Jump to content


Yo! You're not logged in. Why am I seeing this ad?

Photo

Constant Internet Signal Loss


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
20 replies to this topic

#1 ScubaSteveAvery


  • the goats! think of the goats!


  • 7,166 posts

Posted 03 December 2012 - 09:46 PM

For the last 4 weeks my internet signal is dropping about once every 2-3 minutes. It lasts about 30 seconds or so, sometimes longer, but makes browsing really difficult with page timeouts and long loading times. I've changed routers, and modems, and have had 3 Comcast techs come out to replace splitters, tighten cables, and check speed. The last time somebody came out he said nothing was wrong and that it was a bandwidth problem in the area. I found that hard to believe since it was working great for months before crapping the bed a few weeks ago.

I have a motorola surfboard SB6120 modem, and an airport extreme base station as a router. I've tried the Comcast Arris modem, a Netgear router, and even had Apple replace the airport extreme, and still no dice. The modem connection looks good. Signal to noise is between 36 and 38 dB. Downstream power is between 0 and 1. And upstream is 51 dBmV, which is a tad high, but I wouldn't think enough to keep knocking me offline.

Anybody experience something similar? Any ideas on how to fix this problem would be much appreciated. Thanks!

#2 Orange Julia


  • kittens kitttens kittens kittens


  • 10,490 posts

Posted 03 December 2012 - 10:05 PM

Are you sure it isn't your network card?

#3 ScubaSteveAvery


  • the goats! think of the goats!


  • 7,166 posts

Posted 03 December 2012 - 10:18 PM

Yes. The problem is happening on multiple computers and devices. I've been poking around, and there seems to a firmware problem that Comcast pushed out to the Motorola modems (SB6120 and SB6121). But if that is the case, I'm surprised that nobody at Comcast has mentioned this. Furthermore, their own modem (Arris) had the same issue.

#4 Orange Julia


  • kittens kitttens kittens kittens


  • 10,490 posts

Posted 03 December 2012 - 10:26 PM

You should move, dump comcast and get Verizon FiOS

#5 redsahx

  • 1,407 posts

Posted 03 December 2012 - 11:03 PM

Had something very similar happen to me over a year ago. The internet kept dropping, then over the course of a month or two kept dropping out more frequently, until finally it culminated with internet going down completely and nothing I did (even resetting the wireless and cable modem) would bring it back up. However, in my case it turned out to be as simple as the cable modem crapping the bed. As soon as I replaced it I was back up and running with no problems.

If you've replaced the hardware, and have all the latest drivers and updates installed, then I'm stumped, but their technicians should have been able to figure it out. Are you getting an indication at the modem when the connection is lost?

#6 ScubaSteveAvery


  • the goats! think of the goats!


  • 7,166 posts

Posted 03 December 2012 - 11:57 PM

No indication that the connection has been lost. All the lights are blinking as usual. The router also shows no sign of being down either.

#7 Harry Hooper


  • SoSH Member


  • 15,101 posts

Posted 04 December 2012 - 01:33 AM

For the last 4 weeks my internet signal is dropping about once every 2-3 minutes. It lasts about 30 seconds or so, sometimes longer, but makes browsing really difficult with page timeouts and long loading times. I've changed routers, and modems, and have had 3 Comcast techs come out to replace splitters, tighten cables, and check speed. The last time somebody came out he said nothing was wrong and that it was a bandwidth problem in the area. I found that hard to believe since it was working great for months before crapping the bed a few weeks ago.


Maybe the tech was right. Did Hurricane Sandy or another storm blow through your area in the last month or two? Some redundancy in cable lines and equipment may have been lost, so a huge amount of traffic is going over reduced (but still functional) capacity.

#8 jkempa


  • SoSH Member


  • 5,049 posts

Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:25 AM

I had a similar problem recently. I changed the channel on my wireless router and it fixed the problem. Maybe give that a try? I live in an apartment building and from what I gather, there may be interference on the most commonly used channel, which I think is 6. I switched to 1 and things are much better.

