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    TCP or not TCP that is the Question ?????

    This is a discussion on TCP or not TCP that is the Question ????? within the Sky Broadband help forums, part of the Sky Broadband help and support category; OK here goes - A few questions rolled into one post if that's OK I've suffered slow download speeds since ...

    1. #1
      BaldyBouncer's Avatar
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      TCP or not TCP that is the Question ?????

      OK here goes - A few questions rolled into one post if that's OK

      I've suffered slow download speeds since signing up to Connect in May of this year but held off running TCP Optimiser until migration to MID took place as I wasn't sure if the "Optimising" would "Lock" itself to the old style package and I didn't want to do anything that would limit my options once I'd been migrated.I'm aware this could be an irrelevance but then this techie stuff ain't my strong suit

      Anyway under Connect my router synced at around the 5.3 mark although my stats from Speedtest.net where never better than the 2.4 mark and as low as 0.8 on several occasions.

      First question
      I was supposedly migrated to MID about 6 weeks back and I suspect that something good has happened as I'm now syncing in the 7.3 to 7.9 range. However on the monthly Sky Bill I'm still showing as a Connect Customer. Is there a way to determine that I've been migrated without having to suffer the agony that is Sky Customer Services??

      Question 2

      Although I'm now syncing in the higher 7.3 to 7.9 range the Speedtest.net results are about the same as before. I noticed yesterday that my noise margin was very low at about 4 and I was having dropouts so rebooted and it's now risen to 7.2 as shown below but my download sync dropped to 7.3 (down from 7.9) although it does appear to have corrected my dropouts.

      Should I continue to reboot (during busy periods) in the hope that I can get both a higher noise margin and a return to 7.9 on the download sync or is this extra 0.6 not worth the effort ??

      Also having read other threads on ADSL & Noise Margin I'm not sure if "Manually" managing the noise margin is still relevant or whether Skys ADSL is now managing this dynamically as it should?????

      Finally under this question do I need to "Fix" these settings in my router before I attempt TCP Optimiser or put another way if I'm syncing at 7.3 instead of 7.9 does this limit what TCP is capable of doing for me and so should I be looking to maximise the possibilities before running TCP.



      Question 3

      I'm currently using a laptop on a wireless connection while at Home BUT also use the same laptop via a wired ethernet connection when at the office.

      Assuming I run TCP Optimiser at Home (Wireless) is this likely to have any detrimental effects on my speeds at work at all as this would obviously go down well with my IT department if I ground my machine to a standstill!!!!!!

      Final question for now as well as recreational browsing at home where I connect straight into the internet via router I also work from home and link in to my network at the office via a VPN connection. Is the intergrity or functionality of this VPN likely to be altered/damaged in any way if I run TCP Optimiser and change my registry settings??

      Thanks in advance to anyone who can offer any pearls of wisdom to get me going.

      System Up Time 25:12:15
      Port Status TxPkts RxPkts Collisions Tx B/s Rx B/s Up Time
      WAN PPPoA 41107 55118 0 74 660 25:10:37
      LAN 10M/100M 1813 0 0 5 0 25:12:13
      WLAN 54M 57651 50451 0 675 83 25:12:03


      ADSL Link Downstream Upstream
      Connection Speed 7360 kbps 416 kbps
      Line Attenuation 23.0 db 14.5 db
      Noise Margin 7.2 db 14.0 db





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    3. #2
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      Re: TCP or not TCP that is the Question ?????

      1. You have now been migrated to Sky's Broadband Mid package. The thing that gives this away is your 416 kbps upstream speed.
      2. A lot of the noise on an ADSL line comes and goes on a daily cycle. You could try rebooting at a quieter time and you may well get an increase in speed, but you're almost certain to lose it again later. Personally, I'd like to get the most out of my line, but there would come a point where frequent rebooting would get on my nerves and I guess I'd settle for a slightly slower, but reliable service. The decision is up to you really.
      3. TCP Optimizer shouldn't break anything really. The problem with Windows is that the TCP settings seem to be set in the dark ages - optimised for use with a traditional dial-up Internet connection. TCP Optimizer changes them to make them more suitable for a faster connection like broadband. In general, this will be fine for a company network too.

