Qwest DSL has me ripping my hair out!

By Tig2 ·
The partner's Mom has DSL from Qwest (not my fault!) that continually blacks out- the little red light on the modem will suddenly flash- often for several minutes. At that point, she loses the Internet.

So here's how I set her up- the modem is linked to a Linksys (g) wireless router with WPA. When working in her office, she connects by wire. She really only uses the wireless if she's working in the kitchen or den. I have an HP lappie that I have tested the connection on- I have no trouble UNLESS the red light on the modem is flashing. Then nada.

Sometimes a full reboot of the router and modem will bring them back to life, sometimes not so much. It's always a crapshoot.

So here's the thing. When this starts happening, she most often will just go do something else. Turns off the pc but doesn't bother to reboot the router and modem. She can walk in a couple of hours later, boot up and be working fine.

So I am convinced that this is a Qwest issue with the service as it comes into the house.

I have line conditioners on every single instrument in the house.

I know that Qwest is prone to flaky service but I cannot put a finger on the problem precisely so don't know how badly to beat the tech when I schedule her for service. All I know is that the problem has existed from Day One with the modem and I can't test by swapping to a known good because they allow traffic based on the MAC addy on the device. But my instinct is to start at the modem and work back to the CO.

Any ideas? Am I going down the right road?

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All Answers

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re: Qwest DSL

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to Qwest DSL has me ripping ...

Hey there.... I have Qwest DSL too.

I agree with you that if the light has been going red since day one, something is wrong. It could be that the service isn't configured right on EITHER end. If her modem has the wrong MTU setting, if her modem and the one in the office aren't set to match, if there's noise in the phone line, if the wireless isn't secure and someone's hacking/shutting it down..... There's lots of things that can be wrong.

DO you happen to know how to get into the web access of the modem to look at the setup? Have you looked to see how it's set up?

Feel free to PM me. We can set up an IM conversation to compare settings if you want.

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Don't know how relevant this is...

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to Qwest DSL has me ripping ...

but DSL runs through the phone lines (which I know you know). If she is in a rural area and using a 'cheapie' phone service, something in the telco equipment (which is likely old bordering on obsolete) might be a problem.

While not DSL, I have a similar problem with dial-up at the mother-in-laws. Mummie-in-law uses the cheapest land line provider she can. Dialup speed is 14.4 or so [scream and tear out my hair!], 22.whatever on a good day, and connections do not always hold for any great length of time. Two doors down the street where the provider is ATT, no dialup problems whatsoever, standard 48 - 52k connection.

Admittedly I am assuming that cheap, tired, decrepit telco equipment is the culprit, but I can't think of any other reason for the discrepancy.

If it ain't relevant, ignore me! :)

edit to clarify

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I agree....

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to Don't know how relevant t ...

Where I'm at, the equipment is owned by Qwest, so I thought going with Qwest DSL would at least take the middle man out of the picture, no leased lines. However, the equipment for this location is old and Qwest doesn't see it as profitable to upgrade the equipment, so we suffer with noisy connections. Sometimes, the static on the phone line is so loud you can't hear the person on the other end of the phone. But, hey! The internet still works, so who cares! I don't know how it can work with all the static, but it does.

When setting up the DSL service, it took many phone calls until I finally got ahold of a TECH who knew what they were doing. They made some changes in the main office, had me change my modem's MTU settings, and all has been fine since then. Oh, I still get disconnected once in a while, especially on a hot day. The DSL goes out until it cools down, then we're fine.

Ahhhhh, such fun!

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Is that the QWest DSL with the crappy program

by CG IT In reply to I agree....

you have to use to access their DSL service?

Last time I was in the Portland area, that is what QWest offered.

Wasn't always on DSL

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Probably, but not THIS kid....

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to Is that the QWest DSL wit ...

Yeah, they provide a setup disk. But I refuse to use those stupid things. I don't need their crap on my computer just to hook a cable to an inanimate object. I called and demanded the proper modem settings from them and set it up myself.

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by Tig2 In reply to Is that the QWest DSL wit ...

Guys, this sucks.

We couldn't configure without the disks because Qwest in the Midwest might figure out that they are crap.

Thumbs- we seriously need to have a config compare. But Mom is 15 snowy and icy miles from me, we may need to set up a good time to do that.

Can anyone think of a good sniffer that I can shove on an XP box that might be helpful? Would that be overkill?

Just trying to think of everything!

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Anytime you're ready....

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to Yep

.... except during working hours (pacific) on M-F, or except this Friday (X-Mas party) or Saturday (local non-profit annual meeting). Other than that, I'm free..... I think!

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by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to Yep

It looks like Ethereal is still free for download. I have used it on Windows, and it also runs on Unix. Don't know about Mac. Don't know about overkill either, but it might tell you something...

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Something for everyone (maybe)

by seanferd In reply to Sniffer...

Net tools
Angry IP scanner
Chad has some good tools listed here
socat is out there somewhere
Ethereal has already been mentioned
<br><br> this stuff is awesome. <br>
Smokeping, line quality, speed, and more.
Check for squirrels eating insulation off the lines. I am entirely serious here. Really.
If you have a modern exterior junction box, try plugging the phone cable in there to make sure it isn't interior line quality issues.
I have <i> stories </i> about both these things.
Good luck to you all. :)
edit for spacing. no spacing because i was spacing, apparently.

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Some thoughts

by Michael Kassner Contributor In reply to Yep

1. Have you tried listening on the pair with an analog phone to see how much noise is on the line?
2. Have you asked Qwest to determine how far you are from the CO?

3. The following link references a line quality test that might be of some help. There are several other interesting tests available at that site, you just need to register.

4. If I am understanding the thread correctly, I do not think it is a configuration issue as in most cases it just would not work.

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