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TrevorP
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Slow Broadband

Six months ago I upgraded to the M200 broadband and am using a Hub 3.0 with a Mac Book Pro. I have never experienced anything like 200Mbps. In practice, when using wifi upstairs with the router downstairs, most afternoons and some evenings tthe internet is unusable and I have to use a personal hotspot on my phone.

The wifi signal from the hub may be an issue but first we need to get the basic broadband speed resolved.

Testing with testmy.net (I can't get SamKnows working), download speeds just now at around 3.30pm in the afternoon, over 20 tests, vary between 49 and 82 Mbps. This is with the Mac laptop hardwired to the router - wifi is not being used. Upload speed was pretty consistent at 20Mbps. 

Can anyone help please? Spent 1 hr on the phone to Virgin customer services 2 weeks ago before the called dropped with no answer. 

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jbrennand
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Re: Slow Broadband

What Pro model is it - it must be quite old if it has an ethernet port - or are you using an "adapter"?

My Pro's and Airs all work fine using firefox/safari at...

https://speedtest.samknows.com/

Try tests there.

Have you tested a new Cat6a ethernet cable as old ones do fail? Also look in the Settings>Network and see what the the connection speed is set too - should be 1GB and not 100Mbs.

Finally what speeds do you get on wifi when sat near to the router? You could try this as it should help....
________________

Go into the Hub3 settings. Type in  http://192.168.0.1  into your web browser’s url box and login with settings password on the Hub's base sticker (or your own if you changed it). Then in Advanced>wireless>smart wifi - tick the disable “channel optimisation” box or “Smart Wifi” box and save settings. 

Then, go to advanced>wireless>security, rename the 2.4 & 5 GHz network ssid's.  Just change 'em to whatever you like and something that will differentiate them (e.g - xxxxx_2 & xxxxx_5) -- use the same password for simplicity,  Then, apply settings and restart the Hub. 

Your 2 wifi networks will now be clearly separated - and you can then select the network you want to connect to individually from the "available networks" list on each device. 
Note all your wifi devices will need re-connecting to the new SSID's and passwords.
5 GHz is always better/faster and subject to less interference (and is better for iDevices ) than the 2.4 one - although the 2.4 one has the better "range" and some older/cheaper/dumber devices can only use this one. 

You should also use a wifi analyser App to check which 2.4 channels are being heavily used around you and move yours to one of numbers 1,6,11 that is least so, but it wont help if there is other interference.

See if these changes help - you will lose any “seamless roaming” benefits but it may not matter and you can always change the settings back by doing a " pinhole factory reset " if you prefer the way it was - or it doesn’t help.

I use this with my Apple Airport Extreme Router and my Macbook Air, & Pro and iPhone7 all get 220mbps on my Vivid200 wifi connection (and 220 on ethernet of course).

However, on wifi, they only get that when I put them onto the 5GHz network. Sat in the same spot if I then flick them over to the 2.4GHz network, they max out at 50-60mbps (others on here get even lower [<50] on their set ups) - it's just the limitations of the technology!

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John
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I do not work for VM. My services: HD TV on VIP (+ Sky Sports & Movies & BT sport), x3 V6 boxes (1 wired 2 WiFi,) SH2 in modem mode with Airport Extreme Router +2 Airport Express's. On VIVID200, Talk Anytime Phone, x2 Mobile SIM only iPhones.
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Hayley_S
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Re: Slow Broadband

Hello @TrevorP,

Welcome, thanks for posting.

I am sorry for the slow speeds recently.

Can you tell me how it is today? I can see you was given advice by @jbrennand, did this also help?

Many thanks,

Hayley
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TrevorP
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Re: Slow Broadband

Thanks John for your lengthy reply and also to Hayley for checking up on how it's going!

I've sorted access to SamKnows using your link, and also have it on my phone and iPad now. In the tests I described above where the laptop was hardwired to the router I was using one of those 2m blue Virgin Ethernet cables with an internet-to-USB adaptor. The laptop is a mid-2012 Mac Book Pro and doesn't have an ethernet port. I also have an iPhone 12 and iPad Air 4.

