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Connection Problems - Complete Novice!

matthedges
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 26-09-2007

Connection Problems - Complete Novice!

Hi all,
I am not the most knowledgable person on broadband so other than IP addresses and the basics of a speedtest I am a novice with all the lingo so please bear with me as this will take a while to explain.
Basically I got connected last wednesday having previously been with Sky Broadband - I changed to be able to get a fixed IP address as I need to access my work from home and my IT department have said that this is the only way they will allow me remote access.
Since being connected I have not been able to have a steady connection with the line dropping as frequently as every 5-10 minutes all day. 
Originally on SKY I had an extension cable running from my main phoneline socket to round behind my TV as I use my TV screen with my PC (Line was like this when I moved in) - I had a microfilter connected and then that connected to both my SKY plus box and the router (used a netgear router).
I used to have that router plugged in via ethernet cable and the service with SKY (although some initial problems) was fine, not great, but it worked anyway for me.
When I changed last week to PlusNet option 3 I used the exact same set up except with the new BT Voyager 2110 router I was supplied with and the new microfilters - whilst it connected and allowed me access to the internet the line continually dropped every so often and then reconnected (by itself).  I have started and continue to go down the fault checker route but I appear to be getting no further response having them carried out initial checks that showed no results.
I am getting speeds of just 450Kb/s on average for download and approx 340Kb/s for upload if this helps?
I have changed the set up today to having the router plugged in directly to the main phoneline socket and then connecting to it via a netgear wireless adapter on my computer instead of via the ethernet cable but this does not (as yet anyway) appear to have fixed the problem (at first it made the speed approx 310KB/s download until I used my old netgear microfilter and now it is back to approx 450KB/s)
Another main point to mention is that when I started with PlusNet and when it was working for the on off period it did, I WAS able to access (having changed my IP to fixed) my work computer via the remote desktop connection in XP.  Now however for the last few days both with the old linking up of the router and the new, I have been unable to connect remotely to my work!  Would this be something to do with my connection or perhaps another issue with my work that is not related?!  Basically it tells me that there was an error which was either most likely caused by remote connections not being enabled (I have not changed anything neither has work), the maximum number of connections was exceeded at the remote computer (whatever this means?) OR a network error occured whilst trying to connect (does this refer to my home PC, PlusNet connection, Work PC or my work allowing me access?)
Sorry to have such a longwinded list of problems but I simply don't understand what to do and no one seems to be in too much of a rush to help me understand or sort it all out and at the minute I am losing money the longer I can not be at home working!
Can anyone help me? PLEASE!
8 REPLIES
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Connection Problems - Complete Novice!

Does your router give any line statistics (loss, signal to noise ratio)? If so there will be a page in its web interface, which you normally reach by entering "192.168.0.1" in the address box in a web browser, but check with your router manual. let us know what the numbers are.
Is it just the remote connection to work that causes problems, or  is web surfing and email affected?
Can you try the connection with the router connected directly to the master socket? Unplug all phones, unscrew the bottom half of the main BT socket and plug the router in the socket behind. If this is OK then he problem is in your internal wring somewhere.
Also, assuming you are on an "up to 8Mb" service, it can take a couple of weeks for a new connection to stabilise. Rebooting your router at least once a day will help the process. 
ed
Grafter
Posts: 191
Registered: 15-08-2007

Re: Connection Problems - Complete Novice!

make sure every phone in the house has a filter infront of it. if your phone line is shared/duplexed with a neigbour it can also cause issues. BT had to put a new telegraph pole in the street to sort our issues out.
matthedges
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 26-09-2007

Re: Connection Problems - Complete Novice!

Thank you for your suggestions...
I have now resolved the problems of the line dropping which was as a result of the connection needing to be direct to my main phoneline socket and then to connect by wireless rather than by ethernet cable.  It didn't work originally but when I used the orginal microfilter sent to me by SKY (that i used to use with my netgear router) the connection worked fine for some reason)
Either way it appears to be up and running now anyway so thank you anyway for your helpful advice.
The only problem I still have is my speed is very slow....still only getting a download speed of approx 470KB/s and upload of approx 370Kb/s......is this normal for the beginning part of the service? Will it pick up in time? Do I have to opt in to the 'Up to 8mb connection' or will I be put at the highest possible speed automatically? 
Can anyone clarify this last thing for me?
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,369
Thanks: 692
Fixes: 51
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Connection Problems - Complete Novice!

I think your upstream throughput speed of 370kbps means you are on maxADSL (the "up to 8Mbps" service).  If you had a fixed rate service I think the upstream sync speed is 256kbps with throughput being less than that.
Since you had troubles with your connection it is likely that you've experienced very low sync rates which resulted in your IP profile being correspondingly low.  The way the rate-adaptive system works is that if you maintain a better sync speed for 3 days the system will increase your IP profile to match.  Restarting the router once per day can help the exchange equipment get this right.
However you would need to post your router stats (sync rates, noise margins and attenuations (downstream and upstream)) for us to give better advice.  This page explains how to get your router stats.
David
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Connection Problems - Complete Novice!

It's 288Kbps, but who am I to nitpick Smiley
Matt,
the advice you have been offered is sound.  Try running a BT Speedtest and see what results you get.  I'll also have a look at your account and see if I can see anything odd.
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Connection Problems - Complete Novice!

Matt,
If any of this confuses you then please shout up Smiley
You have a very low noise margin on what looks to mbe a very long line.  If you went back about 2-3 years ago, BT would have refused to have supplied you with a broadband connection.  So basically, there's a fair bit of noise on your line causing interference and making your connection drop.  I don't think that applying interleaving is going to make a massive difference but feel that asking BT to increase the target noise margin on your line will increase the stability a bit, but I have to enforce that you would be unlikely to get more than 500Kbps speeds.
If you would like me to go ahead with this *AFTER* you have ensured that you have changed your filters and ensured that you are connecting to your master socket via a filter.
matthedges
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 26-09-2007

Re: Connection Problems - Complete Novice!

Thanks for all the advice people.....
When I get a chance tomorrow I will paste the results of the BT speedtest as requested.
Jameseh - Thank you for your efforts to help also, if you feel that this is the way to help then that would be much appreciated.  I have already connected my router now to the main phoneline socket and although I am using my old microfilter provided by SKY i do have it connected up correctly to the socket.
Whilst it is dissapointing to think that I have opted for a 8MB connection only to be told AFTER I have started the service that I can only get 500KB/s, I can deal with that so long as the line stays as stable as possible and I am able to use my RDC to access work (which now seems to be up and running!).
All this confusion and technical stuff is frustrating me somewhat - so much so I have apparently managed to screw up my PC at home now too!! JOY - good job they gave me a laptop! (I turned PC off whilst it was loading up and now my IT guys say that it is giving the "blue screen of death" and no matter what they do they can't get it to start or even re-install windows!!)
Not a good week but thanks to you all thus far.
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Connection Problems - Complete Novice!

Hi Matt,
It's probably quite important for you to try using a different microfilter as these are the most likely part of your setup to fail.
Fingers crossed.  I know about bad weeks!