[SOLVED] intermittent dsl connection loss - bad modem/lines?

Nov 19, 2019
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- Provide us with the make and model of your laptop (if applicable):
Acer Apsire TC-780 Signature Edition (desktop)

  • Provide us with the make and model of your router
  • Provide us with the make and model of your modem
Combined VDSL modem/router
Firmware Version:0.9.1 2.5 v0025.0 Build 150917 Rel.56865n_CA
Hardware Version:TD-W9970 v1 00000000

- Make and model of motherboard
Acer Apsire TC-780

- Make and model of power supply
??

- Make and model of USB or PCI Wifi adapter
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165

- Operating system and driver version
Windows 10, v1890.

- You will also need to post your ISP and connection type*.
eBox.ca; DSL
(Bell Canada owns/maintains the lines)

- You will also need to post the exact number of devices connected to your router (this includes tablets, smart phones, laptops, and desktop PCs) as some routers can only handle a specific number of devices at a time.
1 desktop + 1 phone = normal (one person works from home)
1 desktop + 2 phones + 1 laptop = maximum number of devices on evenings and weekends

- Post any and all error messages you are getting from your ISP or Windows itself
no errors from the ISP or Windows. Some log data attached (hopefully anonymized)
========

I have a TP Link W9970. The firmware is 0.9.1 2.5 v0025.0 Build 150917 Rel.56865n_CA. I do not use it in bridge mode. The unit is around 3 years & 3 months old.

Since around Christmas 2018, it has intermittently been dropping the connection. The computer always shows that it is still connected to the wifi network, so I don't think it's an issue with the wi-fi router function of the unit.

Early January 2019: eBox sent a Bell tech out. Lines tested as OK. Bell tech suggested I swap my phone cable (wall to modem/router) for one he gave me. Problem resolved until June 2019.

June 2019: Intermittent failures began. Failures were so bad the connection was basically useless (i.e., would 'crash' multiple times an hour and stay down for a while each time). Using the reboot function in the modem/router's dashboard seemed to be useful in stabilizing the connection. Called eBox after about a week of this. eBox boosted signal to my residence. Worked with only minimal issues until October 2019 (i.e., would drop the signal maybe once every 7-10 days and would come back fairly quickly).

October 2019: intermittent failures began again in earnest. Not as bad as June, but bad enough. eBox said to change the channel on my router from auto to 3 and gave me a list of channels less likely to experience signal interference. eBox indicated their system didn't indicate an issue with signal strength or lines into the residence. Failures mostly resolve (back to the 1x every 7-10days).

November 2019: intermittent failures begin again. As bad as in June.

I am at my wit's end and would appreciate any suggestions. I was previously on a cable connection with Start and had a similar problem. After extensive troubleshooting, something like 5 Rogers tech visits, and new modems, Start eventually suggested I switch to DSL.

The attached logs are par for the course when there's a failure. I am not a DSL expert, but my suspicion is that my modem can't keep a connection to the 'mothership.' Maybe time for a new modem? Or an issue with the lines?

Log images: View: https://imgur.com/a/CLlW3Uv
 
Last edited:

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
OK, we did get some useful info. The ping to 192.168.1.1 succeeded and the ping to 8.8.8.8 failed. The failure is after the router or internal to the router.
With the limitation of the apartment building wiring you really have limited options. A new modem and router (which I recommended above to improve your WIFI) is about your only option. Or you can keep hounding your ISP.

Since your ping 1o 192.168.1.1 succeeded, you could login to your router when the outage happens and see what the modem status says. That might give you more insight. The screen capture you posted earlier showed the PPPOE as disconnected. That would imply a problem on the wire between the modem and the ISP.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Unfortunately, many times the way to troubleshoot issues like this is to swap something out. For example, swapping a temporary wire from the router to the outside of the house for the DSL connection.

Your SNR, especially for downstream is marginal from what I read. BUT since you don't have error packets it seems to be working.
Your attenuation is also high. This is something that running a temporary cable to the outside of your house could help troubleshoot.

You also need to determine if the problem is local. A wired connection to the router will help debug that. Even with your wireless connection, you can start several ping windows. One to your router IP address. One to 8.8.8.8. Do they both drop? Can you do an nslookup.exe www.google.com when you are having issues?
You need to determine if it is a connectivity or a DNS problem.
 
Nov 19, 2019
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Unfortunately, many times the way to troubleshoot issues like this is to swap something out. For example, swapping a temporary wire from the router to the outside of the house for the DSL connection.

Your SNR, especially for downstream is marginal from what I read. BUT since you don't have error packets it seems to be working.
Your attenuation is also high. This is something that running a temporary cable to the outside of your house could help troubleshoot.

