Broadband Connection keeps dropping out

  oldbeefer2 10:38 17 Mar 07

My broadband connection (Safecomm router modem, BT line, Vispa ISP- up to 8mb for the last 3 months) drops out several times a day. It can usually be restored by switching the modem off and on again. Any ideas if this is modem, line, exchange or ISP please?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11:02 17 Mar 07

Right Click the modem in device manager check properties - power management - make sure that Allow the computer to switch off this device is unticked.

  oldbeefer2 12:18 17 Mar 07

Fruit bat - no modem in device manager that I can see. It's a modem/router connected by an ethernet cable and has its own power supply, so don't think it could be affected anyway?

  Dipso 15:35 17 Mar 07

You know what I'm going to ask for don't you ;) Can you get at your line stats. Does your DS SNR seem low...less than 6?

  oldbeefer2 15:48 17 Mar 07

Dipso - thanks. if my connection holds up long enough, I'll give it a go!

  oldbeefer2 16:07 17 Mar 07

Downstream Upstream
SNR Margin 4.4 27.0 dB
Line Attenuation 44.0 23.0 dB
Errored Seconds 3 0
Loss of Signal 1 1
Loss of Frame 0 0
CRC Errors 0 0
Data Rate 6400 448 kbps

Downstream SNR varied while I was watching from 4.4 to 7.5. I am 2 miles from the exchange, and have had a reliable connection for a while since I went onto 'up to 8mb'.

  Dipso 16:18 17 Mar 07

I am almost certain the problem is your noise margin as 4.4 is very low and some routers would struggle to maintain a connection at less than that.

I can't remember your set up but are you connecting through the master socket or an extension currently?

  oldbeefer2 16:22 17 Mar 07

Thanks Dipso, yes, I'm plugged into the test point on the main BT box, and use an ethernet cable from there to the PC. Looks like a word with BT on Monday may be called for!

  Dipso 16:36 17 Mar 07

I'm guessing you have a decent filter too. You could always try the Quiet Line Test, do a Google for it...if you can hear pops or crackles then it's likely to be noise on your voice line.

If that comes back clear, it could just be your router. My Netgear had a problem with the SNR fluctuating but fortunately it didn't lose the connection. I have since replaced it with a Speedtouch router and no longer see the fluctuations. The Speedtouch can be used along with a software tool to artifically increase your noise margin to try and overcome any disconnections due to a drop in SNR. I only paid about £20 for it and it was well worth the money.

Keep me psted how you get on.

  oldbeefer2 16:42 17 Mar 07

Thanks again, Dipso. Just tried the quiet check - could hear nothing. Connection has been fine for the last hour UNTIL,I tried to contact Sightspeed (which I use for video conferencing). Connection instantly dropped. Got it back after switching the router off/on. tried Sightspeed again - same result. Odd! Will try and scrounge a different router to try. Will let you know.

  oldbeefer2 10:23 18 Mar 07

Downstream SNR up to 14 this morning with a rock solid connection, so looks as though that may be the cause. Will keep an eye on it. Cause? Line (all underground from exchange to house)??

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