View Full Version : DSL times out regularly
April 26th, 2010, 12:22 PM
I have Fairpoint DSL and, behind the modem, a Linksys WRT54GX2 router. Behind that I have several machines, mostly Macs. The most heavily used runs 10.6.2. Everything works fine, except ...
Connectivity times out at annoying and suspicious intervals. By that I mean, interactive works gets interrupted - things like IRC channels and SSH sessions. Email and surfing are not affected, unless the connection goes down completely.
By suspicious I mean every 20 minutes, almost to the second. Sometimes it happens every 60 minutes. Just for giggles, sometimes it stays up completely for days.
Before I talk to Fairpoint tech support, I wanted to ask here if anyone has experienced anything similar, and/or can suggest possible culprits and solutions.
April 26th, 2010, 02:36 PM
Some DSL modems will disconnect you after a period of "inactivity" -- how "inactivity" is defined varies from modem to modem.
Ensure that in your router you do NOT have some sort of "disconnect after XX minutes of inactivity" option enabled. If you have access to the web-based setup for the modem too, that would also be a good place to check.
April 27th, 2010, 05:39 AM
I looked at the web admin pages for both the modem and router, and didn't find anything like that. Of course it could be hiding under another term.
April 27th, 2010, 08:15 AM
In your router, do you have any options as to how the PPPoE connection is established and/or maintained -- such as "Always on," "Dial on demand," "Manual connection," etc?
April 27th, 2010, 09:07 AM
Yes. It's checked for Connect on Demand: Max Idle Time: 5 Min. There's another button I could check instead Keep Alive: Redial Period: 30 Sec.
April 27th, 2010, 01:48 PM
It may not hurt to try the "Keep Alive" option.
It may be that the modem is detecting a period of 5 minutes of inactivity (erroneously, perhaps, or for whatever reason), disconnecting the connection, then failing to reconnect when a computer requests data from an internet connection.
April 28th, 2010, 06:43 AM
I did that at 11am ET yesterday. I just now power cycled everything because, after a quiet afternoon, overnight sometime it resumed its 20 minute behavior.
For the Keep Alive option, the help page says:
This option keeps you connected to the Internet indefinitely, even when your connection sits idle. To use this option, click the radio button next to Keep Alive. The default Redial Period is 30 seconds (in other words, the Router will check the Internet connection every 30 seconds).
For Connect on Demand:
... If you want your Internet connection to remain active at all times, enter 0 in the Max Idle Time field.
I think I'll try the latter for a while.
April 28th, 2010, 06:45 AM
In spite of the advice, it would not accept zero. I put in 9999.
May 6th, 2010, 12:38 PM
I have given a few days each to the router in various states for timeouts. Nothing changes. My connections continue to timeout at regular intervals - the interval is usually 20 minutes, sometimes 30, a few times 60.
The modem log mostly shows good numbers, certainly not changing with any regularity.
Do these findings suggest some external agency?
May 12th, 2010, 12:57 PM
I have given it a few more days. I bought a cheap vacation timer and set it to turn off the power at 4:00 am and back on at 4:15 am - power to the modem and router. Since installing, my problems have been greatly reduced! I have to believe it's due to the time off more than anything else. When I did this manually, the power was off maybe one minute, tops.