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Level 1: Cadet

HFC internet connection has started to dropout intermittently

This will probably turn into a call to Telstra support, but I would prefer the issue to be as diagnosed as possible before calling them.

 

My home NBN broadband connection is Hybrid Fibre Coax with Telstra as my ISP. The NBN cable modem is an Arris CM8200 and my router is a Linksys WRT32X running the only available Linksys firmware: 1.0.180404.58

 

Everything was working fine until about a week ago, when my internet connection started to frequently drop out intermittently. This happens maybe 3 times per hour and the dropouts last for maybe 3 minutes then service resumes as normal. I haven't made any significant hardware or software changes recently, so don't think I have caused the problem.

 

I don't (that I know of) have any unusual router config settings. The only slightly odd thing is that rather than use the Telstra DNS servers I have specified custom DNS servers in the router config; the primary DNS is with a transnational company with local DNS servers in Australia and the secondary DNS server is in a country on the other side of the world. I have used that configuration for ages and not had any problems prior to last week.

 

When the internet connection drops, the cable modem lights are all showing normal and the WRT32X is reporting no internet connection via it's dashboard page and the front panel internet connection light is orange. If I leave it a few minutes the internet connection reappears without me doing anything. Unfortunately the NBN cable modem is locked down so I can't get any diagnostic information from it.

 

I have looked at the WRT32X log, but am none the wiser (because I don't understand the logs). All I can say is there are no obviously flagged warning or error messages.

 

When I have checked the Telstra outages website (using my phone) while the internet connection is down, the Telstra site says there are no outages for my address. However, from past experience I don't think the outages page is particularly reliable for issues affecting a single house.

 

Bearing in mind that I don't know anything about networking: Because the cable modem lights are OK I am inclined to think the cable modem is not the cause. Because the router reports the error and seems to reconnect as soon as possible I am inclined to think the router is not the cause of the problem. That leaves Telstra or NBN – I guess it's possible that they have recently made a change that has caused the problem.

 

Does anyone have any clues as to what might be happening here and suggestions for diagnostic things I can do so I can point the Telstra support in the right direction?

 

Thanks

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Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: HFC internet connection has started to dropout intermittently

Really, it could be a fault anywhere in the system.

 

Most likely it is on the Telstra/NBN side as the lights on the NBN NTD don't change (although that in itself could be a fault - not indicating a fault).

 

Best thing to do is to send a message via the My Telstra app on your mobile (blue icon, bottom right of Get Help screen) and someone should respond in a few hours/couple of days.

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
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Level 1: Cadet

Re: HFC internet connection has started to dropout intermittently

Thanks @Jupiter . Given the vagueness of the symptoms that's most likely what I will do (punt it to Telstra). I will leave the issue open a bit longer on the off chance that somebody else recoginises it as a familiar problem.

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Level 20: Director
Level 20: Director

Re: HFC internet connection has started to dropout intermittently

Hi - rather mysterious that it should last three minutes and happen three times an hour - does this happen any time during the day or only when you are involved in a particular Gaming site associated with the Killer Engine? Next time when you have no Internet on the Linksys but all green LEDs on the Arris 8200B, disconnect the the Linksys WAN cable and connect the Ethernet cable to a PC and leave it one for at least an hour to observe if the same instability occurs. If you have Internet direct from PC, maybe there is nothing wrong with the NBN link. If no drop out occurs within the next hour, suggest open up a CMD screen and do 'ping' tests to your DNS Servers to see if any packet loss is occurring and also 'traceroute' commands to the same DNS servers to see if the path is not interrupted. 

 

Whilst your PC is connected to the Arris port , it has a public IP address so suggest to limit your connection activity to testing only.

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Level 1: Cadet

Re: HFC internet connection has started to dropout intermittently


@Mkrtich wrote:

... rather mysterious that it should last three minutes and happen three times an hour


@Mkrtichit's nowhere near as regular as that wording suggested. It hasn't happened at all in the last few hours since I posted about it. It has happened at any time of the day and has happened multiple times in the same hour. It happened four or five times in the couple of hours prior to posting - so I was particularly aggravated. The three minutes to reconnect figure is also approximate - it's long enough that I notice and get aggravated; it's not so long that I have time to go and make a cup of tea.

 


@Mkrtich wrote:

... - does this happen any time during the day or only when you are involved in a particular Gaming site associated with the Killer Engine?


I'm not using the Killer Engine at all. My use is mostly work-related, so it's web browsing, email, video conferences, and file syncing. I'm pretty confident there are times when the connection has dropped out and I haven't noticed because I've been doing local work.

 

When the connection drops out it affects all the devices on the LAN (wired and wireless), so the issue is no further into my LAN than the router.

 


@Mkrtich wrote:

... Next time when you have no Internet on the Linksys but all green LEDs on the Arris 8200B, disconnect the the Linksys WAN cable and connect the Ethernet cable to a PC and leave it one for at least an hour to observe if the same instability occurs.


Yeah - I'll give that a shot. The ethernet ports on my main PC are a pain to reach so I'll look at setting up a permanently-on PC near the cable modem. I'll also look at some sort of ping logging on the PCs so I can get a record of the times and durations of the dropouts.

 

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