Virgin 1Gig Setup/Wifi Speeds

cunnas

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Hi all, just after a bit of really basic advice on this one - my knowledge on networking and wifi is fairly basic so bare with me!

I have Virgin 1 Gig internet at home - received a Virgin Superhub 5 and this is running in router mode - I have a couple of devices plugged in to this (Sky, Xbox) and the speeds over the wired connection seem very good - not really tested the speed but noticed when I download a game on the Xbox is flies down so from a plugged in point of view, I have no issues.

I also have a couple of the Virgin wifi plugs they sent me which seems decent for getting coverage around the house.

In terms of coverage, the house seems covered - I get decent bars on my phone, iPad and laptop all over the house, the issue I am having is with speed and this affects devices even close to the Super Hub. I am currently typing this out on my laptop which is 2m away from the router - when I run a speed test I get anything from 60MB up to a max of 250MB - the max is rare though.

My question is fairly simple, what do I need to do to get more speed from wifi devices? I would expect if I was stood at the end of the garden where coverage is low, that my speed may be affected but when I am sat in front of the router, surely the speed should be better?

I have some funds to upgrade but wanted your advice before I take the plunge and have a few basic questions.

Firstly, is this relatively low speed on wifi normal?
Is there anything I should be doing with the Super Hub 5 settings to improve things?
Should I stick the hub in modem mode and buy a different router? If so, which one would be the recommendation?
Should I go with mesh? Again, if so, what would be the recommendation?

I am not overly fussed with the low speed on my laptop as I just use it for work so download speed isn't really an issue but the kids have a PC (mainly for gaming) and an Xbox upstairs and when I do speed tests, the speed is often painfully low around the 10MB mark.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

In terms of network usage, standard family 2 adults, 2 kids, loads of devices - not massively heavy internet downloaders - just average I would say across the board including house side - 1960s, no massively thick walls etc
 
Wi-Fi 101:

Wi-Fi is fundamentally an "only one thing at a time can transmit" technology. The more "things" there are, the more they wish to transmit, the more "competition" (it's anything but "fair") there is for the available "air time."

A lot of so-called "boosters" and "extenders" are what is known in the Wi-Fi jargon as "Repeaters." Repeaters listen out for a Wi-Fi transmission, copy it, wait for the airwaves to go quiet, then broadcast an almost verbatim copy of the original transmission. Given the (see above) "only one thing at a time can transmit" paradigm of Wi-Fi, Repeaters are but one more "thing" competing for air time, both for client-repeater transmissions and repeater-base transmissions. Thusly they absolutely clobber the "throughtput" (what people mean when they talk about "speed.")

The amount of "bars" you see on a Wi-Fi client device is no kind of predictor of how "fast" your Wi-Fi usage experience will be except for all but the most simple use case of one Wi-Fi Access Point (AP) and a bunch of clients in the middle of a field with no neighbours nearby. It's nowhere near as simple as "lot's of bar equals lots of speed." Far from it. If you have Repeaters, the "bars" simply tells you how "loud" you are hearing the Repeater you are talking to, it takes no account of how the rest of the system is performing (or how congested it is.)

Wi-Fi has about 55-75% (ish) "protocol efficiency" compared to ethernet which has about 95%, which in english means we expect much less throughput on Wi-Fi compared to similar Link Rates on wired ethernet. This isn't "broke" - it's "just like that."

Not all Wi-Fi clients and AP's are capable of the fastest rates. One need to check the "speeds" of both clients and AP's. If your client is (for example) "only" 72mpbs capable, the 72mpbs (Link Rate) is all you get, no matter how "fast" your AP's are.

Wi-Fi is fundamentally fickle and unreliable. Again, "it's just like that" no matter what BS "marketing" come up with.

The fastest and most reliable data networking is achieved by not using Wi-Fi at all - use ethernet.

But if Wi-Fi is more convenient and/or necessary, then all we can do is give it the best chance of success, whilst being a bit "zen" about it's fundamental limitations.

