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Ady111/03/2022 14:15:01
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5160 forum posts
738 photos

I don't know what its like in England but here in Edinburgh the basic BT fixed line Broadband connection has been getting really really bad in recent months

The weekdays are hit and miss while at the weekend from 6pm on Friday it just goes totally to the dogs, dropped/throttled bandwidth etc and it never really improves until Monday, I reckon my old Freeserve 56k dialup was more reliable back in 2000

So in desperation I started looking for a wireless system which I know nothing about, something that just takes a SIM card, plugs into a computer USB and gets me onto tha interweb

And I got lucky first time

I used an old virgin sim which has been upgraded to 5G but you don't need a 5G to do basic gaming and surfing, 4G is fine and you just need the thing to log on reliably which this seems to do very well, been almost a month now

The settings for a virgin sim user are

wireless1.jpg

wireless2.jpg

The key seems to be that APN web address bit

goto.virginmobile.uk

So your SIM provider will have a unique web type code

Edited By Ady1 on 11/03/2022 14:25:42

Tim Stevens11/03/2022 14:28:55
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1622 forum posts

So this is an alternative way into the Internet (which seems to rely on existing wi-fi ?) rather than an alternative to the internet per se. So my thoughts about the (alleged) American Native scheme using smoke signals wouldn't help, then.

Cheers, Tim

Ady111/03/2022 14:42:28
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5160 forum posts
738 photos

I also got a small extension because it's quite a fat USB dongle and my USB plugs are nearly all full so it's too crowded to fit

This is not using the home wifi (which is useless), this is mobile broadband, my sim is 20 quid a month

Edited By Ady1 on 11/03/2022 14:45:29

Henry Brown11/03/2022 15:07:40
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558 forum posts
119 photos

I've been running mobile broadband here at home for years, initially with Orange and now 3, BT speeds are akin to the old dial-up as we're in the sticks and their "High Speed" broadband ends at the villages all around us.

I'm pretty sure its 4G but may be 5, costs about £22 per month unlimited and is fine for what I use it for. Well done for finding an alternative!

V8Eng11/03/2022 15:22:17
1726 forum posts
6 photos

We changed our fixed line from BT to Plusnet about two years ago, no complaints so far.

When away from home I use my mobile as a Personal Hotspot on my 4/5G sim only contract.

Edited By V8Eng on 11/03/2022 15:26:27

Michael Gilligan11/03/2022 15:28:36
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20289 forum posts
1064 photos

I sympathise, Ady

Our BT Broadband is mediocre at best, and quite frequently hopeless

… and to cap it all “somehow” almost the entire content of my ‘Sent’ mail folder was deleted a few weeks ago.

Not only can [will ?] BT not help, but they say “an iPad on this client” issued the instruction to delete. dont know

The performance using my 4G ‘phone as a hotspot for the iPad is approximately 4x faster than my landline broadband !

MichaelG.

John Haine11/03/2022 15:36:14
4712 forum posts
273 photos
Posted by V8Eng on 11/03/2022 15:22:17:

We changed our fixed line from BT to Plusnet about two years ago, no complaints so far.

When away from home I use my mobile as a Personal Hotspot on my 4/5G sim only contract.

Edited By V8Eng on 11/03/2022 15:26:27

Did you change the line of just the company that bill you? PlusNet is in fact owned by BT and they almost certainly use an "unbundled" service using BT's copper, or fibre.

Brian G11/03/2022 16:04:14
845 forum posts
38 photos

When we moved to the country none of the wired providers could connect us as the phone lines weren't good enough, so we used 3 home broadband until we could get fibre installed thanks to the rural broadband subsidy. My son is also using 3 despite his road being cabled for Virgin because it is so much cheaper and it is faster than any of the non-Virgin services he could get. The only downside seems to be the latency, which sometimes leads to lag in online games.

It is worth testing the connection with a PAYG sim first though just in case the speed isn't enough and to get 3's existing customer reduced rates, as of today £14 pcm including a 4G router (I think we were paying £18 last year).

Brian G

An Other11/03/2022 17:00:20
261 forum posts
23 photos

We live in Eastern Europe, and when we first came here (about 12 years ago, the service provide by the (state) ISP was lousy - very very slow, and prone to fail frequently - Friday evening was always a good time, then it would come back on Monday morning when the local engineer(?) came back on duty.

