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DSL Speed Problems---Network Problem

Posted on 2009-04-19
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Long story...a year plus! Slow DSL speeds, complained to ATT....year ago 3 techies here one day after another...got a little better. Last Aug. changed to top spped offered "Extreme 6.0" hoping I might finally get 1.5!!  Often speeds were less than 1...often like 300k! Finally tech out determined to get to bottom...he discovered miswiring in CO. Had it fixed (took 3 days lol). Finally getting speeds up to and over 6.0 (the guy also gave me a biz class modem/router. Now the problem...after being on a relatively short period of time my speeds drop dramatically....until I reboot and they go back up. I'm a computer guy, fix, sell parts, do builds, etc. Could eventually troubleshoot this out but would rather get some tips from those who know more than I about this end of stuff. On this machine I'm using an Asus P5K Wi-fi board..whch has never given me problems...and same situation with other machines in house. Would think it is a network problem.
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Question by:RobNC
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by:yegs2000
ID: 24182084
You said the speed is fine, then it gets slow and you have to "reboot" what are you referring to rebooting, the computers or the modem? If it's the modem, it's most likely a modem issue, or an issue with your ISP. Did they inspect the wiring in your house?

use the shortest possible phone cable you can from the wall jack to your DSL modem. Also try to use use the phone outlet closest to where the phone line comes into your house (although you probably heard all this already)
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by:RobNC
ID: 24182096
It is not a modem or wiring issue. Either instructions to the router...or most likely the network OR, my latest theory...forgive me...but I am still using AOL for a couple of things...had it for almost 20 years>just saying no to AOL may be the answer...but I know others using it without a problem...perhaps a setting...but I cant find it so far...
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by:yegs2000
ID: 24182132
so when you reboot your computer it works fine ?

Did you try not using AoL? Or try a different computer ?
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by:Kamran Arshad
ID: 24182137
Hi,

You can continuously monitor your connection. Also check the protocol errors if any using a protocol decoder like Wireshark. Also place your DSL Modem/Router in a place where the temperature is low.
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by:RobNC
ID: 24182181
Happens with all machines. Location of modem/router (an all-in-on version) is not an issue. AOL may be...working on that part..
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giltjr earned 1000 total points
ID: 24183702
Since you have multiple computers within your house I would suggest that you setup a ftp server on one of them.  Next time you are having a problem try and ftp a file to/from that computer from any other computer in your house.  If the transfers are fast, then the problem is not with anything of yours.

Now, also try and go to a couple of various speed test sites, I recommend www.speedtest.net as it has multiple test servers in various areas and you should select one near you.

What brand/model of ADSL modem do you have?  Does it have a test/stats page?

Are all of your computers wireless or do you have any directly wired?  If wireless which standard?  All expect 802.11N are half-duplex shared bandwidth.  So the more computers you have the less bandwidth each computer gets.  Also if you use encryption, which you should be, it slows down even more.  I have 802.11G and which is rated at 54 Mbps, however with half-duplex and encryption I get about 20-25 Mbps a best with just one computer connected.  When I get a second computer connected it drops to 15-20 Mbps even if the other computer is doing almost nothing.  I don't have a 3rd computer so I am not sure what it does after that.

If you are wireless and you are not encrypting traffic with WPA or WEP, then you will also what to check and see if somebody is pigging backing onto your WAP.  I have worked with people that complained about Internet speeds only to find that they had no security on the WAP and 3-5 of their neighbors where connected.  So if you do not have encryption on your WAP, I would suggest:

    1) Change the SSID from the default and do NOT broadcast it.
    2) Setup WPA-PSK.  If your WAP does not support WPA-PSK then you will have to go with WEP.
    3) If your WAP supports it also setup MAC filtering so that only your Wireless NIC's MAC addresses are allowed to connect.



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by:RobNC
ID: 24186979
Thanks for your long and thoughtful response.  

