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Occasional loss of access to all Plusnet servers by Plusnet connection

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martinu
Dabbler
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Occasional loss of access to all Plusnet servers by Plusnet connection

Has anyone else had the same problem with access to Plusnet servers (www.plus.net, portal.plus.net, mail.plus.net (POP), homepages.plus.net (FTP)) from a Plusnet connection? It always seems to begin at around 0400 and lasts until I reboot the router or manually disconnect and reconnect it from the WAN. Having rebooted, normal service is resumed for a few days.
Until I reboot, I can access other non-PN servers (WWW, POP) over the connection, and I can access the Plusnet servers from a different connection (eg mobile phone internet).
I've experienced it three or four times since mid December, most recently beginning at 0425 today 17 Jan. I have a package which uploads a bit of data by FTP to Plusnet webspace every 10 minutes, so its error log shows when the problem begins.
I've tried pinging PN servers by name and get an error message quoting IP which suggests that DNS is translating domain to IP. If I ping by IP, I get "no response".
My router is set to hand out DNS server addresses of its own IP and the IP of OpenDNS.com as insurance against failure of PN's DNS! The problem started long after I first started using OpenDNS as an alternative to the router's IP (and hence PN's DNS servers).
I've raised a ticket but I thought I'd also check whether anyone else had experienced the problem.
5 REPLIES
jorvikmik
Grafter
Posts: 153
Thanks: 3
Registered: ‎29-12-2007

Re: Occasional loss of access to all Plusnet servers by Plusnet connection

I get this problem occasionally, but fortunately only every few months though it may then last a few days. The last time Plusnet refreshed/reset my connection which had it back working in no time and it has been fine since. Its not an installation fault as I have tried three different routers and also it once intermittently affected another plusnet account we have.
martinu
Dabbler
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Occasional loss of access to all Plusnet servers by Plusnet connection

Plusnet support have asked for a tracert output - I presume for one of the Plusnet servers that I can't access. I'm waiting for them to clarify whether they need any command-line parameters to tracert. I've done a tracert for the case where everything works so I have a baselline to compare against when it next goes wrong - I'll send them both traces.
It's weird that the faul only affects Plusnet servers and no others that I can see, and that I can still access those Plusnet servers from another connection (my mobile phone's mobile broadband connection). And that it always begins around 6-7 AM. Unlike you, the problem always goes away as soon as I reboot my router.
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,102
Thanks: 443
Fixes: 21
Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: Occasional loss of access to all Plusnet servers by Plusnet connection

Hmm, interesting problem. This type of problem could occur if you have a loss of PPP session due to Network Maintenance or even an Outage (albeit possibly a temporary one).
When you say you can access other non-PN servers, are these ones that you've recently been to in the same browser session?
What type of connection are you on - 20CN/21CN/FTTC?
Do you know if upgrade work might be going on at your exchange - eg. for FTTC, or perhaps 20CN to 21CN? The timings and frequency of events tend to suggest the possibility of being related to network maintenance type activities but it's not common for his to happen at weekends. See the Service Status notices for example. It might be worth checking back over the Service Status for the dates you had such events to see if per chance your exchange was listed.
What modem/router are you using? Can you access any event logs to see whether there was a loss of PPP session when the problem happens? I doubt any such logs will have much historic information, but there's still the possibility that the information for the 17th Jan may be there still.
As far as tracert's are concerned, I don't see any command line parameters as being helpful. Apart from tracerts to the specific servers you can't access, I'd also include tracert ntp.plus.net  and some others to sites you can access.
martinu
Dabbler
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Occasional loss of access to all Plusnet servers by Plusnet connection

Anotherone:
The sites that I can access are ones that I visit frequently, but not necessarily in the same browser session. I've tried rebooting the PC and even flushing the DNS cache on the PC (ipconfig /flushdns) to see what effect it had (none!). After it had happened the first time and I discovered that rebooting the router would clear the fault, I decided to experiment when it next happened (hence the rebooting of PC and flushing DNS cache) to find out more specifically what cleared the fault, other than a rather brutal rebooting of the router.
The connection is normal ADSL. The exchange has (AFAIK) already been converted to FTTC, in that FTTC is available if I wanted it. It's Whitwell on the Hill (North Yorkshire). I have noticed that the router's upstream sync speed increased from around 450 to 900 kb/sec a few months ago, suggesting that some upgrade (eg 20CN to 21CN) may have happened then.
The router is a TPLINK W8970 which typically reports current rates of around 6500 (D) and 884 (U) with a noise margin of about 10 dB for both up and down. I can't find a menu within the router which gives the time that the WAN connection has been connected (ie to determine when it last had to reconnect) - there's only a system up time which I presume is when the router was last rebooted, even if WAN has disconnected/reconnected since then.
I'll check my router's event logs when I next have a problem. Currently its events only go back as far as 22 Jan. Its logging filters are set to Log type=All and Log level=Debug - hopefully this will list WAN reconnections if they occur.
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,102
Thanks: 443
Fixes: 21
Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: Occasional loss of access to all Plusnet servers by Plusnet connection

It does look like the exchange was upgraded and 21CN became available towards the end of September 2015. I've certainly known that on 20CN connections with quite a few modem/routers, a rather ungraceful loss of PPP session due to either maintenance or outage can result in these symptoms. I don't know of any reason why this should be different with 21CN and I've never discovered exactly why this type of behaviour occurs and as you say, the only solution is a reboot.
It's especially frustrating if this happens after dark (as most do) and you are on a longer ADSL connection (especially 20CN) with overhead lines and you are trying to use the connection, as the reboot will often result in a reduction in sync speed and hence profile. Whilst on 21CN a resync the following day can recover the speed and Profile immediately, on 20CN it can take several days for the profile to go back up Angry
It's the loss of PPP session in the logs you want to look out for to see if that was the onset of the issue. Obviously if you have loss of sync that will result in loss of PPP as well, but I don't recall any instances where loss of sync resulted in the same issue as the connection re-established satisfactorily.