You also need to determine if the problem is local. A wired connection to the router will help debug that. Even with your wireless connection, you can start several ping windows. One to your router IP address. One to 8.8.8.8. Do they both drop? Can you do an nslookup.exe www.google.com when you are having issues?
You need to determine if it is a connectivity or a DNS problem.
I live in an apartment building, so I'm not sure how I'd run a temp cable outside the home (?)

I'll try the nslookup next time it goes down. This is what a cmd window gives me now, which seems like the right thing.

nslookup google.com
Server: google.com
Addresses: 2607:f8b0:4020:806::200e
172.217.13.174

*** google.com can't find nslookup: No response from server
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I live in an apartment building, so I'm not sure how I'd run a temp cable outside the home (?)

I'll try the nslookup next time it goes down. This is what a cmd window gives me now, which seems like the right thing.

nslookup google.com
Server: google.com
Addresses: 2607:f8b0:4020:806::200e
172.217.13.174

*** google.com can't find nslookup: No response from server
In a cmd window you need nslookup.exe Got to have the .exe
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I live in an apartment building, so I'm not sure how I'd run a temp cable outside the home (?)
Yeah, you are at the mercy of the building wiring. I didn't know you were in an apartment, so obviously that limits you. It ALSO helps identify your WIFI environment. WIFI in an apartment building is going to be bad on 2.4Ghz. With this additional knowledge, I believe you need a new router. That router is ONLY 2.4Ghz WIFI. I would recommend you get a standalone modem that is supported by your ISP, then get an ethernet router. The choices of combo devices are limited. A modem with separate router allows maximum flexibility.

You really need to determine if your problem happens to wired devices also.
 
Nov 19, 2019
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Yeah, you are at the mercy of the building wiring. I didn't know you were in an apartment, so obviously that limits you. It ALSO helps identify your WIFI environment. WIFI in an apartment building is going to be bad on 2.4Ghz. With this additional knowledge, I believe you need a new router. That router is ONLY 2.4Ghz WIFI. I would recommend you get a standalone modem that is supported by your ISP, then get an ethernet router. The choices of combo devices are limited. A modem with separate router allows maximum flexibility.

You really need to determine if your problem happens to wired devices also.
Thanks. I'll start by seeing if my ethernet cable will reach the (only) phone jack from the desktop. None of the other devices have ethernet ports. Presumably, if the issue is resolved, that would suggest the router was at fault.

I'll post here with updates.
 
Nov 19, 2019
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It just dropped again. I ran the nslookup.exe command. It said the DNS request timed out. I tried browsing to the router login page, and that timed out too. When the network came back, I could get into the router.
(I haven't fished out my ethernet cable yet)
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
It just dropped again. I ran the nslookup.exe command. It said the DNS request timed out. I tried browsing to the router login page, and that timed out too. When the network came back, I could get into the router.
(I haven't fished out my ethernet cable yet)
If nslookup timed out, but a ping to 8.8.8.8 AND a ping to your router IP works, then it is a DNS problem. You should try setting your DNS provider to the google DNS servers if you are using the ISP DNS. BUT, you need to see if the pings work when the nslookup fails.
 
Nov 19, 2019
13
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10
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If nslookup timed out, but a ping to 8.8.8.8 AND a ping to your router IP works, then it is a DNS problem. You should try setting your DNS provider to the google DNS servers if you are using the ISP DNS. BUT, you need to see if the pings work when the nslookup fails.
ok, it died again.

nslookup results:

nslookup.exe google.com
DNS request timed out.
timeout was 2 seconds.
DNS request timed out.
timeout was 2 seconds.
DNS request timed out.
timeout was 2 seconds.
DNS request timed out.
timeout was 2 seconds.
*** Can't find address for server google.com: Timed out
ping [my router's IP address]
Server: [my router's IP address]
Address: [my router's IP address]

DNS request timed out.
timeout was 2 seconds.
DNS request timed out.
timeout was 2 seconds.
*** Request to [my router's IP address] timed-out
ping 8.8.8.8.
DNS request timed out.
timeout was 2 seconds.
DNS request timed out.
timeout was 2 seconds.
*** Can't find address for server 8.8.8.8.: Timed out

A few reboots later and it's back up.

After it went down, I went into
Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Network and Sharing Center
and the router config (network>>LAN settings) and changed the DNS as you suggested.

Will advise if it goes down again with the new DNS settings.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
That is VERY odd. A ping to an IP address does not require a DNS lookup. I don't know how to interpret a DNS timeout on a ping to an IP address...

Have you ever had a VPN or other unusual network configuration installed on this host?
Have you done a malware scan?
 
Nov 19, 2019
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No VPNs (ever) on this setup, or anything else. It's as simple a config as you can get.

Adaware and the built-in Windows item have never picked up anything of interest. Maybe there's an alternative tool I should run a scan with?
 
