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Intermittent problems, much worse over last week

tichtich
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: 02-02-2009

Intermittent problems, much worse over last week

Hi. I've been having occasional intermittent problems with my broadband ever since I moved to this address two years ago. They were infrequent enough that I didn't bother investigating. But for the last week or so I've had problems nearly every day, and it's reached the point where action is needed.
That said, I see that the Service Status page seems to have been reporting some significant problems over the last week. Is this typical or has the last week been particularly bad? Is my service likely to return to normal if I just wait? Even if it is, perhaps it's worth checking whether anything can be done to reduce my general intermittent problems.
Symptoms. Problem periods may last for a few minutes or a few hours. During the problem periods my data rate is highly erratic. Occasionally Windows or my router will show me as disconnected altogether. But mostly I just have little or no data getting through. (Well, that's my non-technical way of describing it.) Web pages time out or show only partially. Sometimes I can still collect email, but sometimes that will time out too. Sometimes things will vary between bad and normal, over periods of a few minutes.
Other info. I'm in Eastbourne, East Sussex. I've got a Netgear DG834G router. Windows Vista PC and android smartphone (both are affected at the same time). Plusnet shows my "Current line speed" as 9.1 Mb. Actual web-based speed tests in the past have shown about 7-8 Mb.
Router stats are currently showing as follows:
ADSL Link Downstream Upstream
Connection Speed 10612 kbps 1127 kbps
Line Attenuation 37.0 db 17.1 db
Noise Margin 5.3 db 6.5 db
Connection seems good at present, but these stats seem similar to what I saw earlier in the day when I was having problems, so I'm guessing that these are long-term stats, or else not relevant to my problem.
I haven't tried phoning tech support, as I feel more comfortable with forum and/or email. Would phoning tech support be a good idea?
Any help appreciated.
EDIT. I just got 8.56 Mbps on a speed test. I should probably have mentioned that I'm using Wifi and haven't tried a wired connection. I'll try that next time I'm having problems.
3 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,100
Thanks: 437
Fixes: 21
Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: Intermittent problems, much worse over last week

Hello tichtcih.
Sorry to hear you've been having some problems.
First, there's two separate issues there in the Service Status this week. The most recent was a Major Network outage that occurred Saturday afternoon circa 1600. From your description of your problems this will not be the cause, although you might have noticed nothing more than a brief outage, hopefully.
The other issue has been/is weather related resulting from the severe weather. The two recent related Service Status message are here & here so if you live in any of those areas then you might have been affected by severe weather.
However, having said that, the ADSL stats that you've posted do not immediately suggest that you have any obvious issues with your line. They are the current stats and are very relevant.
Nevertheless it's still worth checking if you have any line problems.  Can you hear/have you heard any crackling or other noises on the line when using the phone? Have you had any problems with incoming or outgoing calls?
Have you rebooted the Netgear recently? Which version is it btw?
Can you run the BTw Performance test (ignore the red preamble except make sure no other programs are using the Internet) and at the end of the first run, click the Further Diagnostics button, enter just your Phone number and Run the Further Diagnostics Test. Do a Copy and Paste of the results and post here (no need to grab an image).
Check your Current Line speed again and see if it's changed and matches the current BT IP profile.
My suspicion is that the problem is with your wireless connection. You are suffering periodic bouts of interference, some of which is quite strong, probably a neighbouring router.
Try running InSSIDer downloaded from here and see if there are other networks giving you problems so you can pick another wireless channel. But also next time you have a problem make an ethernet connection and check things out that way.
Edit: correction to grammar
tichtich
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: 02-02-2009

Re: Intermittent problems, much worse over last week

Hi Anotherone. Thanks very much for your detailed reply. It's much appreciated. I'm thinking now that wifi interference is the most likely cause, so I'll investigate that first. I've installed inSSIDer. At the moment everything looks good (with a link score of 99-100), except that there's one guy on channel 10, who (from what I've just read) might be causing problems to us people on channel 11. I'll have another look next time I experience problems (probably this evening) and see whether changing to channel 1 or 6 helps. I'll also try a wired ethernet connection.
To answer one of your questions, my router is a Netgear DG834G v4. It seems to be 802.11g&b only, not n.
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,100
Thanks: 437
Fixes: 21
Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: Intermittent problems, much worse over last week

Still a well respected modem/router  Wink