Faulty router or ISP fault?

D

Deleted member 924270

Guest
I will try my best to keep this relatively short. I switched service providers some months back and was given a pre-configured Fritz!Box 7530 router but I keep running into two major issues, well one of those is a slight annoyance, the other is definitely an issue that ought to be escalated but I'm not sure who is at fault here. The ISP, a fluff router or a slight problem with the ISP crossover that may need amending by an engineer at the cabinet.

So lets get started. The first issue is related to brief PPP drops when downloading large files. The PPP disconnects with the ISP can also occur when the internet isn't in use at all hours, these disconnects are far less common though. So when I'm downloading a file that would be considered time consuming, lets call it a 50gb file, it almost always loses PPP multiple times, these tend to be short timeout incidents. The dsl connection remains stable but there's definitely a brief connection desync going on between the router and the ISP provider. So if I proceed to check the Event Log I see quite a few of these "Internet connection cleared" "Timeout during PPP Negotiation" and "Internet connection established successfully" The latest example is 4 of these appearing within 1 hour. During this latest download I managed to find a thread online talking about capping your download speeds so it isn't maxing out the connection continuously so I gave it a test and limited the download profile to 7.5Mb's instead of the usual 8.3Mb's max capacity but another PPP drop occured 15 minutes later, so it doesn't seem to be related to that unfortunately... My ThinkBroadbandMonitor also displays large amounts of packetloss when downloading sometimes, this may be normal?

The second issue is also related to PPP drops. Every 2-4 weeks the FritzBox 7530 router randomly loses sync with the ISP provider and as lots of trouble reconnecting. In my overview page it will say internet not connected. The dsl uptime and lan remains unaffected. If I check the event log I see lots of errors relating to "PPPoE timeouts", "Pado: Wrong State" and "Unknown Errors" as well as the "Timeout during PPP Negotiation", I could leave it like this for multiple hours and it simply won't reconnect. I end up having to manually factory reset the router. Resetting the router as occasionally helped speed things along too, but even with restarts and factory resets it doesn't establish a connection with the internet provider straight away. The dsl syncs almost instantly but the PPP issues can resume for a while, then for whatever reason it reconnects and can be fine for another couple of weeks. If I try to manually reconnect through the account information details this error is often displayed "The internet connection check failed. The internet service provider is not responding to PPPoE packets. Repeat this test at a later point in time." We contacted support a few times and they had trouble getting us back online. One of them went as far as rebuilding my profile after I had already reset the router and it still had trouble finding the ISP provider. This persistent issue is a real frustration. It simply isn't reliable and I'm left in charge of it when things go wrong.

The connection is otherwise stable. Fast sync low latency enabled, connection speeds fine, no issues with the dsl connection but the PPP drops are driving us insane.
 
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psychopomp1

Member
Sounds like a possible router issue. I assume the router has the latest firmware installed? Have you tried a factory reset on the router and reconfigured everything from the beginning? As a last resort, try a different router.

Its perfectly normal to see increased packet loss when downloading/uploading large files so I wouldn't worry too much about that.
 
D

Deleted member 924270

Guest
Sounds like a possible router issue. I assume the router has the latest firmware installed? Have you tried a factory reset on the router and reconfigured everything from the beginning? As a last resort, try a different router.

Its perfectly normal to see increased packet loss when downloading/uploading large files so I wouldn't worry too much about that.

Yes, the firmware is on 07.29 and the router checks for updates regularly (4th November) I had the 07.28 firmware version before it and whatever the other one was before that. The issue was present on them all.

I have factory reset the router multiple times but Zen pre-configured the router before-hand. I did backup and restore my changed configurations such as wifi settings to begin with, but I don't bother anymore. I have not tried going into the account information and selecting other internet service providers from the drop down menu and inputting all the PPPoE information for a Zen login if that's what you mean. Zen already configured the router to bypass all of that.

I don't have another router available but I think it's about time to request another one for testing. This issue as been reported multiple times so hopefully there isn't any objections. I raised awareness to the issue on like week 3... They said it shouldn't be a faulty router and we should see how things develop. The situation asn't improved, it's largely the same.
 

psychopomp1

Member
Ah you’re with Zen. there’s been tonnes of threads on thinkbroadband.com about this very same issue when using the zen supplied Fritzbox. Apparently down to a firmware bug on the Fritzbox which the manufacturer can’t be @rsed to fix. Getting a replacement Fritzbox from Zen might still give you the same issue or it might fix this. TBH I would just buy my own router (I would recommend something like the TP Link VR2800) and that will almost certainly fix this, ISP supplied routers are cheap tat anyway.
 