Eventually we got a mobile phone, but at that time, it could not be used as a hotspot, although later it was possible. About 5 years ago, by chance, we became friendly with the girl in the local mobile providers shop - she spoke good English, which helped. She mentioned that they could provide up to 50 GBytes/month of broadband data connection free using a fixed router using the SIM fitted in the mobile phones, but many of her customers had complained that it didn't work, and had returned their routers - she had a big pile of them. I asked if I could try one, so she gave me half-a dozen to test after she talked to her manager.

I took them home, plugged in my SIM, and sure enough, it didn't work - then after a bit of checking, I found out that the SIM was retained in its socket by a metal strap - you had to slide the SIM under the strap - but it was so very easy to slide it in so it went over the strap (and very difficult to actually see) - so no connection. All the routers I had been loaned worked when I made sure that the SIM was correctly installed, and eventually I found about 3 truly dud routers from around 50. I got a free SIM for a year as a result as a thankyou from the manager.

Three months ago, the mobile provider (it also provides service in Western Europe and the UK), bought out the state Telecom concern, and now operates that as well - and its service is vastly better than it used to be.

I have no idea what the moral of this story is (was), but it worked for me.

V8Eng11/03/2022 17:15:39
1726 forum posts
6 photos
Posted by John Haine on 11/03/2022 15:36:14:
Posted by V8Eng on 11/03/2022 15:22:17:

We changed our fixed line from BT to Plusnet about two years ago, no complaints so far.

When away from home I use my mobile as a Personal Hotspot on my 4/5G sim only contract.

Edited By V8Eng on 11/03/2022 15:26:27

Did you change the line of just the company that bill you? PlusNet is in fact owned by BT and they almost certainly use an "unbundled" service using BT's copper, or fibre.

Yes, I suppose basically we changed billing because BT could not match Plusnet pricing.which was a bit surprising considering the company relationship.

Edited By V8Eng on 11/03/2022 17:16:11

SillyOldDuffer11/03/2022 17:15:50
Moderator
8862 forum posts
1995 photos
Posted by Ady1 on 11/03/2022 14:15:01:

... here in Edinburgh the basic BT fixed line Broadband connection has been getting really really bad in recent months

...

Might be you're distant from the exchange and the line is shared by a large number of neighbours. My basic Broadband used to sag when the kids got home from school! Upgrading to fibre (still copper to the house) fixed it: the technology is faster and less likely to overload.

Or there might be a fault. Worth running a BT speed check at various times of day and complaining if it's not good. (The router may also have a speed-checker.) A poorly made terminal box under the eaves allowed water in causing slowly worsening telephony and internet problems. BT replaced the bad box, telephone worked, but the web was still slow. A BT Customer Service line test said all was apparently well, even though it wasn't. Eventually BT second-line support ran a test showing my router and the exchange had automatically reduced line-speed to compensate for the bad, and the exchange had to be told to reset the speed.

Other possibilities:

  • the wiring used to connect other phones around the house can cause serious speed loss, as can a faulty phone; try disconnecting everything other than the master phone and the router.
  • Your ADSL filter may be faulty or too basic; try a different one.
  • Check the socket for corrosion, including the BT master socket immediately behind the consumer plate where the line enters the house. On the customer side occasional plugging and unplugging helps to keep the contacts clean, but the hidden master socket may not have been moved for years. If either is grubby, clean or replace.
  • Router or cable is faulty. Check the router logs for repeats or other problems.
  • If the link from router to computer is WiFi, it may be suffering external interference; try a direct cable connection

Otherwise a 4G/5G dongle is sensible provided the phone coverage is good and you keep an eye on the charges! Thanks for sharing - I know someone who might find this useful.

Dave

David-Clark 111/03/2022 17:25:58
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222 forum posts

I live in Cleethorpes and have virgin 360MB.
I get 300 MB+ on wireless.

I just checked with speed test .net and download on wireless was 362 MB.

Ady111/03/2022 17:47:13
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5160 forum posts
738 photos

I used to use claranet who were ok for home broadband, but a bit pricey, but had to go over to BT when the missus moved in, for her internet/phone line

Claranet were really just a BT lines provider providing a better internet service

The "new" BT service was bad from the start, then about 2 months ago we got the new fibre stuff done, all nice shiny yellow connections on the old phone pole and I hoped in vain for an improvement.