If "speed" if your thing, then you need to use wired ethernet for the "backhaul" links between outpost AP's and the rest of the (wired) network. It's what we do on "big" corporate networks, we put up dozens/hundreds of AP's with wired ethernet backhauls. We only use Wi-Fi "Repeaters" (Wi-Fi backhaul links) when we absolutely have to and accept that they clobber performance.

Sorry, there's just no silver bullets here. If it's got to be fast, then you need to get the drill out and either use wired ethernet entirely, or at the very least used wired ethenet for all but the "last hop" over Wi-Fi between the infrastructure and the client device.
 
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As well as @mickevh ever useful posts I’ll add a few things specific to virgin media (think mick is still stuck on dial up ;) )

With VM it’s important to check that your wired connection is getting the correct speed especially when upgrading. One of the biggest faults with VM is if the coaxial power levels are off on either the down stream or up stream. This results in errors and packet loss reducing speed in at least one direction as well as issues with things like video/audio conferencing and online gaming.

I am not sure if SH5 has real speed app built in but if it does going to samknows.com/realspeed should give you around 1.15Gbps If it doesn’t then there are other ways to check. If you have a wired PC with a normal gigabit port then you will get around 930Mbps or so on Speedtest. If you are not getting those figures then you need to fix that first before moving in to Wi-Fi.

As mick describes the extenders are a rubbish way of doing it and for each hop they make it half the bandwidth. Not even sure they are Wi-Fi 6 yet, did you have them already. Not sure of vm have any “guaranteed” Wi-Fi speeds but by comparison Vodafone even on their 900Mbps only give a guarantee of 10Mbps to each room… :facepalm:

In terms of direct connection you need to check in the setting you are connected to 5GHz and the channel with is at least 80MHz. 2.4 GHz will struggle to get much past 150-250Mbps.

You can of course replace the router but as spray mentioned better to separate the Wi-Fi from that and use multiple access points (not necessary a mesh)

But you have to decide what speed do I need to each device and how much budget you want to spend. For example why would you need more than say 50Mbps to a phone?

The fastest access points are Wi-Fi 6 and then some vendors prefer quality of speed so Unifi for example will give you loads of clients connected but limit the speed. I have two didn’t Unifi Wi-Fi 6 access points and on GigOne one tops out at 750Mbps and the other around 500Mbps. Now I could swap them out for a different brand and get quicker but what would the point be?

Hope this gives some food for thought
 
Thanks @ChuckMountain

I am getting full speed wired so no issues there.

The extenders are likely to be rubbish but they work in the sense that I get WiFi around the house which I wasn't getting before without them....had them before I got the SH5.

WiFi in general for phone use around the house is fine. But as an example I am typing this on my phone sat in the same room as the router, just done a speed test and it's 50mb. It's the WiFi that seems to be the issue here. And WiFi is needed....cabling is not an option.

The issue I have is the kids Xbox and pc which is upstairs and away from the router are both getting awful speeds. I know I'm not going to get a 1Gig speed on WiFi upstairs bit surely I should be getting more than 10mb? My son's bed room is in the room above the router - so in theory, it is not too far away - probably 3m but with a ceiling/floor in between. The Xbox in my daughter's bedroom is probably the furthest away in the house it can get - but we're not talking about a mansion here, just a standard 3 bedroom semi.

Happy to replace the virgin extenders but this is where I am stuck. Is it best to get a new router which has better WiFi capabilities or new extenders, or mesh? Used power lines before but just basic cheap ones....are they a better option than WiFi extenders? I just want the kids to get around 200mb for gaming and general internet use....if that's even possible?
 
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The first thing I’d do is make sure router etc is fully up to date then reset the lot. Create a new SIDD / password etc. Now while nothing is connected to it check the wired connection to find max speed. All good??..Then connect a phone/laptop via wifi (Make sure you can get a fast connection close by then check signal around house.) If phone has poor speed sat next to it I would try a different phone or laptop that has 5ghz. Anywhere within a couple meters sat next to the router you should get fast speeds.
This will give you a good idea if it’s the router setup.. your phone.. etc… then once you know what the problem is I’d replace/fix.. then start connecting all the other pcs etc.

