Switched to Magnet

I’ve switched my home broadband from Eircom’s 3Mbps all-in-one package to Magnet’s 10Mbps LLU package. It’s about a tenner a month cheaper, and significantly faster of course.

The modem arrived last Friday, about 2 weeks after ordering; that night, when I went to check my mail, I noticed that the DSL had gone down, and indeed so had the phone. I was dreading a weekend without the interwebs, it being 9pm on Friday night — but lo, when I plugged in the Magnet router, it all came up perfectly first time!

Great instructions too. Extremely readable and quite comprehensible for a reasonably non-techie person, I’d reckon. So far, they’ve provided great service, too.

I’m not actually getting the full 10Mbps, unfortunately; it’s RADSL, and I’m only getting 5Mbps when I test it. Just as well I didn’t pay the extra tenner to get their 24Mbps package. Still, that’s a hell of a lot faster than the sub-1Mbps speeds I’ve been getting from Eircom.

It’s hard to notice an effective difference when browsing though, as that kind of traffic is dominated by latency effects rather than throughput.

I haven’t even tried their “PCTV” digital TV system; it seems a bit pointless really, I have a networked PVR already, and anyway I doubt they support Linux.

One thing that’s wierd; when my wife attempts to view video on news.bbc.co.uk on her Mac running Firefox, it stalls with the spinny “loading video” image, and the status line claims that it’s downloading from “ad.doubleclick.net”. This worked fine (of course) on Eircom. If I switch to my user account and use Firefox there, it works fine, too — possible difference being that I’m using AdBlock Plus and she’s not. Something to do with the number of simultaneous TCP connections to multiple hosts, maybe? Very odd anyway. It’d be nice to get some time to sit down with tcpdump and figure this one out… any suggestions?

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  1. Posted January 20, 2009 at 17:42 | Permalink

    What is your networked PVR?

  2. Posted January 20, 2009 at 18:15 | Permalink

    hi Phil — it’s a MythTV box I built a few years back: http://taint.org/wk/BuildingFreevo

  3. David Malone
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 20:32 | Permalink

    I get reasonable performance out of my Mom’s 8Mbps Eircom offering and the BT 8Mbps offering I use at home. The Eircom upgrade process was painless, but the BT upgrade process involved a 3 week outage (someone had mispatched something at the exchange – which took ages to get fixed, despite some helpful people in both BT and Eircom). After this, BT seem to have stopped recycling my IP address quite so frequently, so it all worked out well in the end ;-)

    Doubleclick used to have problems really bad problems with AAAA DNS requests (they would just send no response, so you’d have to time out). I think they’ve fixed that problem, but my script for checking for problems still shows some potential issues for some of their servers, so it might be DNS based.

    (The script could be wrong too – I added some new checks recently, and while I think they’re right, I haven’t checked as carefully as I’d have liked.)

    Have done any DVB stuff on your MythTV setup? I’ve a DVB-S card hooked up to an Aldi dish and get pretty good results (transcoding BBC HD version of Obama being signed in at the moment). I’m working on getting the RTE stuff working on a DVB-T card and almost have it going, but it’s a bit more tricky.

  4. Posted January 21, 2009 at 00:28 | Permalink

    I’m glad to hear someone else has found some sense to switch to Magnet :)

    I wish I could help with your problems, but I don’t use Firefox, a Mac, and our connection here is a FTTH line… Still, hopefully it gets sorted out soon.

  5. imoan
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 08:57 | Permalink

    when my wife attempts to view video on news.bbc.co.uk on her Mac running Firefox, it stalls with the spinny “loading video” image.

    I had this problem and found it was due to the cookies that the beeb uses. It does not like changes of IP ( especially across country boarders ). Clear all the bbc cookies and try again.

    my $0.02 :)

  6. Posted January 21, 2009 at 10:48 | Permalink

    @imoan — thanks for the tip. I’ve tried that, with no luck :(

  7. Posted January 23, 2009 at 12:16 | Permalink

    I have similar issues .. the magnet modem often locks up when there are a lot of outgoing connections .. Previously i had one of the older modems (know by the two pin plug) and that was always on the blink.

    I have noticed that if you plug a cat 5 direct into the modem, some of the problem seems to go away. Maybe the have some kind of QOS on each port?

  8. Posted January 23, 2009 at 21:43 | Permalink

    I got the 24Mbps service from BT. In my opinion, BT made a bit of a mess of the provisioning. However, the service is great. I get about 12Mbps on the DSL, about 10Mbps in real life. Good for 56 euros a month if it’s available on your exchange.

  9. Posted February 18, 2009 at 16:43 | Permalink

    GAS!!!!…..i was the guy who sold you this……tell me, how is everything going now? If you still have difficulties with the BBC issue just give me a shout and ill get you onto the guys in customer service?

  10. Posted February 27, 2009 at 14:37 | Permalink

    @Rory —

    that’s hilarious! small world eh. ;)

    The BBC thing seems to have quietly resolved itself; I suspect something on the missus’ laptop was at fault. Getting great results from Magnet these days!