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    How much difference does non-official Firmware make?

    This is a discussion on How much difference does non-official Firmware make? within the Sky Router forums, part of the Sky Broadband help category; Hi all, Before I start, I am aware that there are risks in what I am asking about and it ...

    1. #1
      chris6273's Avatar
      chris6273 is offline Sky User Member
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      How much difference does non-official Firmware make?

      Hi all,

      Before I start, I am aware that there are risks in what I am asking about and it is against Sky's T&C's.

      I will be helping a friend out tomorrow with his connection as he needs an upgrade to Wireless 'N'.

      As of now, he has a DG834GT running Sky's firmware and his lines' attenuation figures are; Downstream: 47.0dB, Upstream: 28.6dB.

      His Noise Margin figures are; Downstream: 10.7dB, Upstream: 13.0dB (Running with a 4092Kbps downstream and 798Kbps Upstream sync).

      A couple of months ago, we did manage to get through to the Sky support desk and they increased the speed (Partially, even though I asked the bill payer to request a retrain on the line).

      After that, it managed to sneak its way back down to around the same speed it was before (I managed to get it up to about 7800Kbps downstream but it didn't last long.

      The modulation seems to be stuck on ADSL2+ which is obviously not very good on his line (It has a fair few errors).


      Now, Will flashing the DG834GT with the DGTeam Firmware be a clever idea (It can modify the SNR and keep it set even though Sky have a silly cap on both the Downstream and Upstream Sync speeds) and will it increase the wireless performance as well as hold a sync for longer or will it not make much of a difference?

      We have also been debating as to whether he should purchase a Wireless 'N' Modem router to replace his DG834GT (If the conditions above are not met with performance from flashing) if the flashing fails. The router is located here: Buy Asus N DSL-N11 Wireless Modem Router at Argos.co.uk - Your Online Shop for Limited stock Office, PCs and phones.

      He is on Sky's own DSLAM (Broadcom).

      Any ideas if flashing the DG834GT will improve much?

      Thanks
      BT Unlimited Up to 20Mb: 21CN (IFTN - Infineon Chipset on a Huawei MSAN)
      _

      _____________ Downstream Upstream
      Connection Speed 24276 kbps 1211 kbps
      Line Attenuation 16.5 db 6.4 db
      Noise Margin 1.1 db 6.3 db


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    3. #2
      Scubbie's Avatar
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      Re: How much difference does non-official Firmware make?

      If there are errors on the line, I would be more concerned with identifying their cause and investigating the feasibility of resolving them before changing routers.

      I am not sure if changing the firmware in this case would help much. The router that you are playing with is a few years old and several recent posts have concluded that they are now on their way out.

      There are some posts suggesting specific routers which would be of most benefit based on their chip sets. It might be worth noting that Sky has launched a new WiFi n router. This will be available for existing customers to purchase from 1st August for 35. From my understanding this new router will work with both ADSL2+ & vDSL (i.e. FTTC).

      Other WiFi n routers cost from around 14.

      If you have a relatively new router, you could plug it in just to see what speed you get when connecting it. This might give you some indication as to whether it is worth continuing. It does have to be a Sky router, just an ADSL2+ one.

      It is also important to note that Sky are in the process of changing all the LLU connections from PPPoA to MER. So far no one has successfully been able to crack the MER system for too long. This is partially down to the routers not having the right firmware, rather than the routers not being able to do it.

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

    4. #3
      chris6273's Avatar
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      Re: How much difference does non-official Firmware make?

      Thanks for your reply, Scubbie.

      It's probably best to leave the old DG834GT alone then.

      Now, would you suggest the ASUS modem router which I gave the link to in my OP or would you suggest waiting until the 1st August and grabbing the new router from Sky? (I think you will suggest the latter?)

      Cheers
      BT Unlimited Up to 20Mb: 21CN (IFTN - Infineon Chipset on a Huawei MSAN)
      _

      _____________ Downstream Upstream
      Connection Speed 24276 kbps 1211 kbps
      Line Attenuation 16.5 db 6.4 db
      Noise Margin 1.1 db 6.3 db

    5. #4
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      Re: How much difference does non-official Firmware make?

