26 Feb 2015

A question about : Microfilters are Important for a Great Broadband Connection

Hi Guys,

I’ve recently come to the conclusion that the importance of Microfilters is underestimated. Not having microfilters installed properly or having a faulty microfilter can really muck up your broadband connection. The most common symptom of microfilter problems is frequent disconnections.

If you have broadband and you’re getting disconnections or even speeds slower than you expected, please check that every phone socket in your house that is in use has a microfilter fitted to it. Remember to include phone sockets that are being used for Sky TV boxes and FAX machines. This is really important! The microfilter should be fitted directly into the phone socket and then the device you’re using should be plugged into the microfilter.

Getting overzealous can be problematic too! Having more than 1 microfilter fitted to a single phone socket will also give you problems. The most common time where I’ve seen this occurring is where people use splitters and they put microfilters going into the splitter for each device in use. This is incorrect – only one microfilter should be used and it should be in place between the socket and the splitter.

Microfilters can be problematic if you are using a faulty one. Faulty microfilters will impact your speeds and you will get disconnections. To check your microfilters to see if you’ve got a faulty one, unplug everything from all phone sockets in the house, test each filter from the test port from within your master socket by connecting to the Internet. If you get a substantially lower sync or disconnections using one of the filters you’ve found your faulty one and it will need to be replaced.

I hope that some of you may find this guide helpful!

Kind regards,

Best answers:

