[sclug] Tinternet access problem

Alex Butcher lug at assursys.co.uk
Mon Jul 27 14:27:59 UTC 2009

On Mon, 27 Jul 2009, Simon Huggins wrote:

> On Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 01:45:53PM +0100, Alex Butcher wrote:
>> On Mon, 27 Jul 2009, Neil Haughton wrote:
>>> I have a Netgear wireless router (DG834g) connected to my telephone line
>> Note to people with experience of the DG834g and the way TalkTalk configure
>> it; it does magic, like many D-Link ADSL devices and looks more like a modem
>> than you'd expect compared with other routers;
> It's a Netgear, not D-Link device.

Oops, thinko. Netgear's what I meant, though... And a D-Link consumer DSL
router I've used did similar non-standard magic.

>> things like disconnecting when there are no active hosts behind it and
>> suchlike. Personally, I dislike this, and I'm glad I'm still using my
>> 2002-vintage ZyXEL that is a bog-standard bridge/router and behaves
>> entirely as one would expect.
> My parents don't seem to have that issue with the same router though
> they do have instructions to reset it on the odd time "Google isn't
> working".
> I'd suggest trying the other things listed here (i.e. keep the
> connection up) before junking the router.

Sure; check the Netgear manual and there might be a config option to keep
the DSL connection open at all times.  I've read that AOL/TalkTalk use a
customised firmware, though, so even if it's documented in the official
Netgear docs, TalkTalk may have disabled the option.  I've not looked hard
enough as my dad has only reported the problem a couple of times so far, and
he's an occasional user anyway.

> Also, if this is a condition which has developed recently then I have
> seen things from my previous life providing people with ADSL where they
> had issues with:
> * Microfilters that had spontaneously died
> * Water/rodents/children getting into wiring
> * "Nothing's changed, nothing's changed, nothing's changed, oh except
>  that new Sky box/phone/answerphone/fax we plugged in the other day
>  without a filter".

It's all new gear at my parents' place, so I'd place the blame on
AOL/TalkTalk's default router config and the config/load/availability of
their DHCP/authentication infrastructure.

> The classic advice is to test by unscrewing the frontplate of the master
> socket and plugging into the socket behind that directly with no other
> devices plugged in and no filters.
> Then you can start narrowing things down.

Yup, that'll narrow it down to something that's TalkTalk/BT's direct
responsibility or the router HW or config.  Unfortunately, if it is the
router or its config, that'll make a visit by BT chargeable.  And I bet
AOL/TalkTalk won't admit that their infrastructure is duff, not to a lowly
customer.  :-/


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