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Troubleshooting ADSL for Dropouts

This article will guide you through the troubleshooting for internet dropouts on an ADSL1 or ADSL2+ broadband service.

Select one of the links below to jump to a query:

Symptoms

  • Your internet connection will stop and start – it may drop out for short or long periods of time, either randomly or around the same time each day. However, your connection will always return. If your connection drops out and stays out, please see troubleshooting no connection instead.
  • You experience dropouts on all computers or devices in your home, not just a single device or only devices that are connected to the WiFi.
  • The lights on the front of your modem may indicate a problem; please check the user manual to learn the meaning of your modem's status lights. Guides for iiNet modems are located here.
     

Things to check first

Potential cause
Try this:
Phone line issues
Always troubleshoot no dial tone, line noise or phone call dropouts before focusing on any internet issues. The internet could just be a side effect of a problem with your landline.
Physical setup Confirm that all your modem cables are in good condition and plugged in securely.
WiFi issues Test your connection on a computer connected to your modem with an Ethernet cable to confirm that the issue isn’t just wireless dropouts.
Data congestion To rule out the possibility of data congestion, reduce the number of devices connected to your home network.
Network congestion Keep note of the times when your internet connect drops out, particularly if it only seems to happen around 5-8PM, which is a time when network congestion commonly occurs.
Central splitter required If you have more than three phone and/or faxes, or a Back to Base Alarm system, you may need to contact an ACMA-licensed electrician to install a central splitter.
Network outages or scheduled maintenance Check the iiNet Network Status page to see if there’s a service disruption in your area.

 

Troubleshooting

  1. Unplug all devices from every phone socket, including your modem, line filters/splitters, telephones, fax machines, pay TV boxes and EFTPOS terminals.
     
  2. Plug a standard telephone handset (with no filter) into the phone socket. Listen for a dial tone and make sure you can make a call without hearing noise interference. If you don’t have a dial tone or you hear line noise, switch to no dial tone or line noise troubleshooting. If you notice that your phone calls have been dropping out, switch to phone dropouts troubleshooting.
     
  3. If you have no phone issues, unplug the telephone handset and instead plug your modem directly into the phone socket with no filter. This is known as “isolating” your modem, because it is now the only thing plugged in.
     
  4. Set your modem to G.DMT mode (safe mode). Instructions for modems purchased from iiNet are here. If you have a third-party modem, the method for doing this may vary. Please check your modem's user manual or the manufacturer's website for support information.
     
  5. Connect a computer to your modem with an Ethernet cable (recommended) or use one of your connected WiFi devices to get online.
     
  6. Leave your modem isolated like this for at least 24 hours or however long it typically takes the dropouts to occur, making a note of the time any dropouts occur and how long they last.
     
  7. If your internet doesn't drop out any more, follow the advice below.
     
  8. If your internet is still dropping out, try using a different phone cable to connect your modem to the phone socket. An old or damaged cable may be interfering with the connection.
     
  9. If possible, try using a different Ethernet cable to connect your computer to your modem.
     
  10. If you have more than one phone socket in your home, try plugging your modem into the other phone sockets and monitor it for dropouts. If your modem works fine when it's plugged into one socket but not another, there may be a problem with the internal wiring between the phone sockets.
     
  11. If possible, test a different modem at your property. If a different modem doesn’t give you any dropouts, the original modem may be faulty.
     
  12. If you still experience dropouts, please call our Support Team on 13 22 58 for further assistance.

 

If dropouts stop while your modem is isolated

  1. If your dropouts stop happening while your modem is plugged straight into the phone socket, you can start plugging your other equipment back in.
     
  2. Ideally, you should plug in one device at a time and briefly monitor your internet connection for dropouts before plugging in another device. This will help you identify any specific hardware that may be causing the dropouts.
     
  3. Always start with any filters or splitters that were used to plug equipment into a phone socket.
     
  4. If your connection starts dropping out again, the filter or device you’ve just plugged in is probably faulty or affecting your internet connection, or its cable may be damaged.
     
  5. We recommend replacing a cable, filter or device if it is faulty, or adding a filter to a phone or fax if it didn’t already have one. See Correctly filtering your hardware for more information.

 

More information

Why do I need to test a different modem?

Connection dropouts can be caused by several things, but one of the most common causes is faulty hardware.

If iiNet lodges a fault for a service when there is no fault, then you may be charged an incorrect call-out fee by our wholesaler’s fault technician. To reduce the chance of this we need to rule out as many other possible causes for your connection issue as we can.

If you don't experience any dropouts with a different modem plugged in, then it's likely that the previous modem was causing the dropouts. Considering claiming a replacement if the modem is still under warranty, or purchase a new modem.

If both modems experience dropouts, it's safe to say the original modem isn't faulty.

 

What do I do if I suspect my home has internal wiring issues?

If your modem works when it's plugged into one phone socket but not another, you may have internal wiring issues. If you suspect this is the case, please contact an electrician who is registered with an ACMA-accredited registrar. This means that they are properly licensed to work on communications cables.
 

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