#9 zenter


  • slumdog idol


  • 4,841 posts

Posted 04 December 2012 - 10:45 AM

You should move, dump comcast and get Verizon FiOS


This is obviously the simplest and cheapest solution.

#10 TheWinkleman

  • 38 posts

Posted 04 December 2012 - 03:43 PM

I'm a novice on the subject, but I did encounter a similar problem. The connection would drop frequently, sometimes remaining down for hours. It dropped more often at certain times and would be fairly stable at others. We replaced the modem and router. That didn't help. Techs visited at least a few times to no avail. Each one seemed to suspect a different problem and tried something different. The last tech, though, mentioned that there was a bandwidth problem in the neighborhood and noticed an upstream problem at our house. She called it something like bleed-through or bleed-back in the signal - I forget the terminology.

That tech thought a tv might be causing the issue, at least at our house, and disconnected tv cables from the splitter one by one until the signal improved. She found that only one tv was causing a problem, as the signal improved substantially and reached normal levels when it was disconnected. I was skeptical and I still don't quite understand the issue, but the signal loss problem disappeared immediately with that tv no longer hooked into the cable. We haven't had any problems since. That tv hadn't even been used for months either, yet just having a cable feed to it apparently interfered with the Internet service.

Edited by TheWinkleman, 04 December 2012 - 03:47 PM.


#11 Snodgrass'Muff


  • smarter as Lucen


  • 21,089 posts

Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:54 PM

If they're having an area problem or the pushed out bad firmware, they wouldn't necessarily contact their customers to inform them. Generally speaking, performance house to house will vary in a neighborhood. There are only so many techs on the road and if you call everyone to tell them "Hey, we fucked up and you might start experiencing some problems with your services. Sorry!" then people will start looking for problems, find them and demand someone come out and fix them. There wouldn't be enough techs to keep up with the call volume. And since some providers have strict regulations about upkeep on infrastructure so once a tech steps onto a property, certain things need to be done. It would be a logistical nightmare.

That said, if it's a firmware issue, you probably just have to wait for another update. if it's an area problem, they probably have a maintenance crew working it already and the issue will be resolved eventually. If several techs have come out already and they've cleaned up all the shitty wiring and splitters and you've replaced all the hardware there's not much else to be done on your property, unfortunately. 51 on the upstream is a touch high, but you are correct that it shouldn't be bumping you like that.

Give it a week or so. Sounds like something they are probably already trying to fix.

#12 crow216


  • SoSH Member


  • 6,065 posts

Posted 04 December 2012 - 10:02 PM

Funny solution I've found to this problem for other people is a bad anti-virus update. Do you happen to have McAfee installed?

Another solution is the power saving mode that some network cards can go into by accident. To remedy this - take the following steps

control panel > network connection > right click the connection > properties > configure > advanced > select the power management setting and uncheck default. Then move the slider all the way to highest performance. If it's already there, move it somewhere else. Save it and move it back.

#13 ScubaSteveAvery


  • the goats! think of the goats!


  • 7,166 posts

Posted 04 December 2012 - 11:32 PM

I'm a novice on the subject, but I did encounter a similar problem. The connection would drop frequently, sometimes remaining down for hours. It dropped more often at certain times and would be fairly stable at others. We replaced the modem and router. That didn't help. Techs visited at least a few times to no avail. Each one seemed to suspect a different problem and tried something different. The last tech, though, mentioned that there was a bandwidth problem in the neighborhood and noticed an upstream problem at our house. She called it something like bleed-through or bleed-back in the signal - I forget the terminology.

That tech thought a tv might be causing the issue, at least at our house, and disconnected tv cables from the splitter one by one until the signal improved. She found that only one tv was causing a problem, as the signal improved substantially and reached normal levels when it was disconnected. I was skeptical and I still don't quite understand the issue, but the signal loss problem disappeared immediately with that tv no longer hooked into the cable. We haven't had any problems since. That tv hadn't even been used for months either, yet just having a cable feed to it apparently interfered with the Internet service.


