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Question Plusnet Fibre Help

DanielWilko

Active Member
Hi all, wondering if anyone with good knowledge can assist.

Our landlord has installed Plusnet Unlimited Fibre which should result in speeds of 38mbps (33 minimum). The router is located in a room downstairs and shared by 2 small flats (3/4 people max). Its been installed for 3 weeks now and the performance so far has been pretty poor. The walls are pretty thin in the flats (plasterboard) and the distance from the router to my flat is roughly 6/9metres.

Speedtests seems to fluctuate between 30 and 15 and then 2 and sometimes even 0 but the worst of the issues is that it seems to drop out every 5 to 10 mins for a few minutes and then reboot again. For example at 6:39pm the test showed Ping of 8ms Download of 0.41 and Upload of 1.0 and then another test at 6:41 showed P 8ms D 36.07 and U of 9.69 but then minutes after it dropped off and resulted in a Download of P 7s D of 15.9 U of 5.23. This is a constant issue. Testing in the room and testing by the Router seems to make no difference.

I have also noticed that is seems to constantly (I mean every 3/5 mins) change from 2.4GHZ to 5GHZ. Not sure if this could be a factor? Their is only one conenction to join (ie. no separate 2.4 and 5).

Both myself and the landlord are not experts and are quite confused and want to sort this as its very frustrating not being able to use PS4 or Netflix etc. A 40mb application took 4 mins to download last night on Fibre which is obviously shocking.

Was wondering if anyone experienced similar issues? new any way to fix this? what we can specifically say to PlusNet?

anything would be appreciated. I obviously cannot call and deal with them myself as the landlord pays the bills/account holder.
 

youngsyp

Distinguished Member
A few observations.

Your quoted max connection speed sounds like the one Plusnet state for the service. What is the actual rate, taken at the modem/ router?

Assessing broadband connections, using line stats gathered over WiFi is folly. There are so many factors that could affect that connection method, you'll struggle to get to the bottom of any actual service connection issue. Don't trust line rates or latency (ping) figures that aren't gathered by any other method than direct ethernet connection to the modem/ router.

It sounds like your landlord is using the same SSID for both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi bands. That's not great practice, for the reasons you're seeing. 5GHz is great if you have unobscured line of site to the access point and pretty poor in any other scenario. For you, using the 2.4GHz band would give better results.

It sounds like you'll have an uphill struggle to try and sort this one, so best of luck.

Paul
 

DanielWilko

Active Member
A few observations.

Your quoted max connection speed sounds like the one Plusnet state for the service. What is the actual rate, taken at the modem/ router?

Assessing broadband connections, using line stats gathered over WiFi is folly. There are so many factors that could affect that connection method, you'll struggle to get to the bottom of any actual service connection issue. Don't trust line rates or latency (ping) figures that aren't gathered by any other method than direct ethernet connection to the modem/ router.

It sounds like your landlord is using the same SSID for both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi bands. That's not great practice, for the reasons you're seeing. 5GHz is great if you have unobscured line of site to the access point and pretty poor in any other scenario. For you, using the 2.4GHz band would give better results.

It sounds like you'll have an uphill struggle to try and sort this one, so best of luck.

Paul
Haven't a scooby! Surely, the reading must be at least slightly accurate? When the Internet is working its fantastic I can play a good session of CODMW for at least a couple of hours. Sorry I probably should have clarified that this isn't a 24/7 issue. There have actually been times where it has worked perfectly.

So I can plug an Ethernet cable into a laptop and then directly into the router to get a more accurate reading?

How can I instruct him to split it?

cheers
Dan
 

youngsyp

Distinguished Member
Surely, the reading must be at least slightly accurate?
Possibly and possibly not. Regardless, as you don't know for sure what the line is capable of, you have no baseline for comparison.
So I can plug an Ethernet cable into a laptop and then directly into the router to get a more accurate reading?
That's the only way to get an accurate figure.

You also need to get into the modem/ router's GUI and see what it's syncing at. That's your baseline.

How can I instruct him to split it?
Each band just needs a different name (the SSID). You can even use the same passphrase. Simple as that.

Which speed checker are you using? I'd suggest DSLReports as that will give you some other useful metrics.
Also, to check latency, open a command prompt and ping www.bbc.co.uk.

Paul
 

DanielWilko

Active Member
Possibly and possibly not. Regardless, as you don't know for sure what the line is capable of, you have no baseline for comparison.


That's the only way to get an accurate figure.

You also need to get into the modem/ router's GUI and see what it's syncing at. That's your baseline.



Each band just needs a different name (the SSID). You can even use the same passphrase. Simple as that.

Which speed checker are you using? I'd suggest DSLReports as that will give you some other useful metrics.
Also, to check latency, open a command prompt and ping www.bbc.co.uk.