I have M500 and use virgin router as a modem only. I then connect my own router (I’ve always bought my own routers since dialup days) and get great speeds around the house.. walls are solid brick so upstairs where the other router is I get less than downstairs but kids still happy with 350+.
There are other cheap routers that should give you good range and speed for less than £100 if you find the problem to be the virgin wifi signal.

I’m not a professional but never had wifi probs using the better bought routers rather than using the ones isp’s supply. I’ve had many friends and family struggle with the isp routers.
 
The first thing I’d do is make sure router etc is fully up to date then reset the lot. Create a new SIDD / password etc. Now while nothing is connected to it check the wired connection to find max speed. All good??..Then connect a phone/laptop via wifi (Make sure you can get a fast connection close by then check signal around house.) If phone has poor speed sat next to it I would try a different phone or laptop that has 5ghz. Anywhere within a couple meters sat next to the router you should get fast speeds.
This will give you a good idea if it’s the router setup.. your phone.. etc… then once you know what the problem is I’d replace/fix.. then start connecting all the other pcs etc.

I have M500 and use virgin router as a modem only. I then connect my own router (I’ve always bought my own routers since dialup days) and get great speeds around the house.. walls are solid brick so upstairs where the other router is I get less than downstairs but kids still happy with 350+.
There are other cheap routers that should give you good range and speed for less than £100 if you find the problem to be the virgin wifi signal.

I’m not a professional but never had wifi probs using the better bought routers rather than using the ones isp’s supply. I’ve had many friends and family struggle with the isp routers.

Thanks for the info - what router do you use?

I have done the Sam Knows speed test on wired and wifi and the router is getting the correct speed - but when I use say my laptop, or phone, both 5ghz - sat right next to the router, the Sam Knows test shows 90MB tops to the device.

So it does kind of reaffirm that the wifi signal/speed coming from the SH5 is not what it should be. I would be happy to buy a router from Amazon to see - I am just not totally sure what to get but thankfully, Amazon are good at returns so if a new router does not fix the issue, I suppose no harm is done as it can be sent back!
 
On Android I use "WiFi Analyser" app to make sure my router uses less congested channels. Also on Android, although you may be using 5GHz band, check the actual connection speed in the wifi details. I typically connect at 390Mbps.
 
Being "sat next to your router" does no guarantee you are talking to it - you could be in session (called "Associated" in Wi-Fi speak) with something further away. "Big Wi-Fi Myth Number 2" is that client devices are constantly "hunting for the best signal." They do not, and some devices need it to be pretty grotty before they instigate a "roaming assessment" - iSomethings used to be notorious for it.

As suggested, the way to test is to either give all your AP's a different SSID to test with (in which case clients will never roam) or turn all other Wi-Fi devices off, (ideally including all the clients) and test each device one at a time and see what the extent of it's coverage and performance is.

Note that in Wi-Fi it is the client devices not "the system" that decide if/when to instigate a roaming assessment.

Wi-Fi transmit power is limited by law and most kit is, and always has been, at or very close to the permitted max. There is no "magic" router/AP/Booster/mesh/client or anything else with "much better signal" than every one else. Though a lot of battery operated client devices such as phones try to be particularly miserly with their transmit power to eek out the battery life.

There's nothing "magic" about a "mesh" system, there is not even an adequate definition (even a de facto one) of what a "mesh" system is. Typically they are just a set of "Repeater" (like you have already) with a common management platform, though some have a few tricks up their sleeves to try and encourage the clients to roam sooner than they otherwise might, (and mitigate the speed clobbering with so called "tri-band" but not all mesh systems have that.) Even with those tricks, note it's still ultimately the client device that decide if/when to roam. Mesh nodes use all the same standards, and are subject to the same legal limits on things like transmit power, as everything else. There's nothing that makes "mesh" nodes intrinsically "better" at radio signalling than anything else just because they are "mesh" nodes. Some "mesh" nodes offer the option of wired backhauls (as do some other devices such as Repeaters that offer an "AP mode.")

