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Steve Stombaugh (IND)
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Reged: 05/01/04
Posts: 1962
Loc: Indiana
DSL woes
      #140935 - 01/19/07 04:11 AM

My SBC DSL has been dropping out lately, maybe five or six times a day. It's usually only for fifteen seconds or so, but long enough to log me out of instant-messenger, and to log my wife off her remote-desktop connection.

Are there any records or logs to tell what's happening? My only though is that we've had nearly 4" of rain so far this month....wonder if there's noise somewhere on the line (voice sounds okay).


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Geoff Sjostrom - Chicago
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Reged: 04/29/04
Posts: 4312
DSL woes [Re: Steve Stombaugh (IND)]
      #140949 - 01/19/07 06:50 AM

I dunno what's causing this particular problem, but I think you've identified
the source of your nighttime noises.

When the lovely Caroline was having a similar problem, she complained to the
telephone company and they diagnosed noise on the line that she couldn't
hear. Fixed it, too, for free.

Geoff Sjostrom


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Robert Mann [HPN-NY]
AVSIG Member


Reged: 05/15/04
Posts: 11777
Loc: NY
Re: DSL woes [Re: Steve Stombaugh (IND)]
      #140953 - 01/19/07 07:38 AM

Steve,

Can't diagnose your particular problem, but when I had DSL (with Bellsouth), that same thing would happen to me. It would come and go, and I just lived with it. When I called Bellsouth and described the problem, they would always be SO surprised to hear it, ("We haven't heard anyone complain about these kind of problems."), and then ask me the usual questions about what site I'm trying to access, what OS I'm using, what processor do I have, what color is my computer, etc.

--------------------
Best,

Bob


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Joe Budge (W29)
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Reged: 04/30/04
Posts: 7423
Re: DSL woes [Re: Steve Stombaugh (IND)]
      #140959 - 01/19/07 08:05 AM

DSL connections can be quite noise-sensitive, and some DSL equipment handles it better than others. Had all manner of problems with the connection at our last house. It took about 10 months of repeated calls to the ISP to eventually get it diagnosed as a bad wire pair in the underground phone cable to the house. At the new house we had the opposite problem: one day DSL worked but voice didn't. Again the cure was to switch wire pairs.

At the new house we also had connection issues similar to yours: in bad weather we'd have dropouts that would last for hours. One day someone nearby took a lightning strike and the pulse blew out our DSL modem. We had to buy another one from the ISP - but we've not had any problems since.

When DSL starts acting funny you just never know. Call & complain. They might not find anything - but then if you keep calling and build up a record they may eventually get the idea there's a real problem.

Shrug. I'm not going back to dial-up, and I've seen what happens to cable when all the teenagers get home from school and bog it down. Supposedly FIOS is coming to our neighborhood this year - that might be interesting.

Regards,
Joe


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Robert Mann [HPN-NY]
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Reged: 05/15/04
Posts: 11777
Loc: NY
Re: DSL woes [Re: Joe Budge (W29)]
      #140964 - 01/19/07 08:41 AM

Joe,

<<Supposedly FIOS is coming to our neighborhood this year - that might be interesting.>>

I've had it here for nearly 6 months since moving to NY. FIOS is real good. I've witnessed real world downloads of 1MB per second. A LOT faster than DSL, and I haven't had any problems with drop outs, service interuptions, etc. And . . . it's costing me about 1/3 less than what I was paying Bellsouth for DSL.

--------------------
Best,

Bob


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Russell Holton
AVSIG Member


Reged: 07/07/05
Posts: 14136
Re: DSL woes [Re: Steve Stombaugh (IND)]
      #140968 - 01/19/07 09:02 AM

Well, you might want to go over the basics: Make sure that all other phone devices have DSL filters on them or at least are on the whole-house filter. Filter everything even if DSL doesn't bother it. You don't want to weaken the DSL signal.

Make sure the wire run to the DSL modem is in good shape. No staples puncturing the wire, no old wire, etc. If you're on wireless you might just try another unfiltered jack closer to the entry point.

After that, it's time to call and complain.


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Glenna Hall [KFHR]
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Reged: 05/17/04
Posts: 151
Loc: San Juan Island, WA
Re: DSL woes [Re: Russell Holton]
      #140984 - 01/19/07 11:24 AM

What's a whole-house filter?