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D

Deleted member 924270

Guest
Ah you’re with Zen. there’s been tonnes of threads on thinkbroadband.com about this very same issue when using the zen supplied Fritzbox. Apparently down to a firmware bug on the Fritzbox which the manufacturer can’t be @rsed to fix. Getting a replacement Fritzbox from Zen might still give you the same issue or it might fix this. TBH I would just buy my own router (I would recommend something like the TP Link VR2800) and that will almost certainly fix this, ISP supplied routers are cheap tat anyway.

Would you kindly send me some links to these threads? If it's against the terms a pm will be great. I managed to locate one thread from a Plusnet user who had the exact same issue as me using the Fritz!Box 7530 but the thread ended without a conclusion.

I know some IDNET customers were complaining about semi regular PPPoE drops a few months ago but I think it was concluded that it was scheduled maintenance. The downside to that was some users had to force reboot their routers to establish a connection again. The issue I'm experiencing is certainly different as the drops can happen whenever and a simple reboot with an instant connection doesn't happen.

I might look at investing in my own router again at some point if all else fails.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Could be the line. Could be the router. Could be the kit in the exchange. Could be the service tuning itself after a new install. Could be "normal" for this ISP.

For a new service, I would would not try to "fix" this myself. I have paid an ISP to provide a service and if it is not functioning properly and to my satisfaction, I would expect the ISP to keep working on it until it is. In extremis I might even withhold payment until it's sorted - nothing focuses people's attention like not getting their money! If ISP cannot or will not fix it, cancel the contract, get my money back and go somewhere else.

If I bought a car with a persistent engine fault, I would keep taking back to the dealer until it was either fixed, replaced, or I get my money back. I would not get out the spanners and try to replace the engine myself.
 
D

Deleted member 924270

Guest
Could be the line. Could be the router. Could be the kit in the exchange. Could be the service tuning itself after a new install. Could be "normal" for this ISP.

For a new service, I would would not try to "fix" this myself. I have paid an ISP to provide a service and if it is not functioning properly and to my satisfaction, I would expect the ISP to keep working on it until it is. In extremis I might even withhold payment until it's sorted - nothing focuses people's attention like not getting their money! If ISP cannot or will not fix it, cancel the contract, get my money back and go somewhere else.

If I bought a car with a persistent engine fault, I would keep taking back to the dealer until it was either fixed, replaced, or I get my money back. I would not get out the spanners and try to replace the engine myself.

If it was a fault on the line wouldn't my dsl uptime be getting knocked out as well? The dlm believes my connection is stable enough at 3dB with Fast Sync enabled. The only time I get a cluster of ES and CRC and the occasional SES errors is when it's thundering or an earthquake happens. It's mostly raining here too, no errors on the line. The dsl connection as been rock solid thus far.

As for a new service. It's been 5 months. I was with BT before-hand so I was transferred from one ISP to another with whatever that entails. Same line and what not. I wasn't having these PPP drops with BT. The only things to change are the ISP and the router. A slight mishap could have happened with the switchover but I don't know, I'm no expert on these matters. The one thing my old BT router did differently was resync every 14 days. It was designed that way. I tried a Zyxel router as a replacement for more stats temporarily and that used to last about 35 days before the router went down for a reboot. I'm not sure why this happens tbh... Some get router uptimes for hundreds if not thousands of days. There were never any issues with PPP dropouts though. Routers went down for a reboot and instantly reconnected. This Fritz!Box loses PPP with Zen whenever it feels like it, refuses to re-establish a connection then reboots itself after a couple of hours of failed attempts. If I catch it quickly enough and restart or factory reset the router the issue persists for however long.

The router and dsl uptime can be fine for pushing 4 weeks then the PPP drop happens and refuses to reconnect. The only time the dsl connection goes down is when I restart the router so I find it hard to believe there's something wrong between the router and the cabinet. The download PPP timeouts happen whenever I'm downloading really large files, it's annoying but it's infrequent and I don't feel the downtime, I just know it's timedout, reset and instantly reconnects more often than not.
 
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psychopomp1

Member
I'm 99% sure the issue is with the Fritzbox router. It's quite a common issue:


You can either waste hours/days/weeks trying to resolve this and still not know what's going on. Or you can buy a different router to get this resolved and move on in your life. If money is tight, buy a second hand router on eBay or similar. Your choice of course.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
If it was a fault on the line wouldn't my dsl uptime be getting knocked out as well? The dlm believes my connection is stable enough at 3dB with Fast Sync enabled. ...

