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Message 1 of 13

Variable download speed recorded by SamKnows

I have BT Infinity and since before Christmas we have been having issues with download speed particualarly, but not excluisively in the evenings. 

The first engineer came on 11 Dec 2017 and moved the point where the router was plugged in to from the living room to the dining room. The advantage of this was that the dining room is on the other side of the wall from the main point (in the hall) and he connected the new socket into the back of the main point. When he tested the connection of this he got around 45mbps download speed and went off happy.

It became apparent that nothing had really changed as my SamKnows box continued to record download speeds varying from 48mbps to 1.45mbps. 

The second engineer came on 9 Feb 2018 and moved my connection to a different junction in the cabinet down the road. Lift and shift he called that I think. He recorded 80Mbps leaving the cabinet and went off happy.

However, that seemed to make things worse and after a total of about 6 hours on the phone, including 3 to a very helpful girl in Newcastle, BT sent me two new Homehub 6's (Superhubs) because I had splashed out on a TP Link AC2800 router in Novemeber thinking that would help. This girl wanted the BT hub to run tests.

The homehubs did not help and the third engineer arrived on last Tuesday. This had been a bit of a struggle to get him out as a futher BT call centre person had said it was because I had powerlines and stuff connected to the router.

The third engineer could not have been nicer. He tested the line (perfect as it had been for the other 2) and tested the speed with a direct connection. Fine. He tested speed with a HomeHub 5 (he liked them the best) and using his latptop it was perfect (48mbps or so) for about 20 minutes. He left saying that there was not much more he could do and it was impossible to agree with him.

I have put my TP Link AC2800 back on, reconnected my powerline adapters and my SamKnows box. Since then I have had recorded speeds of 48mbps to 0.82mbps and there are times when using my iphone for example is really slow and times when it is really quick downloading podcasts. Equally speedtests on my desktop connected via the powerlines have varied from 48mbps to 10mbps.

The inconsistency of it is baffling and means some nights we can't use Neflix. It can be bad during the day and it can be good.

Does anybody have any suggestions as to what could cause the inconsistency? I am at my wits end and can't really call out another engineer in case it is perfect for the time that they are here. They are convinced that the line is perfect and that the setup is perfect. As I said, the last engineer could not offer any explanation and had not come across this before.

I am now thinkng that 4G is my only solution to get a reliable connection for my work during the day and the family can take their chances at night.

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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 2 of 13

Re: Variable download speed recorded by SamKnows

There have been reported problems on this forum with Powerline adaptors. You should try running without them for at least a few days to see if they are the problem.

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Distinguished Sage
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Message 3 of 13

Re: Variable download speed recorded by SamKnows

Wireless speedtests are very inaccurate as they are subject to external interference also powerlines can sometimes suffer interference problems you really need to try an ethernet connection
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Parksey26
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Message 4 of 13

Re: Variable download speed recorded by SamKnows

How about the weather - does it tend to be damper and wetter when you have a worsened connection?

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Message 5 of 13

Inconsistent speed recorded by SamKnows

I have a SamKnows box which periodically tests the download speeds from my BT Infinity connection.

Before Christmas my family and I were having problems with the broadband in that it would slow to a virtual standstill at times. At the same time I noticed that the broadband speeds recorded by SamKnows were varying from 35.5mbps to 1.06mpbs and everthing in between. Looking at the SamKnows graphs this had started to be more or a problem from the middle of October when the slow speeds were very slow. Previously the slow speeds were rarely less than 8Mbps. Since 18 October or so there are many readings of 1 or 2 Mbps.

In desparation one night I ordered a TP-Link AC2800 router. I rang BT about the router and a very helpful chap in England told me that my maximum speed should be close to 60Mbps but never less than 32mbps. At that time my maximum wasn't much above 32.

As a result the first engineer came on 11 Dec and he moved the connection for the router into the dining room where he created a face plate connected into the back of the main BT socket in the hall. He got a reading of about 45mbps and left with me being happy.