--------------------
Glenna Hall


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Ed Williams [PHOG]
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Reged: 08/31/01
Posts: 2779
Loc: Maui
Re: DSL woes [Re: Glenna Hall [KFHR]]
      #140997 - 01/19/07 01:16 PM

DSL runs on a higher frequency band than the audio on your phone - totally inaudible - nevertheless the presence of all this high-frequency hash can easily screw up your phone/fax/modems etc. on the phone line.
The original implementation of DSL (which I have) splits the audio and DSL signals at the point of entry. The audio went to your POTs phones and they had to install new wires to your DSL terminal. Nowadays, to avoid this rewiring, they have you put filters (blocking the DSL) on all your POTs lines and only leave the DSL jack unfiltered. It apparently works - but expect you get a cleaner signal the old way.

I'm in the peculiar position that I've had DSL for about seven years, but if I tried to get it now I couldn't get it. I'm out at the limit of the workable distance from the exchange and nowadays they don't want to do the troubleshooting required to get it to work. So if I type in my address on the website it tells me DSL is not available... It won't let me try to upgrade to faster (and cheaper) service either. Sigh.


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Jim Brownfield [KFUL]
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Reged: 05/22/04
Posts: 1774
Loc: KFUL, Fullerton, CA
Re: DSL woes [Re: Steve Stombaugh (IND)]
      #141015 - 01/19/07 02:09 PM

Quote:

My SBC DSL has been dropping out lately, maybe five or six times a day. It's usually only for fifteen seconds or so, but long enough to log me out of instant-messenger, and to log my wife off her remote-desktop connection.

Are there any records or logs to tell what's happening? My only though is that we've had nearly 4" of rain so far this month....wonder if there's noise somewhere on the line (voice sounds okay).




Not that this will make any difference, but I have to turn my DSL modem OFF (and I usually leave it off for a minute or so) once every few months when I start getting disconnections. Something about it just gets whacked once in a while, and turning it off resets whatever causes the problem.


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Russell Holton
AVSIG Member


Reged: 07/07/05
Posts: 14136
Re: DSL woes [Re: Glenna Hall [KFHR]]
      #141039 - 01/19/07 05:25 PM

Quote:

What's a whole-house filter?




See Ed's post. I don't know how your house is wired. The idea is to carefully go over the home wiring and making sure all the devices are isolated (on the filtered side) so they won't degrade the DSL signal.

And checking that the wiring is in good shape. That includes unused jacks or any abandoned wiring runs that are still "live".


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Ralph Jones
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Reged: 08/31/01
Posts: 21214
Loc: 4CO2
Re: DSL woes [Re: Russell Holton]
      #141088 - 01/20/07 05:25 AM

Whew...I was afraid it was a typo <g>.

--------------------
Ralph Jones
LS-4a N49LS 6R


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Gary Rima - TKI
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Reged: 05/03/04
Posts: 1276
Loc: Plano, Texas
Re: DSL woes [Re: Joe Budge (W29)]
      #141092 - 01/20/07 05:51 AM

Quote:

I'm not going back to dial-up, and I've seen what happens to cable when all the teenagers get home from school and bog it down.



Common misconception, promoted HEAVILY by marketing messages from DSL companies. Its true that the "last link" isn't shared with DSL the way it is with cable, but that just moves the bottleneck (very slightly) further upstream to the particular CO servicing your area. At that point all the traffic from you and all those teenagers are also aggregated. Now it may be that in your particular neighborhood that there are more of the teens on cable than DSL for some reason, but its pretty well known by all the independent rating sites that DSL is not inherently less susceptible to bandwidth degradation than cable.

In my neighborhood (with LOTS of kids) maybe they're mostly on DSL instead for some reason, because I don't see any significant slowdown in late afternoon/evening on my cable connection - and I work from home, so I'd definitely notice an "after school" hit if there were one. Of course, my cable connection is nominally 8Mb (which I certainly can't get from DSL around here), so it could slow down a fair bit without being noticeable for most websites and internet activity.


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Kcid LlirreM
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Reged: 05/15/04
Posts: 4768
Loc: Chuckey, TN
Re: DSL woes [Re: Ed Williams [PHOG]]
      #141094 - 01/20/07 06:07 AM

yea but did you give them you exact position determined from your celestial fix on the deck?(G)

Dick


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Jerry Kurata [KLVK]
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Reged: 05/02/04
Posts: 6395
Loc: Northern California
Re: DSL woes [Re: Steve Stombaugh (IND)]
      #141101 - 01/20/07 08:17 AM

Shouldn't this be SBC problem? What do they have to say about it?

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Joe Budge (W29)
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Reged: 04/30/04
Posts: 7423
Re: DSL woes [Re: Gary Rima - TKI]
      #141199 - 01/21/07 03:36 AM

Gary,

I was using a Mom & Pop cable company, so their network design could easily have been "less than optimal" shall we say. Like yourself I work out of the house so I saw network performance at all hours. The slowdowns were clearly noticeable. In normal weather afternoons weren't too bad, probably because of sports. You'd see things start to slow down around 5pm. They'd stay slow all weekend. Worst was "snow days" when everyone was home from school, inside. Then the cable connection became comparable to dial-up. I don't know where the bottleneck was, but that system sure had one. Thanks for pointing out that not all cable systems are created equal.

