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Add-on possibility

Ransomefan
Grafter
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎24-06-2011

Add-on possibility

As a relative newbie I have been reading many of the posts re unhappiness with download speeds.  Some of these problems seem to arise from the connections between the BT IP profile and the Plusnet profile.  I have read about the reasons for the Plusnet profile but wondered if would it be possible etc. etc to have an add-on (for a fee)  to eliminate the Plusnet profile.  Is there any support for such an add-on from Plusnet or other posters ?
11 REPLIES
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: ‎18-07-2007

Re: Add-on possibility

Hi Ransomefan,
I'm afraid that's very unlikely from our point of view, as the Plusnet profile is a major part of the traffic management system. If we don't impose a line profile on our side then we can't control which packets are dropped and which aren't, so we'd lose the priority of the time sensitive traffic (voip, email etc) over for example p2p.
The profile ensures that your traffic hits the exchange at your profile speed or lower, so there aren't any packets dropped at the exchange and we can ensure that the less important traffic is that which is dropped. If we let all the traffic through to the exchange, the kit there would drop whichever packets it needed to.
Hope that helps explain,
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,472
Thanks: 292
Fixes: 4
Registered: ‎11-08-2007

Re: Add-on possibility

In addition, if the exchange randomly drops TCP packets instead of the Plusnet traffic management system doing it, then your overall broadband traffic load may actually increase as your PC will be making more requests for resends of the missing higher priority packets, so your effective link speed may actually get slower as it would be working harder to retrieve all the required packets.
On balance letting the traffic management system make the decisions as to what it sent and what is dropped, should give the best overall performance to the end user - although a lot of people (who don't understand it) on this forum seem to think traffic shaping is a bad thing - but it is there to give the best throughput to the majority of customers (which it does very well), and anyone with a specific requirement for faster speeds on particular traffic class such as "p2p"  now has the option of going "Pro" and having that aspect of the restriction lifted.
But even with Pro added, the traffic management will still regulate the total traffic according to the line's IP profile, and again that should optimise the maximum that can be achieved within the limitations of each customers phone line characteristics.
Ransomefan
Grafter
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎24-06-2011

Re: Add-on possibility

Purleigh -Thanks for your comments I understand the situation better now.  My line tends to resync very roughly about once in a week, both up and down.  When it goes down usually for a short time my Plusnet profile goes down very soon after but then when it goes up I have waited for up to 7 or 8 days before the Plusnet profile responds and I wondered if I could bypass the system by a purchased- add on to avoid the long lag on resync which is my main gripe. Having followed some of the Plusnet responses on the BT 88.2% profile I cannot see that making much difference.  Given Matt's reply I guess the only way forward is to change ISP.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,472
Thanks: 292
Fixes: 4
Registered: ‎11-08-2007

Re: Add-on possibility

I'm not sure that changing ISP would necessarily help.
The problems you are describing are to do with the quality of your phone line connection to your local BT exchange and/or electrical interference within your property - and particularly with any phone extension wiring or noise though the mains getting into your router.  None of these things are directly a problem with Plusnet - unless they are your phone provider as well.
So changing to another ISP that uses the BT exchange equipment is very unlikely to make your problems go away.
It is theoretically possible that if you switched to an LLU ISP instead, then because of different electronics used in the exchange then you might getter a different result.
You seem to be focused on the Plusnet IP profile as being a problem, but the fact is that when your router negotiates the connection with the exchange, and when the exchange seeing errors on your line, it is the exchange which is calculating a profile and imposing that local profile on your phone line connection.  When that profile changes, due to improved or worsening conditions, then the change is reported back to Plusnet who in turn update the profile that you see on your account.  That Plusnet profile is then used to give you the best throughput (as described in my previous post) when both profiles are the same (via traffic management), and as I said the Plusnet profile is merely a copy of what the BT exchange thinks it should be.
Your best bet is to persist with exploring every method that you can to make the very best of your phone line, and try every available test to prove that you have a line fault so that BT fix it.
Ransomefan
Grafter
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎24-06-2011

Re: Add-on possibility

Thanks again for your response.  I had already installed a filtered faceplate, rewired the extension with shielded suitable cable and use a short high quality internet cable.  Done all the tests in the test socket. Use a UPS to the router.  Most of my resyncs occur between 1am and 5 am which I assume is probably BT at "work"  (I run RouterStats  and TBBQM).  I think that if BT can give me a profile (88.2% variety) that fits my noise level and margin, attenuation, error counts etc. then that is what I should get.  The fact that Plusnet choose, for reasons that were explained above, to put a profile that (apart from my training period) is always lower than BT's and often is significantly lower and also always takes a long time to recover is my concern.  I would expect that an ISP that allowed my connection to function at the rate and at the time BT provides should be a better bet.  I do however accept that you have more experience/knowledge than I have and if my logic is wrong do tell me.  I have not made any moves as yet.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,472
Thanks: 292
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Registered: ‎11-08-2007

