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Slower and Slower

megman
Newbie
Posts: 9
Registered: 10-06-2007

Slower and Slower

Is it me, or is the broadband system getting slower and more unreliable?
When I first changed 8mb broadband, my modem would connect at around 6.5 - 7.2mbps and my speed-tests came back around 3500kbps. I could achieve download speeds of 420kbps. After a few months the connection speed averaged 4.7mbps and the speed-tests about  2000kbps and more usual to be around 1500kbps. Average download speeds are around 230kbps. Same as I was getting on the 'old' 2mb service!
I also started having problems with 'dropping' the line. Usually meant I had to restart my  modem.
Up until last week, I was using a Binatone ADSL 500 USB modem. I thought that it might be the cause of my problems.
Now I have a BT Voyager 210 ADSL Router. It reports that its' speed is 7mbps yet my speed tests are getting slower!!
Today, one speed test came back at 225.4kbps!!!
I still have the problems of the line dropping, slow surfing and 404 error messages.
Any advice? Huh

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14 REPLIES
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,136
Thanks: 546
Fixes: 46
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Slower and Slower

The modem router uses the LAN values for RWIN and MTU whereas the USB modem uses dial-up settings (that might have been modified during installation of the USB drivers).  So different behaviour is not unexpected.
The RWIN/MTU settings might need changing.  Running the tweak tester at DSLreports and posting the results URL you'll be given back here would help the community provide further advice.  Persistence is sometimes needed to get on this site at busy times.
Please also post your router stats (sync speed, noise margin and attenuation, downstream and upstream).  Are you on LLU or BT IPstream?
Do the 404 messages just occur on a small number of websites (Microsoft, Ebay, …)?
Regards
David
David
megman
Newbie
Posts: 9
Registered: 10-06-2007

Re: Slower and Slower

Thanks for that David, the results are here:
http://www.dslreports.com/tweakr/block:36871a5?service=dsl&speed=2000&os=winXP&via=normal
I have implemented the recommendations and my last speed test come back as 3086kbps....... nearly twice as fast as before. So far, have not experienced any hang-up, slow webpages or 404 errors.
However, I was not able to enable 'pinging'. Can't find how to do it in my Security software. (Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security 2007)

DAVE
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,136
Thanks: 546
Fixes: 46
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Slower and Slower

That's good news.  It is your router that will respond to pinging, not your PC.  There will be a setting somewhere on the router to enable ICMP ping (or not to block it).  Not responding to pings makes your router invisible to speculative "anyone there?" searches, which can improve security, especially if you ever need to forward ports to enable your computer to act as a server.  I'd leave it with pings blocked.
The RWIN value you originally had (17520) is the Windows default which is great for those working on WANs with 2ms pings - i.e. almost none of us.  The DSLreports recommended maximum would probably have been higher if you'd put in a download speed of 8000, which is the advertised maximum for your line.  I use a value around 100,000 (the system rounds it to an even multiple of MSS (=MTU-40)).
You might have more speed to come with a little more tweaking.  I suggest doing another run on DSLreports with the new settings.  Please post the url with updated results here.  Also your router stats can provide helpful information.  If you are unsure how to get these this site will help.
Regards
David
David
megman
Newbie
Posts: 9
Registered: 10-06-2007

Re: Slower and Slower

Ran a retest and entered new values as recommended.
The results for the new settings are:-
http://www.dslreports.com/tweakr/block:430a226?service=dsl&speed=8000&os=winXP&via=normal
Speed test with new settings came back at 4915.2kbps - fastest its ever been - giving a download speed of 610kbps. More than I usually need.
As to the 'pings', I think I'll remain invisible for now.
A great site Shields Up! https://www.grc.com/x/ne.dll?bh0bkyd2 is great to check your computer's vulnerability to outside attack.
With my own security software I was still visible on some ports, but with [shadow=red,left]Plusnet's[/shadow] firewall in place as well, I am now in complete 'stealth' mode
One more question.....is it better to leave a router switched on?
Thanks for all your help
DAVE

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,136
Thanks: 546
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Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Slower and Slower

Hi Dave,
That's a big improvement, more than I thought you might see.  Increasing MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit) might give you a little more, but staying with the present settings for a while to verify your connection remains stable is suggested.
I'm sure others would find a visit to the ShieldsUp! website you mentioned helpful for checking the "stealthiness" of their system.
Whether routers should be left on is a matter for personal preference.  For convenience I leave mine on 24x7, but if you use your computer for a relatively small part of the day turning the router off saves a little electricity.  The thing *not* to do is turn the router off and back on repeatedly over a period of 30-60 minutes.  The monitors are likely to view this as an unstable line and increase noise margin (reduce sync speed) to try to stabilise it.
Hope this helps.
Regards
David
David
jazz
Grafter
Posts: 240
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Slower and Slower

I used to leave my router on 24/7.  However I found that my noise margin often fell during the night (usually around 4am to 5am - must be something in the area that switches on or something at that time).  The result was that, although I could synch at 4800kbps in a morning, my IP profile was being set at 3000kbps because of the low noise margins on some occasions.
Since I discovered this I have generally switched my router off when I've finished with the computer for the day - about 7-8pm in the  evening and switched it back on about 8am each day.  As a result my IP profile has gone up to 4000kbps.
Maybe the "noisy rush hour" is quite different on other folks' exchanges but this night time switch off works for me.
regards
Tony
megman
Newbie
Posts: 9
Registered: 10-06-2007

Re: Slower and Slower

Using DrTCP I could set the RWIN value but could not get it to change the MTU, it would not move from 1400.  Followed the instructions on the Windows Help & Support and alter the value. The system has been stable all day an I ran another speed check this evening. Here are the results.

