DSL connectivity problems
Thread poster: Geoffrey Barrow
Geoffrey Barrow
Local time: 13:51
Norwegian to English
Sep 20, 2004

For weeks I have been experiencing problems with my DSL connection being broken without warning, sometimes several times a day. Both my ISP and my phone company appear to be all too keen to suggest this may be due to faults in my PC or to other telephony equipment I have connected to the same telephone line. However, I have taken all the necessary measures (filters, positioning of modem relative to other electronic equipment, surge protection) and done all the obvious tests, such as disconnecting all equipment and reconnecting one unit at a time. The overall conclusion is that the problem occurs irrespective of whether any other units are connected.

The problem appears to be getting worse, but the suppliers show absolutely no understanding, and I cannot get them to send a technician to do look at the actual physical connection between the telephone jack on my wall and the node. To me this would appear to be the obvious next step, but clearly they are reluctant to admit that there can be anything wrong here, as it would involve a lot expensive work - and just for the sake of a single subscriber!

I have two questions here:

1. Has anybody else living in Ontario experienced similar problems with Bell Sympatico/Bell Canada, and if so, have you found a solution?

2. Does anybody know of a usable (preferably free) program which will monitor DSL connection quality, producing a log to show times of disconnection, types of errors, etc? I have tried downloading a couple of free trial versions, but none of them appears to work.

I would be grateful for any advice, as I am just about to start climbing up the walls here!


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xxx00000000
English to French
+ ...
Peak time? Sep 21, 2004

I'm just coming out of a period of several weeks with my DSL connection being dropped all the time (NYC area).

The interruptions happened during the peak usage time (7-11 PM weekdays and irregular hours on the weekend).

I think they just upgraded their capacity for handling large traffic and that's why the problem ended. But they would not say anything like that. No no, the nice Indian service people (my ISP outsources) had me disconnect everything in the room even though I protested that everything had been fine up until 6:55 PM, with the light on and the phone connected to the line. They would keep me on the line long enough for my connection to return (which it would do by itself if left alone).

Before doing anything, try to find out if your ISP is going through some rapid-growth difficulties.

Best,
Esther

[Edited at 2004-09-21 05:46]


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:51
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Did you by chance visit eBay sites at that time? Sep 21, 2004

This very curious behaviour of eBay sites was watched recently in Germany.
When surfing on eBay sites the router connection was resetted due to a script error by eBay.
However, this problem seems to be solved in Germany, as we do not have this connection breaks anymore (but I changed the router in the meantime too, so possibly this is the reason).

Just an idea.

Regards
Jerzy


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Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:51
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
Can you tell us more? Sep 21, 2004

This is very interesting. You mean that any website could run a script on my PC changing/blanking the settings of my DSL connection? Even with Firewalls and all AV protections on?

May-be you can post some referenference to more documentation on this out there on the web?

Luca

Jerzy Czopik wrote:

This very curious behaviour of eBay sites was watched recently in Germany.
When surfing on eBay sites the router connection was resetted due to a script error by eBay.
However, this problem seems to be solved in Germany, as we do not have this connection breaks anymore (but I changed the router in the meantime too, so possibly this is the reason).

Just an idea.

Regards
Jerzy


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:51
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
This seems not to be that dangerous Sep 21, 2004

But you better read for yourself: http://www.tecchannel.de/internet/1467/index.html

As far I understood them, this is because the instructions are to long for the usual router and cannot be resolved, what causes them to restart.

This was only an idea of a possibility, why DSL connection could make problems - we have had such problems as described in that article, than I changed the router and the problems do not occur anymore (since then I had them only once again).

Regards
Jerzy


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 20:51
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Upgrading rooter firmware Sep 21, 2004

I had like problems with my Linksys rooter. I even changed it by warranty, but problems persisted. Then I upgraded rooter firmware from Lynksys site and problems went away.
You must bear in mind, though, that when you start to mess with firmware, you do it at your own risk- warranty becomes void.
The second thing is that firmware upgrade cannot be interrupted- that may permanently damage the rooter. Therefore update is not to be done online, but to be downloaded and installed either from HDD, CD, whatever. And uninterrupted power supply UPS is highly recommended


Uldis


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Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:51
German to English
+ ...
dslreports.com: monitor + forum Sep 21, 2004

You might want to take a look at the website http://www.dslreports.com Interestingly, they have a review of Bell Simpatico in Canada:
http://www.dslreports.com/comment/412/44465
which seems to indicate outstanding connectivity but bad customer service. There also seems to be a forum dedicated to Simpatico:
http://www.dslreports.com/forum/sympat

My hunch is you're going to get a *much* better response posting your questions there than at proz.com.

The same website offers some interesting ping/tweak tests you could run. Apparently they also offer 24/7 monitoring, the first week of which is free. See here:
http://www.dslreports.com/tools
If I have understood correctly, it costs about $1 per week thereafter. But I assume one week ought to suffice for your purposes. Did you happen to already try this service?

Hope that helps! We've had problems with construction work and Deutsche Telekom, so I know how frustrating it can be.


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Geoffrey Barrow
Local time: 13:51
Norwegian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Don't think it's a question of traffic density Sep 21, 2004

Esther Pfeffer wrote:

Before doing anything, try to find out if your ISP is going through some rapid-growth difficulties.

[Edited at 2004-09-21 05:46]


Well, as far as I am aware, Bell Sympatico are not expanding noticeably. If that were the case, I would imagine they would use that as an excuse and promise me that this is only a temporary problem and that I can look forward to better service, but they never mention it.

Also, as far as times are concerned, I am unable to detect any sort of pattern. It can happen at any time. In fact, I may get a whole day of uninterrupted connection, and the next day the connection drops out every half hour or so....


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Geoffrey Barrow
Local time: 13:51
Norwegian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Not eBay Sep 21, 2004

Jerzy Czopik wrote:

This very curious behaviour of eBay sites was watched recently in Germany.
When surfing on eBay sites the router connection was resetted due to a script error by eBay.
However, this problem seems to be solved in Germany, as we do not have this connection breaks anymore (but I changed the router in the meantime too, so possibly this is the reason).



No, I never use eBay, so it can't be anything to do with that. Sounds pretty scary, though.


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Geoffrey Barrow
Local time: 13:51
Norwegian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Not caused by router Sep 21, 2004

Uldis Liepkalns wrote:

I had like problems with my Linksys rooter. I even changed it by warranty, but problems persisted. Then I upgraded rooter firmware from Lynksys site and problems went away.


Well, I do use a router, and needless to say, Sympatico try to blame that. In fact if I mention to their help desk that I use a router, they more or less wash their hands of the whole problem, claiming that they "don't support routers". However, I have also tried dispensing with the router and connecting directly to the DSL modem. The problem of frequent disconnects persists, so I'm pretty sure that this is nothing to do with my router.


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Geoffrey Barrow
Local time: 13:51
Norwegian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the interesting links Sep 21, 2004

Thank you for the info - very interesting, and I will certainly follow up the forum idea, when I get a moment. Needless to say, I'm working on a rush job right now, with a deadline Wednesday evening, so it's particularly frustrating to have to struggle with ignorant technical reps. I can certainly confirm that the quality of Sympatico's technical help desk staff leaves a great deal to be desired. Bearing in mind that it is obvious that these people are not meant to have any technical background, but that they are simply meant to refer to a list of standard questions/problems, and then read out the standard answers/solutions, there is, when you think about it, only one qualification they need for the job, which is that they can speak English. Unfortunately, in my experience, most of them do not even meet that qualification!

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