There's a lot of variations in the implementations of Wi-Fi kit. To know what any particular devices is capable off, one needs to delve into the specifications and datasheet and be prepared for the learning curve in interpreting it.

And as I often say, there's no such thing as "Wi-Fi Signal" as most people conceive it. Wi-Fi works like sound, only it uses radio waves instead of sound waves. Wi-Fi is a two way "conversation" between communicating peers like walkie-talkies, not a one way "lecture" like television. So often in solving Wi-Fi coverage issues, if one asks "how would I fix this if I was using sound" the answer is very often the same for using radio.

When using Wi-Fi Repeaters, (including mesh nodes that don't have wired backhauls,) bear in mind the Repeater needs to be deployed "in range" of good signalling conditions of the "base" unit is it Repeating and the "target" coverage area - the nodes should not be deployed where the poor service is experienced as they will be experiencing exactly the same signalling conditions as a client device in the same locale. So more like this B----R----T and less like this B-------R-T. If you do the latter, then look at the "bars" on your client, the "bars" will look great, because they are only showing the "R-T" connection (which will be great because you are close) but they take no account of the "backhaul" signalling between the repeater and base "B-------R" which could be rubbish. Some experimentation with repeater positioning may improve things and is a good reason to survey the site.

Again, thing about how you'd address this if it was sound: Imagine having a conversation with with someone you cannot hear, so you station a small child somewhere inbetween to relay the conversation - "Tell your father where he can stick his ..." - "Mum says you can ..." - "Well tell your mother ..." - "Dad says ..." etc. Where would be the best place to station your child (Repeater) so he can hear you both well enough. You may also note it takes twice as long to have this conversation (end-to-end) due to the relaying - this is why the speed clobbering of Repeaters occurs and thusly why we would try to avoid using them if speed is important. And as said by others, the more Repeater (or mesh nodes) you have, the worse the speed clobbering gets - even though the "bars" may look great.

The basis for any Wi-Fi planning is very often firstly a good understanding of how it (really) works followed by a survey of the site to see what needs to be deployed where.
 
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If you really wan to test the speed of your existing router wifi then you need to start with its best chance at highest speed by turning off all the extenders and making sure your test device is the only device connected at the time of the test. You can then repeat the test at locations around your house to see how performance drops away on those other rooms. Ideally you should check if you are connecting at 5GHz and 2.4GHz and try and repeat the exercise on each band.

You then know what you can expect in optimal conditions. If you then add back the wireless extenders one at a time and repeat again (but still with no other wifi client devices connected). This will help you identify what impact the extenders have. I would suggest you may need to turn off wifi and switch it on before repeating tests in rooms where you expect the extender to be used to try and force your client device to attach to that extender rather than remain connected directly to the router (see mickevh’s description about how client wifi roaming works).

Finally you can repeat some tests with other client devices now operating and see again how performance is affected.

So much of what happens is based on your local environment, so is unique to your home, therefore any advice without testing can only be taken in general terms. Just because something works well for others is no guarantee that you’ll have the same success.

One of the things that better “mesh” systems allow you to easily see is to which extender/mesh node a client connects and on what band/speed/signal level. Just because a client device is closer to an extender/mesh node does not mean it has actually connected to it! So poor wifi performance may be because of poor client choice of extender/mesh node to use. When using devices that have fixed positions in the house some systems also allow you to fix which node is used for the wifi connection. Obviously this cannot be done with mobile devices that need to roam between nodes.

So you can see that achieving decent wifi performance is not simply a case of adding extenders or a mesh system, as by itself it cannot magically fix issues with client choices on the AP they use. There is often a need to be hands on with managing and tweak in the system to ensure it works a it’s best.
 
