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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Default Internet speed very low

    I just tested and it seems I have a download speed of 2.2MB/s. Why is it so low? I'm on ADSL2 (copper afaik), wifi (around the house, but very close to the modem, no other computer connected). My modem is a rather old Thomson. Is it the modem?

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    It's an oldie alright, and at current prices worth replacing, but line noise is a more likely cause. Go into the modem and check the line attenuation, noise margin, and transfer rate. Line speed is closely inversely correlated with attenuation. Suburban PIUT phone cable, with no faults, attenuates 13.81 dB/km at 300 kHz. You can estimate from the distance to the exchange (via the roads) your expected attenuation. If there is a discrepancy, talk to your ISP.

    Noise can come from a variety of things, like bad line joints, or from RF interference from within the house.

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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlitzaugen View Post
    I just tested and it seems I have a download speed of 2.2MB/s. Why is it so low? I'm on ADSL2 (copper afaik), wifi (around the house, but very close to the modem, no other computer connected). My modem is a rather old Thomson. Is it the modem?
    Your connection is not being shaped because of exceeding a data allowance?

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    Quote Originally Posted by schlitzaugen View Post
    I just tested and it seems I have a download speed of 2.2MB/s. Why is it so low? I'm on ADSL2 (copper afaik), wifi (around the house, but very close to the modem, no other computer connected). My modem is a rather old Thomson. Is it the modem?
    Your connection is not being shaped because of exceeding a data allowance?

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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    No, I have a 200G allowance which I never even come close to using up (typically 25G a month, with a peak of about 50G say around Christmas with lots of skype). But no, no chance of reaching the limit. Come to think of it, maybe it's the slow speed that keeps me from reaching the limit?!

    Thank you seasink, I'll dig up what you suggested, but keep in mind I have no idea what you're talking about (I am talking about the "go into your modem" part).
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

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    The Speedtouch modem lives at http://10.0.0.138/ It's so long since I looked at one of these pieces of !@@#$ that I can't remember how much status information is displayed on the browser interface. Give it a try anyway.

    Alcatel does have a telnet CLI interface that can get the info, and I do have a manual somehere, but I have a feeling that I am now talking in Swahili rather than gefingerpoken German.

    The best online dealer I know of is JMG Technology - Home of Networking, ADSL and VoIP. It wouldn't hurt to replace the old thing before it does collapse. Modems don't have a long life. Some are quite expensive, but a TP-Link won't break the bank, and it will far outperform the Speedtouch.

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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    I found this in the router:


    Bandwidth (Up/Down) [kbps/kbps]: 464 / 2.750


    Is this the max speed it can do?

    So that means I managed to get into the router. Score.

    How do I check these:

    line attenuation, noise margin, and transfer rate?
    Last edited by schlitzaugen; 10th April 2014 at 12:00 AM.
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

    Das computermachine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitssparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken bei das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets-relaxen und watch das blinkenlights.

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    1000+ Posts okalford's Avatar
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    I have a Thomson Speedtouch ST536v6 modem & inline splitter you may have for just the postage cost if it's any use to you. It came with my AAPT ASDL2 service a few years ago. It has been out of use since I switched to Optus cable. I have no idea how its performance would rate today though.

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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Thank, you, that's okay, I knew mine was up to be updated (a few years ago) but I am not sure what services I can get here. By the looks f it, the NBN has stopped just one suburb short of us and it's not coming back, and it seems the copper will stay. Which is why i want to ascertain the potential of the cable before I decide on any equipment upgrades. If it turns out I am better off with mobile, I will just do that. I don't have any plans/contracts to worry about.
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

    Das computermachine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitssparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken bei das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets-relaxen und watch das blinkenlights.

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    schlitzaugen. that is your line rate, as agreed between the modem and the exchange equipment after testing at boot-up. It is poor. Talk to your ISP with this information and get the line looked at. If you can, borrow a modem to rule in or out the Speedtouch.

    it will very likely be noise that is affecting you, but you will need better than that old junk to find out where and why - it's too lame-brained to even give a full status summary. A simple thing to do is keep your modem and lines away from 12v power supplies for lighting - they are RF champions.

