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What is a dropped connection?

daibowls
Newbie
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎10-09-2007

What is a dropped connection?

Sorry for the apparently simplistic question. But I am having difficulty in following the discussions in the forum. I have Plusnet Broadband using the Binatone ADSL 500 USB modem. Typically about once a day I find that I can no longer get anything from the web, even though the sync light has remained on and the Binatone ADSL status page reports a continuous connection has been maintained. Thus it appears that something has remained connected, but it is just that I can't get any input of data through the "Connection".
When this happens, (usually when I am in a hurry to find something!!), I have to reboot the computer, and wait (impatiently!) for a new connection to be created.
I had assumed that when people talk of dropped lines they were losing sync with the exchange, and not just losing contact with Plusnet, while maintaining  the exchange connection.
Perhaps someone could explain - simply - for me. Thanks!
56 REPLIES
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: What is a dropped connection?

I wonder if this is software related rather than connection wise?
Could you possibly try uninstalling and reinstalling your Binatone software?  Does it only happen when your screen saver kicks in or something to that extent?
daibowls
Newbie
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎10-09-2007

Re: What is a dropped connection?

Quote from: James
  Does it only happen when your screen saver kicks in or something to that extent?

I don't use a screen saver or anything similar. I'm afraid I don't know WHEN exactly it happens - its just that once disconnected I have to reboot to get it back and that may be hours later before I notice it.
I will try the reinstalling the modem software. I also have a Speedtouch 330 modem I could try.
But I still don't know what a "Disconnection" means in the context of these discussions!
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: What is a dropped connection?

A disconnection can be on several levels:
1) You lose connection with the exchange - loss of sync
2) You lose connection with PlusNet - i.e. PPP connection - but remain in sync with the exchange
3) You lose connection between the PC and your ADSL equipment - i.e. the USB port resets or the USB driver fails / gets confused / gets disabled.
In your case it could be any of the three. Even though you say it is in sync with the exchange, it may have lost sync then gained sync but not fully established the connection afterwards.
When it happens again try just unplugging the modem's USB cable and reconnecting it. That should reset the hardware, reset the connection to your PC and reinitialise the drivers which may work.
USB modems do tend to have problems such as this due to their complex nature and having to use USB drivers. It is much better to use a router and Ethernet connection and I would suggest you look at changing your rather old modem to a router as they can be found for under £20 - linky.
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: ‎18-07-2007

Re: What is a dropped connection?

A disconnection is when the connection to the internet is dropped for some reason, either by deliberately terminating it (turning off the ADSL hardware or disabling the software connection) or by something, usually interference or noise on the line, causing the connection to be broken unintentionally.
In the context of these discussions it's usually the latter - in the same way that noises can disrupt a phone conversation, so the ADSL connection is broken by the noise and interference on the line becoming temporarily louder than the ADSL signals themselves. This is the usual cause of an intermittent broadband fault, though the cause of the noise can be many and varied (hence why it can take some time to resolve these issues).
Hope this helps,
VileReynard
All Star
Posts: 11,195
Thanks: 307
Fixes: 11
Registered: ‎01-09-2007

Re: What is a dropped connection?

Have you tried switching the USB modem off for a few seconds and then on again?
If you should have some money to spare, get a router - more stable + it can block a lot of traffic from the bad people out there! [They can't easily see you if you use NAT]

Luzern
All Star
Posts: 3,518
Thanks: 381
Fixes: 3
Registered: ‎31-07-2007

Re: What is a dropped connection?

Peter Vaughan hi! If I were the OP, I'd be scratcjing my head, what of the list in the link to chose. I hazard that like me, he may not be very up in such matters, so what should the probably one machine user choose? Smiley
No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.
daibowls
Newbie
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎10-09-2007

Re: What is a dropped connection?