So a few things to consider before you start changing\adding things

  • What is the WiFi neighbourhood like? As @vacant mentions, you want to use something like WiFi Analyser to check what is happening. This will show you all the networks in your area with their channel numbers and signal strength. The biggest cause of slow speeds is incorrect configuration and channel congestion\interference
  • Regardless of whether you use the existing router or replace you want to know what is going on so, you give them all an equal chance to work
  • Where is your router located in your house, often it is near an outside wall or corner of the house and shares more WiFi with your neighbour than the opposite corner of your house (in my case one of the kids bedroom :) )
  • Having a centrally located router\wireless access point will give much better performance
  • Draw a floor plan if you can (my drawing skills are rubbish) showing locations of devices etc

So should you buy a new router? Possibly but it's worth checking the settings first, those speeds you mentioned are too low. Switch off the extenders and check your bandwidth settings in SH5, stick a screenshot on here if you want to check.

The ISP router is a jack of all trades with WiFi being one of them. Your particular issue is with WiFi speeds rather than the other aspects. So for a while I disabled WiFi on the router and deployed a single wired UniFi access point in the middle of my house and that gave me up the max speed at the time which was around 200Mbps in most rooms.

WiFi is limited by transmission power by law and is a two-way conversation in a noisy crowd so "better" routers often have better aerial design. ISP routers often get a bad rap, some deservedly but not all are bad. SH5 is the latest greatest one from VM, but how good it is not sure as I used mine in modem only mode :D

Now things I wouldn't do

1) Buy anything related to Powerline - these are mis-advertised at stupid speeds and even the newest fastest ones will have a real-world speed 150-200Mbps (rather 2,000Mbps). They would become a bottleneck in your network especially if you have more than one pair as only one can talk at once normally.
2) Buy extenders as they half the bandwidth every hop

Your target of 200Mbps seems reasonable but how achievable that will depends on the layout of your house. As @mickevh post has just come while me typing this I won't dwell on it too much other than if you shout to the kids bedroom from the router location, do they hear you? Mine don't and I normally get told to be quiet by the wife :D The same principle applies to WiFi.

So once you have done some testing and know what the layout looks like I would consider the following after disabling WiFi on the SH5

1) Access Points at strategic locations with wired backhaul to the router (more difficult as you need to run the cable but don't have the issue of WiFi signal back to the router)
2) Access Points that are tri-band that use a dedicated WiFi channel to talk back to a WiFi node\SH5. You might need more APs as these will have to be located within a good signal strength of the initial node
3) Add a single central access point
4) Add another router located in a central location, running the router in SH5


Note I haven't said mesh as it is interpreted by different vendors as different things but option 2 will often be sold under that banner

If you are replacing the router, make sure that whatever you plug into has a 2.5Gb WAN port (and preferably a 2.5Gb LAN port for future connectivity) . If you don't you will throw 25% of your bandwidth away in modem-only mode (this only impacts GigOne not any of the lower services)
 
Thanks everyone for comments. I have been in the same house for most my life with a variety of ISPs - VM being the most recent and one I have had in situ for the past 15 years or so. Wifi has always been a big issue - but perhaps it has become a bit more noticeable and frustrating recently with me working from home more and also the kids getting to an age where they are gaming, streaming etc in their own bedrooms - this is when I notice the wifi speed is atrocious. For general phone browsing, Alexa etc around the house I have never noticed an issue and as I have said, the wired speeds from the router are spot on - no issues there at all.

The only time I did notice an improvement was I had a cheap-ish Tenda mesh system a few years ago - but I got this as my previous VM hub was dropping wifi all the time - this worked amazingly well but I no longer have this system now.

I have taken on board everything said on here and it does look like there is no magic fix - but the nagging feeling I have (which is backed up by a lot of posts on other forums and social media) is that the VM equipment is not great and by changing to a different router, or mesh, I should see a drastic wifi improvement.

So, I think that will be what I go for - not saying it will be the answer but it might rule out, or in, some of the issues. I think I would personally like to try a different router first rather than a mesh setup, mainly due to cost. So any recommendations for a router would be gratefully received.
 
