Wireless connection issues

arthur-dailey, Aug 21, 9:45am
Internet is continually dropping out from a few seconds through to minutes. We have a router supplied by Telecom (Thomson) and a modem we bought (Cisco / Linksys). In all honesty, I'm not sure why we have two bits of hardware? (Actually, why DO we need both? )

Spark indicate nothing is wrong with our line (via phone calls) and will only send someone out on the basis that we pay for it. This has been happening on and off for about 8 weeks but has become frustrating regular for the past two weeks. Working from home is less and less productive.

Sprak have suggested we swap out the hardware by borrowing from "someone" to see if it's a hardware issue.

There must be another way - it's not like my friends all have "spares" sitting around.

Before I head to the store to buy a new piece of equipment (and be bamboozled by the store staff selling me stuff I probably don't need), does anyone have any ideas of what process I should work through first?

I am not tech savvy - please be specific.

arthur-dailey's wife

suicidemonkey, Aug 21, 9:53am
Trying a new modem/router is a good option, but there are a few other things you can do to narrow down the problem. Basically we want to figure out if the issue is related to your devices (laptop, phone, etc), or the modem/router itself.

Firstly, does the problem occur on all wifi connected devices, or just 1?

If it's just 1 device having issues, you could try updating the wireless adapter drivers.

Also, have you tried plugging one of your devices directly into the router and seeing if the problems still occurs?

I'm not sure why you have a Telecom supplier router and a modem - the Telecom supplied device should have a modem built-in.

arthur-dailey, Aug 21, 10:11am
The drop out happens on all devices.

I'll try plugging in to see if that makes any difference.

If I unplug the modem, my laptop tells me I am "not connected to a network" so I guess the router doesn't have a modem?

The modem has only an ethernet cable (to the router) and a power supply cord.

vtecintegra, Aug 21, 11:51am

king1, Aug 21, 12:05pm
as suggested plug a laptop into thomson modem directly by network cable
see if that works when the wireless devices die

I'd be inclined to unplug the linksys completely and just use the thomson for testing purposes, but that means you might need to reconnect wireless devices to the thomson if they are using the linksys

volkier, Aug 21, 3:05pm
You need both because the Modem is a modem, and a router is a router. The two bits of hardware do separate jobs. Though it is common to see modem routers which do both jobs with a single piece of hardware.

Without going into the details, if you only have one computer on a wired connection, you don't need the router. If you want to connect multiple computers and use the wireless connection (assuming your current modem doesn't have wireless capabilities).

As others suggested, if you want to troubleshoot to see what's causing the problem (first step), is to plug in a single computer directly to the modem through the ethernet port (where your router is currently plugged into), and see if you are getting issues.

suicidemonkey, Aug 21, 3:07pm
It's a Telecom supplied device, I'd say it's all-in-one as I don't think they provide routers by themselves.

nice_lady, Aug 21, 3:48pm
I'd be pretty suprised to see any ISP supplied 'modem' which had no wifi or routing capabilities these days. Be a bloody dinosaur.

ianab, Aug 21, 4:27pm
Back in the dark times around when DSL first rolled out they had "Modem Routers" without the wireless. They usually only have one ethernet port, but could connect to multiple computers if you added a switch.

So it sounds like the Cisco "router" has been added later to give wireless and more ports. Probably not the best way to do it, but it would work.

Have you got the model numbers of the boxes so we can see exactly what we are dealing with. LIke can you plug a PC into the Thompson and test the connection that way. Or can you re-progam the Cisco to work directly to the ADSL line? (is it a modem router, a simple router, or just a wireless access point?)

Those old Thompson routers are getting pretty old now, so I would suspect that is going flakey. But realistically the only way to really test this is to plug in a good unit in it's place and see what happens.

A new modem router can be had for less than the Telecom callout, but you may need a little technical smarts to set it up. They aren't all set to the NZ defaults right from the box and there may be a couple of setting you need to change. They usually have some local instructions if the NZ supplier is any good though.

ianab, Aug 21, 4:29pm
They did mention Thompson.
Not sure about dinosaur, but at least "cave man"

arthur-dailey, Aug 21, 7:17pm

I tested the laptop with just the cable - same thing happened.

Went out and bought a new router / modem - and we are all systems go.

Thanks for your input everyone.

snoopy221, Aug 21, 7:26pm
The Headless Thompson Gunner

newbie5, Aug 27, 5:42pm
why did op not just contact Spark and ask for an updated router free of charge

king1, Aug 27, 5:55pm
They don't usually just hand them out on demand, usually only when upgrading the internet connection, or sometimes if you agree to an extended contract.

And then there is the two hour wait on the phone and another hour troubleshooting the problem before they might even consider giving you one.

arthur-dailey, Sep 3, 6:47pm
So, we have had Spark back and forth and they can't work out what the problem is. I've replaced the modem; the phone and internet connections have been replaced and we still have issues.

Now Spark is saying we have to replace our data cable with a Cat 5 cable ?

nice_lady, Sep 3, 6:59pm
If you get a strong cell signal why not try spark "wireless broadband" theres no wires to the outside world for your internet. You may still be able to retain the copper phone line also. Is very very simple to set up the internet connection.

king1, Sep 3, 7:02pm
do you pay the wiring maintenance on your bill? if so Spark should send someone out to do the wiring.

The other point I would make is Spark are not the cheapest if you compare prices with Orcon and slingshot etc for which Spark have a pricing matching 0800 number you can hit them up on. I get $20/month off VDSL based on that.

spyware, Sep 3, 8:29pm
Chorus will install a master/splitter filter at ETP (external termination point) and run cat5e to the modem but they charge $299.

Whether you need the above is really related to the state of the wiring in your house. Old houses can have wiring, e.g., untwisted trurip, that doesn't support xDSL signal and modern houses may have many parallel runs that cause issue with xDSL signal traveling down all the stubs.

Do you have an alarm panel or Sky decoder that isn't isolated with a filter?

spyware, Sep 13, 6:53am
Posting the attenuation and sync figures from the modem can also be useful to determine health of connection (should have been the first thing you did), if not post here at least have Spark analyse.

xDSL problems are almost always caused by house wiring probs but sometimes line may have issues. You just have to follow best practice, get a master splitter/filter, analyse behaviour and go from there. Chorus are not proactive and don't trace faults unless you point them out.

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