What broadband speed do you need?

bartjunited

Standard Member
Hi all I have been a Virgin Media broadband customer for many years and wanted to confirm what broadband speed do we actually need by that I've had speeds of 100 meg and 200 make but do I really need that we don't do any gaming in the house we stream some iptv &and online services and then have a a bunchWi-Fi my devices connected like tablets and phones.

Does 100mb vs 200mb vs 70mb rely matter.

My streaming devices like a fire sticks and Android box are also not using Wi-Fi and instead using ethernet over Powerline adaptors
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
We have a 60Mb BT connection - probably averages at more like 35Mb on a bad day and that's enough for me and the wife to run Skype and Zoom calls at the same time, while the kids stream video while messaging and snap chatting. We have had to put in more access points to keep everybody's speeds up, with a TP Link Mesh network and 5 APs in use now.
 

bartjunited

Standard Member
Did you install the mesh network because the signal was weak in some areas?

By APs I assume you mean access points right? Are these the tp link mesh nodes?

I always get confused about the difference between AP AND WIFI extender.

I'm thinking of setting up an AP but connecting it to the network via a powerline adaptor as I believe with AP it must have a direct connection to the router?
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
An access point is any device a units that allows wi-fi devices to connect to a network.

A range extender is an access point that's connected to the rest of the network by wi-fi.

There's never really been an agreement for a specific term for a powerline connected access point and it can be difficult to distinguish them from plug-mounted range extenders.

Generally it's a safe assumption that anything sold with a second powerline plug routes the wi-fi traffic over the powerline connection.
 

bartjunited

Standard Member
Thanks I've never used an access point but have a spare powerline adaptor hence thinking of using that for the access point connectivity.

My understanding is the AP keeps the same SSID and is just another point for a device to connect to?

If that's the case do devices automatically connect to the nearest access point or do I have to choose them.?
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
We currently have both mesh extenders - which form their own connections for the backhaul and all transmit the same SSID, so devices can roam better them and standalone access points connected to Powerline adapters. These are used for things like the music studio where there's a wireless printer that only works with a strong signal and the summer house which is a bit remote for the mesh network but gets a good signal over the Powerline.

We have instituted QoS to limit bandwidth to any one device and have a guest network for daughters friends.

She also has a 4g router that she takes to university and I set it in failover mode while she is at home to cover any dropouts. For a cobbled together network it's generally pretty reliable!
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
Gaming, apart from the initial download does not normally use much of the available bandwidth. What's more important is the lag or latency on the connection I.e how long packets take to get from your computer to the server. The wicker this happens the better.

Streaming is going to probably use the most bandwidth consistently especially if these are high quality uhd streams. So it depends on how many users you have in the house.

I would argue for most users then 100Mb connection from virgin would normally be quick. enough. Put it another way that connection is quicker than any standard fttc offering via open reach.

However virgin upstream traffic is a bit rubbish, even on Gig one it's only 50Mb. You might chose a quicker service to get higher upload for things like cloud backups.

The use of powerlines as well is going to be a limiting factor. Even the 1200 and 2000 Mbps one struggle in the real world to achieve more than 150-200Mbps, so if you are using them in conjunction with a virgin service you might be causing a bottleneck and paying more than you should.
 

bartjunited

Standard Member
Thanks Chuck

So our household is 2 adults and 2 little ones or 5 and 8.

In terns of streaming its usually only 1 TV streaming, max would be 2 and both connected via powerline.

We don't get any lag via the powerline.

My only lag is with the Ring cameras but I think that's more to do with the crap Ring products and my alarm panel is slow to respond which may in part be bacause its in a cupboard
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
Yes sorry meant power lines should not cause lag but will cause a potential bandwidth restriction. A gamer might notice a little bit but it will be a fraction.

Different ISP though will have different latency and lag though so if you were a gamer and could get a slower with adequate bandwidth vs virgin with higher latency and more bandwidth for example then the former wools be a better choice.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
Is using power lines better then using a WiFi extender for streaming
In general yes, as WiFi tends to suffer more with dropped packets and general capacity overload, particularly on 2.4g.

Our main TV is hard wired to the router and this manages 4k streaming with very few issues. Daughter's TV is connected via Powerline and that's equally fine.

Ping in our house varies between 9ms and about 35ms depending upon external factors like time of day. Connection method and whether using the mesh network or Powerline extenders doesn't seem to make any difference.
 

bartjunited

Standard Member
Thanks I was also under the impression that by hard wiring the more resource hungry devices which stream content puts less strain on the WiFi network too, and does that sound right?
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
My understanding is the AP keeps the same SSID and is just another point for a device to connect to?

