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I'm trying to work out why I have such an unreliable internet connection. The modem and all the cables have been replaced and it happens regardless of platform (ie, same problem on an iMac connected by ethernet, Windows laptop on wifi, Android smartphone, iPad, etc). I've had the ISP check the connection from their end and they tell me that they can see no problem with the phone line.

It tends to be more of a problem in the middle of the day and the afternoon, which might be high traffic times, and it also seems to be worse on hot days, although it happens in off peak times and in cool weather as well. Also, the connection to the modem-router doesn't seem to be a problem, just the connection from the modem to the internet.

This has been a problem for years, but has gotten worse with the new modem. It's driving me utterly bonkers, and I can't seem to get a straight answer from anywhere. I'm no tech-wiz, but I'm reasonably competent with computers and can follow instructions. Help!

Details: ADSL2+ connection through TPG Australia.

Modem: Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 VDSL/ADSL Modem Router, 802.11ac Dual Band Gigabit.

Previous modem: Netgear N300 Wifi Modem Router, 802.11n.

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    When I had this problem it was external signal noise causing the firmware to continually reboot the device. It was solved once the ISP updated the firmware – Ramhound Jan 22 '18 at 1:25
  • does your modem/router/Wi-Fi have a log section? the ISP will usually try to blame your inside wiring. take a cat-3 jumper cable to the demarcation point (the box that your isp incoming wiring splices to your inside wiring) it will have a customer test port, plug that directly into the ADSL2+ modem. now test the connection, if it works you have some wiring issues in the building, if it doesn't call your ISP they are responsible to have service at this point. – Tim_Stewart Jan 22 '18 at 2:06
  • Is your DSL line only used for data or is it for voice too? Are any other devices connected to it? Alarm system? TiVo? Anything like that? – David Schwartz Jan 22 '18 at 3:43
  • See my comments for superuser.com/questions/1253210/… – sawdust Jan 22 '18 at 6:22
  • Check if your neighbours have similar problems. This can also be caused by flaky hardware at your telephone exchange. ISPs are often unwilling to admit fault with their expensive hardware and will do almost everything to shift the blame back to the end user and their wiring or hardware. – Mokubai Jan 22 '18 at 7:10
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Usually it's because the telephone wiring hasn't been previously maintained by Telstra because they knew they could sell it to the NBN, and NBN now not caring about phone line maintenance because they're still in network rollout phase.

The line is probably jointed all over the place and 50 year old copper, meaning that temperature and moisture changes through the day will cause drop outs. TPG don't have a good reputation for following through tech problems, but if you keep hassling them they may be able to run line stability tests to prove there's an issue. At that point, they can ask NBN to send out a tech.

The tech will usually fiddle with the wires until it seems kinda ok to him, then leave. After getting him back out 3+ times (and having your neighbors report connection problems also) you may be able to get your line labelled as 'in need of rehabilitation'. If you achieve this, then you will still need to wait several months before NBN sends a team to actually fix things, as they are busy. It is not guaranteed that rehabilitation will fix everything, because with 50 year old copper you basically need to replace the whole lot to get a decent data connection.

If you wait until NBN is available, and then go through the above process you may get a quicker resolution as line problems are more prevalent and easier to see when using FTTN VDSL.


If you don't get a satisfactory answer here, try https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/ That's the place to discuss Australian ADSL and NBN connection issues. Often you'll be answered by ISP representatives who can sort you out on the spot.

  • I'll have to have a chat with the neighbours to see if there are similar issues down the road. Keep you posted! – Pop Jan 29 '18 at 5:41
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I suggest that you ask your ISP what router-modem they recommend, often they provide their own and they know which ones are most reliable. And if with that ISP and their recommended router-modem you still get errors, then change to another ISP, and when you change to another ISP, ask them which they recommend. It also helps with tech support if they are familiar with it, besides that they know which ones are reliable.

It is very controversial to say this in the US techies who love their netgear.. But in the UK I've run into a number of people that won't touch s netgear. I've seen UK businesses often use Draytek e.g. Draytek Vigor.. My ISP don't use netgear they use some thompson speedtouch modem routers, which they've found incredibly reliable. Both your routers have been the same make, and netgear! Maybe Australia is like the UK and netgear aren't so hot here. If you really want to experiment then change both ISP and Router, and go for the router your ISP technicians recommend as reliable first. Pick an ISP that is highly regarded for reliability too.

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