    Visit JPG as suggested and order a new one. There's no need to buy an expensive one as the weak point of modems is the cheap components in the power supply circuit - they all give capacitor trouble after a few years. Chinese made TP-Links perform well and are cheap. I would avoid a couple of cheap US brands (that also come from Chinese factories at a lower price point). If you want to spend serious money instead that dealer can accommodate you.

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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Thank you very much, guys.

    A much more knowledgeable friend recommended some time ago a modem called Billion. He installs (and recommends them) to a lot of people including businesses and that's what he's running. I think it's about 200$? or so. Not really keen on spending pointlessly, but occasionally I have my son over with a bunch of friends and lots of hardware playing games. I also have a wireless printer that needs to work quite a lot, and a few other laptops floating about the place.

    I understand you're talking about something like this?

    TP-LINK TD-W8960N 300Mbps Wireless N ADSL2+ Modem Router


    Maybe I wasn't very clear, the Thomson is not a Speedtouch, but I think something more ancient than that (532EBF).

    No 12V supply wires around here.
    Last edited by schlitzaugen; 10th April 2014 at 01:25 PM.
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

    Das computermachine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitssparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken bei das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets-relaxen und watch das blinkenlights.

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    That old and in constant use, it's probably dying.

    Billions are good, but as you can see, a bit dearer. I've installed half a dozen of the TP-Links like the one you quoted without any bother, and they are cheap enough to buy a spare. They are replacing the cases with blue ones, so the picture may be outdated. The insides are the same. JMG is the favourite supplier to many sysadmins, and i've found them very helpful getting stock or answering queries.

    None of the domestic modem brands use highest quality capacitors - you can't at this price range - so expect a 5 year or so life and pay accordingly. Modem/routers are really single board Linux computers, and the prices are very low for what you get.

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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    I have a really cheap shop where I can go pick it off the shelf. They're apparently out of that model, but have this one:

    TP-LINK TD-W8968 4 Port Wireless N Modem Router - TD-W8968 - PLE Computers Online Perth

    Sounds a bit better (3$ worth) than the other one?
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

    Das computermachine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitssparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken bei das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets-relaxen und watch das blinkenlights.

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    Basically the same thing plus a USB port. Inexpensive and a good price, so get it. A new modem might improve your situation.

    If it doesn't, get the status from the new modem (these will give it to you) and report the line condition to your provider.

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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    I went for the billion in the end, cost 129$, only because it has a feature that allows me to use a 4G device through when line is crap (which it is more often than I would like):

    Billion BiPac 7800NXL 4 Port Wireless N ADSL, 3G & LTE Modem Router - BIPAC7800NXL - PLE Computers Online Perth

    What does "agreed" mean in your explanation above?
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

    Das computermachine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitssparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken bei das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets-relaxen und watch das blinkenlights.

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    When a modem (re)boots and all the lights are flashing it is actually being very busy. Telephone lines transmit analogue signals, but computer networking requires an even succession of on-offs, or a digital signal. The modem gets to do the conversion, and the maths are so complex it gets done in hardware (by the "chipset"). The exchange sends a signal which is a summation of 512 separate analogue signals, starting at 142 kHz, up to about 2000 Khz. At start each of those bands gets a test signal. The modem listens and calculates line noise and line attenuation in each, and allowing a suitable margin for unavoidable noise, calculates the digital bits it is able to deduce from each tone. The more bits available the more data per second, and the faster you go. The exchange gets and uses this calculation to control the speed it sends the data - there is no point it going at maximum speed if you cant "hear" it. For simple ADSL, see G.992.1 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    It's a bit like conversation, high attenuation means a shout becomes a whisper. Noise stops the hearer making out what is said in the background. So you have to be slow and clear to be understood.

    The router function of the device is a very simple Linux computer, running the usual kernel and as little software as possible. There isn't much memory. Any Linux computer can be simply configured as a router, everything comes built-in.

