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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    BT Infinity? Wots dat!

    Let's not get into why I'm asking this here, there's numerous reasons, one of them being I trust you guys more.

    The situation is this - my computer cannot fit the hardware necessary to pick up a wireless connection (there is literally no room to do so). At the moment I'm connected by an ethernet cable running from the back of my computer to the BT Homehub. My BT Homehub is connected to a phone line under my desk.

    I have recently been told to upgrade to BT Infinity, which raises concerns. Will my computer still be able to link up with the hub via ethernet cable? Secondly, the Infinity hub has to be connected to the master phone socket. What is the master phone socket? I'm assuming the one in my bedroom wouldn't qualify.

    Basically my worst fear is they're going to give me 'better' Internet that I have no way to access without running a cable through the house, which ain't happening. This could be a load of tosh of course. I know very little about networking and am baseing this on problems I had with my last service provider Virgin who threw some fibre optic crap at me.
    Last edited by Drake Sigar; 08-04-2013 at 06:03 PM.

  2. #2
    Lesser Hivemind Node Feldspar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Sigar View Post
    The situation is this - my computer cannot fit the hardware necessary to pick up a wireless connection (there is literally no room to do so).
    You can get a USB wifi adapter, I'm not saying this is a good thing, but it works and isn't any bigger than a flash drive.

    Your master socket will be the one most directly connected to where the phone line comes into the house and really depends on your house and when the telephone line was installed, having your bedroom socket connected by an obvious wire running along the skirting board would be a dead give-away this it was added later, but honestly I don't know how essential this is.

  3. #3
    Obscure Node
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    I'd imagine they'll give you another router, but that's unlikely to be one without ethernet ports. My understanding (although I have no experience with it) is that Infinity is a fibre-optic service, so it's likely to use a cable modem into which you can plug in a router (either one provided or one that you have to buy yourself). Either way I don't see you being without an ethernet connection.

    As for the master socket: the one in your bedroom is unlikely to be it. The master socket is typically the closest socket to the location where your phone connection enters the property. Unless you live in a particularly old property, the faceplate will be an NTEC5 and will have a horizontal split like this. There is nothing stopping a broadband connection working from a secondary socket like you're doing just now, but quality _will_ be affected (slower speeds and dropouts become more likely, especially with higher-speed services) and as a result your ISP support _will_ refuse to help you unless you are dealing directly with the master socket -- many support services take this a step further and require an ethernet connection as well as the master socket to determine that issues are with the external rather than the internal connections.

    If I'm right then the reason they want you to upgrade is because they get to charge you more money. Depending on your location and circumstances there's no guarantee that you'll even be able to take full advantage of a higher-speed service. YMMV.


    As for your wireless setup, if you were willing to invest unnecessary amounts of money then one potential solution is to use your existing ethernet connection in to a router and set up a WDS/repeater in your house so you still technically get a 'wireless' connection to the router in the master socket without taking up any extra space inside your PC (I'm assuming you've already considered USB WLAN cards).

  4. #4
    Network Hub Ethelred's Avatar
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    Got them coming to me tomorrow:-

    "Check you've got power near your phone master socket so your engineer can plug in your new Hub and Openreach fibre modem. If you haven't, no problem. Your engineer can run an Ethernet extension cable (up to 30 metres long) from where you can plug in your Hub and Openreach fibre modem back to your phone master socket. This extension can only go along walls - not under carpets or floors - so move any furniture away from walls that may need cabling."

    So I guess they can put a cable in along your walls? Or you'll have to get powerline adapters?

  5. #5
    Network Hub
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    They sorted everything out themselves when I upgraded. Their router comes with an ethernet cable as standard.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    Yeah, you'll still be able to connect to the router via cable. They should install any necessary cables from phone socket to router, though it will only be running them along the base of the wall.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
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    Ok, first off BT Infinity is a "Fibre to the Cabinet" system. It uses fibre-optic cabling up to the green box at the end of your road, then your phone line into your house. It can offer downstream of up to 80mbps, although lots of packages only go to 40mbps, as opposed to the 24mbs of ADSL 2+. It also tends to suffer less from distance to the exchange issues and similar (I went from 4/24 on ADSL to 39.5/40 on FTTC). However, it's also more expensive, so I'd be a bit perplexed as to why you are getting it if you don't have any big desire to. (As an aside, despite what most people think, you don't have to get fibre from BT, a lot of other ISPs do it too).

    On to your other concerns:
    You could indeed get a USB wifi adapter. They work just fine. However, wifi is something to be avoided, if at all possible, for gaming. (It just isn't reliable or consistent enough). Also, if you're getting a really fast, reliable net connection like FTTC, you can easily end up with wifi being the weak point, both reliability and speed wise. You can also invest in a "Homeplug" system - it uses your house's mains wiring as a route for networking - no idea how good it is for gaming though, having not used it.

    When the engineer comes to install your infinity/fibre connection, he will go to the main phone socket (shown in a link above, normally the one where the line enters the house) and replace it with one with two sockets. One is for phone, the other for the internet. You will now no longer need filters on every phone socket in the property. The modem has to be connected to this primary socket, so you can work out how to get the net further than that - although they do indeed offer to provide you with long Ethernet cabling, and possibly even installation. (As far as I can tell, FTTC at the moment always means a separate modem and router)

    No idea how you could have had trouble with Virign networking kit before. I've had various sets off them, and all have had Ethernet ports. Not sure what other ways they would ever even offer to connect modem to the router. (Although you used to be able to USB from modem to a single PC if you wanted).

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