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Connection dropping / incredibly slow on Mac

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Hooked
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎07-08-2020

Connection dropping / incredibly slow on Mac

I switched to Plusnet from Sky two months ago and since then I've had a recurring intermittent problem with the connection (that I never had with Sky).

I'm using an iMac to connect via wifi — it is 2 metres away from the router and as it's only me in my flat, it's generally the only device trying to connect at the time. Wifi will show as connected at full strength on the mac, even when the connection has dropped. Turning off wifi and turning it on again on the mac (which always works with other providers) results in it not being able to find the Plusnet wifi or not recognising the password. The only way to get the connection back is to restart the mac. I'm having to do this two or three times a day.

The connection to my iPhone is also very slow so I usually end up using 4G on that. Weirdly, the wifi connection to my Apple TV box is generally fine and I only occasionally get buffering.

I've seen other posts on the forum which suggest splitting the 2.4GHz and 5GHz signal, but I believe that only applies to the Hub One and I have the Sagemon 2407n. The interface I see when I log in to the router is different from the screenshot posted here — https://community.plus.net/t5/My-Router/2-4ghz-and-or-5ghz-best-practice/td-p/1351950

I've now plugged my mac into the ethernet in order to post this, but the connection is still incredibly slow — 0.11mbps download. It's making working from home very difficult!

Can anybody help?

 

13 REPLIES 13
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Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 112
Thanks: 20
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Registered: ‎08-04-2020

Re: Connection dropping / incredibly slow on Mac

Hi there@dirtyoldbrush, I'm sorry to hear about this.

 

In regards to your speeds, together with our network partners at Openreach we will try to provide you with the best speeds possible. If you feel this is not the case, please raise your speed fault online at faults.plus.net and our Faults team will look into this.

 

If you would like to switch back to wireless, I would recommend checking our troubleshooting pages for your router type: https://community.plus.net/t5/Plusnet-Blogs/How-to-boost-your-wi-fi/ba-p/1450193.

 Jess Moore
 Plusnet Help Team
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Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 16,330
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Connection dropping / incredibly slow on Mac

Hi @dirtyoldbrush 

A warm welcome to the forums.

If as you say you are experiencing a slow down load when connected to the router over an ethernet cable, then looking at WiFi help guides is not likely to bring about a resolution.  That said when you were connected via the ethernet cable, did you explicitly turn off the wifi, either on the Mac or the router?  Just because there is an ethernet cable connected is not assurance that the ethernet connection will be used in preference to the WiFi network.

This needs to go back to basics.

Broadband is not going to work well if the "phone" line is not working properly.

Please perform a quiet line test - dial 17070 select option 2 using a corded phone plugged into the test socket behind the face plate of the master socket. It should be silent. A noisy phone line (or no dial tone) will have a marked adverse impact on the performance of broadband.

If the line is noisy or there is no dial tone, then a PHONE LINE fault needs to be raised with your phone provider. If this is PlusNet, you can report a fault on line using the button below.  From the Q&A list, choose the one which matches the problem, 'open' the 'section' and click the trouble-shooter link.  NB: If you receive a failure message (rather than a log-in prompt) then log-in to the user portal in a different browser tab and attempt to use the trouble-shooter again.


 

How is your line performing?

Please post your router stats; for PN TG582n and 2704n routers use the buttons below, for other routers look at the Kitz link.

Also run a BT Wholesale speed test (ideally using an Ethernet wired PC with the WiFi turned off) then run the further diagnostics and post the results here. DO NOT REBOOT the router!

NB: Please use an Edge browser or IE as there have been many reports that others fail to function correctly when accessing the BTw speed test.


 

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Hooked
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎07-08-2020

Re: Connection dropping / incredibly slow on Mac

Hi @Buttercup 

 

Thanks for getting back to me. I've already tried all those things on the link you sent (except for buying new equipment). As I said, the router is 2 metres away from my iMac (and the router is 2 metres above the floor) and the wifi signal is showing as full strength on my iMac.

My connection has been almost non-existent since around 5pm last night. I've submitted a speed fault to faults.plus.net this morning, but as I clicked 'submit' my connection dropped so I'm not sure if it went through or not. Could you check if it's been received please?