Regards,
Joe


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Steve Stombaugh (IND)
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Reged: 05/01/04
Posts: 1962
Loc: Indiana
Re: DSL woes [Re: Jerry Kurata [KLVK]]
      #141243 - 01/21/07 10:41 AM

Quote:

Shouldn't this be SBC problem? What do they have to say about it?


Funny, it never really crossed my mind to call them. Guess I'm so jaded by poor customer service that I don't even try.

I'm moving the computer today, will have the router unlugged overnight, will see if that cures the problem. If not, I'll call.


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Russell Holton
AVSIG Member


Reged: 07/07/05
Posts: 14136
Re: DSL woes [Re: Gary Rima - TKI]
      #141255 - 01/21/07 11:19 AM

I've heard the same stories (slow downs) first person from those who have/had cable modems. I've never noticed it on my own DSL. I think the issue with cable may be the amount of resources the company is willing to dedicate to the service since it comes at the expense of other services. It's nothing that can't be overcome with good management, but I do think it takes more management to get consistent cable service then consistent DSL service.

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Jerry Kurata [KLVK]
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Reged: 05/02/04
Posts: 6395
Loc: Northern California
Re: DSL woes [Re: Steve Stombaugh (IND)]
      #141285 - 01/21/07 04:28 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Shouldn't this be SBC problem? What do they have to say about it?


Funny, it never really crossed my mind to call them. Guess I'm so jaded by poor customer service that I don't even try.





I have excellent service from SBC. We had static on the line and they determined that it was section of line that runs from the street to my house. They jack hammered my driveway and relayed the concrete better than it was. My cost was $0.

jerry

Edited by Jerry Kurata [KLVK] (01/21/07 04:31 PM)


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Jerry Kurata [KLVK]
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Reged: 05/02/04
Posts: 6395
Loc: Northern California
Re: DSL woes [Re: Gary Rima - TKI]
      #141289 - 01/21/07 04:33 PM

I agree. I love my cable modem. We have had them since the early 90s (Pleasanton was the 2nd or 3rd city to get them). We have consistant speeds of 6 mps or better and way over 99.9% uptime.

jerry


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Gary Rima - TKI
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Reged: 05/03/04
Posts: 1276
Loc: Plano, Texas
Re: DSL woes [Re: Russell Holton]
      #141332 - 01/22/07 06:07 AM

Quote:

I think the issue with cable may be the amount of resources the company is willing to dedicate to the service since it comes at the expense of other services. It's nothing that can't be overcome with good management, but I do think it takes more management to get consistent cable service then consistent DSL service.



First of all, just to be clear, I'm not arguing at all with the good experiences you and Joe Budge have had with your DSL. There are obviously good and bad experiences out there with both cable and DSL. But I don't think cable is inherently harder to manage than DSL service. Again, with DSL, the "aggregation point" is simply moved *very* slightly upstream - to the far end of the few thousand feet of copper wire connecting you to the CO. OTOH, that old twisted pair connecting you to the CO is much lower bandwidth *generally* than the neighborhood cable installation delivering tens or hundreds of video channels. The telcos have always focused heavily in their marketing on the fact that that twisted pair is dedicated to you, vs being shared with cable - which in reality doesn't mean anything at all, but sure manages to confuse a lot of consumers.

As for cable having to dedicate resources that would otherwise be available for other services - the internet data essentially occupies one "channel" on your cable infrastructure. All the normal cable channels and whatever signal they're delivering are unaffected. I put the "channel" in quotes, because without going off and looking it up, I'm not positive if the frequency "slice" being used for internet is the same width as a normal TV channel or if its a wider "slice." But once you've "sliced off" that frequency range, its essentially dedicated to the internet signal and doesn't affect the much broader range of signals delivered at different frequencies for all the TV signals on the cable.

*If* conditions are perfect, cable generally delivers higher *potential* speeds. At the moment, in Dallas, Time Warner Cable has internet packages up to 10Mb, while SBC/AT&T's best DSL speed availability is 6Mb. That generally mirrors the situation in most large metro areas. BUT, in any given instance, its certainly possible that a local DSL provider may provide better service than a local cable provider (or vice versa, of course.) And of course, no matter what your nominal speed, there are many other factors too - my current service is 8Mb, and I find there are VERY few websites that are capable of "feeding" me a full 8Mb of download speed.


