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Router/Modem question for ATT dsl
Old 01-29-2013, 11:15 PM   #1
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Router/Modem question for ATT dsl

I have a 2Wire845 wireless modem router that I use with my ATT dsl lite internet service. The lite version is the only service available from ATT in my area. Anyway, up until just a few days ago I could stream Netflix programming with good success and youtube videos with decent success. Now both are spotty at best. Web surfing is still fast. Moving around on forums like this one is as fast as ever.

I talked to ATT support today and they said my line appears fine, but they have seen some problems with this modem after being used for a period of time. I ran an internet speed test and got an A rating compared to other consumers in the country. This modem was installed in 8/2010 by an ATT rep btw. My question.....does it sound like a modem problem or something else? ATT suggested buying a new 2wire router either from them or from another source as they support the brand. Of course they said they couldn't guarantee it is a router problem.

Just looking for opinions. I've seen 2wire routers similar to what I have for $50 new or 1/2 that for a refurbished. Some geek sites suggest going with a different brand, but then I lose tech support with ATT. A novice like me needs plenty of support.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:28 AM   #2
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Modems and routers do go bad, but usually they just go from working to not working, without progressive deterioration. DSL lines also go bad. I would buy the new modem with return privilege and try for a week.

Are the boxes connected directly to the router by Ethernet cable or are they being viewed by wireless transmission? Try connecting the computer by cable to see if the YouTube streaming is still spotty. That would point to line issues. OTOH, if a hardware connection improves the streaming, the problem could be the router.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:45 AM   #3
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Modems and routers do go bad, but usually they just go from working to not working, without progressive deterioration. DSL lines also go bad. I would buy the new modem with return privilege and try for a week.

Are the boxes connected directly to the router by Ethernet cable or are they being viewed by wireless transmission? Try connecting the computer by cable to see if the YouTube streaming is still spotty. That would point to line issues. OTOH, if a hardware connection improves the streaming, the problem could be the router.
I've tried it both ways, wireless and cable connected and it's the same. I'll probably just buy the modem since it's inexpensive anyway and see if that helps. I remember my mom's neighbor bought a new modem and it helped his speed. He is out of the country right now so can't pick his brain. I think he bought something other than 2wire though.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:35 AM   #4
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I replaced my 2Wire less than a week ago. I'd been having intermittent problems with slow speeds and drops. Resetting would bump speeds back up temporarily.
The tech guy in my family isn't too fond of the 2Wire modems, so we replaced it with a Netgear. So far so good.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:50 AM   #5
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I replaced my 2Wire less than a week ago. I'd been having intermittent problems with slow speeds and drops. Resetting would bump speeds back up temporarily.
The tech guy in my family isn't too fond of the 2Wire modems, so we replaced it with a Netgear. So far so good.
Thanks. I think that is what my mom's neighbor went with. Was it hard to set up or did the family tech guy do it? Funny thing, I watched two 30 minute programs this morning on Netflix with no interruptions. Youtube still spotty. I probably need to upgrade my internet service as much as anything. Comcast is my best option around here.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:53 AM   #6
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Thanks. I think that is what my mom's neighbor went with. Was it hard to set up or did the family tech guy do it? Funny thing, I watched two 30 minute programs this morning on Netflix with no interruptions. Youtube still spotty. I probably need to upgrade my internet service as much as anything. Comcast is my best option around here.
I let my tech guy do it. It would have been a little easier for him if he had been here working from my phone line. I took the 2Wire to his house, and he was somehow able to work back and forth between the Netgear and 2Wire so that all I had to do was bring the Netgear home and plug it in. He loses me with what he does sometimes.
I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure he said ATT could still troubleshoot problems by giving them the login info to the Netgear modem. I can check on that.

I found with the 2Wire that if I suspected a slow connection and a speed test verified it, I could reset and have a faster connection for anywhere from several hours to a couple of days.
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:58 PM   #7
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My experience with AT&T internet support by phone:

1. Be sure to call them on a corded telephone attached to the same landline that the DSL works on. If you use a wireless phone, your battery will probably expire before your problem is solved.

2. While you are on hold, Your line is being tested automatically. When the tech support person answers, one of the first questions is whether your PC is connected to a wireless router or directly to the DSL modem. If you are connected to a wireless router either wirelessly or by ethernet cable, the support person will tell you to connect directly to the DSL modem. The support person will go no further until you do that. I furnished my own wireless router. It may be different if AT&T furnished the router.

3. When your PC is connected directly to the DSL modem by ethernet cable, the tech support person can do the tests.

4. My guess is the tech support person will say you need a new DSL modem, which will be sent to you via next day mail with installation instructions included. The tech support by phone is free. The new DSL modem is not free.
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:29 PM   #8
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Will turning your modem off for a few minutes and then on again...reset the modem or get better results?
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:54 PM   #9
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Will turning your modem off for a few minutes and then on again...reset the modem or get better results?
Yes. Also turn off the wireless router and restart the PC. The tech support person will ask you to do that as steps in the troubleshooting process.
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:56 PM   #10
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My experience with AT&T internet support by phone:

1. Be sure to call them on a corded telephone attached to the same landline that the DSL works on. If you use a wireless phone, your battery will probably expire before your problem is solved.

2. While you are on hold, Your line is being tested automatically. When the tech support person answers, one of the first questions is whether your PC is connected to a wireless router or directly to the DSL modem. If you are connected to a wireless router either wirelessly or by ethernet cable, the support person will tell you to connect directly to the DSL modem. The support person will go no further until you do that. I furnished my own wireless router. It may be different if AT&T furnished the router.