As well as @mickevh ever useful posts I’ll add a few things specific to virgin media (think mick is still stuck on dial up ;) )

LOL - by chance I was listing to a podcast about the Voyager spacecraft earlier - their bit rate is 10bps - not kilo/mega/giga anything, just ten bit per second. I can (just about) count that fast!

I remember when 9.6k modems were considered "high speed" - I've no idea yall need all this Internet bandwidth for! :D
 
Any thoughts on this router? I think this is around my budget - when I have searched for tri-band, the prices seem to have a £100 leap from what I can see...

Amazon product ASIN B09VPTT9GY
 
I have taken on board everything said on here and it does look like there is no magic fix - but the nagging feeling I have (which is backed up by a lot of posts on other forums and social media) is that the VM equipment is not great and by changing to a different router, or mesh, I should see a drastic wifi improvement.
My post probably came in while you were typing yours but I would say that the VM equipment (like most ISP equipment) gets a bad rap. A bit like TVs on here if you read some of the posts you would never buy an OLED.

No one ever writes in to say how good their ISP router is, so the view is always skewed :D

I think some of it is unfair and often there are other circumstances that also need addressing first.

If your WiFi neighbourhood is congested then everything is going to struggle to some extent.
 
I have taken on board everything said on here and it does look like there is no magic fix - but the nagging feeling I have (which is backed up by a lot of posts on other forums and social media) is that the VM equipment is not great and by changing to a different router, or mesh, I should see a drastic wifi improvement.

Be a little wary of such forums. Here in this corner of AVF, you have opinions from a few of us that actually understand to a fairly high level how Wi-Fi really works (and we've "been there and done that" in some pretty big deployments.) A lot of posts on other forums are from folks who (sometimes) have literally no idea what they are talking about and report often ill informed anecdotal experience. They are well meaning of course, but often their advise is not great because what they "think" is happening is not what is actually happening.

"Red flags" that should signal caution are recommendation like "go buy magic router X, it's so much better Wi-Fi signal that my ISP rubbish" (as discussed by @ChuckMountain a lot of ISP stuff gets a bad rep for the reason he says, though sometimes it's deserved plenty is actually pretty good.)

Or "Put your router into modem mode and go by router X." is a big Internet Myth at the moment. "Modem Mode" is never required to fix Wi-Fi problems, modem mode is for other purposes. If you have a Router that is otherwise working fine and you "just" want to turn off a router's Wi-Fi, normally all you have to do is disable the Wi-Fi radios - it's rarely more than a couple of clicks, and leave everything else alone. There are reasons one might use modem mode, but "fixing" Wi-Fi is not one them.
 
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My post probably came in while you were typing yours but I would say that the VM equipment (like most ISP equipment) gets a bad rap. A bit like TVs on here if you read some of the posts you would never buy an OLED.

No one ever writes in to say how good their ISP router is, so the view is always skewed :D

I think some of it is unfair and often there are other circumstances that also need addressing first.

If your WiFi neighbourhood is congested then everything is going to struggle to some extent.
I agree completely - however, I have my own very technical limitations when it comes to this kind of thing and whilst I have read everything (twice!) that you and others have posted here, it is hitting a point where I am stuck with what to do!

A simple solution for me it to purchase a replacement - be it either a new router - or a mesh system. Stick that in and see how it goes - if that improves the speed of wifi then for me, that is problem solved. If it doesn't, it can be returned with no hassle and I can dive a bit deeper.

You mentioned something about the 2.5G port - I noticed this was new on the SH5 I have. Also seen on the routers I am looking at that some have a 1GIG WAN port - can you explain what this is?

My initial thoughts (rightly or wrongly I am afraid) are to have the following setup.

SH5 in modem only mode.

Ethernet from SH5 (do I use the 2.5 port or just a normal ethernet port) to the new router, or mesh system.
 
Any thoughts on this router? I think this is around my budget - when I have searched for tri-band, the prices seem to have a £100 leap from what I can see...

