Thomson SpeedTouch 585 v5

11. Sky 'Mid' ADSL & NetGear DG934G

The Sky NetGear V2 ADSL2+ modem/router with Wireless-G access point, model no. DG934G-1SKUKS, is based on the standard DG834G v3, but has firmware customised by Sky and also looks rather different. Sky Mid is an "up to 8 Mbps" product, like BT ADSL max.

Tweak the config?A determined effort to "tweak" the DSL connection parameters on the ST585 using DMT appeared to improve stability/performance. Posts on the thinkbroadband DSL Hardware Discussion forum suggest that many ST585 users did this. (Later versions of firmware for the ST585 v6 removed the tweaking options, but they were still in place in the last version for the v5.)

Or just plug it in and switch it on?Have we reached the stage where a router can get the best out of a line by itself, without end user intervention? Sky certainly thinks so - unlike the ST585, it appears not to be possible to tweak anything on the DG934G. Even firmware updates are controlled by Sky and happen overnight outside your control.

But the router performs well. It can sustain a downstream synchronisation speed of 7189 kbps (line attenuation 45 db; noise margin 7 db) for 6 days, although it is not unusual to re-synchronise every day and ca. 6.5 Mbps is more typical. This is a big improvement over the ST585 on a BT ADSL Max line.

Zen Internet Sky Broadband
Product BT ADSL Max Sky Mid (LLU)
Router ST585v5 DG934G
Sustainable Synch. 5.4 Mbps 6.5 Mbps
Line attentuation 44 db 44 db
Noise margin 9 db 9 db
BT IP Profile 4.5 Mbps N/A
"Effective speed" 4.5 Mbps ca. 5.5 Mbps

The improvement probably results from two main factors: changes in technology and escape from the constraints of BT's IP Profile.

A Sagem F@ST 2504 ADSL modem router (which replaced the faulty DG934G in 2009) with the Sky Everyday (previously Mid) service on the new Sky network seems to be more stable, and has sustained a synchronisation speed of 7.2 Mbps down (863 kbps up) for almost three weeks.

14 January 2009 (updated 10 September 2010)