If that's the case do devices automatically connect to the nearest access point or do I have to choose them.?
You can set it to the same SSID or a different one as you wish. I believe most these days default to the same.

Devices are in charge of how they wish to connect to different access points, they will default to the one with the strongest signal (typically the nearest).

Devices can also choose to swap between access points as you move around the house, this is called roaming.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
We found that with standard access points even when set to the same SSID and password many smart phones would not roam correctly and would latch onto the original ap even if the link was very weak. The new TP-Link Deco system we've installed has fixed this and 3 Mesh APs now cover the house with just a couple of stand alone units for more specialised connections such as the wireless printer and my model railway in the summer house.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
Is using power lines better then using a WiFi extender for streaming
It depends, a WiFi extender is an older term and used to piggy back of the main signal. As a result the WiFi bandwidth available is halved. If this is more than the incoming internet connection then that might still be ok. However most of the time they be avoided like the plague.

Newer methods like mesh, particularly those with either tri band or access points hardwired by cable will overcome these limitations. Wi-Fi real world throughput for modern clients will surpass that of powerlines. Having said most streaming is the in the low double digits and even uhd is not that high so a case of diminishing returns as you get more bandwidth from your isp.

Thanks I was also under the impression that by hard wiring the more resource hungry devices which stream content puts less strain on the WiFi network too, and does that sound right?
Yes but hard wiring generally refers to physical Ethernet cabling rather than powerlines. Wi-Fi and powerlines (if more than two) suffer from only one device can talk at once, which limits throughput of all devices.

You can set it to the same SSID or a different one as you wish. I believe most these days default to the same.

Devices are in charge of how they wish to connect to different access points, they will default to the one with the strongest signal (typically the nearest).

Devices can also choose to swap between access points as you move around the house, this is called roaming.
Having different SSIDs is a bad idea for a home network and having clients roam. The client will think it is a different network and will not change to it until it loses the signal of the other one completely. Ideally you want a Wi-Fi network with one access point that covers the house and if this is not sufficient then a managed Wi-Fi network (not all mesh ones offer this).

The advantage of a managed network is although a client does determine its network connectivity, a managed network knows which clients are connected to each Wi-Fi access point and which ones are closed to other points. It can send various signals to encourage a client to connect to a nearer access point.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
Plusnet unlimited up to 60mb. Supplied router is pants, particularly on 5g, but works ok as a modem into a better router.
Thanks, makes sense why powerlines are a good option for you as they should provide the necessary throughput. If you do move to a fttp /virgin solution they will be a limiting factor though in your network.
 

bartjunited

Standard Member
I didn't know that having more than 2 powerlines on the network can be an issue as I have 3, 1 for a doorbell, and 1 for a firestick in bed and another for a TV and android box connected via a small switch

I find that in the evenings I don't know whether this is VM but the powerline ethernet lights tend to flash red suggesting limited throughput, does this make sense?
 

Stellavision

Well-known Member
Did you install the mesh network because the signal was weak in some areas?

By APs I assume you mean access points right? Are these the tp link mesh nodes?

I always get confused about the difference between AP AND WIFI extender.

I'm thinking of setting up an AP but connecting it to the network via a powerline adaptor as I believe with AP it must have a direct connection to the router?
An access point should be connected to the router via a direct wired connection where possible. A power line can cause bottlenecks in the throughput.
A range extender is not an access point, but does create a simple solution to getting WiFi into black spots and improving WiFi speeds where the signal is weakened.
For an average household a 40 to 80Mbps FTTC connection should be sufficient. Just consider that each device connecting to the internet will take its own chunk of bandwidth and lots of simultaneously connected devices can quite easily cause a big slow down in your network.
I pay for Virgins 350Mbps which is way overkill and I’ve registered my interest on their 1Gig service. Not because I need it, I just want it 😂
 
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bartjunited

Standard Member
An access point should be connected to the router via a direct wired connection where possible. A power line can cause bottlenecks in the throughput.
A range extender is not an access point, but does create a simple solution to getting WiFi into black spots and improving WiFi speeds where the signal is weakened. A range extender is not an AP.
For an average household a 40 to 80Mbps FTTC connection should be sufficient. Just consider that each device connecting to the internet will take its own chunk of bandwidth and lots of simultaneously connected devices can quite easily cause a big slow down in your network.
I pay for Virgins 350Mbps which is way overkill and I’ve registered my interest on their 1Gig service. Not because I need it, I just want it 😂
Thanks that makes sense
 

Stu75

Active Member
I have BT infinity but only get around 14Mbps as we live in a rural area.
I wish it was more since the price is the top end but that speed seems to cope fine with three of us at home using Wi-Fi.
 

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