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Troubleshooting ADSL Connections

DSL (ADSL and SDSL) has proven to be a very robust and reliable technology. However, although it is designed to be always-on, connections can drop for a variety of reasons and may not reconnect without intervention.

DSL connections can be established with a number of combinations of hardware devices:

  • Standalone DSL modem — if you have a single PC;

  • Standalone DSL modem and standalone router/hub — if you have many PCs and the DSL modem and hub are not the same device; and

  • Combination DSL modem/router — if you have many PCs and the DSL modem/router/hub are all in the same device.

In addition, you may have additional hubs/switches to provide more network connectivity. (At present, DSL modem/switch (hub)/firewall devices have a small number of LAN ports, typically four. If you have more than four devices on your network you will need a switch/hub to provide more LAN ports.)

If you find internet connectivity has dropped:

  1. If using wireless connections, is there a conflict with a cordless phone?

  2. Are you replacing an existing ADSL device? Let the line go idle for a while before attaching the new device.

  3. Turn off the standalone DSL modem or modem/router for 60 seconds.

  4. Turn it back on. Wait 60 seconds for modem or modem/router to initialise.

    If internet connectivity is restored, no further action is required. If connectivity is not restored, continue:

  5. Turn off the standalone DSL modem or modem/router for 15 minutes.

    Inactive DSL connections to the exchange time-out after about 15 minutes so if there is some sort of issue at the exchange this will give it time to drop the connection.

    Turn off any additional hubs and switches.

  6. Turn the modem or modem/router back on. Wait 60 seconds for modem or modem/router to initialise.

    Turn on any additional hubs and switches. Wait a further 60 seconds.

    If internet connectivity is restored, no further action is required. If connectivity is not restored, continue:

  7. Check if you have DSL line-sync. DSL modems or modem/routers typically have an LED on the front panel labelled DSL or WAN. Some Netgear devices have an LED which looks like an i with a swirl underneath. This indicates the device has established communication with the DSL signal on the phone line. If the LED is off, or blinking slowly (as opposed to flickering, which indicates activity), there is no DSL signal on the line. This might occur if:

    1. The phone service has been cancelled;

    2. The phone line is unplugged;

    3. There is a line filter on the phone cable leading into the DSL modem;

    4. Your DSL service has been cancelled; or

    5. There is an outage.

    Possible remedies:

    1. Check if the phone service is still operational. Typically DSL connections are carried over a business fax or home phone line. If you are still able to make calls or send/receive faxes then it is still operational. If you have a dedicated line for DSL try connecting a standalone phone handset to listen for a dial-tone;

    2. Check all cables thoroughly; trace each end to see where it goes;

    3. Check that line filters are only attached to non-DSL devices such as fax machines and phone handsets;

    4. Contact your ISP to check your account is still active;

    5. Contact your ISP to check for any outages. If there is a known outage, wait for the outage to end. Your DSL device may reconnect by itself, but if not, go back to step 1. above.

      If the ISP reports no outages, the problem may be unique to your location. The ISP should escalate the matter and examine the status of your service.

  8. If the DSL modem or modem/router indicates line-sync:

    1. The settings such as username and password configured in the DSL modem or modem/router may be wrong. Note that some ISP outages, power failures/problems may have caused the router to reset to its default settings, in which case it will need reconfiguring;

    2. Your DSL service has been cancelled; or

    3. There is an outage.

    Possible remedies:

    1. Check your settings in the modem's setup program. If you feel everything is correct, contact your ISP and double-check the settings.

      Many DSL devices will contain a status screen which indicates what problem is occurring. An “Auth Failure” or similar is an incorrect password. If you are sure it is correct, ask the ISP to reset it and type it in again.

    2. Contact your ISP to check your account is still active;

    3. Contact your ISP to check for any outages. If there is a known outage, wait for the outage to end. Your DSL device may reconnect by itself, but if not, go back to step 1. above.

      If the ISP reports no outages, the problem may be unique to your location. The ISP should escalate the matter and examine the status of your service.

    If you determine the DSL service is operational, there are no upstream outages, line-sync has been established, and the DSL device is configured correctly:

  9. Your DSL device may need a software upgrade. Check the vendor's website for the latest firmware and install it.

  10. The power may be bad. Attach the device to a different socket, use a Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) or remove any power boards or surge protectors.

  11. Your DSL device may be faulty. Check with your supplier.

  12. Your DSL device may not be compatible with your service. Check with your ISP. Some devices are designed to work only with certain ISPs. Not all devices support all services. For example, if you have chosen an Annex M ADSL2 service, your modem/router must support it. Conversely, if you have selected an Annex M profile within your device, you must have an Annex M service. Configure the device to use the most compatible type of service, eg. ADSL1 or Annex A ADSL2. Change your service profile from the ISP to use a more compatible service.

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