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Standard User Skilty
(committed) Sat 07-Nov-20 16:37:15
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Zen vs Virgin


[link to this post]
 
So Virgin Media are currently laying cable in the road and got to thinking whether it is worth a switch.

My download speed has dropped from the low 70s to low 60s over the last couple of years. The street box is ECI so any hope of getting a speed bump is low to non-existent.

My ping has gone up from 8ms to nearly 20ms and at this point I am thinking the 500mb offering from VM might be a good alternative and the ping is likely to be similar.

Thoughts?

plusnet Fibre > Sky Fibre Pro > Pulse8 Fibre XL > Sky Fibre Max > ZeN Fibre 2 - 11ms Ping, Sync ~ 61.2/18.2Mbps - My Broadband Ping
Standard User gary333
(experienced) Sat 07-Nov-20 18:48:52
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Re: Zen vs Virgin


[re: Skilty] [link to this post]
 
Ping is going to depend on where you live and where you want to connect with.

Here in Doncaster the ping on either isn’t much different between either FTTC or Virgin Media, however if you are further South maybe this will change to negatively impact Virgin.
Standard User clmfsh
(experienced) Sat 07-Nov-20 20:00:58
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Re: Zen vs Virgin


[re: Skilty] [link to this post]
 
What do you want from your ISP?

Plenty of speed and no care about jitter or support then head to Virgin.
This is one of their NOCs

Preston

An ISP who cares about their network and who from Rochdale would help, then, hello Zen.

Virgin told me during an outage I needed to press alt+f4 on my Windows machine to select a new route via their network.


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Standard User Skilty
(committed) Sun 08-Nov-20 09:06:41
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Re: Zen vs Virgin


[re: clmfsh] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by clmfsh:
What do you want from your ISP?

Plenty of speed and no care about jitter or support then head to Virgin.
This is one of their NOCs

Preston

An ISP who cares about their network and who from Rochdale would help, then, hello Zen.

Virgin told me during an outage I needed to press alt+f4 on my Windows machine to select a new route via their network.


Hence the question, I had seem some posts about jitter but wanted to see how bad it is. That is not a pretty BQM, mine is in my sig and looks a lot better.

No major complaints with Zen I did have to push when my line went below the expected minimum as "BT will not raise a fault" they eventually reset fastpath on the line and it has held so far.

plusnet Fibre > Sky Fibre Pro > Pulse8 Fibre XL > Sky Fibre Max > ZeN Fibre 2 - 11ms Ping, Sync ~ 61.2/18.2Mbps - My Broadband Ping
Standard User Skilty
(committed) Sun 08-Nov-20 09:08:00
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Re: Zen vs Virgin


[re: gary333] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by gary333:
Ping is going to depend on where you live and where you want to connect with.

Here in Doncaster the ping on either isn’t much different between either FTTC or Virgin Media, however if you are further South maybe this will change to negatively impact Virgin.


Well I am down in the South West so not sure. I was reading that they have just rolled out DOCSIS 3.1, does this improve the situation at all?

plusnet Fibre > Sky Fibre Pro > Pulse8 Fibre XL > Sky Fibre Max > ZeN Fibre 2 - 11ms Ping, Sync ~ 61.2/18.2Mbps - My Broadband Ping
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 08-Nov-20 11:14:36
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Re: Zen vs Virgin


[re: Skilty] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Skilty:
Well I am down in the South West so not sure. I was reading that they have just rolled out DOCSIS 3.1, does this improve the situation at all?
VM are only rolling out DOCSIS 3.1 for download still 3.0 for upload. This allows them to sell the Gig1 service. My area is not yet upgraded.

I am on the Surrey/Hampshire border. Pings to BBC from my M200 connection:

C:\>ping bbc.co.uk

Pinging bbc.co.uk [151.101.128.81] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 151.101.128.81: bytes=32 time=18ms TTL=56
Reply from 151.101.128.81: bytes=32 time=18ms TTL=56
Reply from 151.101.128.81: bytes=32 time=13ms TTL=56
Reply from 151.101.128.81: bytes=32 time=15ms TTL=56

Ping statistics for 151.101.128.81:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 13ms, Maximum = 18ms, Average = 16ms

21 years of broadband connectivity since 1999 trial - Live BQM
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Sun 08-Nov-20 11:15:16
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Re: Zen vs Virgin


[re: Skilty] [link to this post]
 
If a gamer you will want to keep the Zen connection for actual gaming and use the Virgin one for the large downloads of patches.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 08-Nov-20 11:17:22
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Re: Zen vs Virgin


[re: clmfsh] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by clmfsh:
What do you want from your ISP?
Plenty of speed and no care about jitter or support then head to Virgin.
This is one of their NOCs

Not sure what you are pinging there, but it could be a core router that is ignoring pings and getting on with routing traffic. You can't measure performance of an enterprise router by pinging it.

