How I improved my broadband speeds by 72%

In my previous post (Ultrafast Broadband Speed Tests) I performed a number of broadband speed tests on BT’s new G.fast Ultrafast broadband. The speeds I managed to obtain that day were:

  • iPad 301-225Mbs
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 148-176Mbps
  • Motorola Moto G4 Phone 113Mbps
  • Desktop PC 41.29 – 55.88Mbps

The speed test results on my desktop PC were rather disappointing. This is a Windows 10 Pro 64-bit PC with an Intel Core i5 4460 3.20GHz and 16GB RAM.  It has a wired network connection using a TP-Link AV200 (PA251) powerline adaptor. This has a theoretical data rate up to 200Mbps. The Powerline technology transfers data using the electrical wiring of the house. A single TP-Link AV600 powerline plug is connected directly to the BT Smart Hub X router and plugged into a mains socket. The setup is illustrated below:

Using TP-Link AV200 to connect to the BT Smart Hub X. Download speeds average around 43Mbps. The Ethernet cable is Cat5e.
Using TP-Link AV200 to connect to the BT Smart Hub X. Download speeds average around 43Mbps. The Ethernet cable is Cat5e.

I performed a number of speed tests before the UltraFast Broadband upgrade and achieved a maximum download speed of 41.29Mbps.

After the upgrade to the UltraFast Broadband service, I only achieve a miniscule speed improvement, to just 55.88Mbps.  I am certain that this poor performance is down to the use of the TP-Link powerline adaptors.

For testing purposes, I replaced the TP-Link AV200 with a TP-Link AV600 (which has a theoretical maximum speed of up to 600Mbp). This new setup is shown below:

In this setup I replaced the TP-Link AV200 with the TP-Link AV600.
In this setup I replaced the TP-Link AV200 with a TP-Link AV600.

I performed some more speed tests, then compared the results. It seems that with the use of the faster TP-Link AV600, I was able to improve the download speeds by 72%, from an average of 44.3Mbps to an average of 76.2Mbps. This is nowhere near as fast the iPad, but an improvement nonetheless.

Broadband Speed tests over powerline adaptors: AV200 and AV600.

The Powerline adapters need to be plugged directly into the wall. You should avoid plugging them into surge protectors or power extensions, both of which could interfere with the frequencies that Powerline uses. You should also avoid a mix and match of standards or speeds.

I still want to boost the speed even further and I think I am going to have to try either a fast powerline adaptor (such as the TP-Link AV2000) or a install a wireless AC (802.11ac) adaptor in order to try to get the maximum benefit from the Smart Hub X router. But which 802.11ac Wi-Fi USB adapter?

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