        I would warn, however, that some very old VPN software reduces the MTU setting, which make the networking code split your data into smaller packets than usual. TCP Optimizer will change that back and might break VPN. But I'd be very surprised if you were using VPN software that would be affected.

        TCP Optimizer can be run as many times as you like. If something about your networking changes (say you move from Mid to Max), you probably will want to run it again anyway.

    4. #3
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      Re: TCP or not TCP that is the Question ?????

      You would be better using a wired connection at home until you get the connection sorted out. Wireless will never give you the speed you can achieve wired. With your attenuation you should be syncing a bit higher and your actual download should be above 80% of your sync speed, which suggests your internal wiring may be holding back the connection. You should plug in to the TEST socket and check your sync and download speed. Run for a few hours then check your detailed stats. I must point out that the TCPOptimiser will only improve the connection between your PC and the router, it will not effect your sync with the exchange.

      TomD


      Please note the views and recommendations in my posts are my own and in no way reflect the views of SkyUser.


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    5. #4
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      Re: TCP or not TCP that is the Question ?????

      Many Thanks to James 67 & Isitme for their replies.

      OK so the Connect/Mid issue is sorted and I've already updated my Sky User Profile to reflect new status. Hey Mr NewsreadeR I'm a GOOD boy!!!!!

      I'm pretty sure the VPN issue is gonna be OK as well as the VPN client we are using is pretty new so unless my IT department have been stingy and installed some cheapo stuff then I guess the MTU thingy that James67 describes isn't a problem. Out of interest though when you say it might break


      I would warn, however, that some very old VPN software reduces the MTU setting, which make the networking code split your data into smaller packets than usual. TCP Optimizer will change that back and might break VPN.
      exactly how does this "break" manifest itself, is it as glaringly obvious as not actually being able to dial into the VPN connection or is it more subtle in that you can dial in but aren't getting a "Secure" connection????


      I am still a little confused on a couple of points though.

      James67 answer to Question 2

      You could try rebooting at a quieter time and you may well get an increase in speed, but you're almost certain to lose it again later.
      based on my original question

      Should I continue to reboot (during busy periods) in the hope that I can get both a higher noise margin and a return to 7.9 on the download sync or is this extra 0.6 not worth the effort ??

      Also having read other threads on ADSL & Noise Margin I'm not sure if "Manually" managing the noise margin is still relevant or whether Skys ADSL is now managing this dynamically as it should?????
      I was under the impression that rebooting during " Busy" periods was the correct action in order to manage the noise margin upwards - assuming of course it still needs managing if Sky ADSL2 still isn't doing this dynamically.

      Does this conflict with the need to reboot during a "Quiet" period in order to max the download sync speed.

      Am I completely misreading things here and is there any best practise to follow. As I said in my original post I had assumed it would be necessary to get the router "Settled" before running TCP in order that is had the best parameters to work on - maybe this is an irrelevant step??

      With regard to Isitme comment - can you offer a little more advise please

      With your attenuation you should be syncing a bit higher and your actual download should be above 80% of your sync speed, which suggests your internal wiring may be holding back the connection.
      I must point out that the TCPOptimiser will only improve the connection between your PC and the router, it will not effect your sync with the exchange.

      I'm afraid I have an old style BT socket so no TEST socket available to plug into and the wiring is, I suspect, therefore pretty old, Is it worth running tests plugged straight into the master socket or is this doomed to failure if I have extensions running off of the master (which I have).

      Even taking into consideration the antique telephone wires I have synced as high as 7.9 albeit with the high noise that I cured with the reboot and am now syncing at 7.3. Given that I'm on Mid this does sound pretty good as I assume that maximum possible would be 8??? Am I getting hold of the right end of the stick here ?????

      Here's where I get confused again, assuming my comment above is correct since I'm not acheiving the 80% figure isn't this down to my PC and isn't this where TCP comes in.

