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j6h
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Intermittent broadband connection

I have an intermittent problem with broadband connectivity. The connection is usually good but sometimes drops. When it drops I find that I am disconnected from Zoom and Teams-type online meetings, and my connection to my work's server is frozen or disconnected.

The problem seems to be worst in the morning between perhaps 8 and 10. After that it can reoccur but less frequently. This time coincides with heavy traffic outside my home and may also coincide with neighbouring Virgin customers accessing the internet.

I have spoken with the technical helpdesk for my work's hosted server. They have shown me how to carry out a continuous ping test. When I ping my Virgin hub the ping-time is short (a few ms) and consistent. When I ping the Virgin Media website ping times are generally around 20ms but then occasionally I get figures between 150ms and 250ms. This is often accompanied by one or more "Request timed out" messages. After maybe 10 or 15 seconds the ping times gradually reduce to normal. The longer ping times and time-outs seems to coincide with interruptions to internet connectivity.

The problem seems to be independent of whether I connect my laptop to the hub wirelessly or via a cable. It also seems to be independent of wireless signal strength in different rooms of my house. When the connection is good it is great, when it drops I'm frozen out of web meetings and often have to log back in. If I'm working on the hosted work server the screen either freezes for 10 or 15 seconds or I lose the connection completely.

I've tried all the obvious things: I've restarted both the laptop and the hub, and I've done a pin-hole reset on the hub.  I've also checked that the drivers on my laptop are up to date.  And I've checked that all the wired connections are tight. 

I have phoned Virgin helpdesk on 4 or 5 occasions over the past couple of weeks but nobody has been able to diagnose the problem. I often have to wait a long time to speak with someone, and that takes me into the time when drop-outs are less frequent. I have also been frustrated by calls being transferred from the helpdesk to the technical team and then the line going dead. When that happens I have to dial back in and start all over again. I'm sure you can understand how frustrating this all is. It's also taking hours of time that I should be dedicating to work, and the drop-outs are having an impact on the work I can do.

Is anyone else having similar problems?  Is there a simple fix?  When the connection is good it's very good.  When it drops out, even just for a few seconds, it has a serious impact on my work! 

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Andrew-G
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Re: Intermittent broadband connection

Let's see how latency and packet loss are on your connection: Setup a BQM over at https://www.thinkbroadband.com/broadband/monitoring/quality that'll show what's going on with your VM connection.  Post a LINK to a LIVE, SHARED graph here and we'll see what's happening.  Usually needs to run for 24 hours before we can draw reasonable conclusions, but the live graph will continuously update so you can post the link immediately.

I'm a Very Insightful Person, I'm here to share knowledge, I don't work for Virgin Media. Learn more

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j6h
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Re: Intermittent broadband connection

Thanks Andrew-G, I'll give that a go tomorrow morning.
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j6h
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Re: Intermittent broadband connection

Hi Andrew-G, like this?

https://www.thinkbroadband.com/broadband/monitoring/quality/share/1a2174e5a4125d7c55d28a45f46d43a15e...

I've already had enough drop-outs this morning so I'm going into the office to use a desk-top computer there. I'll leave the laptop running and see what data is gathered.

Thanks again!
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Z92
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Message 5 of 35
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Re: Intermittent broadband connection

That's looking good so far j6h.

Note that the system monitors your hub directly, there's no need to leave a laptop running.

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j6h
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Message 6 of 35
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Re: Intermittent broadband connection

Just a quick query: I read that each point on the graph represents 100 seconds' worth of pings. The drop-outs I'm seeing are perhaps only 10s. Does that mean that they won't show-up on the graph? When I repeatedly ping an external site (ping -t www.virginmedia.com) from my laptop the typical drop-out event usually consists of:

3 or 4 "Request timed out"
Perhaps a long ping (150ms - 250ms)
1 or 2 more "Request timed out"
2 or 3 longish pings, getting progressively shorter (maybe 100ms, 60ms, 40ms)
Back to business-as-usual with ping-times typically under 20ms, the odd one up to maybe 30ms, and some down in the low teens.

I know that ping times around 20ms are really good, but the connection only has to drop-out a few times over an hour for it to be really disruptive.
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j6h
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Message 7 of 35
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Re: Intermittent broadband connection

Another interrupted morning on the laptop. It seemed to get really bad at 8:45 with several clusters of "Request timed out". I'm also seeing clusters of very long ping times (over 1500ms) as if they were almost timed-out but not quite. In both cases web pages won't load and I lose my connection the my work's hosted server.

Averaged over a couple of minutes the ping times are acceptable and often great, but the "acceptable" averages are made up of lots of instances of 20ms with a few " Request timed outs".

My lap top is connected via wifi this morning rather than the usual wired connection. The signal here in the back room is good (all but one bar on the icon). I'm thinking that probably rules out a problem with the wired connection since things are as bad on wireless.
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j6h
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Message 8 of 35
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Re: Intermittent broadband connection

Another observation. A member of the Virgin technical team asked me to carry out a "loopback" test on my Superhub 3. I had to connect two ports on the back of the hub with an ethernet cable. When I did this with ports 1 and 3 the lights on both ports came on and stayed on. When I joined ports 3 and 4 the respective lights also came on, but then after a couple of seconds they both started flashing/flickering in unison very quickly. I repeated the tests and got exactly the same results. There must be a reason for this but whether it's relevant to the problems I'm experiencing is another matter.
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Hayley_S
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Message 9 of 35
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Re: Intermittent broadband connection

Hello @j6h,

 

I am sorry for the issues that you have been having with your broadband.

 

Thank you for reaching out to us on here.

 

I will send you a private message so I can investigate this further.

 

Many thanks,

 

Hayley
Forum Team



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Hayley_S
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Message 10 of 35
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Re: Intermittent broadband connection

Thank you for confirming your details to me in a private message @j6h.

 

I was able to locate your account and could see an issue that needs a tech visit, I have booked this engineer for you, you can track this on your 'online account

 

Let me know if this time and date is okay with you 🙂

 

Many thanks,

Hayley
Forum Team



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