Upgrading my broadband

Categories Random Stuff

I’ve been patiently waiting for our local exchange to be upgraded to 20Mbps, not super fast by any means but still quicker than our current 8Mbps service.  So it came as some surprise to find that I’d completely missed the upgrade by almost two months, and if I hadn’t been messing about with my router firmware I may not have noticed for some time to come…

So, I found myself deal hunting.  USwitch have a nice StreetStats tool that shows you what speeds people around you are getting, the big players are all there but only BT and TalkTalk are showing for speeds over 8Mbps.  USwitch handily shows that a few other providers also have equipment at my exchange, this is lung at BT are expensive and, having had much experience with TalkTalk (both 1st and 2nd hand), I would not go near them if they paid me.

I checked out the remaining ISPs and it came down to either PlusNet or Sky.  I’m an existing customer with both for broadband and satellite TV respectively, and to be honest I am perfectly happy with the service I’ve received from both.  This is broadband however and the service I’ve received from PlusNet over the past six years has been exemplary. Comparing both services however shows that on a like for like basis Sky’s package for existing customers is less than half the price of PlusNet.

However, researching the Sky broadband offering makes me apprehensive.  It seems its a bit hit or miss depending on their equipment at the exchange and the router the send out.  It also seems that you have to jump through hoops to get the ADSL username and password, and even then you can’t use your own router because Sky uses the Router MAC code as part of the authentication process.

So, it seems I have a choice. Stick with what I know works, or save a fair amount of money each month and take a plunge into the unknown?

To be continued… (read part two here)

Custom firmware for my DG834Gv2

Categories Random Stuff

While bouncing about the internet I came across the DGTeam site which offered a custom firmware for my (pretty ancient) Netgear DG834Gv2 wireless ADSL router which provides an expanded feature set.  I already knew that projects like DD-WRT and Tomato existed, but they’re for routers with different chipsets.

I was slightly apprehensive looking at the DGTeam website as, with no updates in almost two years, the project appears to have been abandoned.

I decided to do a little research. Most of it admittedly was done on overclockers.co.uk (Big long DGTeam thread) where the DGTeam firmwares are quite popular. There was lots of talk about increased download speeds from the optimized firmwares and also some worrying talk of bricking.

Oh well, if I brick the router I’d just need to get a new one (wireless N, mmm). So off I went to find a mirror with the most up to date version for my router.

Before starting I downloaded my current firmware version, latest verson and a windows recovery tool from netgear. Next I did a speed test and got 5.9Mbps, average for me but the recent history showed 6.2Mbps to be my best result.

I flashed the new firmware as I would a regular update and in little over a minute my router was back up and running. Another speed test gave 6.8Mbps, not as pronounced a result as some posters on overclockers were claiming, but definately a difference.

So far I’m quite happy, I didnt get my wireless N router, but I also didn’t have to fork out any cash… I’ll update this post with some results after it has bedded in. Continue reading “Custom firmware for my DG834Gv2”