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ADSL connection speed varies enormously many times a day

BertCoules
Grafter
Posts: 205
Registered: ‎12-07-2008

ADSL connection speed varies enormously many times a day

For the past few days my connection speed has started to be extremely variable, with the changes taking place very frequently. My maximum download speed is usually around 4000 kbps but for example several times over the past hour or so it has dropped either to almost zero or the connection has gone down altogether.  These down periods are never of a fixed length and can last anything from a minute or so to  ten or fifteen.  These are not exact timings, just my impression: they could be some way out but the peaks and troughs do definitely occur.
Following advice here some time ago, my router is plugged permanently into the test socket.  Until this present trouble started I was getting a pretty consistent line speed.
Is this likely to be a hardware problem, a PlusNet problem, a BT problem or something else entirely?  Any advice will be very welcome.
Many thanks,
21 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,722
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Re: ADSL connection speed varies enormously many times a day

Are you connected to the router wired or wireless? If wireless is it the connection to the router that's variable or the router to exchange?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Registered: ‎27-04-2007

Re: ADSL connection speed varies enormously many times a day

Looking into this further I can see some fairly frequent disconnections:
<img src="http://ccgi.psmith12.plus.com/visradius/generated/image13511569009866.png" />
With that in mind it's more likely to be an issue with the router or on our suppliers side of things. If it's possible for you to do trying another router would be a good idea as the next step.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
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Re: ADSL connection speed varies enormously many times a day

Bert: Do those disconnections correspond with you rebooting the router?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
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BertCoules
Grafter
Posts: 205
Registered: ‎12-07-2008

Re: ADSL connection speed varies enormously many times a day

Quote from: jelv
Are you connected to the router wired or wireless?

It's wired.
Quote
Do those disconnections correspond with you rebooting the router?

Except on one occasion when the trouble first started I haven't rebooted the router at all.  
Thanks for the reply.
Bert
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Re: ADSL connection speed varies enormously many times a day

Then I think the next step is to try a different router as Adam suggested.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
BertCoules
Grafter
Posts: 205
Registered: ‎12-07-2008

Re: ADSL connection speed varies enormously many times a day

Adam, thanks for the reply and the investigation.  It seems that what I thought were periods of extreme slowness were actually caused by total disconnections.
Quote from: _Adam_Walker_
If it's possible for you to do, trying another router would be a good idea as the next step.

That's not really possible, I'm afraid.
Bert
vultura
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Registered: ‎22-05-2011

Re: ADSL connection speed varies enormously many times a day

Quote from: _Adam_Walker_

<img src="http://ccgi.psmith12.plus.com/visradius/generated/image13511569009866.png" />

Is it just me or is there sometimes a regular 2 hour pattern to the disconnections?
BertCoules
Grafter
Posts: 205
Registered: ‎12-07-2008

Re: ADSL connection speed varies enormously many times a day

Now that you mention it, some of them do look rather regular.  What could be causing that?
But if it was some external source, wouldn't all the disconnections be two hours apart, right across the board?  Perhaps the regularity is just a coincidence.
Bert
vultura
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Re: ADSL connection speed varies enormously many times a day

Quote from: BertCoules
Now that you mention it, some of them do look rather regular.  What could be causing that?

Perhaps the regularity is just a coincidence.
Bert

It might be something in the house turning on/off, like heating system or boiler.  Indeed a lot of electrical items may cause issues.
Taken from another site:
TV’s, satellite set-top boxes, microwave ovens, Christmas lights etc. can all affect broadband speed by emitting electrical noise due to faulty components and/or power supplies. The bell wire in the telephone wiring (the line that used to make old-fashioned phones ring) acts as an aerial and picks up the electrical noise
Try switching various equipment around the building on/off, one by one, to see if the connection speed is affected. A handy tip is to tune an AM radio to 627KHz and listen for crackling when devices are turned on/off, as this is a sure sign of excessive electrical interference
It can just as easily be neighbour’s equipment that’s slowing the broadband down. Some devices such as faulty TVs can affect broadband speed within a 200m radius!

As already suggested my first port of call would be a different router.  New ones can be picked up for around £30 or so.  A secondhand one from the likes of eBay for maybe £10 or so.  I am sure someone here would be happy to recommend one to look for if you chose to go that route.
Community Veteran
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Re: ADSL connection speed varies enormously many times a day

[original suggestion deleted, maybe not suitable spec.]
Something like this : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Belkin-Wireless-Adsl-Modem-Router/dp/B000IG94TE/ref=pd_sim_sbs_computers_4 should be fine for testing (and it's always handy to have a spare just in case) at minimal cost.
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.
Community Veteran
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Re: ADSL connection speed varies enormously many times a day

Quote from: BertCoules
Now that you mention it, some of them do look rather regular.  What could be causing that?

Idle timeout on the router?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
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BertCoules
Grafter
Posts: 205
Registered: ‎12-07-2008

Re: ADSL connection speed varies enormously many times a day

Thanks for the further replies.  As it happens there have been no drops in speed or disconnections at all so far today, at least not that I've noticed.  I'll try to be aware of any other electrical activity in the house when one occurs again.
A wireless router for under nine pounds: I had no idea they could be picked up so cheaply.  If the problem persists I'll try that approach.
Bert

BertCoules
Grafter
Posts: 205
Registered: ‎12-07-2008

Re: ADSL connection speed varies enormously many times a day

I just had another disconnection.  As far as I could tell it started just before 2.23pm and has only just reconnected at 2.35pm. There were no apparent electrical events at the time:  nothing switched either on or off, the phone didn't ring and neither did the wireless doorbell.
Quote
Idle timeout on the router?

Jelv, is that a user-defined setting?
Bert
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: ADSL connection speed varies enormously many times a day

On some routers, yes.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)