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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    I see. So what you're saying is that because of problems with the line (and perhaps some other soon to be eliminated with a better router/modem), the exchange and the modem agree that it is best they converse at a certain speed. Hope builds that a better modem might be able to work faster. We'll see when I muster the courage to install the new beast.

    Now it becomes obvious what Rob told us time and again about the neglected maintenance issues with Telstra's copper lines.

    Do you use Linux, seasink? I have a laptop running Ubuntu (as best I could install it) I am pretty sure I am not getting the best out of, but works fine. I am however far from confident with Linux (on a scale from zero to hero, I would probably score diddly), but I would like to set up another one when replacement time comes.

    One problem I found annoying was that whenever I go overseas I find my laptop can barely hang onto wifi signal and is bumped off easily by other devices when things get cramped. I tried to get a wifi signal booster to make mine a bit louder, but the device (usb) doesn't have a readily available driver for Linux I can install. Web search didn't clarify, but I am sure there is some stuff somewhere (the device manual provides a link). I checked it out but I found a lot of gobledygook. Maybe you could help?
    Last edited by schlitzaugen; 10th April 2014 at 07:59 PM.
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

    Das computermachine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitssparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken bei das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets-relaxen und watch das blinkenlights.

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    The state of the lines isn't always great.What would you do if you were Telstra and you were going to be paid a fixed sum to cut them off at some undetermined time? It's not helped by the jointing technique used years ago that was supposed to keep water out, but doesn't.

    I wouldn't go online with anything short of Linux. Modern distros pretty well maintain themselves, are dead easy to use, are safe, need no expensive malware suites, and best of all, the software is free and instantly installed. Look what you save on Libre Office alone. I always recommend Mint to beginners, then Ubuntu. (Mint looks like Ubuntu used to look, and less like a mobile phone). Apples are nearly as safe, but the $$$ add up. I had a work setup once with an early Linux that did not stop for 6 years, and then we stopped it; it didn't fail.

    The Linux kernel is modular, and driver modules are usually installed automatically to suit the hardware as found by the installer. Software won't improve the hardware reception (ie built-in antenna) though. Mint and Ubuntu both have an applet on the desktop that can select whatever network you want (wired, wireless, mobile broadband etc) with a mouse click.

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    I assume you have done checked all the basic stuff with the incoming telephone line.

    IE there is only ADSL filter on the incoming line. Also the that filter is first item on the line. On the (incoming line) unfiltered side the only device should be modem. All other devices with all other equipment should be through the filter.

    Do you have an alarm system connected to the phone line? Mode 3 and mode 5 sockets for alarms need special consideration.

    Nearly every ADSL fault I was called to "it's bloody alarm causing the problem ,mate" ended up being multiple ADSL filters installed, incorrect wiring or water logged incoming line.

    Good line quality is paramount to achieve a good connection.

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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Thank you, Rob. Yes, everything is as you say, there's no alarm or anything else on the line. When I moved in the house they found a problem with the cable being waterlogged (told you about my 3 week nightmare). Maybe the water's back?
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

    Das computermachine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitssparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken bei das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets-relaxen und watch das blinkenlights.

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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Seasink, I installed Ubuntu on my little HP mini some four years ago and had no problems after some initial nose thumbing. But I don't really know anything about how to use my system. Apart from the fact that Linux keeps disk space optimised for my needs (I download pictures on my laptop when travelling, so can't afford a system that takes up space for no reason) on a small computer I don't mind having in my backpack if I go hiking up a mountain for a few days.

    Libre office is free for all platforms and better than excel at that. I used Open office since it was first launched in early 2000? or thereabouts on my first Mac (still running fine).

    I didn't know about other Linux versions, just followed like a sheep stuff I found on the internet, installed Ubuntu and it worked. I know there are some versions you can actually buy the installation kit for, but never understood what the difference was (Red Hat, etc). Why would you buy these? Can't get these free as well?
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

    Das computermachine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitssparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken bei das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets-relaxen und watch das blinkenlights.