An ISP who cares about their network and who from Rochdale would help, then, hello Zen. Virgin told me during an outage I needed to press alt+f4 on my Windows machine to select a new route via their network.

If Zen could deliver 200 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload, I would jump over, similarly to Openreach FTTP. But neither of those are available here. I used to have 40 Mbps download and 2 Mbps upload with Openreach FTTC, so I jumped to cable.

If latency and jitter are more important to you than speed, then don't use cable. If you want speed (e.g. upload for video calling during lockdown) then cable works quite well.

smile

21 years of broadband connectivity since 1999 trial - Live BQM
Standard User wolvesmad
(knowledge is power) Sun 08-Nov-20 12:09:15
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Re: Zen vs Virgin


[re: Skilty] [link to this post]
 
Jitter will be far less on FTTC than Virgin.

-

EE Fibre+ 78980 | 19999kbps

Zyxel VMG1312-B10A + Asus RT-AC68U
Standard User RapsterUK
(learned) Sun 08-Nov-20 18:38:16
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Re: Zen vs Virgin


[re: Skilty] [link to this post]
 
This my graph, I'm just south of Birmingham. There's not been much change for the last year or two:

BQM

Just remember that each person's experience will be different depending on which area they live in.
Standard User steve195527
(member) Sun 08-Nov-20 19:43:57
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Re: Zen vs Virgin


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
I moved from idnet fttc to virgin when they installed it round here,2 yrs ago and have had only 1 issue with the broadband since then,think it was an almost nationwide issue so the service is very reliable,if yours is a new area it will be fttp and not the last few metres coax as in the old virgin installations so will be as good I assume,the only reason I moved was the price sky wanted to start charging for my tv package,nothing to do with service from idnet,which was 1st class but the package of tv+broadband+ phone with call package was over £30/month cheaper and tv package was far better and on the 350mb service I still get over 380mb with very low pings around 8-10 ms
Standard User Skilty
(committed) Sun 08-Nov-20 21:22:45
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Re: Zen vs Virgin


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by MrSaffron:
If a gamer you will want to keep the Zen connection for actual gaming and use the Virgin one for the large downloads of patches.


I do have a dual WAN router in my parts box so that would definitely be an option. I will just have to route the traffic accordingly smile

plusnet Fibre > Sky Fibre Pro > Pulse8 Fibre XL > Sky Fibre Max > ZeN Fibre 2 - 11ms Ping, Sync ~ 61.2/18.2Mbps - My Broadband Ping
Standard User Skilty
(committed) Sun 08-Nov-20 21:23:42
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Re: Zen vs Virgin


[re: steve195527] [link to this post]
 
Its definitely fibre and not coax as I saw them putting it in the ground this week...

plusnet Fibre > Sky Fibre Pro > Pulse8 Fibre XL > Sky Fibre Max > ZeN Fibre 2 - 11ms Ping, Sync ~ 61.2/18.2Mbps - My Broadband Ping
Standard User clmfsh
(experienced) Mon 09-Nov-20 08:42:12
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Re: Zen vs Virgin


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by jchamier:
Not sure what you are pinging there, but it could be a core router that is ignoring pings and getting on with routing traffic. You can't measure performance of an enterprise router by pinging it.

Sure you can, a router should have enough CPU to perform both duties. It's a classic example of under specfying hardware and it's happening more and more as the bean counters get their teeth into network design.
Standard User jamescr
(newbie) Mon 09-Nov-20 08:53:20
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Re: Zen vs Virgin


[re: Skilty] [link to this post]
 
I started off on Virgin, and got Zen as a second connection (300mbit virgin, and I get about 60 on Zen). I've now cancelled Virgin. I can still stream 4K on Zen, I get less jitter and less random outages. For working from home, even though there's a lower headline speed I find Zen more consistent and I very rarely miss the higher download speeds. I also don't game so latency isn't really a factor for me.
Standard User Highland76
(committed) Mon 09-Nov-20 11:25:07
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Re: Zen vs Virgin


[re: steve195527] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by steve195527:
if yours is a new area it will be fttp and not the last few metres coax as in the old virgin installations

Are you saying it’s now RFoG all the way to the customers router in some Virgin areas?

TalkTalk Business Fibre 900 -- Netgear RAX200

My Broadband Speed Test
Standard User danielhyde
(member) Mon 09-Nov-20 12:05:20
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Re: Zen vs Virgin


[re: Skilty] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Skilty:
Its definitely fibre and not coax as I saw them putting it in the ground this week...