Thanks for the contributions - I now understand that there are Sync disconnections and PPP disconnections - as well as any faults in my own computer system. At present I have 2 computers and a crossover cable between them.
If I get a router-modem (for example I am looking at Netgear DG 384), I would presumably replace the crossover with a straight through, and then plug both computers into the router? That would then presumably allow either computer to be on-line, with the other switched off? - instead of one being a slave to the other as at present. If so that would be an extra benefit, apart from the stability issue which people have mentioned
I have also noted in these forums that people with routers seem to have data about the times when disconnections occurred - which would obviously be helpful in looking for causes. Do routers have some sort of log file which one can check on? Can one also distinguish the sync faults from the PPP faults?
I should be grateful for any confirmation that I am on the right track, or any other comments.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: ‎08-06-2007

Re: What is a dropped connection?

Quote from: daibowls
If I get a router-modem (for example I am looking at Netgear DG 384), I would presumably replace the crossover with a straight through, and then plug both computers into the router?

Yup
Quote from: daibowls
That would then presumably allow either computer to be on-line, with the other switched off? - instead of one being a slave to the other as at present. If so that would be an extra benefit, apart from the stability issue which people have mentioned

Quite correct.  The added bonus is that routers are generally "better" at maintaning sync than USB modems are.
Quote from: daibowls
I have also noted in these forums that people with routers seem to have data about the times when disconnections occurred - which would obviously be helpful in looking for causes. Do routers have some sort of log file which one can check on? Can one also distinguish the sync faults from the PPP faults?

Netgear have a built in log, which records PPP disconnections, Sync disconnections and various other partially useful pieces of information.
In addition, the Netgear models are totally compatible with a program called RouterStats - this allows you to monitor, log and graph your Sync, Noise and Attenuation figures from the router.  These are the 'hard connection' statistics, and as such log the 'sync' status of your line, not the PPP status;.
B.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,926
Thanks: 1,265
Fixes: 71
Registered: ‎06-04-2007

Re: What is a dropped connection?

Quote from: daibowls
If I get a router-modem (for example I am looking at Netgear DG 384), I would … plug both computers into the router? That would then presumably allow either computer to be on-line, with the other switched off?…

My bold.
I'm not sure if I read more into the bold text than I should but … the modem router you mentioned has 4 Ethernet ports and any 4 devices, computers, game consoles, wireless access points, … can be plugged in and access the Internet *simultaneously* through the single connection, i.e. it's immaterial whether they are turned on or off.  Apologies if that point was implicit in your use of the question mark.
David
daibowls
Newbie
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎10-09-2007

Re: What is a dropped connection?

Yes praxyt that is what I meant too. My wording was ambiguous.
But thanks to everyone for your helpful replies.
paulby
Grafter
Posts: 1,619
Registered: ‎26-07-2007

Re: What is a dropped connection?

Quote from: spraxyt
the modem router you mentioned has 4 Ethernet ports and any 4 devices, computers, game consoles, wireless access points, … can be plugged in and access the Internet *simultaneously* through the single connection

...and should you need more than four items connected simultaneously you can add a switch to increase the number of ethernet ports.
stewarta13wsb
Grafter
Posts: 449
Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: What is a dropped connection?

Hm... can I step in here?
I had an old post lurking on here for a while  which was never resolved, about losing my connection when I had the 105 USB replacement (the free single socket router - 210?)
I'm now trying somebody else's BT 1800HG router and I still get the same.
It's only if I leave it switched on for a while but don't use the computer, and then can't connect to the internet at all. I've discovered the quickest way to get back on line though, is to right click on the 2 small tv screens on the task bar and select repair. It runs through a list of things and then I connect again no problem.
I've asked before but nobody could answer - I remember PlusNet saying they were going to 'switch off' idle connections after a certain period of time (I remember the complaints on the old forum!) but I don't know if they did, or if that's what's causing the problems?
Any thoughts?
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: What is a dropped connection?

Hi Stewart,
I've had a look at your account and there are no time outs associated with it.
stewarta13wsb
Grafter
Posts: 449
Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: What is a dropped connection?

So what else would cause the no connection (although all 3 green lights are on) but the right click repair would sort?