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ATPM 15.06
June 2009


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by Mark Tennent,

Switching to ADSL2+

We uploaded a gigabyte of files last night, something which has certainly become easier under ADSL2+ 21CN, with an uploading speed almost double that which we had under Broadband Max 20CN. What had been a chore to upload so much became much easier under ADSL2+. Better even than burning a DVD and walking round to the post office to send it Special Delivery. Cheaper, faster, and more reliable as well.

This has not come without some cost to us, both financially and in terms of time wasted. First, our router did not work even though it claims to be suitable. If we had checked and downloaded the Excel file linked to the “Equipment that has been tested” link, we could have checked the list to make sure our kit would work.

It has routers, modems, telephones, faxes, burglar alarms, PoS terminals, plus umpteen other things that connect to the telephone, and states whether they are compatible or not. They haven’t tested every device on the market, but the list shows over a thousand. Unfortunately our Linksys/Cisco router did not make it. Another useful list is of IPV6-ready devices.

The Netgear DG834G replacement router, as recommended by our ISP, is nowhere near as good as the Linksys, with a dodgy wireless LAN, slow file transmission, and the Quality of Service settings seem ineffectual. Even though we have set FTP to have the lowest QoS, it hogs bandwidth, preventing any other WAN activity. In addition, Netgear’s filter didn’t work. Picking up the telephone on the same line as DSL dropped the data connection.

This kept our router in a cycle of ever-decreasing connection speeds because BT’s equipment saw the dropped connection as unreliability and re-synched us at a lower speed. After a month, we are currently connected at 7530/110kbps, both figures slowly climbing towards the 24 megabits theoretical maximum. ADSL2+ has much smaller steps in its profiles (the speed BT’s equipment automatically sets for the line), so it is taking longer to climb the ladder. Sending and receiving large files seems to help move us onto the next rung.

However, actual download speed is still not as good as it should be and often slows to a dribble. It is trying to find the cause of this that has wasted the most time. It appears to be the interconnects through which our Entanet broadband passes. When Faraday is near maximum, our line speed is near minimum, unlike with 20CN, which did not use interconnects and stayed around the same download figure.

Prior to the switch to 21CN, we had sent and received data with Transmit, mainly because it also handles WebDAV connections such as to our iDisks. However, the venerable Fetch looks to be the faster of the two programs and even snatches bandwidth from Transmit if the two are running concurrently.

Whether moving to ADSL2+ is a good thing or not is getting to be a moot point, as BT slowly switches everyone to their 21CN. For us, the upload speeds are a definite plus.

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Reader Comments (1)

G. Watson · June 4, 2009 - 04:55 EST #1
Wow. And I felt like the poor relation here in Denver, CO with my ancient Motorola Surfboard modem hooked to my Airport Extreme wireless 'N' router fighting for my 5.3 mbps Download speed. I admire your persistence.
Hang in there.

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