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Why Is Our Internet Connection So Intermittent?


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#1
Phriend

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A few months back, our DSL connection became intermittent. Now it stays connected for eight minutes... then goes out for two... then connects for eight... then goes out for two. (It acts like this non-stop).

We had the AT&T dude come to our home, but he found nothing wrong. I then called AT&T and they once again could find nothing wrong. They recommended that we purchase a new modem and so we did.

Now we haven't installed the new modem yet, but does this sound like a typical modem failure to you? What else might be wrong?

(I am puzzled because the connected/unconnected pattern is so consistent).
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#2
Artellos

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Hello Phriend,

Do you have any firewall programs that might block or suspect certain activity and thus close down?
Did you replace the old modem with a new one yet?
If yes, does it still do this constant behaviour?

Regards,
Olrik
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#3
silverbeard

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Yes its possible that the modem is bad. DSL is a bit complicated to diagnose. The frequency that the signal is sent over the lines is affected by many factors. If they have come out and groomed the line (the industry term for cleaning up the copper) then the next step is the modem.

Most modems have a web interface that has a page that will allow you to look at the line stats. These can tell you if it's the line or the modem. To access the modem you need the default gateway (from command prompt type in "ipconfig"[no quotes]press enter) to type into the address bar of your browser. Once your in (you may need a password) there should be a button to click for connection details, status or something like that. What you want to know is
1. the rate (how fast you are connecting at)
2. the noise margins, AT&T will tell you 6db is good but the truth is you want 9db or higher.
3. the attenuation, this should be 60db or less

Downstream Rate: 320 kbps
Upstream Rate: 384 kbps
Channel: Interleaved
Current Noise Margin: 12.0 dB (Downstream), 13.0 db (Upstream)
Current Attenuation: 49.2 dB (Downstream), 31.5 db (Upstream)

These are from mine for a three meg connection. I'm having a bit of trouble with my phone at the moment so the rate is off but line stats for noise and attenuation are not bad. If the stats are out of the range discribed you should check the filters on the phone lines. Maybe if you remove all devices from the phone lines in the residense and see if the signal stablizes. Phones,sattelite dish (with phone connection) and alarm systems can all cause problems.

Troubleshooting DSL is what I do 40 hours a week.
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#4
Phriend

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Yes its possible that the modem is bad. DSL is a bit complicated to diagnose. The frequency that the signal is sent over the lines is affected by many factors. If they have come out and groomed the line (the industry term for cleaning up the copper) then the next step is the modem.

Most modems have a web interface that has a page that will allow you to look at the line stats. These can tell you if it's the line or the modem. To access the modem you need the default gateway (from command prompt type in "ipconfig"[no quotes]press enter) to type into the address bar of your browser. Once your in (you may need a password) there should be a button to click for connection details, status or something like that. What you want to know is
1. the rate (how fast you are connecting at)
2. the noise margins, AT&T will tell you 6db is good but the truth is you want 9db or higher.
3. the attenuation, this should be 60db or less

Downstream Rate: 320 kbps
Upstream Rate: 384 kbps
Channel: Interleaved
Current Noise Margin: 12.0 dB (Downstream), 13.0 db (Upstream)
Current Attenuation: 49.2 dB (Downstream), 31.5 db (Upstream)

These are from mine for a three meg connection. I'm having a bit of trouble with my phone at the moment so the rate is off but line stats for noise and attenuation are not bad. If the stats are out of the range discribed you should check the filters on the phone lines. Maybe if you remove all devices from the phone lines in the residense and see if the signal stablizes. Phones,sattelite dish (with phone connection) and alarm systems can all cause problems.

Troubleshooting DSL is what I do 40 hours a week.

Hmmm... well, the AT&T dude came to our home and said that our connection was "screaming fast". :)

I also called the company and they ran through some things with me... I would have assumed that they would have checked those things that you just mentioned to me. (Or at least I sure hope they did!) :)

The connection/disconnection pattern is quite consistent. Is that usually a sign of one problem or another?
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