Variable Broadband speeds

  machins 19:04 09 Mar 2011

I have had problems recently with reduced and very erratic broadband speeds. I am supposed to get 'up to' 8Meg, but I realise this can never be achieved.
I have monitored this over the past two weeks and have got speeds of 6Meg at 6am and then slowing down later to one day I got 50K!! at about 5pm.
Have contacted my ISP and they in turn sent out BT engineers twice.
On this last visit (today) I have been told that my router has to be kept on 24hours a day, and this may be the problem.
Can this really be true? I would appreciate someone's opinion who is more up to date on telecoms than me.

  Nontek 19:12 09 Mar 2011

Yes, your router should be kept on 24/7, this is quite normal. Switching it off should only be done as a method of re-setting the router, which is sometimes a way of sorting occasional slight problems.

  MAJ 19:18 09 Mar 2011

There are two popular excuses that are usually used when they can't find the problem, one is that you're using a telephone extension cable, the other is that you don't have the router turned on all the time. Both are usually, in my real-life experience, rubbish. I switch my router off serval times a day and all night and see no fluctuation in upload or download speeds. I also advise all the people I install networks for, to turn off their routers at night for safety reasons, they also see no speed fluctuations because of this.

  Nontek 19:22 09 Mar 2011

I am not a telephone engineer, but I totally disagree with MAJ on this occasion - and I am only judging by my own experience over the years.

  MAJ 19:27 09 Mar 2011

.....turn your router off tonight and see. When you first connect to your ISP when you first sign up with them, it is advisable to leave the router on for a few days to synchronise properly, but after that it's okay to disconnect.

  Nontek 19:34 09 Mar 2011

A few more comments here - no doubt this question has been asked many times on this and other forums.

click here

But I am always open to suggestions - I shall turn mine off tonight and see - as per MAJ!

  tullie 19:39 09 Mar 2011

Iturn my router off every night,and sometimes during the day,with no adverse affects.

  Diemmess 19:50 09 Mar 2011

... then it is possible that there is "improvement work at your exchange."

Several months back I suddenly found abysmal speeds, down from 5.5mbps to as low as 50K.

I struggled every which-way along BTs comprehensive wizards and phone calls to India.
The excuses were many and became quite absurd.

Having stayed polite all along I popped when BT said it was too much traffic on the line!
I uttered a mild enough phrase saying "it was most unsatisfactory"
That seemed to trigger something. I was immediately passed to a supervisor who sympathised and made an appointment for an engineer to call.

Meanwhile the speed recovered suddenly, and gradually increased to the present 6.2 which only dips slightly at peak times.

With the benefit of hindsight I started enquiring among neighbours and friends fed from the same exchange and we had all suffered regardless of ISP.

There were rumours of work going on at the nearest exchange with some gear being installed but like the people who dig up roads, they appeared to have done this without informing customers or the accounts people at BT.

The engineer called a few days later, changed the main socket for the latest pattern, pronounced the line good and then he disappeared.
He was tight lipped about alterations in the background, but I felt he knew something was up but outside his remit.

BT on initial installation told me leave the Home Hub on for the first few days as the connection adjusts itself to highest possible rate. If switched too often during this period it might settle for something less.

Like MAJ I switch off every night for safety and even economy. The rate remains good and unvarying as soon as I go online.

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