Broadband and Network Help (Various Issues)

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Hi there just have a few things that I'd like to know regarding firstly my broadband account then my networking in the house. Please bear with me as I'm not really all that clued up on broadband and networking. Sorry in advance for the long post, I think it's better to give all the details.

Broadband:

We're currently with Nildram and have been getting increasingly frustrated with them and would like to move away from them as they've been having outages, are quite expensive etc. etc. The ISP we're going to move to is ADSL24 as I've seen it highly recommended around here and we'd be saving £7 per month. They are good right?

Now I have a few issues with our broadband.

Firstly, we're quite far away from the exchange, and so the max speeds that BT say we can get are 1mbit (the speed I am at now with Nildram) on both ADSLMax and fixed speed. I assume there is very little we can do to improve this at the moment :(.


Secondly, the wiring in our house is of poor quality. So when we got ADSL, must be 2.5 years ago now, our hardware could not hold a connection very well at all from most sockets in the house, and the connection from the socket in the study was very tempermental, disconnecting whenever someone switched on the lights in the bathroom, the room next to it.

To remedy this, we had a Bt engineer come over and install a new faceplate in the study that removed the need for microfilters. (It has a telephone socket and dsl socket on the faceplate) From what i remember, he said that it isolates the dsl signal in the house to that socket only and so enables us to get the service but did nothing for dsl in the rest of the house.

This was OK then, but now we wish to have better wireless coverage throughout the house, and so having the wireless router in the study is bad because it is the far end of the house. We wish to have access in all rooms ideally, but specifically in the room in the middle of the house, where my PC is at the moment. The BT woman on the end of the phone said that it would cost us £166 to get a new faceplate installed, but this still doesnt help with the rest of the telephone wiring in the house. Anyone an expert on this able to advise me on how best to improve the situation with wiring and dsl signals through them in the house?
 
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So that's my broadband woes, now for my problems I've had networking:

Firstly, my Westell Versalink is on its last legs as every time it requires a reboot it takes about an hour rest before it will function properly.

Not good. I think I'm going to buy the Netgear DG834G to replace it, is this good for P2P, gaming etc. or is there better at that £50-60 price point?




But for now I'm having various problems with PCs and networking.

I've had many problems i dont know where to start.

1. Planning to upgrade all 3 PCs to Windows Vista.
Mine - Ult. 64 bit
2nd PC (for rest of family) - WILL be running Home Premium 32bit, on XP at the mo.
3rd PC - Home Basic 32bit.

Now, I'm running Vista U 64 here and connecting Wirelessly with a Belkin PCI card. 3rd PC is running a crappy 'Safecom' PCI card with some problems.
I've had to run this Belkin card on RALink drivers as there are currently no 64 bit drivers available for my revision of this card, but it works well seemingly and can do encryption etc.
However, this Safecom crap card has all sorts of issues with 32bit home basic, the config utility really does not want to work, any old version of it crashes. The drivers work to an extent, but they cannot connect to a wireless network with encryption... :confused: What should I do with this? Buy a new wireless card? But it worked for ages in this PC on 32bit XP with encryption :(


So, I'm becoming very annoyed and to make matters worse, after turning off my wireless network's encryption so that I could try to make my PC and 3rd PC associate with each other through Vista's networking and sharing files etc, I encounter another problem Before you ask, all settings are enabled except the password protection in the network and sharing centre.

Both PCs can see each other, but cannot connect to each other citing an error that asks me to allow firewalls to let these signals pass through. My Router's firewall is off, so I'm puzzled. Then I check Windows Firewall, and disable it. Turns out that was part of the problem, even though the service was allowed an exception...

I say part of the problem because that's not all of it... When I next turned on the computers they see each other and mine can read the 3rd PC's files for a while but then all of a sudden, i get the similar error to before saying that the filepath cannot be accessed. Just a second ago, i had been listening to music from the 3rd PC through media player as it had detected my PC to share media to (mine still hasnt detected 3rd PC as a media player... sigh). I've been able to access my PC from 3rd PC but again only fleetingly as it seemed to drop the connection to my PC quickly. So, similar in both directions. I'm getting very very annoyed.

On the upside... The 2nd PC (On XP) could see both and could be connected to fine, file and printer sharing worked and I scared my dad by printing out from my PC while he was in there. Oh how i chuckled..


So, sorry for all the background info, i just think that's what's useful in these kinds of situations.
And any help with any of my issues above would be greatly appreciated. I think I'm going to go and cry, there's so much wrong with this, why won't things just work :(...
 
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Caporegime
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Squarehed said:
I assume there is very little we can do to improve this at the moment :(

Probably not, but you haven't given any information to judge either way.

how best to improve the situation with wiring and dsl signals through them in the house?

Replace all the wiring with decent quality cable and wire your extensions to the ADSL side of the faceplate. Getting "dsl signals" won't help you much though - you can only have one modem connected at a time.
It might be a better idea to look at Homeplug network kit.
 
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tolien said:
Probably not, but you haven't given any information to judge either way.

Replace all the wiring with decent quality cable and wire your extensions to the ADSL side of the faceplate. Getting "dsl signals" won't help you much though - you can only have one modem connected at a time.
It might be a better idea to look at Homeplug network kit.

Thanks for the reply, what information would you need to tell me if there's chance of improvement? And I will look at replacing the wiring and things in the house. Thanks again.

Anyone got any ideas with the wireless networking? I have thought of the homeplug type kits before, will do a bit of research on them too.
 
Caporegime
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SNR margin, attenuation, current sync rate would be a start.

If you wireless cards don't work in Vista, there isn't much you can do but replace them.

As for the file sharing, your router's firewall's irrelevant. Do the machines have any other firewalls installed, bar the Windows one?
Can the machines ping each other, the router, or the second machine when they can't share files with each other?
 
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Is that these sort of stats:


Transceiver Revision: 1.0.9.0
Vendor ID Code: 4
Line Mode: G.DMT Mode
Data Path: Interleaved

Margin (dB) [down/up] 2.5/9.0
Line Attenuation (dB) [down/up] 63.5/31.5
Transmit Power (dBm) [down/up] 16.3/11.0
They're all i could find on the Versalink's browser interface, and after some googling.

The Router's firewall is off when I'm testing the networking, but it doesn't make a difference. When they cannot share files, everything works normally, internet, seeing each other on the network, pinging etc. All fine, except the ability to actually go into each other's directory is not there.
 
Caporegime
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Yes, except you also need the speed the router's connected at - you could probably get more than you've got though.
 
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Router was connected at ~1360Kb/sec [down] and ~340 Kb/sec [up] iirc, i will verify those when i get back home tomorrow evening.
 
Caporegime
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That's about all you're going to get as far as downstream goes (even that's pushing it), but you should get full rate (448kbps on Max) upstream...
 
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