cycle router to regain broadband

  rickd 19:07 16 Nov 2011

I live some way from my exchange and so attenuation and noise aren’t good, but I still usually get a fairly solid 1meg service. However, a few weeks back it started playing up – sluggish IE, speeds dropping to just a few kbs etc., but still internet connected. Cycling the router (Zyxel 660) usually brought things back up, but only for a while (usually until the pc’s went into sleep). Got so bad I changed the router for a spare Netgear 834gt but this is doing a similar thing. Sometimes when I cycle the router it syncs straight away (i.e dsl light comes on) but it takes a while for my pc to connect to the internet like it’s got some issues setting up IP’s or something. However, once connected, ping and speedtests are fine, so I don’t think it’s a simple line problem. The Netgear stats show fluctuating (over a few hours) attenuations of between 15 and 63.5 (the max it can report) and typical noise margin of 5 to 8db (so not brill, but working), but after a while although the router still shows as connected, I can’t access any websites and the noise ratio has increased (i.e figure gone down) to say 3db (in one case minus .5). Power cycle and it’s immediately back up to 6db or lower noise and I’m getting a Meg speed. I tried a brand new router but can’t get that to even connect me to the internet, even though it syncs immediately, and I can see it from my browser – it’s not assigning an IP address by the looks of it. Gone back to the older router for now. Obviously contacting my ISP helpline isn’t a useful option at this stage as for once the advice to turn the router off and back on again will do the trick albeit temporarily! Using W7 and Orange and have no viruses, same problem whichever of my pc’s I connect to the router. Any ideas, other than power cycling the router every hour or so?

  john bunyan 19:14 16 Nov 2011

Have you asked BT to do a line test? They will do it while you wait. I had very variable speeds recently (Up to 8 Mbps contract) and speeds fell to about 0.6. The ISP were reluctant to admit it but it turned out to be to do with the LLU connection in the local exchange. Now getting 8 - 9 Mbps.Worth keeping a log of speeds to discuss with ISP.

  spuds 19:16 16 Nov 2011

Have you checked with your ISP to see what profile that they are supplying?.

  rickd 19:29 16 Nov 2011

I'm thinking because I get back to max speed (which is 1 meg for me) as soon as I cycle the router, it's not a straightforward line problem (maybe?). My profile must be high enough to get this max speed, and it doesn't seem to drop. I kind of think that if I cycled the router and then the speed was much lower than normal it could be one of these, but it doesn't - it comes back as if there was nothing wrong on the line.

  rickd 18:23 17 Nov 2011

Same thing this morning so I manually configured the new router (since the wizards didn't want to know) and have been running without fault all day, noise and attenuation are hugely better. So it looks like it was the old routers dying. Not really surprising since the Netgear was confined to the back of the cupboard 5 years ago for being on the blink, and the Zyxel that replaced it came secondhand off ebay for £5! Now have a new zyxel 661, which I hope will last another 5 years......

  john bunyan 18:34 17 Nov 2011

Thanks for feedback. I had a problem a while ago and replaced a Linksys with a Belkin Share 300, never did fully understand the cause!

  spuds 18:43 17 Nov 2011


Being on Orange perhaps doesn't effect you, but I was reading the other day an article about routers. The article was based on router test results from LLU exchanges, and it was surprising how some well known makes faired better than others on a LLU system. Seemed to be more to do with what chipset the router had fitted?.

  rickd 19:18 17 Nov 2011

spuds, Probably true, when I moved house we were right on the cusp - about 6 to 7 km from an exchange. Most routers I borrowed and tried just didn't want to know - least of all the netgear and Thompson things Orange insisted on sending us. That's how I ended up with the Zyxel, bought off ebay for £5 to try. Synched in secs and hardly ever looked back (until a few weeks ago). They seem to have the ability to lock onto even the crappiest of signals - that's why I've now splashed out on a new one!

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