Re: Add-on possibility

Sounds like you have done all the right things !  -  I did all those tricks a few years back and my sync went from a stable 5.5Mbps to 8128Kbps and stayed at that ever since !
I thought I was the only person (on this forum) to have a UPS to hold up their router - unfortunately yesterday we had three power cuts each lasting more than 45 minutes so my UPS ran down until it switched off.
I seem to remember that your router is a DG834Gv4 ?
Have you got the latest 5.01.16 firmware loaded into that ?
Have you tried setting different target SNR using the DMT tool - to see if you can find a value that keeps your line stable ?
If you can maintain a stable line, even if on a slightly lower sync speed, then that would be better than long periods of low speeds while waiting for the profile to recover.
Ransomefan
Grafter
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎24-06-2011

Re: Add-on possibility

You remembered correctly, I do use that router.  I was not on the latest firmware but I am now.  Updating the firmware resulted in a drop in sync to 3936 (from 4846). When I later checked my Plusnet profile it had already dropped to 3.0Mb.  I use the Telnet function from my router to set a target noise margin which I assume gets the same result as DMT.  If I use DMT will the setting survive a reboot? (on Telnet it says it will not survive a reboot)  This morning  I reset my target noise margin to 7dB (from 9) and resynced at 4672, but then I was unable to connect with any site (not sure why as my WAN uptime was advancing) so rebooted using the router and managed 4448 and connected to all usual sites.(noise margin 9.1)
However with a Plusnet profile of 3.0Mb I expect to wait for a week to get any increase in their profile.  If I was with an ISP that did not have an extra profile I would be expecting a down load speed of over 3.5Mbps instead of well under 3 this morning.  Any comments you care to make will be appreciated.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,744
Thanks: 954
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Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Add-on possibility

Quote from: purleigh
I thought I was the only person (on this forum) to have a UPS to hold up their router

[me=jelv]has his on a UPS[/me]
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
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Community Veteran
Posts: 5,472
Thanks: 292
Fixes: 4
Registered: ‎11-08-2007

Re: Add-on possibility

I doubt if DMT will survive a reboot, but as you are on a UPS you should NEVER need to do a reboot unless you have just done a firmware upgrade or the router has crashed.
If your connection can't re-establish itself after a drop, then double check that you have the relevant ADSL 'keep alive' settings enabled, and failing that you should ALWAYS use the ADSL [DISCONNECT] / [CONNECT] buttons to setup the connection - as that does NOT cause the exchange to see a line drop which will hurt your profile.
I found with Netgear routers, that after a firmware upgrade, the best thing to do was clear the non-volatile memory back to the default factory settings, and then set the thing up from scratch.
Back to setting a custom target SNR,  you could load the firmware for your router from DGTeam, as that does allow you to set your own Target SNR and that DOES survive a reboot.
The only slight problem with that plan though is I just checked which download you need, but the relevant page gave me an error message.  I know it was working a few weeks ago because I downloaded firmware for a DG834GT.
Hopefully you can find an alternative download source, or some kind forum reader might email a copy to you.
Another thought occurred to me last night,  it might be worth asking Jojo to post the graph of your disconnection log, as often a picture can tell a thousand words, and it might reveal a difference between what your router logs are saying and what is being seen at the Plusnet end, and that might just give a clue as to what is going on - just a thought !
Ransomefan
Grafter
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎24-06-2011

Re: Add-on possibility

Thanks for those suggestions.  Will have a look for the DG team site.  As I drove out this morning I passed my nearest BT cabinet and saw a lot of trenches, barriers and workmen round it .  I was unable to stop and concentrated on avoiding oncoming traffic so could not get any more information.  I have noted your comment re getting Jojo to post the graph of my disconnection log but will wait till the workmen have finished in case they are resposible for any disconnections.
My connection has been changing a lot of late.  The critical noise problem from a neighbours plasma TV suddenly vanished and he had not changed anything. My sync rate is also reaching new higher levels.
The point about using the adsl to disconnect/reconnect was news to me. Will go that route next time I have to try and re-establish my connections.  I shall not be at home for a week shortly so will wait and see when I get back ( I leave the router connected).  Will PM you if I make any progress. 
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,472
Thanks: 292
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Registered: ‎11-08-2007

Re: Add-on possibility

Another 'trick' that using the [DISCONNECT] / [CONNECT] buttons allows you to do is gateway hop - WITHOUT affecting your IP profile.
Occasionally you might find your internet connection seems slower than usual, although nothing else has changed (like IP profile), - particularly noticeable over busy weekends.
This appears to be gateway congestion, as jumping to another gateway can often get your speeds back.
So to do this trick, first visit the Plusnet Which Gateway checker, and note the result - which can take a few seconds to update.
Then in your router ADSL pages, hit the [DISCONNECT] button - and wait for the disconnect to complete.
Next hit the [CONNECT] button and wait for the link to establish.
Then use the Which Gateway checker again, and you should find that you are now connected through a different gateway, and your download speed now might have returned to near normal.
I generally find that one or two gateway hops is usually enough to recover a stale session back to a reasonable speed.

Final point, when you go away ALWAYS leave the router connected, as my experience is if the exchange doesn't' see the router for a period of time the IP profile drops form a steady 8128Kbps to almost nothing.  It is not supposed to do that, but I have tried the proper [DISCONNECT] first, then wait, then power down,  but on return from holiday the IP profile is useless and it takes a week or more to recover.  Now I always leave it on and connected.