However, this really made very little difference. He had lifted a "cap" on my connection and the maximum speed recorded by SamKnows went up to 53.2mbps but after a while the slow speeds started to reappear.

I rang BT again and the second engineer came out on 9 Feb 2018. He got me what I think he called a "lift and shift", which I think means a new connection in the cabinet. That was leaving the cabinet at 80Mbps. He said that the line was perfect and that all should be well now.

However, that was far from the case and I then had a series of very long phone calls with various call centres around the UK (and one disasterous one to India), eventually ending up with a very helpful girl in Newcastle. She sent me 2 homehub 6s (superhubs) so that she could run tests. Unfortunately no solutions were found and the third engineer came out on 27 Feb 2018.

He could not have been nicer. He tested the line (fine) and ran some tests with his device directly on the connection (fine). He then plugged in a HHub5 and ran tests on his laptop. For about 20 minutes he got 48mbps consistenly on his laptop and indeed his iPhone. We both agreed that there was not much he could do and he left.

A couple of BT call centre people tried to blame the router and the powerlines that I have attached to it but the engineer agreed with me that that was not a likely cause of the inconsistency. We tested my AC2800 router before he left and again got 48mbps.

Since he left SamKnows has continued to record variable download speeds between 48mbps and 0.82mbps. The slower speeds tend to be more common in the evening, but not exclusively so. Some evenings are fine, some after-noons are slow.

Has anybody come across this before and might have a plausible explanation? I am thinking that my only solution for a reliable connection is 4g for work and let the family take their chances for leisure. It is very frustrating as we live in a newish house (18 years old) and are not far from the cabinet (200 yds or so). Netlfix at night is a lottery and the kids complain to me when it slows down to an unusable level. Strangely it rarely stops, although it did when I had the first HHub 6 that BT sent me in January.

Any comments would be gratefully received.

Frustrated 57.

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Message 6 of 13

Re: Variable download speed recorded by SamKnows

John,

The SamKnows box is connected by ethernet into the router so it is not a wireless speed test.

Thanks,

Frustrated 57.

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566 Views
Message 7 of 13

Re: Variable download speed recorded by SamKnows

Parksey,

I have thought about that but the variations are up and down like a yoyo. It is not as if one day is good and the next day is bad, it is that one hour is hopeless and the next hour is good. 

The weather here for about the past month has been quite consistent in that it is wet and cold most days, but sadly the broadband is anything but consistent.

Thanks,

Frustrated 57.

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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 8 of 13

Re: Variable download speed recorded by SamKnows

If this is just during peak times, then follow this advice.

Action to take when download speed are dropping during peak times

 

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Message 9 of 13

Re: Variable download speed recorded by SamKnows

Keith,

Thanks for that, however there is a further complication in that when I ran the bt wholesale speedtest via Ethernet cable with my MacBook pro I got very poor results. The BT engineer was there and his laptop gave perfect results using the same cable. It was totally bizarre. I got one good result and then 20 seconds later a bad result. That is the nature of the problem. It is not confined to peak times. I work at home a lot and until 2.30pm I am the only person in the house.

I don't have a windows laptop and I don't want to move either of the desktops so whilst this is a good idea I don't think it is going to work with the macbook pro. Why that is I have no idea.

Thanks,

Frustrated 57.

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Parksey26
Aspiring Contributor
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Message 10 of 13

Re: Variable download speed recorded by SamKnows

Hey Frustrated57,
I think the best thing to do is gather evidence. You should search for a piece of Mac network monitoring software (sorry, I have no suggestions) and plot it over a period of 24 hours.
At least then, you can try and draw conclusions of your own or show this to a member of the moderation team here. Noone can deny evidence!
I can totally empathise however as, back when the cold and damp weather was disrupting our connection from the cabinet to the exchange, it was sporadic and otherwise unpredictable. I ended up plotting our network performance and it was notably worse in the damper mornings and when it rained.
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