      My reasoning is as follows (could well be wrong)

      a) I do have old wiring (and I know from other posts this can be a problem)
      b) BUT I am syncing at 7.3 so this means that the signal is getting through to the router relatively unscathed
      c)Since the router which is at the "end" of the dodgy wiring is still offering 7.3 as a theoretical max and since the connection from then on is wireless does this mean that TCP can work on the 7.3 figure????

      Can anyone put my addled brain straight please!!!!!!!

      Thanks again

    6. #5
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      Re: TCP or not TCP that is the Question ?????

      No, sorry, what I meant was, if you were to reboot at a quieter time of the day, you may well get a higher sync speed, but it would probably not stay stable for a full 24 hours. I wasn't actually suggesting that that's the kind of thing you should actually do. It's far better to reboot the router at the worst time of day (whenever that might be for you - but typically it's around dusk). You'll get a slower sync speed, but you stand a better chance of keeping the connection up through out the day.

      As for the VPN point, when using TCP Optimizer, there is a very, very small risk it might break or interfere with the VPN software, but if that happens, you'll either get no VPN connection at all, or you'll get a rather sluggish connection. There's no chance that you would get a working connection but without the encryption. That simply couldn't happen, because the devices at work providing the VPN connection just wouldn't accept an incoming, unsecured connection.

      And I would stress the point that the most likely outcome is that using the TCP Optimizer won't have any detrimental effect at all on your VPN connection.

      The last time I saw anything bad being caused by a Windows networking optimiser was about 5 years ago with a Cisco VPN setup. That set the MTU value to be lower than normal, and when the optimiser set it back to a higher value, the VPN connection did run noticeably slower. Even then, all I had to do to fix the problem was re-install the Cisco VPN client software, so it wasn't really a big deal.

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      Re: TCP or not TCP that is the Question ?????

      c)Since the router which is at the "end" of the dodgy wiring is still offering 7.3 as a theoretical max and since the connection from then on is wireless does this mean that TCP can work on the 7.3 figure????
      The thing is, with you Attenuation you should be getting over 8000, not the 7.3 you are. If your wiring is sorted there is a good chance you will sync at the maximum for your package, with a high SNR figure, giving you a more stable connection. Even if you are plugged in to the Master socket at the end of the wire run, the extensions will still effect your connection. That is the big advantage of an ADSL faceplate, as it isolates the BB connection from the rest of the wiring.

      There is nothing to stop you using TCPOptimiser, it should improve the download speed to your PC. It has no effect on the router.

      TomD


      Please note the views and recommendations in my posts are my own and in no way reflect the views of SkyUser.


      Useful Utilites

      http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/wifi_information_view.html/ TCPOptimiser /Test Socket

      Note - When downloading always select the Custom install or you will end up with stuff you don't want.





    8. #7
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      Cool Re: TCP or not TCP that is the Question ?????

      James67 & Isitme

      Thanks a million for your help over the past few days

      Have now run TCP Optimizer and am with result.

      Here's my stats immediatly before and after running this





      OK so the Upload figure is virtually unchanged but my DOWNLOAD is near as damn it 3 times as much which is fantastic. If it remains stable this is a right result.

      Will test my VPN connection later and let you know how this goes so that anyone else with concerns on VPN/TCP can hopefully have their minds put to rest.

      Thanks again

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      Re: TCP or not TCP that is the Question ?????

      A good result! Pity growing hair was not so easy

      TomD


      Please note the views and recommendations in my posts are my own and in no way reflect the views of SkyUser.


      Useful Utilites

      http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/wifi_information_view.html/ TCPOptimiser /Test Socket

      Note - When downloading always select the Custom install or you will end up with stuff you don't want.





    10. #9
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      Re: TCP or not TCP that is the Question ?????

      Isitme you CHEEKY BOY !!!

      Anyway tested the VPN connection and everything appears to be OK so far, as James67 suggested it would be. I will need a full days work to be sure though as I want to test it will a full load so to speak.

      So all looks good - Another satisfied Customer

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      Re: TCP or not TCP that is the Question ?????

      Just thought I'd close off this thread by confirming that I have spent a day working from home and the VPN connection held up as promised. So I'm a very happy bunny.



      Cheers

     

     

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