let's talk about the fascinating topic of internet speeds

Discussion in 'computers, web and general tech' started by George & Bill, Apr 24, 2018.

  1. George & Bill

    George & Bill semiotically superfluous

    What speed are you getting?

    What is the actual effect of the 'ping rate' of my internet connection?

    What is the most stable form of portable internet in the UK?

    What are the factors determining how good the quality of my video calls is?

    How important is the quality of my router, and how do you select a good one?

    OK maybe this is quite a lot for one thread, but let's see...
  2. kabbes

    kabbes "A top 400 poster"

    I am also interested in this. The kabbess is leaving the work that currently provides us with home internet, so I will have to get my own for the first time in 10 years. There’s a confusion of options out there.

    The highest rated providers by customer satisfaction are Zen Internet and Utility Warehouse. The next tier is SSE and John Lewis Broadband (which blows my mind that department stores and electricity companies are providing broadband, but anyway). Everybody else seems to rate as shit. But SSE regulate their traffic, meaning you don’t really get truly unlimited broadband, and Utility Warehouse require you to get a bundle of utilities from them at once, so that only really leaves Zen (quite expensive) and John Lewis.
    George & Bill likes this.
  3. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    At home somewhere between 40 and 200 mbs depending on when I run the test. Fast enough that it never feels slow. That's on Virgin. Touch wood no issues. Reading around on the Internet there routers aren't supposed to be the best, but again, no issues and to get a decent one you have to spend proper money.

    Mobile varies of course depending on where you are, but I stick with EE as am in the Peak District and Snowdonia a lot which are poor coverage spots. I do seem to notice improvements year on year, so they are obviously spending money on the network.
    George & Bill likes this.
  4. pug

    pug Well-Known Member

    I use Origin broadband, I think they're alright so far.
    George & Bill likes this.
  5. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    With virgin, on their 350Mb unlimited deal.
    I often get more than 350 should provide, and as far as I know it truly is unlimited.

    I download about 1TB every few days, and I've not noticed any slowdown.

    Upload is much slower, at 20Mb I think, but it's good enough.

    The router itself is shite. In WiFi I get constant disconnections, making streaming a film a painful experience.

    Wired is fine.
    George & Bill likes this.
  6. George & Bill

    George & Bill semiotically superfluous

    Thanks all for the thoughts so far. UnderAnOpenSky Fez909, do you make many video calls? Is quality consistently high?

    I'm also interested in what might be a reliable and reasonably fast solution for connecting my laptop to wifi on the move. In the past I've used the hotspot on my phone, when I was with 3 – generally worked well, but definitely not 100% reliable.

    Here in Japan, I've got a Wimax pocket wifi thingy, which typically gets around 20mbps down and 5 mbps up – so not super-fast, but it seems more stable than using a phone hotspot. Is there something like that in the UK?
  7. keybored

    keybored #NeverUseTheInternetAgain

    AFAIK you'll only find WiMAX networks in London, making it fairly redundant as LTE coverage is generally very good there anyway.
  8. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    Not many, but no issues. Had a look back through my uploads and although of course slower then downloads, they are far more constant, so should be more then plenty for a fair few of us to do it at the same time if we so desired.
  9. bemused

    bemused Well-Known Member

    On Virgin at the moment I'm getting 80down/6up

    Pretty minimal as a practical guide to performance unless you put in the context of what you're expecting to send over that network. As a rule of thumb, I'm happy with anything below 60ms for anything real time.

    If you find out let me know, I'm on EE and it's shit, I'm toying with going to 3 as their roaming is better.

    Bandwidth, codec, latency and the bridging service (if you're using one)

    If it's reasonable modern it should be okay,
  10. George & Bill

    George & Bill semiotically superfluous

    And, what about Ping?
    Any advice on which LTE-based mobile router to get?
  11. keybored

    keybored #NeverUseTheInternetAgain

    Do you mean a router you want to carry around and use, or a router that accepts an LTE mobile SIM?
  12. George & Bill

    George & Bill semiotically superfluous

    One I can carry around...
  13. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    Make a lot of video calls, and the quality depends more on the service than the internet connection. The connection has never been an issue really.

