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Broadband problem?

oldbaldeagle
Grafter
Posts: 61
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Registered: ‎22-04-2014

Broadband problem?

I apologise in advance if I am crying wolf but I would appreciate some reassurance as to whether my broadband is working as it should.  I have recently experienced a loss of service most afternoons over the last few weeks, but have done now more than run a test with Ookla; I have not recorded the results, but basically the download speed has drifted down from around 9Mbps to around 7Mbps.  Yesterday (10/8/2014) I was sufficiently concerned by the result from Ookla that I noted the results which were Ping 36, Download 2.54 & Upload .36.  This was done over wifi with the router not connected to the test socket.
Today I have connected the router directly to the test socket & connected my laptop to the router with a LAN cable & wifi switched off.
I have carried out the tests listed in another post; the BT test shows Download 9.98, Upload .37 & Ping Latency 64.50.  Ookla test shows Ping 31, Download 9.59 & Upload 0.37.
The router is an ex-TalkTalk DLink DSL3780.  I have what I hope are the right stats which are:
ADSL Line speed Up 446, down 11400
Line attenuation Up 21.7, down 33.9
SN margin Up 22.2, down 2.2
Any reassurance gratefully received!
19 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,102
Thanks: 443
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Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: Broadband problem?

Hello there oldbaldeagle. Absolutely no need to apologise for wanting help of any sort, that's what this forum is about. Whether it's help from other customers like myself or the need for some action by Plusnet, you'll usually get whatever it is resolved.
I had a quick look back to see whether you'd posted about any problems before and so I'm not surprised that you may want some reassurance having had some bad luck at the outset - yes it was bad luck. So down to the nitty gritty.
Let's say that the figures that you've posted are "in the right ball park". Let me explain why I've said that in a slightly cautious way.
You're on 21CN equipment at the exchange - you wouldn't get ADSL line Downstream speeds above 8128 if you were on 20CN equipment. So onto the results in the test socket.
We'll start with the upstream speeds as that's the easiest to deal with. For the line speed of 446, the speedtest result of 0.37 is spot on. The 446 figure is expressed in kb/s, whereas the 0.37 figure is Mb/s (a factor of 1000).
Similarly for the downstream line speed of 11400, the 9.98 or the 9.59 speedtest results are both what would be expected and nothing to be worried about.
The fact that you've got one ping result there of 31 suggests that there isn't any undue lag on your "connection".
I wouldn't take too much notice of the ping figure from the BTw test. This can be very variable and seems to be very sensitive to how busy the tester is or anything on route. The 31 figure is nearer what I might expect to be seen on an Interleaved line, and so is ok.  If you want more accurate ping results, pingtest.net is a good choice.
All speedtest and ping results, whatever tester is used, will depend on how busy  your exchange, network and the tester itself is at the time of test. Results can be more variable at peak times.
I'll post this before I comment on your other figures, so if you happen to be reading soon, you'll have some reassurance  Smiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,102
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Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: Broadband problem?

Now your download figure from the 10/08/14 of 2.54 is certainly below par. The upload 0.36 figure is ok.
From the way you've phrased your post, I'm assuming that those results were done via a wireless connection between your laptop and the router.
I mentioned about how speedtest results from the test socket can vary depending on how busy the various systems are. You have a similar thing with wireless. The speed over a wireless connection will depend on how good/strong the signal is and how much interference there might be from any nearby wireless signals from neighbouring routers.
So if you suddenly find you have a slow speed on your wireless connection, first move the laptop much closer to the router and if there's still an issue, plug your laptop into the router by ethernet and check to see if it was wireless or your main connection slowing things down. There's no need to move the modem/router to the Test socket for such a quick check.
If in normal wireless usage slowdowns are becoming a more regular event then changing wireless channel may be the solution. If that turns out to be the case and a simple change of channel is still a problem there are more in depth approaches that can be used. However it is important to totally separate the issues of a wireless connection from those of your main connection from the modem/router to the exchange and further upstream.
Just one further comment about the wireless. The TG582n modem/router is not renowned  for excellent wireless performance. It has internal aerials which don't help in difficult circumstances. But the D-link you have appears to have similar. So the position of the aerials, ie the routers, can be critical in some circumstances, even a matter of inches! Just so that you are aware.
Now back to my initial remark said in a cautious way. That's because of the ADSL figures. Aspects of those figures make me a little uncomfortable. Whilst there is nothing wrong as such with the speed figures, it's other aspects of the downstream figures, especially the SN margin being a bit low, however if the connection is holding OK and performing OK, no need to get too excited about it at the moment.
Did you by any chance happen to save any similar results from the TG582n? Also I know you had a faulty 582n to start, but what's made you switch to the D-Link now?
Don't whatever you do, go rushing off to swap things around as we don't want to risk creating an unstable connection. Also if you are now back at your normal setup (not in the test socket - stay put if you are) can you please say, also post the current ADSL figures?
And just to conclude this post before someone else rushes along and says you want to get your upstream uncapped - no you don't - not at this time until there's a better understanding of what's going on as that can also cause instability in some situations.
oldbaldeagle
Grafter
Posts: 61
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Registered: ‎22-04-2014

