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Paul5464
Newbie
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Message 1 of 20

Whole home Wi-fi - how much loss of speed is to be expected from black discs compared to smart hub 2

Hi

Recently received my smart hub 2 and black disc.

I note that when my iPhone is connected to the smart hub 2 I get an excellent download speed of between 65-70mbps.

However when my iPhone is connected to the black disc, the download speed goes down to on average between 30-35mbps.

Is this to be expected?

Am slightly disappointed to lose half the download speed when my device connects to the disc rather than the smart hub.

What’s reasonable ?
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Distinguished Sage
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Message 2 of 20

Re: Whole home Wi-fi - how much loss of speed is to be expected from black discs compared to smart h

Welcome to this user forum.

It depends on how the disc operates. If its acting as a wireless repeater, working on the same wireless channel as the smart hub, then I would expect that download speed would be reduced, as is the case with other wireless repeaters.

WiFi repeaters work by receiving wireless signal and rebroadcasting it, but single band repeaters have to receive, then retransmit each packet of data using the same radio on the same channel. This can cost single band repeaters 50% of their bandwidth.

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Paul5464
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Message 3 of 20

Re: Whole home Wi-fi - how much loss of speed is to be expected from black discs compared to smart h

Thank you.

Is that how the black discs (total bt wifi) work then, as repeaters?

Also excuse my lack of technical knowledge. Is bandwidth the same as download speed? I had thought that bandwidth would be reduced (and therefore download speed) depending on how many devices were connected and downloading data at a given time. In ran my test this morning when the only device actively downloading data was my iPhone.
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Distinguished Sage
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Message 4 of 20

Re: Whole home Wi-fi - how much loss of speed is to be expected from black discs compared to smart h

If they operate on the same wireless channel as the smart hub, then they will be sharing the same wireless path, as  only one device at a time can transmit or receive over a wireless channel.

When you see multiple devices connected to a wireless network, they are being allocated time slots when they can use that wireless channel. They do this by listening to see if the channel is free first, then they transmit.

Your iPhone would be getting the half download speed. If other device were also connected to the disc and downloading data, then they would share the same bandwidth, so both would see a reduction in download speed.

The alternative to wireless repeaters, are wireless access points which transmit on a different channel, and don`t suffer from the same drop in throughput.

I doubt very much that you would notice the difference in performance on an Iphone. So I would not be concerned.

This is an example of a wireless access point (hotspot)

https://www.shop.bt.com/products/bt-mini-wi-fi-home-hotspot-600-kit-084288-BVFF.html

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Distinguished Expert
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Message 5 of 20

Re: Whole home Wi-fi - how much loss of speed is to be expected from black discs compared to smart h


@Paul5464 wrote:
Thank you.

Is that how the black discs (total bt wifi) work then, as repeaters?

Also excuse my lack of technical knowledge. Is bandwidth the same as download speed? I had thought that bandwidth would be reduced (and therefore download speed) depending on how many devices were connected and downloading data at a given time. In ran my test this morning when the only device actively downloading data was my iPhone.

A generalised observation.
The disc is located ~9 meters from the Smart Hub2.
iPhone 8 Plus in use with iOS 12.1.3.
The speeds  - phone to disc - are identical to hub speeds, as seen on the MyBT app.
On the ipad mini 2 the speeds from iPad to disc are lower (iOS 12.1.3), but only by around 15%.
Sometimes the iPad speed test fails altogether, even though it's still loading web data.

It's difficult to explain, but I suppose it depends on the positioning of the dics, and also the speeds of your device and it's wireless adaptor. Both devices are 5GHz wifi.

 

 

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Message 6 of 20

Re: Whole home Wi-fi - how much loss of speed is to be expected from black discs compared to smart h


@Paul5464wrote:
Hi

Recently received my smart hub 2 and black disc.

I note that when my iPhone is connected to the smart hub 2 I get an excellent download speed of between 65-70mbps.

However when my iPhone is connected to the black disc, the download speed goes down to on average between 30-35mbps.

Is this to be expected?

Am slightly disappointed to lose half the download speed when my device connects to the disc rather than the smart hub.

What’s reasonable ?

Hi @Paul5464. No that is not as should be expected. My iPhone when connected to my Disc has a download speed of 74 mbps, which is my maximum. Something is wrong. 

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Distinguished Sage
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Message 7 of 20

Re: Whole home Wi-fi - how much loss of speed is to be expected from black discs compared to smart h

The physical wireless connection speed would be much the same, but the throughput would be reduced.

The BT claim of complete wifi still holds true, but what is not guaranteed it the actual throughput, as that is subject to many variables, but its never going to achieve the same throughput as a device connected directly to the home hub or wireless access point.

I would not be concerned, as most portable devices are not going to notice the difference.

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Distinguished Expert
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Message 8 of 20

Re: Whole home Wi-fi - how much loss of speed is to be expected from black discs compared to smart h


@Keith_Beddoe wrote:

The physical wireless connection speed would be much the same, but the throughput would be reduced.

The BT claim of complete wifi still holds true, but what is not guaranteed it the actual throughput, as that is subject to many variables, but its never going to achieve the same throughput as a device connected directly to the home hub or wireless access point.

I would not be concerned, as most portable devices are not going to notice the difference.

Agreed, re the throughput.
The MyBT app gives the speeds to and from the hub, or disc, and then to BT and  but not actual throughput, BT to device.. 


 

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psykix
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Message 9 of 20

Re: Whole home Wi-fi - how much loss of speed is to be expected from black discs compared to smart h

Mesh is not the same as wireless repeaters.

Mesh uses a separate wifi band for the connection back to the router or to another mesh AP.

So that begs the question. Is Whole home wifi a mesh solution? The white version was certainly marketed as such, so one would presume that the new black version is also a mesh version, and therefore does not suffer from the same inherent wifi bandwidth issues that repeaters (or extenders) do.

 

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Distinguished Sage
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Message 10 of 20

Re: Whole home Wi-fi - how much loss of speed is to be expected from black discs compared to smart h

That is a good question, as you can turn off the 5GHz band on the smart hub 2, where would that separate wifi band be located, as there are only the two bands, 2.4 and 5GHz?

Yes you could use a different 2.4GHz wifi channel for the back haul link, and then use the discs to retransmit on another channel, but is there evidence of this actually happening, is more than one channel being used?

The BT dual band wireless extender uses a 2.4GHz channel as the back haul link, but re-transmits on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz, which does make me wonder whether the same hardware is being re-used?

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