I live with my inlaws most of the time now, after years of trouble-free service at my mums house with Freeola (Entanet), it's taking some getting used to the ISP they have here, AOL/TalkTalk.
I guess in some ways we shouldn't complain as their package is meant to have a 3GB cap and AOL seem to be oblivious to any over-use so we try to avoid speaking to their techs in case anything is noticed about our heavy usage (generally 50-75gig per month).
The main problem is we seem to get through an awful lot of routers, I'm an IT consultant by trade so I know a thing or two about troubleshooting and setting things up. We started out with the AOL-provided Speedtouch v585 (I think?) This router lasted about 2 months after I moved in (they had had it for at least a year prior to this), it would reboot itself or drop all wifi connections multiple times per day to a point where it was unusable. I'm not a great fan of these routers so it was swiftly headed to the tip and was replaced with a Netgear DG834G, one of AOL's supported models at the time, and a model I'm familiar with and never had any problems with them at other peoples houses. This seemed to die a similar death with wireless issues, all wifi clients would be regularly disconnected, then the ADSL connection started to drop often so then we replaced it with a D-Link router, I cannot remember the model from memory, but again, wifi started playing up, although it didn't kick off all the clients like previous routers, the signal just dropped to a very low level where only clients within about 10 feet of it could connect at all. All these routers lasted no more than 18 months in total.
By this point, I was getting very suspicious about the situation, 3 brands of routers, all failing with similar issues. Apart from these issues, speed had not been a problem at this point, we would get between 6-7meg at almost all times which I would consider acceptable.
After the faulty D-Link, I thought I'd give it a go with a BT HomeHub2 which a colleague of mine swears by and has used for several of his friends in the past. So I grabbed a Type A homehub and unlocked it as per instructions at www.psidoc.com and all was well again. Until now. We often found that after downloading torrents, the internet would become incredibly slow to the point where it was unusable even for browsing, this was to be expected and we wouldn't be surprised if we were being throttled, although a simple reboot of the router would bring it back up to speed every time, so we could live with it and it wasn't a major inconvenience. However I recently downloaded a 20gig torrent which finished surprisingly fast, within about 18 hours, and ever since then it has been dreadful. Like normal, we rebooted the router, it was fast for a few minutes, and slowed to a crawl again. This kept happening, and has been the case for around 3 weeks now so I would imagine any throttling by AOL would have been removed long ago. And then the wifi issues start happening with the HomeHub, no dropped connections but incredibly slow transfer speeds between wifi-connected machines (Wireless N), particularly noticeable between my Macbook Pro and Time Capsule which would take 4 or 5 hours to copy 300mb of data.
After these issues, I've been having a play about with the phone wiring in the house and looking at router stats. After removing the bell wire from our master socket (very old, pre-NTE5 so no test socket available), we gained around 1.5meg on the sync speed of the router, but there was no noticeable speed increase with general internet use. I have also unwired an unused extension socket from the master socket and replaced all microfilters (for phone, router and 2 sky boxes).
Here come the line stats, I've had a good read online on many different websites but it seems that line noise, attenuation and similar stats vary greatly among different ISPs, countries and distance from the exchange and I can't seem to find a definitive answer on weather mine are good or bad. I am on the Cranleigh exchange, about 1 mile from the exchange and we have a 'green box' at the end of our road that has recently been upgraded for Infinity (which we can't upgrade to for a while).
Line state Connected
Connection time 0 days, 1:27:04
Downstream 6,411 Kbps
Upstream 669 Kbps
Modulation ITU-T G.992.5
Latency type Interleaved
Noise margin (Down/Up) 6.0 dB / 8.0 dB
Line attenuation (Down/Up) 45.5 dB / 23.7 dB
Output power (Down/Up) -25.6 dBm / 10.4 dBm
Loss of Framing (Local) 0
Loss of Signal (Local) 0
Loss of Power (Local) 0
FEC Errors (Down/Up) 2819 / 1
CRC Errors (Down/Up) 19 / 2147480000
HEC Errors (Down/Up) nil / 0
Error Seconds (Local) 7
What particularly concerns me is the FEC errors (which are normal I'm told), and the huge number of CRC upstream errors, can anyone shed any light on weather these stats indicate any problems? And if so, what the likely cause could be? Also, any reason why we are getting through so many routers.
Replacement routers are not a problem, I work closely with an IT disposal company and get an endless supply of various makes/models for free. If you could recommend a make/model that's likely to be less problematic I'm all ears.
I'd love to change providers quite honestly but the inlaws aren't so keen on the idea and would prefer not to....