Amazon product ASIN B09VPTT9GY

It's a no from me for the following reasons.

  • It's lacking a 2.5Gb WAN port so you have just lost 25% of your paid-for bandwidth
  • No triband so therefore if you do use it with the TP-Link mesh you are contending with your own bandwidth
  • It's a single router in a fixed location - don't expect miracles
  • To get what you want will need more investment the cheaper things are great for lower bandwidth needs
 
I agree completely - however, I have my own very technical limitations when it comes to this kind of thing and whilst I have read everything (twice!) that you and others have posted here, it is hitting a point where I am stuck with what to do!

A simple solution for me it to purchase a replacement - be it either a new router - or a mesh system. Stick that in and see how it goes - if that improves the speed of wifi then for me, that is problem solved. If it doesn't, it can be returned with no hassle and I can dive a bit deeper.

That's a scattergun approach and a complete gamble. It might be better, it might be the same, it might be worse and and you'll have completely wasted your money. Even if it is better, it's not likely to be much better.

A better approach is to start with a site survey and figure out optimal AP/Repeater placement and maybe pay some attention to channel tuning (which is a entire other issue.)

You mentioned something about the 2.5G port - I noticed this was new on the SH5 I have. Also seen on the routers I am looking at that some have a 1GIG WAN port - can you explain what this is?

My initial thoughts (rightly or wrongly I am afraid) are to have the following setup.

SH5 in modem only mode.

No - see my last post "modem mode" is not for fixing Wi-Fi issues. We can get into that more if you like.

Attached to the "Using Two Routers Together" FAQ pinned in this forum is a block diagram of what's going on inside a typical SOHO router you might find useful.

Such devices are rather poorly named as in the field of data networking a "router" is a very specific "thing" which is nothing to do with Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi is facilitated by "Access Points" (AP's) not "routers." This is not just hair splitting over nomenclature, a "router" and an "AP" are very different things. The "get-you-on-the-Intenet" omni-box we have at home contains both router and AP and a load of other stuff.

Unfortunately the term "router" was (originally) coined for such boxes and the term has stuck in the public discourse, despite the fact that UK ISP's are increasingly calling them other names like "HomeHub," "SuperHub" etc. The name "router" has stuck to the extent that many people now think "router" means Wi_Fi and to "do Wi-Fi" you need a router. But this is not so.

If you want to deploy an alternate Wi-Fi system downstream of your "router" all you need to do is turn off the Wi-Fi in your router and leave all the other functions alone if they are working fine. We only need "modem mode" if we want to replace the routing/NAT/firewall functionality of our incumbent router or desire some feature that a replacement router offers that the incumbent does not.
 
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That's a scattergun approach and a complete gamble. It might be better, it might be the same, it might be worse and and you'll have completely wasted your money. Even if it is better, it's not likely to be much better.




No - see my last post "modem mode" is not for fixing Wi-Fi issues. We can get into that more if you like.

No money is wasted, if it is the same, or worse, it can be returned with no hassle. If it works, problem solved.

Appreciate all the advice and help though.
 
You mentioned something about the 2.5G port - I noticed this was new on the SH5 I have. Also seen on the routers I am looking at that some have a 1GIG WAN port - can you explain what this is?

Yes so a normal modern network port on a device would typically be a gigabit port or 1Gb (note the small b for bit) - 1,000Mbps link speed. (It would also support 10 and 100Mbps link speeds)

As things have got faster we now have ports capable of 2.5Gb, 5Gb and 10Gb ports so 2,500Mbps, 5,000Mbps and 10,000Mbps.

The actual throughput of these though is a bit smaller due to overheads so the one that matters in this case is the gigabit port. The actual throughput will be around 930Mbps (compared to the 1,000Mbps) so you lose some of the headline speed.

So this is partly the reason why the 900Mbps services from the likes of BT and Vodafone etc are classed as Gigabit services and typically will hit around 930Mbps on speedtests.

