabit speeds

1634134663262.png

Something else in the network is limited it.
 

ron swanson

Active Member
It should only be a problem if all 4 pairs are not wired up, cat 5 should still run at 1gb over short distances. Its actually quite hard to get hold off these days, even for telcos. Lowest spec readily available is Cat 5e.
How short of a distance would you consider short because this is a really long cable, I'm not sure exactly how long meters wise but it's definitely not what I would consider a short distance.

How would I go about checking the wiring? Is it something that can be rewired easily?

I plugged this cable directly into the access point I'm using and it tops out at around 95 meg. If I plug the AP it directly into the home hub it tops out at around 140meg.
 

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