If you suggest the physical line is OK and DSL is staying in sync and it's the PPP session that's unstable, then that's all the more reason to think you've got a "software" type issue - though whether it's in your router, the exchange or somewhere else in the service infrastructure, I couldn't say (there's no evidence either way.) All the more reason to lay it at the door of the ISP and get them to "fix" it. Though if you are really unlucky, they may declare that it's "normal" and "meant to be like this." But if you don't engage with them you won't know. Without knowing what is "broken" you won't know what to "fix."

You could try throwing money at it and replace your router, but such a course of actions is just a variant of the "if it's broke upgrade it" Internet Myth. Without knowing it's the router that is culpable, you could literally be wasting your money and may even introduce new problems. But if you know for sure, based on actual evidence not Internet rumours, that a new router will fix it, then to echo @psychopomp1, if you don't mind spending the money for that sake of 50-200GBP (depending on how flash a router you want) and disruption involved, you could just spend the cash and get on with your life. But equally, if it's not a router fault, you could spend a week or two procuring and deploying a new router, dealing with all the heartache of so doing, and end up in exactly the same place, except your bank balance will be reduced.

If I was still in contract with a service provider and the kit they have provided (and I paid for) is not working properly, I'd expect them to pay for cost of replacing it, not me. If my new iPhone wasn't working properly, I'd take back to the Apple store and get it sorted, I wouldn't chuck it and spend even more money buying an Android instead. Because I'm not wealthy enough to write off the cost of an expensive cellphone.
 
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D

Deleted member 924270

Guest
If you suggest the physical line is OK and DSL is staying in sync and it's the PPP session that's unstable, then that's all the more reason to think you've got a "software" type issue - though whether it's in your router, the exchange or somewhere else in the service infrastructure, I couldn't say (there's no evidence either way.) All the more reason to lay it at the door of the ISP and get them to "fix" it.

You could try throwing money at it and replace your router, but such a course of actions is just a variant of the "if it's broke upgrade it" Internet Myth. Without knowing it's the router that is culpable, you could literally be wasting your money and may even introduce new problems.

If I was still in contract with a service provider and the kit they have provided (and I paid for) is not working properly, I'd expect them to pay for cost of replacing it, not me.

Zen are sending out a replacement router in the post. They echoed a faulty router or a possible exchange issue. With it being so close to Christmas by the time it's delivered I won't bother plugging it in straight away. The last PPP sync issue only occured 3 days ago so if the PPP issue continues to follow the same pattern it should be fine until after The New Year. I'll get Christmas out of the way first then get it setup. They want me to test this replacement router in the test socket with the microfilter to rule out any internal wiring as well. I can replace the dsl cable if necessary, but I'm unwilling to rewire the house with fresh ethernet cables.

Yeah, I have always been fine with the ISP supplied routers. Some of those fancy routers have a ton of features and stats but I could never make sense of any of it. A simple GUI with a basic stats panel is all I need. I don't even take advantage of any of the features either. On this Fritz!Box for example I have the option to enable IPv6 but haven't.

I also got in touch with AVM recently the people behind the Fritz!Box and they have asked me to send them the Fritz!Box support information the next time this PPP happens. I'm curious to see what the issue is but I'll probably have the second router in long before that point. If the second router works I'm sure I will get over not knowing the cause tbh. If it continues I guess it won't hurt sending over the diagnostics.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
When the ISP is talking about "eliminating the other wiring in the property" they mean any telephone extensions not the ethernet lobes. Your internal ethernet wiring will have no bearing on the ISP link as there's no physical connection between the ethernet lobes and the phone line. Whereas, any telephone extensions will be physically spliced onto the incoming phone circuit, so sometimes they get you to effectively disconnect all that by "testing directly into the master socket without anything else connected" just to be sure it's not any of your telephone extensions (and/or handsets) that's putting some noise on the line.

It's worth playing along with them and proceed as they are asking as so doing rules out an issue with your household phone wiring. It's then"one less excuse" for them to rely on so to speak.

Be aware that whenever you change routers, you are in for a day or so of IP Address carnage, irrespective of whether the replacement is the same make/model or the IP Addressing of the replacement is nominally "the same" as the incumbent. This occurs because devices that have a DHCP IP Address Lease "in hand" are entitled to keep using it until the lease expires - typically 24 hours. The DHCP Server in the replacement router will have no knowledge of any leases issues by it's predecessor, so it's possible it may issue a new lease with the same IP addressing information a client device currently has in hand leading to an IP address conflict. Or a lease in hand may have a (now) "wrong" default gateway for the new router and the Internet stops working.