3. When your PC is connected directly to the DSL modem by ethernet cable, the tech support person can do the tests.

4. My guess is the tech support person will say you need a new DSL modem, which will be sent to you via next day mail with installation instructions included. The tech support by phone is free. The new DSL modem is not free.
I did all that and know the modem is not free, although I can get one much cheaper through a 3rd party. I actually had good luck getting through quickly to customer service.

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Will turning your modem off for a few minutes and then on again...reset the modem or get better results?
No. My 2wire box is a 2 in 1 deal. Modem and router. And after having a good luck with Netflix this morning, back to spotty results. I hate dealing with this kind of crap. Need to find a computer guy to come in and just do what is necessary to fix my problems.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:02 PM   #11
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Have you done a speed test when it is good and when it is not

My speed changes a LOT... I have the 3 meg, but usually the best I get is 2.7... I get down to 1.5 more often than I want.... and sometimes below that...

The 1.5 is considered 'acceptable' by AT&T... but can be bad for video...


I also have had recent bad service... where is just drops to nothing and then comes back.. I have the 2Wire modem FYI....
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:05 PM   #12
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I did all that and know the modem is not free, although I can get one much cheaper through a 3rd party. I actually had good luck getting through quickly to customer service.

No. And after having a good luck with Netflix this morning, back to spotty results. I hate dealing with this kind of crap. Need to find a computer guy to come in and just do what is necessary to fix my problems.
Is there a way to update the firmware in this modem router?

The modem firmware normally gets updated by the ISP when you shut down and start up. However, maybe they are not doing this. You can login to the piece and look at firmware version, signal levels, etc.

If it is not a good performer, you can get something better and see if it works. Don't be surprised if you have same problems though.

What time do you want me to stop over?
Just kidding.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:05 PM   #13
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I have had Internet service with Cox (a cable company) for 10+ years now. Its service line has been modernized and automated over the years, that now many problems can be diagnosed without having to talk to an operator.

For example, one time I called in and punched in the account number, the automated voice said that they could "see" my modem from their end, and suggested that the problem might be with the router (user supplied). Surely, that was the problem.

More recently, the automated voice said that they could not "see" the modem. Went out to buy another modem, and called them up to give the info (address of the modem) and had to talk to an operator so they could program the link from their end. And that was that.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:22 PM   #14
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Have you done a speed test when it is good and when it is not

My speed changes a LOT... I have the 3 meg, but usually the best I get is 2.7... I get down to 1.5 more often than I want.... and sometimes below that...

The 1.5 is considered 'acceptable' by AT&T... but can be bad for video...


I also have had recent bad service... where is just drops to nothing and then comes back.. I have the 2Wire modem FYI....
Yes I have run a speed test. Stays fairly consistent when good and bad. The lite dsl version I have has me in a hole from the start. Max speed for downloads is 768 Kbps. But that is all they offer in my area. Reality is I'm probably getting what I'm suppose to out of this service, web surfing and emails.

I'm leaning more to Comcast. They always have promotions going for bundle packages.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:28 PM   #15
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Do you have anything else plugged into the phone wire in the house. Anything other than the dsl modem/router needs to have a filter installed, otherwise you can get spotty service/connection issues. Try unplugging everything except the modem/router and try that.

If your max is 768 then that may be your problem. You'll get a lot of buffering on that low speed with video.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:41 PM   #16
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Do you have anything else plugged into the phone wire in the house. Anything other than the dsl modem/router needs to have a filter installed, otherwise you can get spotty service/connection issues. Try unplugging everything except the modem/router and try that.

If your max is 768 then that may be your problem. You'll get a lot of buffering on that low speed with video.
I do have a 2 way filter with a phone line plugged in. I will unplug and try that for a while and see if that helps. Hasn't been a problem before though.

Thanks.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:44 PM   #17
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Have you tried hitting 'pause' when the video starts to play and let it spool to disk for a minute or so before hitting 'play'. I know this works with Youtube not sure about Netflix.
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:06 PM   #18
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Yes I have run a speed test. Stays fairly consistent when good and bad. The lite dsl version I have has me in a hole from the start. Max speed for downloads is 768 Kbps. But that is all they offer in my area. Reality is I'm probably getting what I'm suppose to out of this service, web surfing and emails.

I'm leaning more to Comcast. They always have promotions going for bundle packages.

With that speed, I am not surprised you have problems... I had that speed and had a terrible time watching any kind of long video... I have a friend with 6 mps and he has problems at times...

When watching with him, I also think there is a difference in what we watch... IOW, all the old programs that are SD work great... some of the new movies in HD you can get just a bit of stutter...

A new modem will not do anything for you...
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:23 PM   #19
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On your Netflix account page make sure the video quality setting is set to 'good' and not higher. Might help.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:38 PM   #20
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On your Netflix account page make sure the video quality setting is set to 'good' and not higher. Might help.
+1

Our internet is a 'fixed wireless' system (dish on roof pointed at a local tower). We get bursts in the 3-6 mbps range, but they throttle down to 1-4 mbps after about 10 seconds of the same link. So hitting a bunch of web pages is fast, as they are short blips, but a download or a stream starts out at the high speed and then kicks back.

This was a pain in Netflix - it would run its little test, decide we could do the high Q, and then run out of buffer in ~ 15 seconds, and run the test again, and kick back to the next lower Q stream and re-buffer that stream. So I changed that quality setting in the Netflix account, and we start out on the somewhat lower Q stream and stay there - no pause and re-test and re-buffer.

And as someone else said, for youtube, pause and let it buffer up a bit. Our internet used to be more like 3 mbps max, and .75~1 mbps for streams/downloads and that usually did the trick. At our current speeds, youtube seems fine. I notice that it actually stops buffering once it gets ahead by a bit, it never did that before.

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