Now good old VM decided they wanted to go up in speed so GigOne is actually 1,152Mbps (but only 52Mbps download, don't get me started on that :devil: )

When they brought the SH4 there were a number/lot of complaints that a single device cannot get the full 1,152Mbps service as it was limited to gigabit ports at 930Mbps each. VM response was well it shared the full bandwidth between all ports and the WiFi so tough. The problem is in modem-only mode you could only use one port and therefore were limited to 930Mbps.

People weren't happy as 1,152Mbps is actually 24% quicker than 930Mbps speed. The difference being more than most people's actual average BB connection speed.

So I believe I was the first person in the UK to actually put a workaround for the SH4 in using multiple cables in modem only mode and get the full bandwidth into my 3rd party router and on to the rest of the network.

However, VM realised the SH5 which had a 2.5Gb port built-in which eliminated the need for my solution. However it now requires a router with a 2.5GbE port on the WAN connection if you want to use it in modem only mode.

Hence I suggest it is a requirement for your needs if replacing the router.

I managed to upgrade recently so now I can get these speeds to my desktop PC (which has its own 10GbE card). It jumped up at the end so got me (wrongly) slightly above the actual speed.

 
No money is wasted, if it is the same, or worse, it can be returned with no hassle. If it works, problem solved.

Appreciate all the advice and help though.

No with returns, it's fair enough but a good plan can save time and effort.

You wouldn't ask a builder to build an extension to your house without some plans in place first.
 
Thanks again @ChuckMountain ... I really do appreciate the time you are spending to reply - you, and others, clearly know your stuff. The issue is, I don't - at all, and I am after a simple solution to what is probably not a simple problem - I recognise that. Whilst I am not one for just throwing money at a problem, it is for now, the route I am going to take but would need some advice on this if you would be ok to give it.

I get that this might not fix things, I get it is without planning or analysing etc but for now, it is something I want to try.

Again, apologies for basic questions here but I just need to try and get my head around it.

I have said before that wired connections from the SH5 are fine - I have 2 devices plugged in - Sky and Xbox - but I am just using the normal ethernet ports on the SH5, not the 2.5G one - should I be using this port for say the Xbox? I know I am getting a good connection anyway but just curious!

If I was to go down modem only and a new router/mesh - not saying I will, but its a consideration right now. Do I connect the SH5 to the new system using the 2.5G port on my SH5?

Again, if I go down this route and get a new router/mesh. Are there any you would recommend? Budget is flexible-ish - looking at prices, for an AX1800/AX3000 router, they seem to be around £160 - ball park anyway. For mesh it seems more. If I have understood correctly, if I am to buy a new router or mesh, I should get one which has a 2.5G port - again, can you recommend anything?
 
I get that this might not fix things, I get it is without planning or analysing etc but for now, it is something I want to try.

Using the WiFi Analyser will take around 10 - 15 mins to have a look around your house an is invaluable in something like this. So would recommend you do it regardless of what you do going forward.

I have said before that wired connections from the SH5 are fine - I have 2 devices plugged in - Sky and Xbox - but I am just using the normal ethernet ports on the SH5, not the 2.5G one - should I be using this port for say the Xbox? I know I am getting a good connection anyway but just curious!

The 2.5Gb one should be used to devices that support that speed (Xbox and Sky don't) or a switch that also at least 2.5Gb. Or you have run out of gigabit ports :)

You don't sound like you have any devices that actually need 2.5Gb except for if you use it in modem-only mode where you will definitely lose 24% of your available bandwidth.
 
Have installed wifi analyzer on my phone and looking at it now - not a clue what I am looking at or looking for. Can send screenshots if you can advise on what I need to take a screenshot of!
 
Have installed wifi analyzer on my phone and looking at it now - not a clue what I am looking at or looking for. Can send screenshots if you can advise on what I need to take a screenshot of!

Yep take a screenshot of both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels, should look something like this

TU-HX4NPq5GLdOY8KNVtw3tRWFTOWTsafpWzxJCwdZckpKlNQL27Dqr47rdefDNxhw
 

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