      Flashing the router with 3 rd party firmware will not make it sync any faster, unless you play around with the noise margin, which is likely to increase the errors. You will also manage to force the router to connect with G.DMT, this may make it more stable, but I doubt you will see a speed increase.

      As Scubbie says, before you do much more you should try and find out where the errors are coming from. For instance have you plugged into the Test socket and taken the stats from there?
      How to test your ADSL in the Master Test Socket

      With a good line and an attenuation of 47db you can expect a speed of 6-7 Mb. Looking at the noise margin, if it synced at 7 db, it should attain that.

      Edit- The router you link to has some very poor reviews, it may be better left alone. One thing I would add is that the Netgear is not capable of MER and would need a firmware update to make it so, it should be possible to use a non Sky router. There is a possibility the DG834GT users will be offered the new Sky router at a reduced rate as they cannot be upgraded, something like they did with the Thomson HD boxes

      TomD


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


      Useful Utilites

      https://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.





    6. #5
      chris6273's Avatar
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      Re: How much difference does non-official Firmware make?

      I'll translate into simple terms what you two have said regarding the new router and the MER situation to him

      Thanks for your replies
      BT Unlimited Up to 20Mb: 21CN (IFTN - Infineon Chipset on a Huawei MSAN)
      _

      _____________ Downstream Upstream
      Connection Speed 24276 kbps 1211 kbps
      Line Attenuation 16.5 db 6.4 db
      Noise Margin 1.1 db 6.3 db

    7. #6
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      Re: How much difference does non-official Firmware make?

      Essentially if your friend is prepared to work with you to identify the cause of the errors on the line, that will help hugely. This should be done first.

      I'm not familiar with the ASUS router, so will bow to Tom's report of the poor reviews.

      As for MER, this is something that Sky are currently rolling out across their whole LLU network. I would expect the new Sky router to support this.

      What isn't known is whether Sky will at some stage block any PPPoA connections on the LLU equipment or whether they will continue to support both types of networks. Personally I can't see this happening.

      As for the manufacturers supporting Sky's implementation of MER, this seems to be stalling at the moment. I would guess that Sky may have some proprietary system and this may be sufficient to block them. I would hate this to be the case though.

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

    8. #7
      chris6273's Avatar
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      Re: How much difference does non-official Firmware make?

      So what exactly happens if a line is switched over to MER and the customer doesn't have a MER capable router?

      Do SkyBB ship a free, new router to that customer or does PPPoA still work?

      Also, My friend has a weird 'Line Jack' installed at his property. He has this one which he has the filter plugged into:

      And he has this (very old) jack socket about 2 metres away from the Line Jack:

      I'm not entirely sure (It's none of my business) but I believe his house was built in the early 70s. What I find very odd is ours was built in the late 60s (Its been in our family since it was built) and we have never had any sort of Jack Socket like that as far as I know.

      Could it be that the Line Jack connects to that old Jack Socket and then to the Exchange which could be causing the errors?
      BT Unlimited Up to 20Mb: 21CN (IFTN - Infineon Chipset on a Huawei MSAN)
      _

      _____________ Downstream Upstream
      Connection Speed 24276 kbps 1211 kbps
      Line Attenuation 16.5 db 6.4 db
      Noise Margin 1.1 db 6.3 db

    9. #8
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      Re: How much difference does non-official Firmware make?

      We had one of these jacks on a party line installed late 50's. I can imagine that jack causing all sorts of problems as they weren't overly good just for voice even then.

      I'd suggest that swapping the jack for an NTE5 box must be the first step in solving the problems.

    10. #9
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      Re: How much difference does non-official Firmware make?

      System issue caused double post.

    11. #10
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      Re: How much difference does non-official Firmware make?

      I'm afraid I don't think that is an option as am not responsible if BT Openreach find out

      Thanks for the info regarding the problems though, I'll pass it on.
      BT Unlimited Up to 20Mb: 21CN (IFTN - Infineon Chipset on a Huawei MSAN)
      _

      _____________ Downstream Upstream
      Connection Speed 24276 kbps 1211 kbps
      Line Attenuation 16.5 db 6.4 db
      Noise Margin 1.1 db 6.3 db

     

     
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