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    • 1 Post By samyeung

    SFUP and sky router wireless performance

    This is a discussion on SFUP and sky router wireless performance within the Sky Broadband (Fibre) Help forums, part of the Sky Broadband help and support category; My home network is fairly straight forward - sky provided Sagem 2504n router connected by network cables to STB and ...

    1. #1
      samyeung's Avatar
      samyeung is offline Sky User Member
      Exchange: Dartford
      Broadband ISP: Sky Fibre Unlimited
      Router: Sagem F@ST 2504n
      Sky TV: Sky+HD box
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      SFUP and sky router wireless performance

      My home network is fairly straight forward - sky provided Sagem 2504n router connected by network cables to STB and xbox, and everything else (laptops, smartphones and tablets) over wifi.

      I upgraded last week to SFUP and getting close to 80/20 - confirmed by speedtest via a network cable. Previously with SFU at 40/10, wifi speed was not an issue because I was able to max out the internet connection even through wifi was connecting at only 65mb. However, it is an issue with SFUP.

      I spent a while reading up on these forums to see what could be done and here's a summary of what I ended up doing, which might be useful for someone else. My aim was to as cheaply and easily as possible be able to improve the wifi connection so I could get the full 80/20 internet bandwidth from my laptops.

      First thing was to understand why I was only connecting at 65mb or 72mb from my laptop. A number of limitations contributed to this.
      1. 2504n only supports 20mhz streams on 2.4ghz channels
      2. My laptop internal wifi card only supports a single stream.
      This explains why I was only seeing 65mb or 72mb, as between the router and laptop it was only making use of a single 20mhz stream on a 2.4ghz channel. The theoretical maximum should be 144 over a single 40mhz stream, but even if the 2504n supported it, I think finding a clear channel will be hard given how popular this band is.

      First step was to upgrade the laptop wifi card so it could use more than one stream. I ordered and fit a new intel 6200 wifi cards in the laptop (8 from ebay) - I had already opened up my laptop before so it was a very straight forward swap for me. This allowed me to connect at 144mb to the 2504n which I assume means the router does support two streams. Any N300 usb wifi adapter should be able to achieve this.

      This was good, but I found that this was not enough to saturate the internet connection - seemed to max out at around 58/20.

      The next step was to consider replacing or augmenting the sky router itself. After a lot of research the options seemed to be
      1. Replace the 2504n with something better - lots of guides on this forum for how to extract credentials and set up MER on alternative routers.
      2. Add another device to handle the wifi connection - again lots of good advice on this forum for router to router setup.

      I opted for the second option and after again a lot more research on alternative devices I settled on a simple and cheap option of adding a BT N600 wireless kit (40 from well known high street electrical chain). This simply connects to a 2504n ethernet port and handles wifi on the 5ghz band which in my case allowed my laptop to connect at 300mb (2 x 40mhz streams on a 5ghz channel). Setting the SID and password to the same as the existing wifi meant that no extra configuration on the clients was necessary. I did toy with the idea of getting a full blown cable router but would have ended up disabling all its routing features and using it in the same way as the simple wireless access point.

      My laptop can now make full use of the internet connection, with speed testing the same as over ethernet (around 75/19). As a side benefit my smartphone now connects at 150mbits (single 40mhz stream on 5ghz channel).

      If you do go down the 5ghz route, make sure any adapter upgrades are dual band (typically N600 or AC rated).

      It is a shame the sky router is so far behind in terms of specs meaning SFUP customers have to jump through a few hoops to be able to make full use of the service over wifi.
      Scubbie likes this.


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    3. #2
      Scubbie's Avatar
      Scubbie is offline Sky User Moderator
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      Re: SFUP and sky router wireless performance

      Just to add some notes to this useful post...

      Before updating the WiFi adaptor in your own laptop check what adaptors are compatible with it.

      Whilst most new laptops support a PCI Express Card, there are two sizes. Check which you have. Also some laptops will not be able to take different models. As an example, I updated the adaptor in my current laptop to an Intel 6235. However this will not work in a friend's laptop, even though the adaptor is the same size as his.

      Another important thing is that some laptops are easier to change than others. My Toshiba required me to very very carefully lift up the keyboard in order to change its adaptor. My new Asus was a little more work so I actually asked a professional to do it for me. 20 well spent! A couple of other laptops I've worked with simply require a cover to be removed and access to the adaptors was very easy.

      Once you have the new adaptor installed, install the drivers, but leave Windows to manage the connection. Proprietary software often messes things up.

      Do check the actual WiFi connection speed. You may need to configure the adaptor settings as the defaults may not work with both streams. You may also find that the adaptor may only connect to the Sky router at 130mbps, even though it is a 144mbps router and the adaptor specified to 300mbps.

      Finally Internet speed tests never show the same as your router's connection speed. The 75mb results in my signature were taken via Ethernet. Over WiFi this drops significantly.

      PlusNet Fibre since Jan 2021
      Previously Sky Fibre & Sky BB since 2010.

    4. #3
      samyeung's Avatar
      samyeung is offline Sky User Member
      Exchange: Dartford
      Broadband ISP: Sky Fibre Unlimited
      Router: Sagem F@ST 2504n
      Sky TV: Sky+HD box
      Join Date
      May 2007
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      Re: SFUP and sky router wireless performance

      Thanks Scubbie for adding that. Good idea about removing proprietory software, the Sony 'Smart Wireless network' utility kept disabling the new card after running inssider which took me a while to work out.

      I've just updated my signature with speedtest result I've just run over wifi - so it is possible to max out SFUP.

     

     

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