Nov 19, 2019
13
0
10
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That is VERY odd. A ping to an IP address does not require a DNS lookup. I don't know how to interpret a DNS timeout on a ping to an IP address...

Have you ever had a VPN or other unusual network configuration installed on this host?
Have you done a malware scan?
ok, so after the DNS changes, my spouse reported that it went down 2x yesterday afternoon while I was out (they were hard-wired into the modem/router unit), both times for ~15min. They photographed the lights on the modem and everything was lit up normally.

(no VPNs etc; am using the built-in windows tool + adaware for antivirus and they've never returned anything unusual)
 
Nov 19, 2019
13
0
10
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That is VERY odd. A ping to an IP address does not require a DNS lookup. I don't know how to interpret a DNS timeout on a ping to an IP address...

Have you ever had a VPN or other unusual network configuration installed on this host?
Have you done a malware scan?
connection dropped again. The ping to the router was different (normal?) this time.

DNS request timed out.
timeout was 2 seconds.
Server: UnKnown
Address: 8.8.8.8

DNS request timed out.
timeout was 2 seconds.
DNS request timed out.
timeout was 2 seconds.
DNS request timed out.
timeout was 2 seconds.
DNS request timed out.
timeout was 2 seconds.
*** Request to UnKnown timed-out

ping [my router's IP address]

Pinging [my router's IP address] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from [my router's IP address]: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from [my router's IP address]: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from [my router's IP address]: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64
Reply from [my router's IP address]: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64

Ping statistics for [my router's IP address]:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 0ms, Maximum = 1ms, Average = 0ms

ping 8.8.8.8

Pinging 8.8.8.8 with 32 bytes of data:
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.

Ping statistics for 8.8.8.8:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 0, Lost = 4 (100% loss),
 
Last edited:

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
OK, we did get some useful info. The ping to 192.168.1.1 succeeded and the ping to 8.8.8.8 failed. The failure is after the router or internal to the router.
With the limitation of the apartment building wiring you really have limited options. A new modem and router (which I recommended above to improve your WIFI) is about your only option. Or you can keep hounding your ISP.

Since your ping 1o 192.168.1.1 succeeded, you could login to your router when the outage happens and see what the modem status says. That might give you more insight. The screen capture you posted earlier showed the PPPOE as disconnected. That would imply a problem on the wire between the modem and the ISP.
 
Nov 19, 2019
13
0
10
0
OK, we did get some useful info. The ping to 192.168.1.1 succeeded and the ping to 8.8.8.8 failed. The failure is after the router or internal to the router.
With the limitation of the apartment building wiring you really have limited options. A new modem and router (which I recommended above to improve your WIFI) is about your only option. Or you can keep hounding your ISP.

Since your ping 1o 192.168.1.1 succeeded, you could login to your router when the outage happens and see what the modem status says. That might give you more insight. The screen capture you posted earlier showed the PPPOE as disconnected. That would imply a problem on the wire between the modem and the ISP.
ok, thanks. This is really helpful.

The connection is MUCH more stable hard-wired than on wifi (like, dying 2-3x/day instead of 2-3x/hour), but the hard-wire isn't a permanent solution (the phone jack in my unit is literally as far away from my desktop as possible). So I'll start with a new router.

The logs have consistently showed the PPPOE disconnecting.

Is there anything in particular I should ask the ISP to be doing/checking when I call them, short of "replace all my lines"?
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
ok, thanks. This is really helpful.

The connection is MUCH more stable hard-wired than on wifi (like, dying 2-3x/day instead of 2-3x/hour), but the hard-wire isn't a permanent solution (the phone jack in my unit is literally as far away from my desktop as possible). So I'll start with a new router.

The logs have consistently showed the PPPOE disconnecting.

Is there anything in particular I should ask the ISP to be doing/checking when I call them, short of "replace all my lines"?
I have not ever had a DSL connection, so I don't have any good insights. Provide them with as many observables as possible. The PPPOE disconnected status, the SNR and attenuation when functioning, etc. It will probably take a couple levels of escalation to get to a person actually understands that data ...
 
Nov 19, 2019
13
0
10
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I have not ever had a DSL connection, so I don't have any good insights. Provide them with as many observables as possible. The PPPOE disconnected status, the SNR and attenuation when functioning, etc. It will probably take a couple levels of escalation to get to a person actually understands that data ...
Got it, thanks.
 
Nov 19, 2019
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And don't be shy about trying a different thread here or on the DSLReports board -- http://www.dslreports.com/ somebody with more DSL background might see something that I didn't.
I posted over there too and have been told ""DSL" is a very bad technologie {sic]... go with "cable" it's better for your health..."and "no one would have thoses kind of problems" if there was a solution.

The very definition of helpful... :LOL: :rolleyes:
 

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