Re: Broadband problem?

Hi Anotherone!
Firstly, thank you for your very detailed & reassuring replies; I have got my head around most of it!
After collecting the details I posted before, I returned the router to its previous position, so it is now connected to an extension socket.
As requested I have collected another set of figures from the router, which are -
Line speed - up 448, down 11065
Attenuation - up 21.7, down 33.9
SN margin - up 21.4, down 1.9
I don't have any figures for the Technicolor router; joining Plusnet has been a bit of a steep learning curve, and I had no idea previously that such stats even existed!
Even after getting a replacement router from Plusnet I had issues with getting a stable connection on 2 laptops and wifi on my phone.  I called tech support & the colleague I spoke to told me a bunch of stuff about Atheros network cards & had me change some settings.  He appeared to be unsure about how to change the settings on my phone.  Curiously, my wife's laptop, which also has an Atheros card appeared to carry on without an issue.
I was previously with TalkTalk so reverted back to their router as there had been no issues with wifi connections before changing to Plusnet.  As you say, this router does not have external aerials, but I got over the issues caused by the shape of our house (3 x 19th century houses knocked into one) by using a wifi repeater.
I omitted to mention in my original post that I also did a quiet line test using a hard-wired phone plugged into the test socket.  There is some noise, which I can best describe as being very similar to the sound on an old pulse-dial phone when dialling a number!
Please let me know if there is any more info you need - I appreciate your help
Jon


Superuser
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Broadband problem?

Jon,
Just to be sure that the noise on the phone is not a "special services" tone, can you please do a quiet line test - dial 17070 option 2.  The line should be about as quiet as a graveyard!
Kevin
oldbaldeagle
Grafter
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Registered: ‎22-04-2014

Re: Broadband problem?

Hi Kevin
It is a 'quiet line' test that I have done!
Jon
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,102
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Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: Broadband problem?

So apart from the occasional "Quiet Line Test" announcement - you get a clicking noise? Do you hear similar noises when making normal phone calls?
Do you have interrupted dial tone? If you have the free included 1571 voice mail, interrupted dial tone usually indicates there is (a) voice mail message(s).
As far as the current ADSL stats go, they are reassuringly (in one respect) similar to the previous ones in the test socket, but that low SN margin down makes me a bit uncomfortable, but we won't prejudge the possibilities.
What I think would be useful is if we can get one of the Plusnet CRT to post up your broadband DLM (exchange) data and a graphical Radius log - that details you connections to Plusnet's network.
Plusnet Alumni (retired) chrispurvey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
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Registered: ‎13-07-2012

Re: Broadband problem?

Hi Jon,
I've ran a few checks on your line and not detected any obvious issues.
Your line has been stable the majority of the time, although this morning you've had several disconnections, have you initiated these?
<img src="http://community.plus.net/visualradius/generated/image14079182398737.png"/>
Your line does have a very low SNR margin on the downstream as the target is set at 3dB, it's also probably worth us uncapping your upload speed if you're ok with that?

Your line is erroring at the minute fairly frequently which has caused the DLM to turn interleaving on, so it may be worth seeing if that helps over the coming days.
oldbaldeagle
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Registered: ‎22-04-2014

Re: Broadband problem?

