ADSL Modem Woes

I have now been back on ADSL for six months and it’s not been a smooth ride. I moved house in June and as a result my phone line was linked to a different cabinet, even though it was the same exchange. The exchange was upgraded for FTTC, but the cabinet I was connected to wasn’t part of the upgrade plan. As a result I was booted back down to an ADSL internet connection.

My connection is certainly better than the one I had just before I moved onto FTTC. What I have noticed is two things, firstly, the connection goes down a lot more than it ever did on FTTC. Now this could be the connection, but I am slightly suspicious that the fault lies with the Netgear ADSL Modem/Router I am using rather than an issue with the connection itself.

Netgear DGN1000 Wireless-N150 ADSL Modem Router

This is reinforced with the second thing I have noticed. When we’ve had a power cut (or as I did the other day turn off the power to do some electrical work) it seems to be really problematic to get the three Apple Airport base stations I have back up and running. After reconfiguring the base stations and failing, I did a software reboot of the Netgear Router through the admin screen (as opposed to turning the thing off and back on again) and this time the Airport wireless base stations did sort themselves out.

The main problem I was having with the Airport base stations was that they couldn’t get an IP address from the router through DHCP and when I gave them a static IP address, the DNS didn’t work as expected.

When I had FTTC, as it uses PPPoE I was able to use my Apple Airport base station as the main router for the home network. When I moved back to ADSL I needed to get a new ADSL Modem/Router that supported PPPoA. I did have one in the loft that I got out, but I think it was fried or just too old because I couldn’t get it to work or even configure it. So I went out and bought a Netgear ADSL Modem/Router from my local PCWorld. With hindsight this was probably a mistake!

After blaming ADSL for my lost connections I am now basically convinced that the fault is not with ADSL, but may well be with the Modem/Router. The issue with the DHCP is I think a separate but connected issue.

As a result I am thinking about getting a new ADSL Modem/Router, so do you have any suggestions?

Lost my fibre…

fiber optic light

Back in October 2010 I upgraded my broadband to FTTC and improved my internet speeds dramatically….

Finally had my broadband upgraded to FTTC and I am impressed. With 40Mb down and 10Mb up this is significantly faster than the 1.3 down and 0.6 up I had before.

It has already changed how I use the internet, whereas before I would probably not consider downloading a film from iTunes during the day, as it would soak up my bandwidth and would take hours to download; now it takes under five minutes to download! No problems with downloading large files and updates now.

This week I lost access to FTTC and dropped back down to those old slow ADSL speeds I thought I had left behind.

The reason was simple I moved house!

Though I only (really) moved down the road and even though I am still connected to the same enabled telephone exchange, it would appear that the cabinet I am connected to hasn’t been upgraded! So as a result no FTTC for me.

The first big issue was digging out an ADSL Modem to use, and alas the one I had, had probably been in the garage or a while, and didn’t work. You can’t use the modem that is provided with FTTC, hence the need for an ADSL Modem. Spent about an hour trying to work out why the old D-Link modem wasn’t working. Doing a hard reset didn’t work. So it was a quick trip to PC World to find a cheap ADSL Modem. In the end I got the Netgear N150 Wireless ADSL2+ Modem Router. I didn’t in fact need the wireless as I use Apple’s Airport Extreme for my wireless networking.

It was easy to configure via a web browser and it wasn’t long before I was connected and using the ADSL connection.

Back when I got fibre I wrote:

The other key advantage is streaming video, which was almost pointless before due to buffering, and like downloading, previous streaming would soak up my bandwidth, having 40Mb down means I can stream and do other stuff at the same time.

Now that I am back on ADSL (and slow ADSL at that) I am once again unable to stream video through my connection and do anything else. An experiment with BBC iPlayer resulted in a slow browsing experience and buffering video. Now that’s going to be annoying and frustrating. The first casualty looks like it will be my Netflix subscription… if I can’t stream video then what is the point? It will also become a hassle to download video files from iTunes too.

I also have concerns about webinars and Skype as I have a very poor upload speed.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love our new house, it’s great. I just hope that BT will get around to upgrading the cabinet soon so I can get FTTC. I also hope they can upgrade the cabinet…. would be doubly annoying if I could never get back on fibre.