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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    I

    IE there is only ADSL filter on the incoming line. Also the that filter is first item on the line. On the (incoming line) unfiltered side the only device should be modem. All other devices with all other equipment should be through the filter.
    .
    this is just an aside, but i note that ISP instructions say that the incoming line should go to the filter, then one cable from the filter goes to the modem, and the other to the/any telephone device. i am thinking of the splitter type, so perhaps the "adsl" side of them has no filter? anyway, just pointing it out, as i suppose you are referring to the sort of filter with one input and one output socket?

    i note that slow internet download at my brother's apartment was, as suggested, solely due to a filter. not sure whether that was due to it being faulty or incorrectly placed.

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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    I think that is a bit confusing, but Rob meant to say the filter should be before everything else. My filter (Telstra supplied, D-link brand) is quite clear. One side is marked "phone line in" the other is marked "ADSL" and the second port "phone". Don't see how could get it wrong.
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

    Das computermachine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitssparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken bei das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets-relaxen und watch das blinkenlights.

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    Linux runs most of the web, and most serious scientific work. It was built for networking. These are things that the Windows design isn't built for, hence the constant chase to plug vulnerabilities. Linux is a clone of the venerable Unix, which long predates Windows.

    Distributions exist in the thousands, all made to suit some particular usage, or desktop appearance, or even just to be different. A few, like Red Hat, cater for large businesses, and make their money from providing services. Others are free at all stages. There are of course companies and consultants who will administer large systems of all flavours for a fee. The older distros, like the original Slackware was for people who knew what they are doing - my firm ran this in the 90s. Someone hasn't told the shopkeepers that those days are over. For many years now we have had distros that are fully GUI and with many tasks automated, and these provide a free and safe alternative to home users for the massively flawed Windows design. Why don't you see it in Hardly Normal style shops? Simple, there is no profit on a freebie! Actually the made to order system builders do provide it as a matter of course.

    Since these systems are open source, you can modify a system to make another. For most domestic purposes, the base distro is Debian. This is the system used by most ISPs to run the web. Ubuntu is a built on Debian. Any distro can use one of a number of Windowing programmes to provide the drawn screen layouts; the common ones are Gnome and KDE. Ubuntu made a few decisions a while ago which were felt wrong by many users, and we now have as most popular an Irish development of Ubuntu started by a Frenchman, Clement Lefebvre, called Linux Mint. It is particular suited to home desktop use. All distros have at their heart the common Linux kernel, and nearly all have a common suite of utilities called the GNU project.

    Some Linuxes are small and built for repair and maintenance, and can self boot from a USB stick or CD. If a major Windows disk file gets into trouble and boot fails, the Windows user will be glad of one of these to get his disk fixed.

    Back to home use - try Mint (it comes in more than one desktop look - perhaps Mate is most traditional). I have put several newbies onto this (we obliterate their Windows, but you don't have to) and they have never looked back. If you don't mind the mobile phone look, stay with Ubuntu.

    For novelty and fixing things download the Australian distro Puppy - this is unbelievably tiny, only a few megabytes, complete with a large range of application software and usually is on a CD or USB stick. Puppy is all about being tiny so don't expect sophisticated graphics, but it boots on anything, including most dead Windows boxes and some really old computers. There was an enquiry into bank security in NSW, and the police fraud chief told the parliament to start up Puppy to access your bank site if you wish to be safe. Bad guys find Linux hard enough. They can't change a read-only device. Puppy runs only in memory, so will not even look at your Windows drive, let alone change it, unless you request it to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by schlitzaugen View Post
    I think that is a bit confusing, but Rob meant to say the filter should be before everything else. My filter (Telstra supplied, D-link brand) is quite clear. One side is marked "phone line in" the other is marked "ADSL" and the second port "phone". Don't see how could get it wrong.
    Yep, with a single telephone handset/cordless in the entire premises it hard to get it wrong.

    However many premises have more than one handset/fax/device. This is when you require a "central" filter to isolate the ADSL from all devices sharing the telephone line. A device without a filter loads the ADSL signal , attenuates the signal and in many cases can cause the ADSL modem to ramp down in speed to maintain a connection.

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