Its fibre to a termination point on your house, then they use a media converter to convert to coaxial.
This is because they use RFoG and still supply a cable modem to their fibre customers.
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Mon 09-Nov-20 12:50:10
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Re: Zen vs Virgin


[re: danielhyde] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by danielhyde:
Its fibre to a termination point on your house, then they use a media converter to convert to coaxial.
This is because they use RFoG and still supply a cable modem to their fibre customers.
And the TV box is expecting coax. Not cost effective to redesign the TV system for the new areas.

Do we know how the fibre is deployed, is it a GPON deployment, or another method?

21 years of broadband connectivity since 1999 trial - Live BQM
Standard User RapsterUK
(learned) Mon 09-Nov-20 15:50:45
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Re: Zen vs Virgin


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by jchamier:
In reply to a post by danielhyde:
Its fibre to a termination point on your house, then they use a media converter to convert to coaxial.
This is because they use RFoG and still supply a cable modem to their fibre customers.
And the TV box is expecting coax. Not cost effective to redesign the TV system for the new areas.

Do we know how the fibre is deployed, is it a GPON deployment, or another method?


I presume witchcraft but then again I'm not an expert like some on here.
Standard User danielhyde
(member) Mon 09-Nov-20 16:17:16
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Re: Zen vs Virgin


[re: RapsterUK] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by RapsterUK:
In reply to a post by jchamier:
In reply to a post by danielhyde:
Its fibre to a termination point on your house, then they use a media converter to convert to coaxial.
This is because they use RFoG and still supply a cable modem to their fibre customers.
And the TV box is expecting coax. Not cost effective to redesign the TV system for the new areas.

Do we know how the fibre is deployed, is it a GPON deployment, or another method?


I presume witchcraft but then again I'm not an expert like some on here.


I believe it is deployed using RFoG over EPON
Standard User steve195527
(member) Mon 09-Nov-20 17:29:51
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Re: Zen vs Virgin


[re: Highland76] [link to this post]
 
to the point it comes into your house/premises,then there is about 5ft of what could be coax or fibre,never taken things apart to check but is really stiff stuff,does the bt version of fttp carry fibre through to the router?
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Mon 09-Nov-20 18:18:39
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Re: Zen vs Virgin


[re: steve195527] [link to this post]
 
You are getting too technical there. Possibly caused by the "shorthand" way we refer to xDSL modem/routers as simply "routers".

BT Openreach fibre carries on into the inside of the premises where it ends up in a wall-mounted ONT (Optical Network Terminator). You can think of that as the replacement for an xDSL modem. The current ones then output via a single ethernet socket using standard ethernet cables of suitable speed capability to go to your true router+switch+WAP that we also shortcut-call a router.

__________________________________________________________
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Connections: OnePlus 8 Pro max 165Mbps down, 24Mbps up on Three, and B311 4G, tbb tests normally 35-45Mpbs down, 65Mbps off-peak, 9-24 up.
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Edited by RobertoS (Mon 09-Nov-20 18:20:13)

Standard User NotaJock
(newbie) Fri 08-Jan-21 13:00:04
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Re: Zen vs Virgin


[re: Skilty] [link to this post]
 
Followed this old thread with interest, if not complete technical understanding -
If anyone cares to comment on my situation, I'd love to hear from you.

Q: Will I notice a big change if I ditch cable (Virgin 100M) and go back to Zen over POTS?

My postcode (centre of Edinburgh) is reporting that the best Zen could do for me is 15mbs.
That sounds awfully narrow, compared to my usual (Speedtest) figure of 220mbs / Ping 6ms / Jitter 5.2ms.
And we still get Zoom occasionally telling us, "your internet connection is unstable." and dropping links.

Usage: we're just a couple here, using Netflix, a lot of Zoom, no gaming or UHD TV.
One mac uses Ethernet connection, everything else uses wifi, which of course throttles the Speedtest flow right down to 20mbs.
As Virgin prices creep - or jump up inexorably- am I paying for more than I need?
Thanks
Standard User ft247
(newbie) Fri 08-Jan-21 13:31:00
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Re: Zen vs Virgin


[re: NotaJock] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by NotaJock:
My postcode (centre of Edinburgh) is reporting that the best Zen could do for me is 15mbs.


City centre Edinburgh is a pain - the central Rose St exchange area only has FTTC on the outskirts so that 15Mbit is ADSL2+.

The problem with ADSL2+ is the upload speed, I wouldn't recommend changing in this case.

Cityfibre have built a lot, in the city centre there are only business connections to be had as far as I know... but hold out, maybe the Vodafone partnership will bring a consumer service to you, or Openreach FTTP will get there first.
Standard User NotaJock
(newbie) Fri 08-Jan-21 13:55:40
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Re: Zen vs Virgin


[re: ft247] [link to this post]
 
That's really helpful. Many thanks. Good to know the reason for the lack of alternatives.

Now to not let on to Virgin they are my only option when I try to negotiate a lower price...
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