Why is the "real speed" at the Hub so much quicker?

Kotatsu Neko

Distinguished Member
When I check my internet speed using RealSpeed - SamKnows I often get some pretty baffling results. The speed to the Hub 4 is pretty much always in the 1100mbit range, but the speed I see on my devices is all over the place.

For example, on my PC now (wired ethernet) I'm getting 160mbit. On my iPad I'm getting around 200mbit. This changes a lot though, sometimes I get up to 950mbit (ethernet) and 450mbit (wifi), and pretty much everything in between. Time of day doesn't seem to make any difference either.

Contacting Virgin is so painful I don't bother (which I assume is by design), so what can I do? And why is the speed at the router always bang on, but what it's actually spewing out is often drastically slower. This isn't down to sneaky downloads in the background either. I believe their minimum speed guarantee is 500mbit, but how do I actually take them to task over this?
 

outoftheknow

Moderator
When I check my internet speed using RealSpeed - SamKnows I often get some pretty baffling results. The speed to the Hub 4 is pretty much always in the 1100mbit range, but the speed I see on my devices is all over the place.

For example, on my PC now (wired ethernet) I'm getting 160mbit. On my iPad I'm getting around 200mbit. This changes a lot though, sometimes I get up to 950mbit (ethernet) and 450mbit (wifi), and pretty much everything in between. Time of day doesn't seem to make any difference either.

Contacting Virgin is so painful I don't bother (which I assume is by design), so what can I do? And why is the speed at the router always bang on, but what it's actually spewing out is often drastically slower. This isn't down to sneaky downloads in the background either. I believe their minimum speed guarantee is 500mbit, but how do I actually take them to task over this?
SamKnows requires the router to have that enabled. As it says on the website

"This test differs from normal browser-based speed tests. It uses a test agent inside your router to measure performance at the source, eliminating any home network interference....."

The 1100Mb/s will be the connection bandwidth the router is working with. The speeds to all other wired and wireless connected devices depends on many factors on both the router and the connected device. First have you set (or does the SH set) any QoS on the router? Any other special port forwarding, DMZ server etc set? Unless you have an absolute need I would recommend setting a router to plain vanilla settings with no auto or manual QoS, port forwards, DMZ server etc set. Work from there depending on what is needed for each device - and don't just add settings because gaming (for example) best advice on the internet is to do XYZ.

A laptop plugged into a port on the router, with nothing else using any bandwidth, should get somewhere near the full bandwidth available. These tests need to be done just after you check the bandwidth available using SamKnows. Try not to do this at busy times of the day in case there is local congestion affecting your connection.

If you are getting 160mb/s with no intervening switch/patch panel etc, check no other connected device is using bandwidth. Disconnect them all if you want to really sure. Check router settings are vanilla and that the port is Gigabit capable. Then confirm at least Cat 5e ethernet cable and the port on the laptop is Gigabit capable. Then what speed test are you using on the laptop? Best to start 3 or 4 large file downloads and check the speed within the Windows download box. If that is 160Mb/s there seems to be an issue. Otherwise use a well-known Speedtest that doesn't offer service providers faster results for money. Ookla is maybe the biggest, but I'm never sure it is representative. Choose your servers carefully. Personally I use Ookla to compare each time I use it - which is rarely. I can see the synch speed in my router (FTTC) and that is good enough to tell me the bandwidth the router is dealing with. Best speed will be up to 10% less than synch.

950Mb/s at times is about what you should expect all the time if the laptop was the only device connected by cable and no local congestion/connection issues.

Wifi speeds depend first on what wifi each device has. Most devices nowadays are at least wifi5 (ac) but the connection speed depends on the least capable device. If the router is wifi6 (ax), only wifi6 devices will get a wifi6 connection. and although the maximum throughput across all devices is 9.6Gb/s (compared to 3.5Gb/s for wifi5) a single wifi6 device on 5Ghz would get 1.2Gb/s or thereabouts under laboratory conditions. 450Mb/s on a wifi5 device isn't bad. It is probably not bad on a wifi6 devices under some conditions and that varies for every user/house.

A minimum speed promise is the connection, not anything in your LAN. If SamKnows indicates bandwidth below 500Mb/s for longer than the undoubtedly rubbery length of time Virgin says is acceptable, then contact Virgin. Otherwise work through your LAN and tweak to get best speeds per device possible under your LAN conditions.
 

Dave M

Distinguished Member
Is Realspeed Sam Knows better than speedof?
 

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