Thanks

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Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 16,330
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Connection dropping / incredibly slow on Mac

You can check yourself - see the tickets link below.

Did you do the self help tests recommend above?
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Hooked
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎07-08-2020

Re: Connection dropping / incredibly slow on Mac

Hi @Townman 

 

Thanks so much for your reply. Here are some answers:

  • Yes, wifi turned off on my mac when I connect via ethernet.
  • Quiet line test done — no noise.
  • BT Wholesale Speed Test completed on Lenovo PC, with IE, connected via Ethernet. When the connection works, I'm getting download speeds of between 0.11 and 11.3 and uploads of between 0.04 and 1.25. Since about 5pm last night, I've either not been able to get the page to load or the results I'm getting are zero for upload and download.
  • I tried the additional diagnostics, but I basically don't have any connection for it to complete at the moment. I'll try again later, although when I do have a connection, as demonstrated by the upper end of speeds quoted above, I guess it won't show a problem. The problem is that the connection is so bad I can't even run diagnostics! Is entering my phone number OK or do I need to enter a BBEU? If so, where do I find the BBEU?
  • Router stats completed on Mac via wifi, and attached.

Having read a bit about the 2704n router, it seems like it's somewhat of a duff router, so could the problem just be that? I had an ADSL contract with Sky previously and never — or very rarely — had any connection issues, so I'm not sure if there would be issues on the line. Could it be the router? Other people on the forum with router problems have bought a BT Business Smart Hub 6. I begrudge having to pay for something that I feel Plusnet should be providing fit for purpose, but I just need a working connection.

Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it.

2704N_STATS.png

200925-BT-SPeed-Test.png

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Hooked
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎07-08-2020

Re: Connection dropping / incredibly slow on Mac

Thank you @Townman 

 

Sorry for the slow replies — my connection is so bad that it's making it impossible to even send messages.

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Superuser
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Connection dropping / incredibly slow on Mac

On the face of things, those stats look excellent, so if you are having data through-put issues, then there is an issue elsewhere.  How long had the router been in sync before you obtained those stats?

Is the router fully restarting or is it just resyncing?  Look at the router logs.

The 2704n is most certainly a budget router, but it works well for a good portion of the user population.  There is always a possibility that the one you have is faulty.  In my experience the worse I have seen with the 2704n is that the WiFi goes to sleep ... devices can no longer reconnect over WiFi - those that are find that they cannot connect to devices connected over ethernet (for example such as a printer).

You might be able to try the Sky router if it permits manual configuration of the DSL user name and password.

In the short term I would follow the noise on the phone line as a POTS issue.

 

To be clear, is the issue DATA speed or connectivity stability?

If stability, are you able to discern if this is a loss of sync (xDSL session) or just a loss of the PPP session?  The router logs should give you a clue.

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Superuser
Superuser
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Connection dropping / incredibly slow on Mac


@dirtyoldbrush wrote:

Sorry for the slow replies — my connection is so bad that it's making it impossible to even send messages.


... and for the avoidance of doubt, you are now connected to the router via ethernet with WiFi turned off?  It is very desirable that we totally eliminate the possibility of this being a PC to router connection issue.

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Hooked
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎07-08-2020

Re: Connection dropping / incredibly slow on Mac

Hi @Townman 

Things are getting a bit technical for me now! 

To clarify, the main issue I've had since I joined Plusnet in July is that my primary device (iMac) drops connection completely two or three times a day. The wifi signal is showing as full strength on the Mac and all lights are green on the router, but there is no connection. The only way to get connection back is to restart the Mac. When it is connected, the connection is generally good with download speeds of between 8 and 11mbps and upload speeds of around 1.0mbps.

Since Friday, I have had another problem, possibly separate or possibly connected in that the connection has slowed right down and the majority of the time I either have no connection or when I do have a connection it is too slow to load most web pages or send text-only emails.