  • Hi
    Whilst I'd agree that if you have microfilters then you should get good ones, I found fitting a filtered ADSL Backplate worked better for me, with the backplate you don't need any filters, it has 2 ports one for broadband and one for the telephone line, with the option of just plugging in or wiring up to the backplate.
    I found this gave me a better/stable/reliable connection than any filter I'd ever used, and also using a cat5e cable straight from my backplate to my router also helped, so I could then throw away my telephone extension which I had to have, as my pc is quite a distance from my master socket, with the backplate and the new cable my router syncs at a much higher rate, almost 3mbs higher than orginally with filters and the extension, so to me it was definately worth the cost.
    Something like this, as long as you have a NTE5 socket, all it takes is to unscew the front plate and replace with this one, takes about a minute to fit.
    I'm just putting this forward as another alternative to get optimum performance from a broadband connection, especailly with MAX, as a lot of people seem to have trouble getting the higher speeds or have frequent disconnections, so I just tried to prepare for getting the best connection that I could.
  • Good advise. I also use those master socket as mentioned in 2nd post, that was in the days in 2000 when only BT would install adsl, it cost me £150 for 512mb install and itw as £40 per month then. Its worked no problems athough I dont get the best connection for 2mb I think it mainly down to the distnace between my pc and master socket and also the distnace from master socket to the pole. Im am not far from the exchange as crow flies but in reality its double the cable from the pole doesnt go the easy route to the exchange.
  • I am embarrased to say that I just discovered that after changing phones and shifting the telephone base unit away from the wireless router that I had connected up the microfilter incorrectly
    So thanks to reading through this post again I had a second look at my connections due to an extention cable and now have a perfectly working phone and no loss of internet connection when hanging up on a call
  • I am just so dissapointed at the speed of my connection compared to my old Wanado one. I have my microfilter on the phone socket before the broadband extension that runs upstairs.
  • Have found out about dodgy microfilters the hard way. There do seem to be two types of microfilter. Ones that work properly and ones that don't. I have found the ones sold by BT to be very reliable (although not the cheapest by far). You can buy them online from BT shop and if you go via quidco, you can get cashback too.
  • Initially I thought my microfilter was fine as I had been using it for close to 3 years (I was on 512 kbps broadband) without any problems.
    However when I signed up to Madasafish early last month & from being told that I can receive speeds of up to 3.5mbs, I was disappointed when I was connecting at an average speed of only 1.4mbs (after the 10 day testing period) with the router provided. I thought my speeds would increase when I purchased a new Netgear router, but again no luck, just the same average speed of around 1.4mbs
    I then changed my old microfilter to a BT one (which was provided with my router that Madasafish sent) & to my surprise my speed went up by a whole 0.5mbs to 1.9mbs. I then thought maybe changing my RJ11 cable (from the modem to the telephone extension) might also help. However I tried about 3 or 4 different cables (all new) but no change in speed. I then decided to purchase a Cat 5 twisted pair cable (RJ11 to RJ11) from ebay (which cost me less than Ј3) & again to my surprise when I replaced the new standard cable with the Cat 5 cable, my speed went up again by another 0.5mbs from 1.9mbs to 2.4mbs (my router also syncs at a higher rate now).
    So just by changing a microfilter which I assumed was working fine (as I never experienced any disconnections in nearly 3 years) & the standard cable to a Cat 5 cable, I have increased my speed from 1.4mbs to 2.4mbs.
    Hope this is of some help to anyone who may be connecting at speeds slower than expected or even to someone who wishes to increase their connection speed. As initially I would never have thought that just by changing a microfilter that was ‘working’ fine & the standard cable to a Cat 5 cable would help to increase my connection speed by over 70%
  • I do not have a master socket as such in my house - but I have 6 telephone extensions all linked together (so in effect they are all the master sockets).
    If i get broadband and just use the microfilter on the telephone socket I use to hook up the modem - will there be problems encountered? do i need to use the modem microfiltered on a master socket? or will i have to use microfilters on all 6 telephones?
    i have no fax or no sky connected - i only have 4 normal phones and 2 dect phones.
    help much appreciated
  • you can't be telling us that you have 6 wires going into your house?
    the place where the phone wire fom outside goes to first is your master socket
    if all of your extensions are going to one central socket - then this is the master socket
    you should have a filter on all of the sockets - as this can cause interferance on the line if you get a phone call... i am 99% sure of this, someone else should be able to confirm
  • You should have a filter on each socket that has a phone plugged into it.
    Generally you will get 2 filters from your bb provider so you would have to buy the other four yourself. I noticed in my local Tesco Extra that they are selling them now, can't remember the exact price but they were pretty reasonable.
  • cheers people - will try your suggestions!
    looks like i'm looking for 4 microfilters - 2 free with bband provider (i hope)
  • Hi LOST,
    I'll need to double check this tomorrow but i'm pretty certain that the max number of microfilters you should be using at one time is four. I believe that if there is more than that in play than they can start to interfere with each other.
    Do you use all six of your phone sockets?
    Kind regards,
  • Hi LOST,
    I've just reconfirmed with the tech team that the max amount of filters that you should ever have fitted on one phone line is 4. It may work with more microfilters however it's very likely that any more than four will cause problems with your speed and connection.
    Of course, if you've got two or more seperate phone lines running into your house (independent of one another) you only need the microfilters to be fitted on the line (and it's extensions) that has the broadband service installed.
    Kind regards,
  • That is interesting. I have got 6 microfilters on my setup and it works. :confused:
    Must try removing a few and see if anything changes.
  • A better way is to have only one filter that filters all of the extension wiring.
  • Hi, I've just discovered this thread and I'm hoping for a bit of advice. I got my talktalk broadband up and running last week having only used dialup before. I'm chuffed to bits with the speed and downloads but I now have a problem with the phoneline.........it crackles and hisses. Now, I've got the PC in the dining room and the only phone socket is in the hall, so I have the phone on my desk and the modem plugged into a microfilter, then that into an extension, extension goes under the floor thru the cellar, back up in the hall and plugs into a doubler socket so I can use the hall phone too. Now I have another microfilter but if I plug that in the hall I get "no dial-tone" from the broadband. The modem lead isn't long enough to run under the floor so I'm guessing I need to buy a longer one so it can plug directly into a microfilter in the hall, but I need the proper lead with the right plugs either end. Not being very techy I'm stumped, would this solve the problem and can anyone suggest where I could buy one and what I would ask for please?