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Standard User BloodRazor
(newbie) Sat 26-Jan-13 19:19:45
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'Upgrading' from the bog-standard ADSL2+ setup


[link to this post]
 
I've decided that i want to spend some time and money improving my home broadband connection. Pretty standard setup in place at the moment, one cheap ISP wireless-N modem-router connected to an LLU ADSL2+ line via microfilter. Happen to live close to the exchange so sync speeds are 17-18Mbps. Not in a cable area, and only a small choice of LLU providers on the exchange.

The limitation naturally comes when torrenting / using newsgroups, or when someone is browsing while someone else is gaming etc (small family environment).

I've considered upgrading the router to something with more powerful QoS abilities, but suspect i would struggle to find any router that is able to implement downstream QoS effectively enough to notice the impact; due to the inability to prevent the data coming down the line (i'm sure a half-way house solution would be for it to delay ACK packets and perhaps even drop excess low priority packets to let TCP windowing slow down that particular session but again, I can't see it being terribly effective as QoS is only really able to handle upstream data with any precision, which is not the problem in this home environment).

So the only realistic option I can see, is to get a second ADSL2+ line installed, and use load balancing or ADSL bonding to do the rest. There does usually seem to be larger additional service costs with bonding over and above those of load balancing, with only one provider I can find that doesn't seem to charge extra for bonding the two lines together (who shall remain nameless for now as I don't want to break any anti-spam policies). And i don't much like the prospect of the 2nd line potentially being a poor one and thereby reducing the speed gains by potentially slowing down the speed of the primary line due to MLPPP limitations - and that's without the fact that it's unlikely to cure latency issues in games nearly as well as load balancing could if i set it up right (In an extreme example: Line 1 (with a low latency gaming focussed provider): Games, Line 2 (with a cheap provider): Everything else).

Obviously whichever way I go, i'm going to need a replacement modem-router (i'm trying to resist having a separate device for the modem and router capabilities because i want a separate wireless access point too). I'm thinking I could keep using the current ISP router as the separate wireless access point to reduce costs, as its performance in the wireless respect has been fine. I'm very conscious that asking for a single device to be a multiple WAN port modem, router and wireless-N access point all in one is likely to be too much for any affordable devices.

I'm not very sure of exactly which routers I should be looking at, even after hours of reading. I hear Draytek aim at this kind of market, but was a little taken aback at finding something of theirs that looked suitable, then finding out it was retailing at £200! (and not much cheaper second hand). However on the other hand i'm very conscious that something underspecced/too cheap will lead to disappointing performance, particularly with 2 lines of ADSL data, expected to be around 32-38Mbps, incoming.

So i'm looking for a dual WAN modem-router on the 'cheaper' side, hopefully commonly available second hand, that will work just fine with 32Megs+ over two ADSL2+ lines, or a brand new but much more future proofed device that I can keep for many years to come to recoup the outlay. I'm leaning towards the former idea over the latter, but would really like to hear about both.

Edit: One thing i should point out, is that i'd be willing to consider replacing all the potential networking hardware with a single PC - i'd have to find something small and discrete and quiet, and then put ADSL2+ PCI cards and wireless and ethernet cards in it too. But i'm concerned about how expensive this may be both to build, and to keep powered up. It would be fairly easy to upgrade it to any future requirements though!

Edited by BloodRazor (Sat 26-Jan-13 19:24:59)

Standard User RobertoS
(sensei) Sat 26-Jan-13 19:53:25
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Re: 'Upgrading' from the bog-standard ADSL2+ setup


[re: BloodRazor] [link to this post]
 
We could do with knowing your exchange and ISP really, and there are no worries about "spamming" ISP names when using them for normal discussions like you want.

For instance - have a read of the downstream "QoS" described here, to deal precisely with your problem.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk | Domains,website and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - Plusnet UnLim Fibre (FTTC). Sync ~ 54.0/14.9Mbps @ 600m. - BQM

"Where talent is a dwarf, self-esteem is a giant." - Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Allergy information: This post was manufactured in an environment where nuts are present. It may include traces of understatement, litotes and humour.

Edited by RobertoS (Sat 26-Jan-13 19:54:17)

Standard User yarwell
(sensei) Sat 26-Jan-13 20:23:06
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Re: 'Upgrading' from the bog-standard ADSL2+ setup


[re: BloodRazor] [link to this post]
 
http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/board,21.0.html

pfsense is the sort of operating system you might consider to do the dual WAN stuff.

--

Phil

MaxDSL - goes as fast as it can and doesn't read the line checker first.

MaxDSL diagnostics


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Standard User BloodRazor
(newbie) Sun 27-Jan-13 05:34:01
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Re: 'Upgrading' from the bog-standard ADSL2+ setup


[re: BloodRazor] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for that guys.

Roberto; here's the information i think you need:
"
The following services are available in your location:
BT Wholesale ADSL
BT Wholesale ADSL Max
BT Wholesale WBC (21CN)
AOL LLU
TalkTalk (CPW) LLU
Sky Broadband / Easynet LLU"

"
ADSL is available in your area
Your exchange is also enabled for ADSL Max services
Your exchange is also enabled for ADSL2+ services

According to BT Wholesale, houses at your postcode should be able to support

up to 2Mbps via ADSL
7.5Mbps or greater ADSL connection via ADSL Max
17Mbps or greater via ADSL2+
Standard ADSL RAG results

You can receive 2Mbps ADSL
You can receive 1Mbps ADSL
You can receive 512kbps ADSL
You can receive 256kbps ADSL

You are approximately 150 metres from the exchange. Note that this is the straight line distance - the actual cable length will be longer!"

FTTC, Wireless and SDSL are all not available in my area and there are no known plans for them.

Currently have the LLU ADSL2+ line with TalkTalk.

Whilst i'm happy to hear about PlusNet's more positive-sounding use of QoS than my experience of TalkTalk's use of QoS (i notice it when it murders my occasional P2P traffic on an otherwise idle line during the evenings), i'm naturally a little hesitant unless they also offer the ability to configure/customise the QoS settings for my line. In fact, they're not even an LLU provider as far as i can work out, so how they'd perform any additional downstream QoS over and above what the BT exchanges perform is beyond me. I'm rather curious about how they implement that. Anyway, if i can migrate onto a provider that's willing to set up a decent, customisable QoS downstream solution with me then that will solve the problem, but i just can't see that happening for reasonable money. I'm particularly reluctant to tie myself in with a provider until i can see that their QoS implementation 'works' for me.

yarwell: Funnily enough, pfsense was exactly the operating system i had in mind when i was talking about a PC hardware solution in the last paragraph. Problems with that, aside from finding a smallish cheapish case/mobo/CPU etc etc, with enough PCI slots to be expandable, is that the OS still doesn't seem to support wireless-N properly, which is vital, as i wouldn't be able to justify using the separate wireless access point too (as this is in the living room). And besides which, a quick google search for ADSL2+ cards suggests £30+, apiece!

Edited by BloodRazor (Sun 27-Jan-13 05:37:37)

Standard User yarwell
(sensei) Sun 27-Jan-13 10:54:07
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Re: 'Upgrading' from the bog-standard ADSL2+ setup


[re: BloodRazor] [link to this post]
 
yes, PCI cards for ADSL are a problem cost wise and you don't want to end up with a stack of boxes.

--

Phil

MaxDSL - goes as fast as it can and doesn't read the line checker first.

MaxDSL diagnostics
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