faulty router or bad signal?

  Markito 17:01 PM 04 Sep 12
Locked

I have a wireless broadband router - Conceptronic 54 Mbps ADSL2+ which I use wirelessly with my laptop at home. On average, every couple of days I realise that my downloads and sometimes uploads have slowed. This is rectified by unplugging and replugging in my router or sometimes by going to speednest.net checking the ping and speeds, then choosing "new server" and retesting. The retest is always back up to normal. I should add the I live on a hillside and right at the edge of local broadband range, so at best I am achieving a ping of 55, download speed 1.75 mbps, upload 53 mbps. My router is nearing the end of its guarantee period, so I need to ask:

Does this sound like a router problem or just a fluctuating and poor signal?

Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom.

  Markito 17:03 PM 04 Sep 12

Correction: the upload speed should read 0.53 mbps.

  lotvic 17:47 PM 04 Sep 12

802.11g router... Who is your ISP? They usually supply you with the latest Router. Just ring them up and tell them yours is broken.

The only wireless part is from router to your laptop, if you have walls etc inbetween this can block the signal making it unreliable.

The latest wireless standard is 802.11n or wireless n. Routers and modem routers that use this are speedier and give a much more stable connection than the old 54Mbps or wireless g equipment

Is your laptop fairly modern and not restricted to wireless g? I'm also presuming you have tested your Internet connection speed while laptop is connected with an ethernet cable to the router?

  lotvic 17:57 PM 04 Sep 12

I should add that wireless g should be okay as it is still faster than your ISP can supply down your ADSL+ line, but if it was me I would be looking to get a better router out of my ISP.

  Markito 18:07 PM 04 Sep 12

It's a long story, but basically my ISP won't renew my router because the old one effectively blew up in a thunderstorm. So I paid for the cheapest one available, which gives unstable results when connected by cable. The laptop itself is modern enough.

I think we've deduced that it must be a poor router coupled with a poor reception? The router is probably easier to solve, so I guess I'd better do it.

  lotvic 18:23 PM 04 Sep 12

If your contract is nearly up with your present ISP you will have leverage, a new ISP will supply you with a router. If you tell your current ISP you are leaving they will prob offer you 'inducements' to stay with them. You just have to be determined and cheeky and ask them to match what others can offer.

  Markito 06:09 AM 05 Sep 12

Many thanks for that. I'll see what I can do. I'm sure a new router will solve half the problem. The other half can only be solved by an increase and improvement in coverage of our local broadband signal.

  Secret-Squirrel 08:51 AM 05 Sep 12

"On average, every couple of days I realise that my downloads and sometimes uploads have slowed. This is rectified by unplugging and replugging in my router"

Given those symptoms, a new router may solve your problem. I've installed a few of these recently and have found them excellent performers, reliable, and very reasonably priced. At under £40, it won't be the end of the world if you find it doesn't fix things.

Note that if you badger your ISP for a replacement router, it's likely they'll insist on you agreeing to stay with them for a further 12 or even 18 months.

"or sometimes by going to speednest.net checking the ping and speeds, then choosing "new server" and retesting. The retest is always back up to normal."

Now that's the bit that really puzzles me. No website, not even a speed-testing site, can have any affect on your broadband speeds so perhaps it's a different speedtest site you need - ">http://www.speedtest.bbmax.co.uk/">here's an alternative, reliable one you can use.

"Does this sound like a router problem or just a fluctuating and poor signal?"

If you mean the wireless signal between your router and laptop, then the next time you get a slow-down, check the laptop's reported wireless-connection speed. If it's reporting less than 2Mbps then that would be a problem. I doubt very much that's what happening to you though.

  Secret-Squirrel 08:54 AM 05 Sep 12

"On average, every couple of days I realise that my downloads and sometimes uploads have slowed. This is rectified by unplugging and replugging in my router"

Given those symptoms, a new router may solve your problem. I've installed a few of these recently and have found them excellent performers, reliable, and very reasonably priced. At under £40, it won't be the end of the world if you find it doesn't fix things.

Note that if you badger your ISP for a replacement router, it's likely they'll insist on you agreeing to stay with them for a further 12 or even 18 months.

"or sometimes by going to speednest.net checking the ping and speeds, then choosing "new server" and retesting. The retest is always back up to normal."

Now that's the bit that really puzzles me. No website, not even a speed-testing site, can have any affect on your broadband speeds so perhaps it's a different speedtest site you need - here's an alternative, reliable one you can use.

"Does this sound like a router problem or just a fluctuating and poor signal?"

If you mean the wireless signal between your router and laptop, then the next time you get a slow-down, check the laptop's reported wireless-connection speed. If it's reporting less than 2Mbps then that would be a problem. I doubt very much that's what happening to you though.

  Markito 11:31 AM 05 Sep 12

Thank you, Secret-Squirrel.

Since everything you suggested points to a weakness in my very basic Conceptronic Router, I will buy the TP Link one you suggested. It sounds a good deal and I am fairly confident that it will help.

Bye,

Mark

 

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