Interesting. I'll see if it improves, but if not I'll try disconnecting a TV to see if that drops the upstream.

If they're having an area problem or the pushed out bad firmware, they wouldn't necessarily contact their customers to inform them. Generally speaking, performance house to house will vary in a neighborhood. There are only so many techs on the road and if you call everyone to tell them "Hey, we fucked up and you might start experiencing some problems with your services. Sorry!" then people will start looking for problems, find them and demand someone come out and fix them. There wouldn't be enough techs to keep up with the call volume. And since some providers have strict regulations about upkeep on infrastructure so once a tech steps onto a property, certain things need to be done. It would be a logistical nightmare.

That said, if it's a firmware issue, you probably just have to wait for another update. if it's an area problem, they probably have a maintenance crew working it already and the issue will be resolved eventually. If several techs have come out already and they've cleaned up all the shitty wiring and splitters and you've replaced all the hardware there's not much else to be done on your property, unfortunately. 51 on the upstream is a touch high, but you are correct that it shouldn't be bumping you like that.

Give it a week or so. Sounds like something they are probably already trying to fix.


I figured this would be the solution. I'm going to try and get a maintenance crew to check the wiring to the box outside, to ensure there is no corrosion and to check for damage from Hurricane Sandy (like HH mentioned). I think it might be possible that that the series of bad storms we've had in the last 6 months messed up the wiring outside.

THanks for the responses!

#14 kneemoe

  • 1,920 posts

Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:14 AM

I had a similar problem recently. I changed the channel on my wireless router and it fixed the problem. Maybe give that a try? I live in an apartment building and from what I gather, there may be interference on the most commonly used channel, which I think is 6. I switched to 1 and things are much better.


This is a great suggestion - are all the PCs wireless? A crowded band could easily cause problems like this. The other thing I would try is pinging your cable modem's gateway, often the modem's page is located at 192.168.100.1 and should give you either the gateway info directly or at least a subnet mask and the public IP of the modem so you can figure it's gateway out from there.

#15 dirtynine

  • 3,142 posts

Posted 06 December 2012 - 04:42 PM

Just wanted to mention - I have Comcast, the exact some equipment (Arris router / AirPort Extreme base station), and have been experiencing the *exact* same trouble with dropping over the last 2 weeks or so. The connectivity is lost for about 45 seconds every three to four minutes. Streaming audio from Spotify or Pandora to the house used to be a joy, but now it's a nightmare of halting starts and stops. Browsing sucks. I checked the connections, all solid, and the setup hasn't changed in months. I did "upgrade" to the Arris modem a few months ago using the home install kit, but noticed no trouble at all until very recently. It's got nothing to do with the wifi, as machines never lose the network and internal networking tasks (like screen sharing / AirPlay) work just fine during the outages. I've done a hard reset on the modem and have them send a signal to it over the phone - nothing has really helped. I do notice that some days are better than others; today it's only dropped three or four times instead of dozens.

Anyway, a tech is coming tomorrow, and I'm fully prepared for it to be useless. I can't get Fios in my neighborhood as Verizon isn't interested in selling to city folk. Ecch.

#16 The Four Peters


  • can peacefully dougie off this mortal coil


  • 11,115 posts

Posted 15 December 2012 - 09:16 AM

Were you guys able to get resolution on this?

I'll also bump for an issue of my own that is related. I have high speed internet from XFINITY. Their competence aside, when I am hardwired to the modem I am getting 95 Mbps (no joke) but when I connect to wireless, I am getting 5 Mpbs download speed. It's a fairly new router (NetGear N600 WNDR3400) that should support speeds like this. At minimum, I know it can support up to 50 Mbps as I've seen that before on my wireless.

Any suggestions to speed it up? I've tried the turning off and on re-set, but I'm wondering if there's a deeper issue. Re-set to factory defaults? Changing channels? Installing a different firmware (I would need help doing this). I'm usually decent with technology and computers, but anything relating to networking sends me into the fetal position.

