Looking for a bit of advice on what to do with my network, I'll give you a quick overview of the network at the moment.
Virgin Media XXL (100mb) internet
Virgin SUPERHUB (rubbish imo)
2 x wired computer used for gaming
1 x wired xbox (online gaming)
2 x wireless laptop used for browsing
various phones etc (not important)
Currently I have A cable running roughly 5m from the Superhub to a 10/100 switch, then off the switch to the 3 wired devices. I can on occasion get a speedtest of 74 download speed but only 4mb upload speed, however it's not very consistent.
I get lag when playing online games and I'm not happy with the current performance in general.
What do you think I should do/buy to improve this?
I've read the Superhub can be put into modem mode, is it worth doing that and gettting a decent broadband router?
Would it be worth me getting a 10/100/1000 switch to cope better with the requirements?
The switch will likely make no difference but small gig switches are very cheap. I would plug your machines directly into the superhub since those are gig ports and see if you get any difference since all it involves is getting a longer cable.
You could also put the device in modem mode and run a single PC and see if the problem goes away.
Games use very little bandwidth. Assuming you aren't downloading bit torrents on other machines you should have no capacity issues.
The key thing games need is very constant latency, anything that causes traffic spikes can disrupt this. It is unlikely just a router change will make much difference...assuming it is not something like a firmware bug. You could also be taking errors on the cable coming into the house. Many modems have the ability to tell you how good the cable connection is...the ISP also can tell from their end but they will always say its fine unless you show them its not.
I've ordered a gigabit switch that cost me all of £12 so will see what happens there, if anything.. as running cables would be much more hassle I feel! Could the quality of the cable (or lack of it) cause traffic spikes?
Is there a way I could diagnose connection problems on the line then?
One of the computers is used for some torrenting, uploading and downloading.. (on occasion)
I have tried running games without the torrents running and it still seems the same which is annoying.
Not sure on your particular device. Most have a screen that show the rates and errors and such on the cable interface.
The lan cables will either work or they won't, they don't degrade or anything. As long as your cables are cat5e or better it will run a gig. Used to be you would get the ports into half duplex mode and it would cause issues but it doesn't happen much and gig only runs in full duplex so your new switch cannot have that problem.
The only way I have found to monitor stuff is to leave a couple of PC window running a ping command continuously. You would ping the ISP nearest router and then some well known server like 126.96.36.199. or 188.8.131.52. If you see loss and/or big increases in the latency between you and the ISP it generally means there is a problem in the path to your house. If has no errors in the first one but you see problems to the end it means the ISP either has a problem or there is a issue with how the ISP connects to the internet. The first type problem the ISP should be able to fix the second you would have to do the ISP job for them and find the bottleneck in their network.
So last night I switched my Superhub to modem mode, plugged in a Draytek Vigor 2850 router and through a D-Link Gigabit switch then tried playing online.. Didn't get much chance to test but seemed a lot better from first impressions.
Managed a 72mbps download and 4.5mb upload on speedtest.net so will give it a test again tonight and see how it goes.