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back to article UK top dog for home Wi-Fi usage... almost

Britain is second only to South Korea when it comes to the proportion of homes that have their own wireless network, we learned today. While 80.3 per cent of South Korean homes have a WLAN in place to provide internet access to a range of stationary and mobile gadgets, so do 73.3 per cent of UK homes, market watcher Strategy …

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Dodgy stats

Only 77% of UK homes have Internet access, according to the latest ONS stats. Do we really think 96% of those have Wi-Fi?

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Re: Dodgy stats

Probably yes. It is very difficult to get a router that doesn't have wifi.

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Re: Dodgy stats

It is today, but a significant minority of Internet connections will be through routers that are relatively ancient. As commented below, having a Wi-Fi capable router is not the same as using Wi-Fi.

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WTF?

Re: Dodgy stats

So it counts if your router is Wi-Fi capable, but you are not using it?

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Meh

Could this be that because our infrastructure and speeds for BB is so poor compared to other countries, we are not put off by the lower throughput and potential interference issues? If my broadband was the usual feeble 1-2mbit connection in the UK, knowing that my devices are not going to be missing out any bandwidth if I use a 802.11g (or even b) home networks compared to the ADSL connection's maximum would mean less work compared to wiring the whole house with cat5.

On the other hand, if I was plugged into a 1Gbit connection in Sweden, chugging my device along at 'g' speeds would be a complete waste of potential speed and money.

I have no idea why the south Koreans are big on WiFi though - more densely populated areas?

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HMB
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Does wireless put people off with lower throughput?

I get 50.46 Mbps on speedtest.net with my laptop on the other side of the apartment using the Virgin Media superhub, so I'd say no to that question.

Of course wireless is only as good as the manufacturer's implementation. A high quality chipset and driver combination with dual band and you can get over 150 Mbps actual throughput. Buy cheap kit and you can have reliability issues and struggle to get more than 40 Mbps actual throughput.

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WTF?

Re: Does wireless put people off with lower throughput?

But you are a 50mbit customer on virgin using the wirelss N superhub (of which there are onyl a few thousand). If you are a BT 2mbit ADSL customer (of which I expect there are 1million+), you won't get 50Mbps in any circumstance.

When the line between your provider and your modem is the slowest link, it matters not how fast your wireless connection is. Once your pipe is fatter than your wireless signal, it makes less sense to be on wifi, yes?

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Re: Does wireless put people off with lower throughput?

"When the line between your provider and your modem is the slowest link, it matters not how fast your wireless connection is."

That rather depends on what else you might be using the WLAN for. Once you start adding multiple devices to the LAN, the ability to share data between those devices without ever crossing over to the WAN side of your router raises the question of how much bandwidth you'd like to have between those devices. Being able to stream HD video around the house, without needing to string cat 5 everywhere or rely on your electrical wiring being up to the job of powerline networking, is just one example where the speed requirements of your WLAN are potentially being set by something other than the speed of your internet connection.

"Once your pipe is fatter than your wireless signal, it makes less sense to be on wifi, yes?"

Yes/No/Maybe (*delete as appropriate)

Remember that most pipes into the home are asymmetric, so if you're a heavy uploader then you might be willing to spend more on a fatter pipe so that the upload speed is more closely matched to your WLAN throughput, even if it means most of your download capacity goes unused.

Remember also that a growing number of homes have multiple devices connecting to their LAN, some wirelessely, some wired - if you're able to move some/most/all of your heavy-lifting network apps onto the wired devices, then having a bottlenecked WLAN for your other devices might not be such a big deal when set against the convenience of having WLAN access.

So it would make less sense for some people, but by no means would it make less sense in general.

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Re: Does wireless put people off with lower throughput?

Being a 50Mbps customer has nothing to do with it, I addressed one particular issue brought up about Wireless being a bottle neck. I'm on one of the fastest services available in the UK for download speeds and my wireless is not a bottleneck, I didn't even go out and buy special equipment.

Please read and judge what I actually wrote, rather than what I didn't.

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Re: Does wireless put people off with lower throughput?

You are right in what you say, but I wasn't really considering the non-internet usage for Wi-Fi, just the exclusive use of wireless as a connection to the internet. You are quite right that when you eliminate the internet access from the use case the wireless is not bottle neck.

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What does this all really mean anyway?

Australia has large metal framed houses that are terrible for wireless signals, so wireless isn't perceived as such a great technology there.

When it comes to the UK, all of the major providers, Virgin, Be, BT, Talktalk & Sky all come with wireless routers. Should we be congratulating the telecoms companies?

If you're average person had to go out and buy a wireless router themselves the market penetration would be dramatically less. I really don't see what waving around the figures means or does.

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Holmes

Okay then?

Where do these numbers come from? is it from sales of networking gear, which will overestimate wi-fi usage, as there are bound to be routers sat unused in boxes, or perhaps from some sort of wi-fi snooping a-la-google, or from some sort of survey of a small number of participants (almost certainly with some sort of selection bias).

In the absence of any other evidence, I would surmise that it's someone's arse.

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Thumb Up

Bittorrent.....

....Mesh network, anyone?

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WTF?

Huh?

I don't remember being asked which I use...?

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Black Helicopters

Re: Huh?

Don't worry, Google told them for you :)

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Mostly because when you get broadband the vast majority of the time it comes with a wireless router. So you'll have a wireless network, wether you need it or not.

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Anonymous Coward

so how many times did they count me, let me see - old dead router, main router (now with wifi off), router with wifi being used to create hotspot in centre of house. So counting equipment for me is 3 times higher.

Thinking about it, probably counted all the hardware I've bought for friends and family, some were replacements for kit that died or to replace poor performing ISP provided equipment so not every piece is additional network, so I have 20 wifi networks??

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Anonymous Coward

So you'll have a wireless network, wether you need it or not.

A wireless router does not a wireless network make - you need to have devices that connect to it too.

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Joke

Japan

Given how crowded Japan is, the folks without their own wireless networks are probably just using an unsecured one from the apartment next door...

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Facepalm

Be Prepared

Sales of tin foil, majic crystals and tin hats now highest in UK

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Headmaster

UK Second in World for Home Wifi Usage.

There. The proper headline for you. Have it on me.

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WTF?

Sweden?

Sure that "my country" Sweden would be in the Top 3. Or at least Top 5. Had to find out why not and was stunned to see that the latest figures put the percentage of homes using WiFi at a measly 15%!

Most of the people I know have a working WiFi at home in addition to some broadband connection. Further investigation and analysis required. In the meantime: Use that WiFi Swedes, now that you've bought iPads and the like for vegetating in front of the telly while updating that Facebook profile!

The most common way to get online in Sweden is DSL, with 87% of homes using it. 3G/4G is second with close to 40%. In toto 93% of Swedish homes have an Internet connection.

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Boffin

Sweden redux

Having recently moved from an ADSL connexion here in Stockholm that gave me 15+Mb/s speeds downstream and a remarkably consistent 0.86 Mb/s upstream, I'm now getting speeds of 95-97 Mb/s downstream and 11-12 Mb/s upstream from a nominally 100/10 fibre-cable connexion. Since ten (10) network jacks are provided in my little two-room apartment, I hardly feel the need for Wifi, which at best would halve my present downstream speed. My experience in helping others set up a home Wifi is that even when connected to a 100/100 jack, they rarely get much more than 20 Mb/s in either direction....

Henri

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