#17 Snodgrass'Muff


  • smarter as Lucen


  • 21,089 posts

Posted 15 December 2012 - 11:36 AM

The first thing that comes to mind and the first thing a cable tech will tell you if they come look at it is replace the router. Generally, if your speed is fine out of the modem but dies or slows down that much there's a problem with the router. Even new routers can go bad. Before you buy a new one, though, you can try replacing the Ethernet cord between the modem and the router, but if its the same one you went straight to the modem with it sounds like it's OK. You can also try plugging in a old router to see if speeds increase or borrow one from a friend, family member or neighbor to see if that works. And before buying a new one, you can call Comcast to make sure they aren't having problems with any specific types of routers that might be fixed through further firmware updates. It's not likely, but it's worth checking on before spending money.

It could be that the router is just bad, or maybe the Ethernet port on the router is faulty.

#18 czar


  • fanboy


  • 3,585 posts

Posted 15 December 2012 - 12:12 PM

A little late to the party (so hopefully the above problems have been solved), but I had similar problems with Comcast dropping my connection a few times per hour when I lived in Illinois a few years back. Used different routers and modems but the problem persisted.

Would have high upstream numbers, but each time the tech said "eh, they aren't too bad."

After replacing all the lines in my walls, the finally ended up tracing the problem to a line split about 0.25 mile away from my residence. Not sure why it was preferentially affecting me (or if other people didn't call about it), but the only way the problem was solved was persistant nagging on my end.

TFP: I tend to agree with SM that it's likely a small hardware issue, but an obvious question that needs to be asked is "what is the slowest device that is connected to your network." For example, connecting an old laptop at 802.11b historically had forced the router to operate on the lower bandwidth bands. This might have changed in the last few years (I've slowly lost my techie badge) but it should be question number 1 whenever suspects speed problems with a router.

#19 TheWinkleman

  • 38 posts

Posted 16 December 2012 - 08:08 PM

TFP: I tend to agree with SM that it's likely a small hardware issue, but an obvious question that needs to be asked is "what is the slowest device that is connected to your network." For example, connecting an old laptop at 802.11b historically had forced the router to operate on the lower bandwidth bands. This might have changed in the last few years (I've slowly lost my techie badge) but it should be question number 1 whenever suspects speed problems with a router.


That's a good point about how an old computer can slow down a wireless network depending on the router. By my understanding, wireless routers broadcast 2.4GHz and/or 5GHz bands. If a wireless router only has one radio and a computer that can't handle 5GHz connects to the network, then the router will drop the network down to 2.4GHz to accomodate that computer. Whereas a router with two radios broadcasts both bands, so an older computer won't interfere. TFP's router looks like a dual band one, so he should be fine there.

Edited by TheWinkleman, 16 December 2012 - 08:10 PM.


#20 ScubaSteveAvery


  • the goats! think of the goats!


  • 7,166 posts

Posted 16 December 2012 - 09:54 PM

The guy from Comcast came out yesterday and he looked at everything. One thing he noticed is that On-Demand interferes with the modem, and that getting kicked off could be a result of the two services fighting each other since they run on the same frequencies. I'm not so sure since we still have this problem when On-Demand is not active. He switched out a splitter and replaced a connection on the pole. We have less of an occurrence of the problem, but it still happens every now and then. At least for now its tolerable, but the problem isn't fixed.

#21 Snodgrass'Muff


  • smarter as Lucen


  • 21,089 posts

Posted 16 December 2012 - 10:46 PM

If On Demand is causing issues because it's carried on a similar frequency, they should be able to throw a pad on the back of the modem to filter out the troublesome frequency. Either that or they can put a trap right behind it which would remove any frequency not specifically needed by the modem. Of course, if Comcast is using the same frequency for On Demand and their internet service, you're kind of stuck and they'll have to fix it on their end.

I know when I was working as a contractor for Cox, they moved a few channels to avoid problems like this during my first couple of months, so channel 2 became channel 3. Hopefully it's something they can fix without you needing to make another call but if they come back out, ask them if they can filter out any frequencies that aren't needed by the modem to minimize interference.