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Standard User dogzilla
(newbie) Sat 19-Nov-16 13:37:48
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Long term comparison - Virgin 300mb / Sky 80mb.


[link to this post]
 
I have been using Sky Fiber now for around 2 years with their "Pro" 80/20 package.

Around 6 months ago I had some outages and instability which unfortunately coincided with some critical work I was doing which caused a major problems for the company I was working with. The next day I ordered Virgin because I didn't want to be put in that same position ever again

So I have been testing both systems side by side for the past 6 months and have been switching back and forth to try and get a feel for which is the better connection.

So far my testing is mostly unscientific in terms of how the connection "feels" - and I have been asking for opinions from my wife and family who are all avid internet users. I am planning on setting up a multi-homed mini-server which I can run some more scientific side by side tests. I am however using JD's Auto Speed Tester but because I'm changing connection frequently I haven't yet done some long term data gathering.

So first thought is....surely the 300mbit connection is better? Well not quite. In terms of real world throughput, Virgin is 4 times as fast. So if your priority is to download files as fast as possible, Virgin is the clear winner. However the user experience on Virgin doesn't quite match it's throughput capabilities.

The main difference is consistency. Virgin can go from 50-280mbit during the course of single day and it does vary that much throughout the week. The other obvious difference is latency. I play a lot of games and Virgin is consistently worse for ping and jitter, sometimes more than double that of Sky. Even off-peak at 3am the Jitter never goes below 20ms....

By comparison Sky is extremely consistent. Throughput sticks around 65mbit and my jitter is very low <4ms typically. Sites also just load faster. Fewer slowdowns on YouTube and other popular sites.

So as far as quality of connection, Sky certainly seems the better of the two especially If you play online games and latency/jitter are of a concern. If that isn't a concern then Virgin isn't that bad. It's a decent connection which often feels like an awesome connection in which you can have multiple heavy users at the same time with everyone getting a good chunk. It's just let down by the consistency. For example at 1:30 on a saturday afternoon I cant get more than 60mbit and my ping is bouncing around 30-80ms....

I will be keeping Virgin as I need to have a backup connection but I am going to remove the Homeworks package and move back to 200mbit because the line isn't achieving a consistent 200+mbit anyway so it's just money for nothing.

FWIW I live in East London. It would appear my local area has some contention problems.

Edited by dogzilla (Sat 19-Nov-16 13:42:02)

Standard User Chrysalis
(legend) Sun 20-Nov-16 20:30:32
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Re: Long term comparison - Virgin 300mb / Sky 80mb.


[re: dogzilla] [link to this post]
 
do you have the single threaded issues on VM that is talked about on here?

so e.g. multi threaded can be fast but single threaded a fraction of the multi threaded speed.

Sky Fibre Pro BQM - IPv4 BQM - IPv6
Standard User dogzilla
(newbie) Sun 20-Nov-16 21:19:08
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Re: Long term comparison - Virgin 300mb / Sky 80mb.


[re: Chrysalis] [link to this post]
 
I am only testing multi-threaded via a number of servers in London/South England so I believe the speed to be reliable indication of available bandwith.

It's usually expected that you won't get as much speed in a single thread so that's a difficult problem to prove.


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Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Sun 20-Nov-16 21:49:40
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Re: Long term comparison - Virgin 300mb / Sky 80mb.


[re: dogzilla] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by dogzilla:
It's usually expected that you won't get as much speed in a single thread so that's a difficult problem to prove.
Try this tester. The dark green is single stream and the light green six-stream.

Uncongested they will be the same or thereabouts.

Kindness isn't going to cure the world of all its awfulness but it's a good place to begin. Daisy Ridley.
My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - AAISP Home::1 80/20. Sync 60000/14463kbps @ 600m. - BQM
Standard User ukhardy07
(knowledge is power) Sun 20-Nov-16 22:26:39
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Re: Long term comparison - Virgin 300mb / Sky 80mb.