My router seems to be stable at 7000kbps most of the time. Have taken to switching it off overnight and this has improved my sync speed. This has put my IP profile up to 6000kbps from my previous 4000kbps.
I have really noticed a lot of difference in quality and speed.
DAVE
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,656
Registered: 13-06-2007

Re: Slower and Slower

Most things I use have been really reliable all the time, you really notice things like rapidshare hit treacle during peaktimes though!
Walter
Grafter
Posts: 68
Thanks: 8
Registered: 28-06-2007

Re: Slower and Slower

Before Christmas last I was regularly receiving a line rate, from the router, of around 6000kb/s and the line was stable just below this figure. In january my line rate was reduced to around 3000-3800 and recent weeks sometimes less than 2000.  At the same time Noise margin has improved from 6 to around 18 dB and the current att'n is 50-60 dB.  Over the last two weeks I have been loosing the IP address although still sync'd to the line ok forcing me to reboot.
I have checked the adsl test :-http://www.dslreports.com/tweakr/block:2bd4f3e?service=dsl&speed=8000&os=winXP&via=pppoA
and since reduced the default 1500 MTU to the ping result recommendation of 1492.  My RWIN is set to 185816  as against a calculated figure 166000 for 8Meg service max.  ( perhaps a bit high?)
I believe the reduction in service is not due to any change of circumstances at my end, indeed I had made some improvements to get up to the 6000 kb/s margin.  What can Plus/BT do to improve my speed?  I would appreciate your assistance and explanation.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,136
Thanks: 546
Fixes: 46
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Slower and Slower

MTU=1492 seems an unusual number for a PPPoA connection; have you by any chance got PPPoE set up for your connection in error?  The default 1500 works fine for me.
Some of your settings are not ideal, Path MTU Discovery should be set to Yes and Time Stamping should be set to No.
The upload MTU of 576 needs to be the same as the download value; this might be fixed by turning on Path MTU Discovery.
The ball-park figures I have for 50-60db attenuation suggest a line capability of 4M; has attenuation increased since before Christmas when you mentioned getting 6M?  A noise margin of 18db suggests you should achieve a much higher sync on reboot, but the frequent loss of connection (I assume this is LCP down) suggests you are having bouts of noise.  Have you noticed noise margin reducing at these times?
Finally have you done tests with the modem plugged into the test connection behind the master socket to eliminate any effects from your internal wiring?  Also tried a different microfilter?  And a different router if possible?
David
David
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Slower and Slower

Quote from: Walter

and since reduced the default 1500 MTU to the ping result recommendation of 1492.  My RWIN is set to 185816  as against a calculated figure 166000 for 8Meg service max.  ( perhaps a bit high?)
I believe the reduction in service is not due to any change of circumstances at my end, indeed I had made some improvements to get up to the 6000 kb/s margin.  What can Plus/BT do to improve my speed?  I would appreciate your assistance and explanation.

With an attenuation of 50dB 6000kbps is a very good speed. I don't think it's going to get any better than that. That's above what I would expect for that line length.
The reason for the earlier drops in speed is likely signs of instability. At that speed the line is sync'ing as I say higher than I would expect so there's probably a bit of noise or something that causes it to decrease down to what would be a more usual speed for that length of line.
Probably not a lot that can be done other than checking all the wiring and filters.
The RWIN is probably a bit on the high speed. For a speed of 6Mbps and MTU of 1492 I'd recommend 87120.
[moderators note by Daniel (assos) fixed BBcode for you]
Walter
Grafter
Posts: 68
Thanks: 8
Registered: 28-06-2007

Re: Slower and Slower

Thanks spraxyt, sorry to be late with the reply I was hoping to receive email notification of posts, but got non.  I had no problem with default 1500 but I am trying to make improvements as suggested by dslreports.com and results from their trial & error tests.  Likewise that is my existing RWIN which I will try and find a way of reducing it.  (PPPoA set ok) I have seen no reference to setting 'Discovery ' or 'Time setting. As for Att'n all I can confirm is that my Sig/noise has improved from around 6 to 18dB and I was receiving around 6MH when it was the lower figure (but not 100% steady).  Since the post I got 4MH steady but the last few days it is back to 3.7MH.
Here are my present figures:-
Line Rate                   3744 Kbps 448 Kbps
Noise Margin         15.9 dB 19.0 dB
Line Attenuation 53.0 dB 29.0 dB
I have not found any difference when plugged into the mail socket which I have been for the last 6 Months but tonight I'm using the extension trying out Plusnet 'freeby'
Walter
Grafter
Posts: 68
Thanks: 8
Registered: 28-06-2007

Re: Slower and Slower

Yes, Dave I would not be disappointed at 6MH considering some improvements I made, but since my sig/noise has increased substantially yet 'they' set my speed much lower. i will research how to change RWIN.
Your help appreciated.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,136
Thanks: 546
Fixes: 46
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Slower and Slower

If you haven't been there already Kitz's website contains a wealth of information on ADSL, including RWIN and MTU and how to set them using DrTCP.
In connection with sync speeds, it's possible that the exchange monitoring equipment (DLM) has increased your target noise margin above the normal setting of 6db to try to stabilise and reduce transmission errors on your line.  The best way to check the target noise margin is to note the value shown by the router stats immediately after restarting the router.  That value should be close to the target noise margin.  Please let us know the value.
David
David