Paul

Will pass on the info. Thanks for the help.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
The point my colleague is making is that in testing with Wi-Fi (which is fickle and fundamentally unreliable) you don't know whether you have an issue with Wi-Fi or an issue with you ISP link. If the latter, you can contact the ISP to sort it. If the former you are more or less on your own (though we can help.) By testing using ethernet, you take Wi-Fi out of the equation and can establish whether the ISP link is working reliably or not.

If your install is fairly new, it can take up to a fortnight for the equipment in the exchange to "train" the line to it's optimal performance and during that training period the ISP link could go up and down a bit.

The best place to get line stats is in the routers diagnostic pages if it has them (not all do.)

In Wi-Fi, it's not "the system" that decides which waveband to use if you use the same SSID, it's the client device. If your client is flapping between 2.4GHz and 5GHz, then there may be some reason it's doing so such as an interference or other poor signalling conditions.

So, on the back of my colleagues advice I suggest, 1st ensure the install has been in place long enough to train the line, 2nd monitor the router line stats and see how they behave, (in preference to speedtest sites) then 3rd if the line looks good, you can start investigating if you have Wi-FI issues. It sounds like you've got interference and/or coverage problems , but prove the ISP line is good first.

Of course, both your Wi-Fi air time and ISP link are finite resources, and if you are all competing for it (its anything but "fair") at once, performance for any individual could get funky. Whereas is everyone else is out, you may have it all to yourself.
 

DanielWilko

Active Member
Just had an update from the landlord to say he has set a designated channel on the router and has set it to 2.4ghz. (a little slower but reaching further)

He has given me access to the router in the other room also so I can try the Ethernet cable way to test and see what details I get back. I will post them when I get a chance too.

Thanks to anyone who can and has advised.
 

DanielWilko

Active Member
Just to update, I came home today and ran a wifi test in our room and that resulted in D 2mbps. Waited a few moments and did another test in the room and the download went up to 36mbps. I did another test next to the router and it was 36mbps again.

I know have a temporary key to the room where the router is and connected my laptop via Ethernet into the router and ran a test on DSL reports. The two tests both came back with great speeds at 36mbps and uploads at 9mbps.

However after unplugging the cable and trying a test on WiFi when it reconnected a further test results in speeds on 28kbits per second (which is unbearable lol) and the BufferBloat was in the 2000s.

Does that make any sense to anyone?

A further Ethernet connected test has results in D 36mbps and U at 9mbps but I am sure it will just drop off again. Hopefully this sheds a little more info for someone to be able to help !
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
You really need to to monitor the line stats for a few days and look at the trend. If it's staying pretty steady, then is suggests the ISP line is OK. If so, thence you have a "Wi-Fi" problem.

If it's a Wi-Fi problem, then the causes are many. The symptoms you describe are sympomatic of an interference issue which could be anything, not just Wi-Fi - the radio frequencies used by Wi-Fi are available for any use, not just Wi-Fi - baby monitors, video senders, microwave ovens, car alarms, to name check just a few. However, you need specialist equipment to track these down.

You could try getting hold of a Wi-Fi scanner app such as Acryllic Wi-Fi Home if you have a laptop and take a look at what other Wi-Fi AP's are in your locale. It may be that a better choice of radio channel helps.

It could be that you have a router with bum hardware, the only way to check that is to try another one in the same locale.

It could simply be that the location of the router is not very good and there's simple too much "stuff" between you and it to get good signalling conditions. Wi-Fi hates anything wet or metal. You mentioned it's in a cupboard - if that is (for example) where the water tanks are, then it'll make life interesting. Structure of the walls can be challenging too. Some "thin" stud walls can be a problem if they used the sort of plasterboards that have foil insulation.
 

maf1970

Well-known Member
Our landlord has installed Plusnet Unlimited Fibre which should result in speeds of 38mbps (33 minimum). The router is located in a room downstairs and shared by 2 small flats (3/4 people max).
So is the room the router is located in belong to either of the flats ? From the sounds of things you are in breach of T&Cs already.(sharing with other addresses).

Just had an update from the landlord to say he has set a designated channel on the router and has set it to 2.4ghz. (a little slower but reaching further)
Without having done the necessary research first this could be making things worse.

I agree with what mickevh says in the above post.
You need to spend the next couple of days testing the connection both via wired and wifi. You will need to do this at least 3 times per day
Second you need to get a wifi app on your smartphone and/or suitable software on your laptop to make a wifi map. This will let you see how good or bad reception is throughout your flat and then how good it is in the same place as the router. By also looking at the strength of the channel signals are aswell it will give you a picture of how the wifi is laid out. Remember here are 2 bands - 2.4 and 5. Survey each.
 

Bigfingers

Distinguished Member
Have you also ruled out other people hogging bandwidth. A domestic router/firewall is not ideal in commercial situations. You could for example have other people seeding torrent etc.
If QOS is not set up, then it needs to be to ensure everyone gets a slice of the cake.
 

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