Who should help or take the blame?

  Diemmess 09:53 29 Feb 2008

Have had consistant connection speeds with Aol from way back in my first dial-up days.
Current service is 2MB about 1880Kb usually.

Last 3 days between say 16:00 and 21:00 the download speed has fallen sharply as low as 72kb and many pages simply do not display.

On line using IE7, things open and shut much faster, but I'm a total beginner using that route and why should I.

I live in the sticks with a tiny BT sub exchange not far away, but this problem is new even though I expect a small drop in in speed at peak times.

Any ideas about whose help to chase?

Aol have sunk to preaching from a limited catechism and dumping me after first suggestion.

BT which number? and won't they suggest becoming their subscriber first?

Me? MTU might be an OK word here but I need very simple directions, most of what I have read is Geek-speak to me

  crosstrainer 12:12 29 Feb 2008

MTU Setting: MTU (Maximum Transfer Unit) defines the largest data packet size you can transmit in one go across a network. The AOL network runs at an MTU of 1450. Many routers have inbuilt auto-configurations where the hardware identifies that the AOL traffic has an MTU of 1450 and dynamically adjusts. Alternatively you may have to manually change the MTU setting on the modem router.

If the router hardware does not have this facility, the MTU setting can manually be changed on the computer to 1450.

You can change the MTU setting on your computer by using DrTCP. This is a free software utility that is a shortcut to editing your registry. This is available at: click here.

MRU Setting: MRU (Maximum Routing Unit) is required by some modem routers and should be set to the same value as the MTU of 1450.

MSS Setting: MSS (Maximum Segment Size) is required by some modem routers and dynamically adjusts the packet size to fit the MTU. It should be set to 1410.

Got this off the AOL website...In order to check your settings you will need to access your router / modem's admin screen. Do you know how?

  Diemmess 12:21 29 Feb 2008

[Do you know how?] - No

You didn't find all that on Aol's website - did you?
I have searched in vain but would be glad of this sort of help.

  crosstrainer 12:29 29 Feb 2008

Yes, it's on the site. We now have the info, but am not sure this is going to help speed things up...If you live as you say in the sticks, it's unlikely that speed gain will be dramatic.


You need to access your router / modems config screen (this is a rough guide, and you may need to refer to the manual for specific things)

The address for you router / modem must be entered into the IE address bar (not the search box)

This will be along the lines of (they are all different, your manual should say exactly what this is)

Once in (again refer to the manual) You will need to find the page relating to MTY settings and change them, then save and re-boot (the router) is the normal way of doing this.

When you type the address in you will be asked for a username and password...(manual to check) but assuming you have not changed them they are usually:


  crosstrainer 12:30 29 Feb 2008

MTU settings not MTY (lousy typing)

  oresome 13:02 29 Feb 2008

Without going into technicalities, it's always worth ensuring the telephone is working correctly first!

If you've got a crackly line for instance, this will slow the connection speed as will a buzzing noise due to the line being unbalanced.

  Diemmess 13:40 29 Feb 2008

Thanks both of you.
For the moment I am using "Masterly inactivity" as my method, simply collecting info. and watching for what happens next.

As I said this speed crash has only happened in the last three days so I am waiting to see if it happens again today.

Before the problem I had a six week old laptop a 10 month old PC and had been using a router since buying the laptop and all was well.

I think it was a coincidence, that I have had a busy week rebuilding the PC after a format and 'simplification' of partitions on its HD.
Both computers behave similarly and the laptop says it has an excellent signal. Both run with XP Pro.

I think the BT line is OK but I will try their BB check this later today if the problem returns.

Either way it may be a day or two before I can tick this list, but when the problem is solved good or bad I will add the benediction to this thread

  961 16:36 29 Feb 2008

Have you tried connecting the computer to the BT master socket? If so does that make a difference?

With recent gales, is your BT line overhead cable, and is there any line damage? Are any neighbours similarly affected?

Is your router using a wireless connection. If so, have you tried direct connection via cable?

What does the speed tester say at, e.g. click here?

  Diemmess 17:07 29 Feb 2008

961 --- have tried your link and the miserable result is 117.07 and 96.40. Not quite the result I should have for a 2Mb connection!

Everyone ---
The speed dropped dramatically about 16:30, and I have tried various speed checks with IE and freshly installed Firefox. Both were close to 2Mbps

I have done a line test with BT and they say it is fine.

With a deep breath I will try my luck with these hard facts on Aol.

Don't expect to have a result today.

  crosstrainer 17:14 29 Feb 2008

Remember that all speeds are "up to" the amount you are paying for....Factors such as quality of line, distance from exchange etc. will be thrown at you when you cintact them. Since you are in a country location with old kit...You may be stuck with what you have.....Changing to cable migh be your only way to increase the speed of your connection (assuming it's available in your area)

  spuds 18:05 29 Feb 2008

If you have a very near neighbour who is using broadband from the same exchange, then if possible,see what they are obtaining speedwise.

I have recently been upgraded to 'upto' 8Mb from my long established 'upto' 2 Mb Tiscali service package. Keep getting constant disconnections ( and have done so, since the upgrade), and within the past half an hour, my speedchecks (using various available types, including the one in 961 link) have given me reading of between 1.15Mb-1.29Mb, yet my next door neighbour on same package and exchange is getting 4.8Mb.Previously I was always nearer the 2Mb mark on the 2Mb service.

Tiscali technical support have involved with the issues, yet so far, they haven't provided a solution. Apologies for perhaps hijacking the thread. But thought my problem might be similar!.

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