Let me tell you how this came about "this time around". I made a mistake! (actually, part of the mistake revealed what I never would have known). As mentioned. I do computer work, and have always had my modem and router "down here" in my large basement/office/laboratory/computer workshop. This enabled me to hard wire my "daily driver" as well as machines I was working on...and only the machines upstairs were wireless. THEN, my son came home from overseas (he's in the Israeli army). He wanted movies...I burned a number off my machine...and then realized with directv I had free "Movies on Demand" or ones for a small charge. However, this required my router to be with my TV equipment upstairs....so up went my modem and router. As a result of prior problems with DSL, techs had put a "whole house" filter on what I thought was my main line. However, somehow, they left out the one line I needed to use upstairs (this is a 60 year old house). Even with an individual filter I could not get the modem to work. So...not having time to mess with it myself (even though I had been a business "telephony tech" when I was in college). I called in tech to deal with it. They fixed the filter problem...and, now is the answer to your first question (the long way lol)... he had what seemed like a very strong signal coming into the house, but very weak DSL speed output on "my" side. So he replaced my modem+router with a "business class" modem/router which is a one piece box (I've installed several of these for clients). It is a "Netopia", I think it is made by (or for) 2wire. He still got a strong signal coming in (latency?) and weak coming out (all of my machines were offline at this point...he was using his own laptop, hardwired). He was totally baffled. After a long time consulting back and forth with the CO, supervisors, etc., it was determined my line was "miswired" in the central office, which apparently has nothing to do with the strength of the signal coming into my house, but everything to do with the output on "my side" of the modem. It took 72 hours to have it rewired correctly. Immediately afterward I got speeds several times faster than I had ever gotten before....but after benig online for a while (less than an hour) they would fall off....down in the 300-400k range!  So...I am convinced (but not certain...if there is one thing I have learned in this biz is "certainty" can sometimes be difficult to determine!)  it is either "on my side" or involves a setting in the router....further proof is before all of this lately..when my stuff was downstairs and hardwired, I was having similar (maybe not quite as bad) problems....usually I would "reset" my modem and router and the speed would return (but never to what I was paying for, which I now know was caused by the miswiring in the CO). Sometimes I had to reboot but usually just resetting the modem and router would do. Occassionally, if this did not work, I had to call the tech line and they would "reset" something in the CO and the speed would return.

As far as speed testing, I use Speedtest, Speakeasy, and 2wire. While they give me speeds and latency I find them of no other assistance (perhaps I'm missing something?)

Now....I have not yet been "inside" the new modem/router to look at anything. When the tech left..all was fine with it. (But now I will take a look)

Currently, none of my computers are "N"s (although I have some Trendnet equipment on the way which will upgrade the router to N and a wireless N adapter (just for my daily driver).

I will take a look at the security issue re the new router, I'm not sure what, if anything, the tech did in this area. That's a good suggesstion.

On a prior post I was questioning if AOL from Hell was involved in this....and I've now virtually eliminated that as a cause (although AOL is so danm "invasive" to the whole system, who can know for sure without totally uninstalling it (there's an idea!....funny, I wont allow a client to use AOL unless they insist!)

Let me try your suggestions and see where it puts us.

Thanks again....and sorry for being so "wordy" in my response.

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by:RobNC
ID: 31573455
As it turned out I had to completely reconfigure my router. Once that was done I had no problem getting my speed....but soon I developed a problem getting my machine to connect at all!!  This was aggravating, but not to hard to figure out (set the machine "in concern" with the router. Another interesting thing happened in the process which still has me baffled....during the whole process the new router/modem (Netopia) given to me by ATT seems to have died! I get a power light but then a bright red light saying no DSL...oh well, back to my old one. One other note....as this was all happening I noticed newegg was having a sale on a Trendnet "N" "router upgrader" and also a sale on the PCi adapter too. So I bought them...so, who cares if my mobo has built in Wi-fi? Perhaps a new "daily driver" is in my future....the mobo and CPU are sitting over there on the bench...hmmm.
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