The BT exchange is 300 yards up the road and my dog uses it as a toilet stop so at least it does do one thing reliably

Just really glad I got it sorted out, I'm getting too old and grumpy for these things

Michael Gilligan11/03/2022 17:49:12
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20289 forum posts
1064 photos

If you want a simple speed-check, try FAST which is offered by Netflix

**LINK**

https://netflixtechblog.com/building-fast-com-4857fe0f8adb

… Much less faffing-about than BT’s effort.

MichaelG.

John Haine11/03/2022 18:49:37
4712 forum posts
273 photos
Posted by Ady1 on 11/03/2022 17:47:13:

The "new" BT service was bad from the start, then about 2 months ago we got the new fibre stuff done, all nice shiny yellow connections on the old phone pole and I hoped in vain for an improvement.

The BT exchange is 300 yards up the road and my dog uses it as a toilet stop so at least it does do one thing reliably

Just really glad I got it sorted out, I'm getting too old and grumpy for these things

So did you actually subscribe for fibre? Just putting up on the poles doesn't help in itself, they need to actualy connect a bit of the stuff to your house.

Neil Wyatt11/03/2022 19:10:38
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Moderator
19076 forum posts
736 photos
80 articles

Just put 'speed test' into google, and it will offer a very basic, reliable one without ads etc.

About 108/8 today.

Compares with the 2.5/0.7 I had when in the Midlands... that made uploading photos a for MEW fun each month.

Neil

Edited By Neil Wyatt on 11/03/2022 19:12:39

Ady111/03/2022 19:14:06
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5160 forum posts
738 photos

I thought the all singing all dancing BT Home Hub was an auto upgrade since the lines got upgraded

Only the home connection is still copper

edit: and for me its about 15 feet long

===========================================

One question I DO have for the folks in here is my claranet email, I'm kinda stuck with it and the monthly cost of the not used broadband connection until I migrate all my email dependencies from HMRC to The Model Engineer

Is there not a simpler solution than migrating up to 100 accounts (software. Gaming. etc)?

Edited By Ady1 on 11/03/2022 19:15:22

SillyOldDuffer11/03/2022 20:17:38
Moderator
8862 forum posts
1995 photos
Posted by Ady1 on 11/03/2022 17:47:13:...

The BT exchange is 300 yards up the road and my dog uses it as a toilet stop ...

Maybe the dog broke the internet! My cat tap dances on keyboards.

smiley

Oldiron11/03/2022 21:25:26
995 forum posts
40 photos

Been with Virgin media 200Mbps Broadband and 2 mobile phones a couple of years now with no problems. Cable comes straight into the house. Still cheaper than BT 50Mbps b/b & home phone was when we changed supplier.

Had the cable in the road broken by the gas board 6 months ago and Virgin came out and fixed in 4 hours. 200Mbps connection showing 223/24 at this moment.

Phone is VOIP so BT line to pay.

regards

John Haine11/03/2022 22:31:30
4712 forum posts
273 photos
Posted by Ady1 on 11/03/2022 19:14:06:

I thought the all singing all dancing BT Home Hub was an auto upgrade since the lines got upgraded

Only the home connection is still copper

edit: and for me its about 15 feet long

===========================================

One question I DO have for the folks in here is my claranet email, I'm kinda stuck with it and the monthly cost of the not used broadband connection until I migrate all my email dependencies from HMRC to The Model Engineer

Is there not a simpler solution than migrating up to 100 accounts (software. Gaming. etc)?

Edited By Ady1 on 11/03/2022 19:15:22

If the home connection is still copper you will be limited in max speed. To get the full fibre service you need a fibre connection to your house. If you go on the BT website and look for the broadband pages you will find a place where you can enter your postcode (that's the link to the page) and it will tell you what packages are available. If you can get fibre the maximum package can give you 900 Mbps, with a range of lower speeds down to IIRC about 25. If you subscribe they come along and fit another drop cable which is actually fibre. You don't have to stick with BT, any provider who already works in your area can also give service but it's all over the same fibre. Claranet might be one of them. But I don't think Claranet really do consumer services any more and you might find they drop you anyway. Why not ask if you can have email only? Or if all you want is email then just switch to Gmail and just update the sites you really want, at least it will reduce the volume of spam.

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