Perifrith

Thomson SpeedTouch 585 v5

1. Overview of Internet Connection

The first step was a PSTN dial-up modem in 1994.Fantastic! It was possible to view the Compuserve forums and to send and receive email - but only to other CompuServe users. There was no internet in those days, but that came in 1995, followed quickly by the home LAN in 1996. In the search for improved reliability and performance, the PSTN modem was replaced by a NetGear RT328 ISDN2 modem/router in 1998.

ADSL at a fixed 500 kbps.In 2001 the Pipex Xtreme Solo 500 kbps ADSL service was ordered.

But which modem/router?In response to a query about ADSL in 2001, NetGear said, "It is likely that Netgear will have a product for this new service, but not this year". So what other products were there?

First the SpeedTouch 510. The pdf Alcatel SpeedTouch 510 was reviewed favourably by ADSLguide.org.uk (now thinkbroadband.com) and frequently recommended in its forums, where there were several people providing detailed help in configuring and troubleshooting it. This was a great help. Thank you.

An ST510 v3.7 (£210) was purchased for use on the new ADSL connection. It proved to be a good and reliable product, and remained in use with no significant problems for four years. In April 2005 the ADSL service was upgraded to 1 Mbps.

More speed - please... The quality of the phone line was deemed by BT to be too poor for 2 Mbps ADSL, and so an upgrade order in early 2006 was rejected. But in May 2006 an order for ADSL Max, which the powers that be agreed the line could support, was accepted by Zen Internet. The line could not support 2 Mbps, but could support 4 Mbps!?

ST585

At last the SpeedTouch 585.The time had come to upgrade the router. The ST510 was still going strong and ST580s purchased and installed for family members had worked fine. The obvious choice was Thomson's latest wireless router, the pdf SpeedTouch 585 . (Thomson had purchased the DSL modems business from Alcatel in 2001, retaining the SpeedTouch brand name.)

In May 2006 an ST585 was purchased for £54 - less than 20% of the cost of the RT328 eight years earlier. The ST585 remained in use until the migration from Zen; in most respects it was fine, but...

The Sky's the ... what?The ST585 was pensioned off in September 2008 on migration from Zen Internet to Sky Broadband to save money. Sky supplied a NetGear router as a standard part of the deal, and the Ts & Cs forbid use of a different router.

4 April 2008 (updated 3 September 2009)