Possible new Router required!

  TonyV 19:48 22 Sep 2007
Locked

When I first started BT Broadband in Leicestershire a couple of years or more ago now, BT supplied the Thompson Speedtouch 330 Modem, connecting through the USB connections. The speed then and up until about 9 or 10 months ago was 7.4 to 7.8mbps. This was fine, and was connecting at the same speeds when I moved to Somerset. Then for some reason, BT reduced the speed I was connecting at in Somerset. It dropped to 5.5 to 5.8mbps with occasional 6mbps connections. Now it has dropped to 4.8mbps, if I am lucky.

I have been in touch with the BT help desk and done all they have asked including three speed tests and sent the information to them. They have come back and stated:- "Please note that the modem will not support higher speed to have the higher speed you need to upgrade your modem to router which will support higher speed. Also note that the Ethernet connection will provide the better speed than the USB modem."

This worries me more than somewhat, since my machine is getting on a bit now, and I do not want to start updating it or even buying a new machine.

I hasten to add that the machine has been updated with a better processor and new matching Motherboard, plus extra memory and over all the speed of the thing is reasonable and suits me for what I do with it. I have no idea what they are talking about when they refer to the Router, and wonder how the thing works. i.e. does it still get it's power from the USB area or is it an external source of power. Equally so, what is the Ethernet connection? Is the Wireless bit?

As you can see I tend to operate my machine from the keyboard, but have on occasion been in to the bowels of the thing to add a new hard drive, but that was quite simple. Am I going to be letting myself in for a load of aggro. if I change the modem to a Router, and is the Router connected to the Ethernet system? In other words is it all one system and do I have to update my machine to accommodate this equipment?

Incidentally, my broadband connection is essentially a Dial-up system. It does not automatically fire it's self up. I let it connect when the browser is opened. Also it is Windows XP Home SP2.

Thanks

TonyV

  Dipso 21:21 22 Sep 2007

The Speedtouch 330 is supposed to be limited to 4 Meg or so but you have already shown that yours can achieve speeds in excess of that so I don't think your modem is the problem.

It seems strange that your line has suddenly deteriorated in this way. In order to try and figure out what has happened can you post your line stats from the modem -

Go to click here and download "Dr SpeedTouch"

Install the program and run "Diagnostics".

Right Click the icon in your system tray >>
Advanced >>
"Write log to disk"

Now open the log file in IE (its in .xml format so you may have to use IE to open it).
You should now be able to see your line stats amongst a lot of other information.

The stats you are looking for are:-

ReceiveAttenuation_dB=
ReceiveMargin_dB=
SendAttenuation_dB=
SendMargin_dB=

Please post back with the stats.

Re: routers. A combined modem/router is powered separately from the PC, usually by a power adapter that connects to the mains. Some have USB connections but most are ethernet as this is the preferred method and is made for networking unlike USB. Replacing your USB modem for a router wouldn't stress your machine at all and unlike USB ethernet does not require drivers to be loaded. You simply connect the cable from the router to the PC and the router to the phone line, input your ISP login details and that's pretty much it.

If you don't already have ethernet built in or a PCI network adapter fitted then you would have to source this first. Wireless is another option but you would have to have a wireless adapter to be able to utilise that.

  TonyV 00:04 23 Sep 2007

Thanks for your comments. Since it is now quite late, I will have a look at what you suggest and see if I can make some sense out of it and post the details back on here. It probably will not be until tomorrow/tonight though because we are out tomorrow/today and won't be back until much later on in the afternoon.

TonyV

  Dipso 00:28 23 Sep 2007

OK, will await your post today/later. You may already have Dr Speedtouch. Check by right clicking on the icon in your systemtry.

  Strawballs 09:07 23 Sep 2007

Ethernet is nothing to do with wireless it is a wired connection for networks and is faster than USB for that reason if you upgraded your motherboard the chances that it will have an ethernet socket already on it.

It looks a bit like the phone socket for the old dial up modems but a bit bigger and might have a symbol that is a line with 2 PC,s connected to it.

  TonyV 18:43 23 Sep 2007

I've done as you suggest and installed Dr Speedtouch. Everything went fine except it cannot get past the connection to the Internet. When Testing, it clears My Computer, Speedtouch and ISP, but comes up with "A problem is detected to the Internet." I have gone through the trouble shoot system, but still it goes no further than the first three elements of the test. I've tried with and without Zone Alarm Pro and with and without AVG Pro.

In the meantime, I have been given a link by BT to a Speedtouch website to download a registry fix to enable the 330 to recognise the fact that it can go faster!

I'll give it a go and see what happens there.

Strawballs
Thanks for your comments. I'll have a look at the back of the tower and see if there is such a socket there.

Cheers

TonyV

  TonyV 19:47 25 Sep 2007

Just to complete this thread regarding the link from BT. I downloaded the file and entered it into the registry. There was no difference! It looks as if I shall have to go the router route! to get the speed back to what BT originally supplied me with. As a matter of interest, I have been back to them again, but they are very slow at coming forward.

The obvious thing to do now is to tick this thread. Thanks for all your advice.

TonyV

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