I've made the changes you suggested to the hub, separating out the 2 and 5 GHz bands, and all devices are using the 5GHz band signal. One thing of note - when I first went into the homepage on the hub webpage it was showing a WPS error. I couldn't find anywhere an indication of what was wrong, but after making the changes you suggested, that has gone away.

So now, using wifi throughout:

- I am getting over 200 Mbps regularly downstairs (the router is downstairs)

- speed upstairs seems to be 50-60% of that downstairs

My suspicion is that the speed into the house drops significantly though for periods. I will need to monitor this over the coming few days to see how extensive it is. All the experimenting above has been done between 2 and 4.30pm in the afternoon.

I realise that getting the wifi signal upstairs was always likely to be a problem. The hub is situated on a bookcase about 6 ft above the ground in small study downstairs. The location is as close to the centre of the house as I can get it without putting cables through walls. It is next to a stud wall (this is a 1999-built house). The direct line of sight from the hub to my laptop position upstairs is probably around 15-20 feet. Considering all this, I'm surprised the drop-off in speed is so great. Do you have any suggestions as to the best way to improve internet speed upstairs? I do have a very old Airport Extreme wireless router which I used to use with previous Virgin hubs. I could consider purchasing the current model but it is quite expensive so wouldn't want to do that unless I was fairly sure it would cause the problem. I do use internet in a number of rooms upstairs so a fixed (eg using the mains) solution is not so attractive.

Thanks for your help. I will try and assess the speeds over the coming days (particular the speed downstairs if/when it becomes unusable upstairs) and report back!

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jbrennand
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Re: Slow Broadband

You must have the 2012 Retina MBP model - no ethernet port - mine is 2012 non-Retina and does have an ethernet port 🙂

200 downstairs and half of that upstairs sounds pretty good on the Hub3 actually. What problems is this actually giving you? How many devices are connecting on wifi and what are they actually doing? The most demanding use is usually Netflix 4K streaming - that usually wants 20-25Mbps - normal HD streaming uses ~5Mbps - everything else is less than that.

If that is the real issue then you "may" be able to get a system that that will deliver higher speeds upstairs if you actually need them (or increasing the bandwidth package might be needed). But as Apple have pulled out of the Networking business so you cant get a new Extreme from them. A lot of the Apple Airport team move over to Ubiquiti - their kit is well regarded on here.

You cant beat running ethernet cables from the Hub though - is that really not possible?

Finally re the 1999 Stud wall - is that (and others?) perhaps insulated with a tinfoil coating (popular in modern builds) which makes a nice "Faraday Cage" to block wifi signals. As does electrical underfloor heating.

--------------------
John
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I do not work for VM. My services: HD TV on VIP (+ Sky Sports & Movies & BT sport), x3 V6 boxes (1 wired 2 WiFi,) SH2 in modem mode with Airport Extreme Router +2 Airport Express's. On VIVID200, Talk Anytime Phone, x2 Mobile SIM only iPhones.
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Paulina_Z
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Re: Slow Broadband

Hi @TrevorP,

Welcome back to our Community Forums! Thank you for your post, and I'm sorry to hear that you're experiencing some issues with a slow connection. I can understand how frustrating this can be.

Thank you for being so thorough in your post and reply, we really appreciate it. 

I was able to locate your account and after running some checks on my side, I can see that your downstream power levels are quite our of spec and could be responsible for slowing down your connection. Unfortunately, we're unable to resolve this issue remotely, and would need for a technician to attend your property. In order to have this arranged, I will send you a Private Message. Please keep an eye out for a purple envelope at the top right corner of you Forum page. I will be in touch with you soon.

Thank you.