The iMac is now connected over wifi, and the Lenovo PC is connected via Ethernet. Both are exhibiting the same speed and connectivity issues. The 2704N stats I posted earlier were from my mac, connected via wifi, during a one minute period where I had 10mbps download speed this morning. Since then, the speeds have been at zero. But it fluctuates wildly, with short periods of good connection.

I did another speed test about 20 minutes ago and the Mac came back as 27.75mbps(!) download and the PC came back as 11.54mbps download. This allowed me to run additional diagnostics and it came back with no issues on the line.

Here are stats I did about 25 minutes ago on the Mac over wifi (before I was getting the incredible speeds listed above). To give you an idea of how slow the connection is, it took about 2 minutes for the page to load where I put in the router password.

2704N_STATS_02.png

Questions:

  • What does the router being 'in-sync' mean?
  • How can I tell the difference between the router restarting and resyncing? As far as I know it's doing neither.
  • What is the difference between Data speed and connectivity stability?
  • Where do I find the router logs and what do I look for to tell me the relevant info about xDSL and PPP sessions?

Huge thanks again for your help!

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Hooked
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎07-08-2020

Re: Connection dropping / incredibly slow on Mac

Worth adding that, although the connection has generally been at zero for the last 24 hours, in the last hour it has reached download speeds of 48mbps — I didn't know that was even possible on an ADSL line! Test was done using wifi on my Mac.

It seems to be staying fast too for the moment. Weird.

200930-Speed-Test-48mbps.png

 

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Seasoned Champion
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Re: Connection dropping / incredibly slow on Mac

@dirtyoldbrush  If something looks too good to be true, your download speed can never be that high, the BT speed test is often completely wrong, but it has got the upload speed correct, when I use it it always returns zero for the upload speed when it is actually 18Mbps. Speed tests using wifi are not to be relied on in any way, there are too many variables involved.

Your router stats look excellent but could you check them using the Lenovo PC on an ethernet connection when you lose the broadband connection which seems to be quite a lot of the time. If they are still at the speeds you have posted then it would confirm that you don't have a line connection problem such as the sync speed dropping or the line disconnecting. My feeling is that the broadband connection is fine and your problem is some connection issue with your equipment or possibly ......

This a bit of a long shot, you mention an iphone which also has poor speeds. When I had an ADSL connection if someone came to the house with an iPhone and connected to the wifi it would constantly be uploading stuff (probably to the cloud) and saturating the upload link which totally crippled the downstream connection. Try disconnecting your iphone from the wifi for a while.

There have been a number of examples of this where a user complains of low speeds and they are not aware of a continuous upload going on. So it is worth checking it out.

Have you managed to raise fault ticket yet? Plusnet would be able see if your connection is dropping but if it isn't I'm not sure what they could do. Apologies for such a long post, I hope you can sort out your problem soon.🙂

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Hooked
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Registered: ‎07-08-2020

Re: Connection dropping / incredibly slow on Mac

@RealAleMadrid No need to apologise, I really appreciate you taking the time to help!

Yeah, I wondered how the speed could be so high! Thanks for explaining. 

Good shout about the iPhone uploading. It won't be that as I switch wifi off on my phone when the connection is bad, and I don't use cloud storage, but it's made me think that it's probably Dropbox. I didn't realise that uploading could affect the download stream, so thanks for drawing my attention to that. I'm not sure why it hasn't been a problem before, but I think that would explain the speed problems I've been having this week.

As for the pre-existing problem of it dropping connection a few times a day and having to restart my computer to reconnect, I'm thinking this could either be a problem with the router or interference from neighbours' connections. I live in a block of flats and there are quite a few BT users. I have raised a fault ticket — just waiting for them to get back to me — but it seems unlikely there's a problem with the line. So I'm going to buy a BT Business Smart Hub to see if that helps.

Thanks again for your help

 

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Seasoned Champion
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Re: Connection dropping / incredibly slow on Mac

@dirtyoldbrush   You could be right about dropbox, I seem to recall it causing problems on my ADSL line. Downloaded data packets received have to be acknowledged by the router which sends small ACK packets upstream. If these can't get through the download keeps retrying and grinds to a halt.

Good move to get a BT Hub, you should get much better wifi with that.😊