[re: dogzilla] [link to this post]
 
It's usually expected that you won't get as much speed in a single thread so that's a difficult problem to prove.
A single thread will only be slower generally in circumstances where congestion exists within the network... I would expect to get the same speed single and multi threaded personally.

ie mine http://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest/results.html...
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Sun 20-Nov-16 22:29:27
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Re: Long term comparison - Virgin 300mb / Sky 80mb.


[re: ukhardy07] [link to this post]
 
Similarly but better
http://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest/results.html...

Kindness isn't going to cure the world of all its awfulness but it's a good place to begin. Daisy Ridley.
My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - AAISP Home::1 80/20. Sync 60000/14463kbps @ 600m. - BQM
Standard User ukhardy07
(knowledge is power) Sun 20-Nov-16 22:46:23
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Re: Long term comparison - Virgin 300mb / Sky 80mb.


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
Nice! I'd expect nothing less of AAISP. I am using WiFi, with other users online etc. This is mine where it was just me online:

http://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest/results.html...

I must say my Sky connection was never nearly as smooth as BT for single threaded & virgin was diabolical.

I just moved flats so was a little worried I might see signs of congestion here, but seems just as good.
Standard User mlmclaren
(knowledge is power) Mon 21-Nov-16 01:43:42
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Re: Long term comparison - Virgin 300mb / Sky 80mb.


[re: dogzilla] [link to this post]
 
I also ran these tests twice and it seems that both our experiences have been the same.

1st time around I compared Virgin's 120mb against Plusnets 76mb service... at the time Virgin in my area was suffering very badly with contention issues, however Plusnet also had it own similar issues.

Plusnet was still much better.

Not long after the switch to Plusnet I had the Virgin connection disconnected, I also had the contract for the Plusnet service terminated due to long terms problems with Plusnet's network (now believed to be fixed)

I then switched to Zen's 76mb service and then had Virgin's broadband installed again for testing and as backup...

I was suprised to find Virgin had now fixed the contention issues in the area, however despite the huge performance boost before leaving, the service still couldn't keep up with the Zen connection, pages loaded slower, gaming could be inconsistent and bursts of packet loss and delays with streaming...

I spoke with a contact at Virgin locally and asked about the improvement made in the area and he said that a lot of work had been put in to remove noise issues in the local network (dead cable removal, new distribution kit in cabs, new connectors and one new run of coax between cabinets in the daisy chain)

I then moved out of my previous property and couldn't keep the Virgin connection, I do however still have a connection setp at my mothers house which has been fairly solid for many years however in the last 12 months it has shown the affects of free speed boosts with eveing contention starting to show, however the DSL locally is only 2-3mbps frown

I did setup a DSL connection for a while as a test, to my surprise web pages still seemed to load faster with 2.5/0.8 bandwidth available and the ping was also half that of the virgin connection.

If Virgin can find a way to reduce ping and the jitter on connections then they will probably be the true winners of broadband infrastructure but right now (as much as I hate to say it) BT's infrastructure in the superior one, and I'm looking forward to their future developments.

Connected by Sky Fibre Max.
Standard User Eeeps
(learned) Mon 21-Nov-16 06:47:56
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Re: Long term comparison - Virgin 300mb / Sky 80mb.


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by RobertoS:
Similarly but better
http://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest/results.html...


Also similar and slightly worse on Sky

In my opinion the single thread test is the best true measure of performance.
Standard User Andrue
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Mon 21-Nov-16 10:06:46
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Re: Long term comparison - Virgin 300mb / Sky 80mb.


[re: mlmclaren] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by mlmclaren:
I also had the contract for the Plusnet service terminated due to long terms problems with Plusnet's network (now believed to be fixed)
Don't worry. They invented a new long term problem. Their spangly new network appears to have had teething problems. It's not plaguing me yet but I have a static IP address so may not be shunted onto the new network for a while.

https://community.plus.net/t5/Fibre-Broadband/Contin...

Latest posts have Support saying 'fixed by midnight'. Uh huh.

---
Andrue Cope
Brackley, UK
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