Paulina_Z
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Paulina_Z
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Re: Slow Broadband

Hi @TrevorP,

Thank you for coming back to me via Private Message. I'm glad to hear that you received a message from the technical team asking you to move up your appointment to a sooner time! 🙂

Please keep us updated on how you get on at your appointment, and if you need any more help going forward. You can manage your appointment on your online account here: virg.in/myVM

There will be no charge for this visit unless:
•    The technician diagnoses the faults as not being caused by our network/equipment 
•    The technician discovers that the fault or problem relates to your equipment
•    The technician discovers that the fault or problem relates to any system that we are not responsible for
The technician will confirm during their visit if any of these instances apply, and if so, a £25 charge will be applied to your account. 
Please ensure there is someone over the age of 18 present at the time of the visit. If you need to change or cancel your appointment you can do this online or via the MyVM app by 4pm the day before the appointment.
If you do miss an agreed appointment for any reason, a £25 missed appointment charge will be applied to your account on the day of the appointment.

Thank you!

Paulina_Z
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TrevorP
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Re: Slow Broadband

I've been taking periodic measurements of speed for over 10 days now. The picture is somewhat confusing, I'll try and summarise the results below.

A reminder, I have a 2012 Mac Book Pro laptop, a 2020 iPhone 12 Pro and a 2020 iPad Air 4. The only changes I have made to the original installation since the start of this thread is separately identifying the 2 and 5 GHz bands on router, and connecting all devices to the 5 GHz signal.  All measurements are done on the SamKnows app (even on the laptop). The Virgin router is downstairs.

Over around 70 measurements, from a glance at the results:

- upstairs, the laptop usually operates in the 90-150 Mbps region, the iPhone varies more widely, generally between 40 and 160 Mbps, and the iPad is the best at 120-220 Mbps

- downstairs, the laptop is between 145 and 220 Mbps, the phone generally 100-180 and the iPad 170-210 Mbps.

- there are times, when upstairs the speed drops to 15 - 40 Mbps on the laptop but not very often. I presume that this is to be expected and occurs when others in the road are using high amounts of bandwidth?

- the speed varies somewhat even over seconds - presumably this is to be expected?

Recently, I've not needed to revert to the phone's hotspot upstairs as the internet connection to the laptop has become unusable. I've also not noticed YouTube videos freezing on the phone upstairs. Both of these had been issues.

I presume, that, to the user, the internet can appear slow in terms of webpages building, but this is due to slowness at the server where the webpage is held, rather than at the user end. Is this right?

Recently, 3 times the laptop has failed to see the 5 GHz signal at all from the router when just switched on, but does see the 2 GHz network. It takes a minute or two to find the 5 GHz signal.

What do both of you think as to whether this represents a reasonable level of service for the 200 M broadband package?  I guess it probably is. The main concern is that I'm not regularly getting near to the highest speeds upstairs on the laptop, the main place I work.

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Kain_W
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Re: Slow Broadband

Hi TrevorP,

Thanks for your post and welcome back to the community!

From checking the information you have stated and our systems I can't depict a certain reading that would impact your service in any way.

As the router is downstairs I would advise the readings you are receiving upstairs would be around what we expect considering factors such as the distance etc.

Although Wi-Fi has improved vastly compared to previous years, you may find that your 2.4GHz will be easier to connect to than your 5Ghz the further away you are to the router, which could be the reason as to why it takes more minutes to pop up.

Another factor could be a potential capacity issue on the 5Ghz side of things, where devices will find issues connecting to it as it is a busy network.

May I ask when you are upstairs whether you are running a wired connection to your place of work?

Hope this information helps,

Kain
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TrevorP
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Re: Slow Broadband

Hi Kain - thanks for your post.

To answer your question - no, I am not using a wired connection upstairs. By 'upstairs' it is simply one of the bedrooms that is perhaps in a direct line only 15 ft away from the router.

So your view is that both 2 and 5 GHz bands have their merits and either could be better.

I'll try the 2.4 GHz signal with the laptop to see if it is any better.

Trevor

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