Sorry, I wasn't able to do any more with this yesterday, so I have had another go with the quiet line tests.  I may be reading something into this which isn't really there, but here's what happened -
Plugged hard wired phone into test socket - no clicking any more, and near enough silent apart from a very slight hiss
Reattached front panel onto main socket - initially as above, but when the second quiet line announcement came up, this hiss became much louder and backed off a little.
Disconnected DECT base station & router from their respective sockets with phone plugged into main socket - as test socket result
Reconnected DECT  - as per test socket
Reconnected router - hiss increased after 2nd quiet line announcement
Replaced filter on router extension - as above
Plugged phone into the filter on router extension - no increase in noise!
Incidentally BT replaced the main socket in March this year following loss of service caused by a fault, according to them, in the underground cable in the street.
Cheers
Jon
oldbaldeagle
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Registered: ‎22-04-2014

Re: Broadband problem?

Hi Chris
Yes, the disconnections this morning are down to me as per my previous post.
Regarding the information you have posted, I am completely in your hands as I genuinely don't know what it means.  However, Anotherone seems to advise against upstream uncapping, but again I don't know what this is!!
Cheers
Jon
Crazy
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Re: Broadband problem?

The upstream uncapping just allows your upstream sync speed to be higher than the current 446. Unless you upload a lot of material frequently (large files - photos etc) you might not notice much difference. But as I said it can sometimes introduce some instability, so as things are a bit iffy at the moment I would leave it for the time being, rather than introduce another unknown variable.
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: Broadband problem?

Thanks for all the data Chris, that's quite helpful.
Jon, one thing to be wary of when doing testing and checks is that you don't "upset" the exchange DLM. Lots of disconnects within a very short time frame can cause DLM to cap speeds and raise Target Noise Margins with the consequential reduction in speed. As you can see from the Visual Radius log, there were a lot of disconnects while you were testing. My usual recommendation is to leave 10 minutes between each disconnect and connect and no more than 5 in an hour. That usually leaves a bit of a safety margin. So I wouldn't do any more testing or changing things today. As Chris said, the line has been looking fairly stable, but there's been an increase in the error rate recently as the mean time between errors has decreased.
I'll post back a bit more in a moment. When you have a moment, can you post the current ADSL stats, just to keep an eye on things.
oldbaldeagle
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Registered: ‎22-04-2014

Re: Broadband problem?

Hi
As requested stats from the router -
Line speed - Up 448, down 11137
Attenuation - Up 21.6, down 33.9
SN margin - Up 18.9, down 1.8
Cheers
Jon
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,102
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Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: Broadband problem?

I'd leave things alone now for a few days Jon and see how it goes. The stats are consistent with previously, so as long as nothing untoward happens things should be OK.
My suspicion is that your iffy underground cable (possibly a joint) may be playing up intermittently.
Are you still getting any clicking noises in your normal setup?
When doing swaps as you have done today, I've mentioned about the timing, but if you have a place in the D-Link router interface where you can disconnect the PPP Internet session, that's not the sync - you may see a Connect/Disconnect button, then the best way with these things is to click Disconnect first, wait a minute then power off. When you reconnect, power up wait for sync to establish and then click on the Connect.
If there's no such buttons in the interface, just pull the power plug first and wait a minute before disconnecting from the line.
The TG582n has that ability btw.
If things still look stable in a few days, you could try the 582n (using the procedure mentioned for Connecting etc) and post the stats from that. I could give you some more guidance later if you fancy giving that a go.
oldbaldeagle
Grafter
Posts: 61
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Registered: ‎22-04-2014

Re: Broadband problem?

Thanks for this.
I've done a quiet line test with everything in its normal position & the line is virtually silent with no clicking.  The stats from the router as identical to yesterday's so I'll just monitor it & see what happens.
When the service failed in March the BT engineers did not reject the idea that the fault could have been caused by Virgin Media's contractors digging up the pavement close to a cover marked GPO Telephones.  More recently Northern Gas Networks have been digging the length of the street, so there could be a connection. 
Thanks again for your help!
Jon  Smiley