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Sky Broadband Mid: Poor Download Speed

MarkyPancake

Distinguished Member
My friend is on Sky's mid package and recently got a 360, so I went over to help him set it up and configure the router's ports for Live. The first problem we had was you couldn't communicate with the Sky Netgear router via Ethernet so he got a replacement and that works normally, but after setting it up today and making sure everything was online I did a speed test at Speedtest.net using the Maidenhead server and was surprised with the results: 277 kb/s down and 363 kb/s up and the ping was over 120 ms, the up isn't too bad but the down is terrible. I'm on Virgin Media's 2 MB packages and my results vary between 1600-2000 down and 180-200 up and a 20-50 ms ping. I downloaded a 4 MB theme and it took a couple of minutes and the I Am Legend 100 MB HD trailer took over an hour.

What is wrong and how do I fix it?
 

Rygar

Prominent Member
Can you post the line stats from the router (line/sync rate, SNR, Attenuation).

Try to increase sync speed by plugging into the test port hidden behind the face plate of the master socket. See here for instructions.

You can also try using TCP Optimizer to increase throughput.

Ignore the ping result on speedtest. It is not a true ping test. If you want to test ping use the ping command from a command prompt within windows & ping the BBC or similar. The only useful purpose of the speedtest ping result is for picking the best server to test speed on (lowest ping is best server even if it is not the suggested one). London is typically better than Maidenhead or Dublin.

Personally I prefer this one for a quick & easy test.

If none of this helps then your friend will probably need to log a fault with Sky, but lets see what those stats tell us first.
 

MarkyPancake

Distinguished Member
I haven't been able to get over there yet, but thought I would include some more details of our online experience yesterday.

Despite the reported download we were able to play Halo 3 split-screen online with no better or worse connection than anybody else, based on the in-game signal bar, and I downloaded some free software which came down on his laptop at 667 kb/s over wireless after the test said 277. The 360 is wired.
 

Rygar

Prominent Member
Yeah definetly a problem there. Have you tried any of the other suggestions yet? Also try to post the router line stats.
 

MarkyPancake

Distinguished Member
Because I don't know when I can get over there at the moment I've sent him what he needs to do to get the line stats and will report back as soon as possible.
 

Rygar

Prominent Member
Its his downstream attenuation that is the problem. It could well be higher than 63.5, the router cant measure any higher though.

He is either very far from his exchange or has bad internal wiring (or both).

Get him to try the test port as per my post above & see if that makes any difference.

Problems of this nature are ISP independent. In other words he would have the same issues with any ADSL ISP.
 

MarkyPancake

Distinguished Member
Its his downstream attenuation that is the problem. It could well be higher than 63.5, the router cant measure any higher though.

He is either very far from his exchange or has bad internal wiring (or both).

Get him to try the test port as per my post above & see if that makes any difference.

Problems of this nature are ISP independent. In other words he would have the same issues with any ADSL ISP.
The house was only built last year so I imagine it's the distance from the exchange, although another friend lives not too far from this one on the same house development area but has BT broadband and gets at least 6,000 kb/s down. I believe BT use two exchanges to service this area, one is close and the other is not and is overcrowded.

I will definitely try the test port method though, when we can arrange a time to get together.

Why is the download attenuation affected and not the upload?

May I always live somewhere that has cable broadband!
 

Rygar

Prominent Member
Upstream is rarely a problem. It's just the way the standard works. Mainly because its asymmetrical with upstream only being allocated a fraction of the line.

TCP Optimizer will only help with throughput. While its worth doing he will not see much difference until sync has been improved, so really need to get out the screwdriver and plug into that test port. No guarantees it will improve things but definitely worth a try.
 

MarkyPancake

Distinguished Member
My friend tried the test port in the master socket and the download speed was better, but still less than 400 kb/s, he also said the wiring doesn't quite match that of the site you suggested, especially the non-master sockets.

Before we remove any wires he's going to give Sky a call and see what they say. I said he may as well save him self £5 per month if they can't do anything and drop down to their free service.
 

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