    FaceTime = Consistently excellent
    Skype = Consistently good
    WhatsApp = Consistently bad
  14. George & Bill

    George & Bill semiotically superfluous

    Agree to some extent but the connection is also a factor. I use Skype with lots of different people in different places and it can be crisp as a cornflake but can also be mushy as a soluble aspirin left at the bottom of a wash bag.
    Fez909 likes this.
  15. Sasaferrato

    Sasaferrato Thank fuck it's not over.

  16. sim667

    sim667 Licking windows on the 303 bus.

    I'm with Virgin, 100mb package, and generally on my 5ghz wifi I'll get about 90mbs download and 6 mbs up. On my 2.4ghz wifi about 25 down and 6 mbps up.

    Your ping is the amount of time that your machine/router takes to send a packet of data to a server and get a response from that server. The round trip of this packet of information is what determines the latency of your connection.

    A good router makes a big difference. Most ISP's will provide you with a router, however it will normally have customised firmware and often this isn't written to the highest standard, and can cause slow downs in the relaying of information from the WAN to your client. Personally on my VM network I used my superhub in modem mode only and then use a customised router with firmware called dd-wrt on it, which is really well written, and has a lot of features you'd never find on an ISP provided router. I also find that this helps with my speeds, not only of traffic from outside my network, but also inside.

    Another thing a lot of people don't realise when talking about fiber, is that not all fiber is equal. BT's fiber is actually fiber to the cabinet on the road, then copper to the house from there, where as vm's fiber network is to the house.
    UnderAnOpenSky likes this.
  17. George & Bill

    George & Bill semiotically superfluous

    sim667, thanks a lot for your answers.

    In relation to this one though:

    I respectfully refer you back to my question:

  18. Saul Goodman

    Saul Goodman It's all good, man

    I'm about to get access to 1Gig FTTH (fibre to the house). Just before I have to move out :facepalm:
  19. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    It's effectively the 'reaction time', the delay before anything comes back, no matter how fast it does come back.

    Imagine playing a game. Your ping time is really high. You shoot a gun at someone. It takes ages to send this message through, and to receive any new updates. When you do get the updates, you learn that someone else had run in and shot you dead before you even successfully registered your attempt to shoot the first person.

    Or imagine 'satellite delay' on voice calls.
  20. George & Bill

    George & Bill semiotically superfluous

    Aha, thanks a lot!

    What sort of ping do we have to be getting down to before we start noticing delays in calls, do you think?
  21. ricbake

    ricbake working out how

  22. ricbake

    ricbake working out how

  23. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    Probably anything up to 300 msec round trip would be tolerable. However there's more to voice smoothness than ping. Jitter is arguably more important - the variation in ping time. This in particular makes it unpredictable & annoying.
  24. keybored

    keybored #NeverUseTheInternetAgain

    Except like BT, Virgin's "fibre" network is also almost entirely FTTC. Difference being the "final mile" with Virgin is over coaxial copper instead of twisted pair.

    ETA: And they're as bad as each other about misleading consumers over it.

    Virgin Media Adverts Still Can't Tell Copper Coax from Fibre Optic - ISPreview UK
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
  25. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    We are with bt.

    I don't think it is particularly fast, haven't tested it for a while, but there is a faster bt service available.

    From time to time I have problems with it.
  26. George & Bill

    George & Bill semiotically superfluous

    Then, of course, there's the issue that all of these speeds depend on the location of the server you're trying to reach, right?

    For example, here's what I'm getting here in Tokyo with the server that Speedtest automatically selects:

    Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 02.32.47.png

    But when I change to the dom.ru server, this happens:

    Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 02.37.18.png
  27. George & Bill

    George & Bill semiotically superfluous

    Now, obviously it makes sense for things to be slower and take longer when you're moving data further. But I wonder, is the slowdown over distance uniform across all providers?
  28. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    It's fundamentally limited by the speed of light. So a round trip between New York/London is at least 40ms, theoretical minimum.

    Then it's further limited by any delays at each hop (every time it hits a switch and gets routed), many of which may be outside of the control of who you think of as being the provider at each end, i.e. the unseen transit infrastructure providers.
  29. sim667

    sim667 Licking windows on the 303 bus.

  30. keybored

    keybored #NeverUseTheInternetAgain

    Coax is copper.
    existentialist and fishfinger like this.

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