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Robert Mann [HPN-NY]
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Re: DSL woes [Re: Gary Rima - TKI]
      #141334 - 01/22/07 06:30 AM

Gary,

Do you have that issue of aggregation/degradation with FIOS?

--------------------
Best,

Bob


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Gary Rima - TKI
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Loc: Plano, Texas
Re: DSL woes [Re: Robert Mann [HPN-NY]]
      #141341 - 01/22/07 07:08 AM

Quote:

Gary,

Do you have that issue of aggregation/degradation with FIOS?



Well, ultimately you have it with anything. But FIOS has one large advantage in its favor - the fiber infrastructure being laid for FIOS is all net-new infrastructure over the last year or two, and therefore is designed and engineered much better than most existing cable OR telco-copper infrastructure - and is also in a much better state of repair, obviously - which should translate to greater speeds AND greater reliability. Of course, fiber into your home is also DAMN fast. Now, will you see much of a difference on your 16Mb or higher FIOS connection than with a good cable connection like my 8Mb service here? Maybe, maybe not. With a new, fast computer, my 8Mb service basically results in websites "snapping" in within a fraction of a second when I click on a link (unless there are delays with the site itself - like Avsig often, unfortunately), so that there's already not a lot of room for improvement in that user experience. And when I download files, I'd say there's not 1 in 10 sites that can provide a feed that maxes out my 8Mb pipe here, so you wouldn't see a huge improvement there either. But "aggregation/degradation" issues can actually start within your own home, potentially. If you're doing multi-tasking web access things yourself, or more likely if you have multiple family members simultaneously surfing and downloading files, that's when you'll potentially start to see a big difference with FIOS. If, for example, you're downloading from a site that can feed you at 5Mb, and at the same time your wife and your son are doing the same thing, you still haven't maxed out your pipe with your own household "aggregation" where my service would be showing "aggregation" issues from within my own home with that example.

Now, having said all that - if FIOS is available in your area, and its reasonably price competitive, then its clearly the best choice in terms of both speed and reliability, I'd say.

Edited by Gary Rima - TKI (01/22/07 07:10 AM)


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Robert Mann [HPN-NY]
AVSIG Member


Reged: 05/15/04
Posts: 11777
Loc: NY
Re: DSL woes [Re: Gary Rima - TKI]
      #141345 - 01/22/07 07:25 AM

Gary,

Thanks for that explanation. I currently have FIOS. I was happy when I heard it was available in my area. You're right - it is DAMN fast. I've seen 1MB/sec downloads. I haven't compared it to Cable or DSL here, because FIOS is all I've been using since I moved here. But I had both cable and DSL in Florida, and the FIOS is A LOT faster. I haven't noticed the aggregation problem with FIOS either. We have a wireless network at home and sometimes there are two machines downloading at once, but still, not a noticeable problem. With cable and DSL, I noticed it constantly.

Best part: my current FIOS service is costing me about 1/3 less than what DSL was costing me in Florida. (But everyone knows how inexpensive everything is around NY)

--------------------
Best,

Bob


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Gary Rima - TKI
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Reged: 05/03/04
Posts: 1276
Loc: Plano, Texas
Re: DSL woes [Re: Robert Mann [HPN-NY]]
      #141349 - 01/22/07 07:42 AM

Quote:

You're right - it is DAMN fast. I've seen 1MB/sec downloads.



Yep, definitely fast - although what you just said kinda proves my point. 1MB (large B - bytes) is approximately 8Mb (small b - bits). On occasion, from a good site, I get 1MB/sec downloads on my cable line here. If the site can feed you fast enough, you should actually be able to see 2MB/sec or more on FIOS - there just aren't many sites out there (and/or paths from those sites to you) that can feed you that fast. 1MB/sec ain't bad though!

Or, looking at it another way - if you're in the middle of a 1MB/sec download, there's enough bandwidth left over with FIOS for a second computer to do a completely separate 1MB/sec download simultaneously - without getting into any degradation issues whatsoever.

Edited by Gary Rima - TKI (01/22/07 12:09 PM)


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Mase Taylor
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Reged: 04/29/04
Posts: 9446
Loc: SOCAL
Re: DSL woes [Re: Robert Mann [HPN-NY]]
      #141351 - 01/22/07 07:57 AM

Quote:

Thanks for that explanation. I currently have FIOS.




My son in Carrollton TX has FIOS and he loves it. Of course, in his internet business he does frequent uploads, and appreciates good upload speed more than most people.

--------------------
Fly The Airplane As Far Into The Crash As Possible. - Bob Hoover 1922-2016 R.I.P.


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