If you leave it all alone the automation in DHCP will sort it all out for you, typically in 12-24 hours. If you power cycle all the client devices after installing the new router, it may expedite this as many device will not preserve an "in hand" DHCP lease across power cycles and ask for a new one when they boot up. There's a couple of other "tricks" that newer DHCP Servers use to help you get through the changeover period, but just be aware that things may get a bit funky for a 12-24 hours or so.
 

psychopomp1

Member
Zen are sending out a replacement router in the post. They echoed a faulty router or a possible exchange issue. With it being so close to Christmas by the time it's delivered I won't bother plugging it in straight away. The last PPP sync issue only occured 3 days ago so if the PPP issue continues to follow the same pattern it should be fine until after The New Year. I'll get Christmas out of the way first then get it setup. They want me to test this replacement router in the test socket with the microfilter to rule out any internal wiring as well. I can replace the dsl cable if necessary, but I'm unwilling to rewire the house with fresh ethernet cables.

Yeah, I have always been fine with the ISP supplied routers. Some of those fancy routers have a ton of features and stats but I could never make sense of any of it. A simple GUI with a basic stats panel is all I need. I don't even take advantage of any of the features either. On this Fritz!Box for example I have the option to enable IPv6 but haven't.

I also got in touch with AVM recently the people behind the Fritz!Box and they have asked me to send them the Fritz!Box support information the next time this PPP happens. I'm curious to see what the issue is but I'll probably have the second router in long before that point. If the second router works I'm sure I will get over not knowing the cause tbh. If it continues I guess it won't hurt sending over the diagnostics.
It’s a known firmware bug in the Zen supplied Fritzbox so unless Zen send you a different router or the same router with different firmware, the issue will still exist. The issue won’t be with your internal tel cabling or even at the exchange since your previous BT supplied service was perfectly ok. Anyway good luck with the replacement kit.
 
D

Deleted member 924270

Guest
When the ISP is talking about "eliminating the other wiring in the property" they mean any telephone extensions not the ethernet lobes. Your internal ethernet wiring will have no bearing on the ISP link as there's no physical connection between the ethernet lobes and the phone line. Whereas, any telephone extensions will be physically spliced onto the incoming phone circuit, so sometimes they get you to effectively disconnect all that by "testing directly into the master socket without anything else connected" just to be sure it's not any of your telephone extensions (and/or handsets) that's putting some noise on the line.

It's worth playing along with them and proceed as they are asking as so doing rules out an issue with your household phone wiring. It's then"one less excuse" for them to rely on so to speak.
It’s a known firmware bug in the Zen supplied Fritzbox so unless Zen send you a different router or the same router with different firmware, the issue will still exist. The issue won’t be with your internal tel cabling or even at the exchange since your previous BT supplied service was perfectly ok. Anyway good luck with the replacement kit.


@mickevh Thanks. I guess it's best to be safe ruling out internal wiring issues. I have always been connected at the mastersocket with no extensions and currently have a MK4 faceplate attached. I can't see the test socket and microfilter making a difference in this case, but I'll try it nonetheless. I'll just swap the powerplug and router out and test the connection in the test socket and see how things go. With how infrequent these major PPP disconnects occur it could be a while before I see another incident.


@psychopomp1 I have been trying to find threads in relation to PPP drops on Zen and the Fritz!Box 7530 and was struggling to find any that had the exact same problem. Even that plusnet user that I mentioned didn't have the exact same issue. He could simply reboot the router after a PPP drop and a connection was established. If I lose sync to the ISP on my end it can be a nightmare getting the internet back on. It just doesn't make much sense though. If I restarted the router right now the dsl would quickly synchronise as always and a connection with Zen would be found in no time. When this PPP incident happens at random after 2-3-4 weeks it isn't as straightforward.

That link you posted to thinkbroadband had no relevance to the issue I have. The dsl lost sync for starters, I see no errors about cabling impaired and have no issues with connection speeds on the dsl side or zen's throughput speed. In that thread he was also racking up error counts and his connection was dropping out every couple of days. None of that is happening on my end. As for faulty firmware the only thing I could find was about ICMP packets with things like Thinkbroadbandmonitors only allowing one set of pings or something. Seems the FritzBox was designed that way rather than it being an unfixed flaw.
 
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psychopomp1

Member
That link you posted to thinkbroadband had no relevance to the issue I have. The dsl lost sync for starters, I see no errors about cabling impaired and have no issues with connection speeds on the dsl side or zen's throughput speed. In that thread he was also racking up error counts and his connection was dropping out every couple of days. None of that is happening on my end. As for faulty firmware the only thing I could find was about ICMP packets with things like Thinkbroadbandmonitors only allowing one set of pings or something. Seems the FritzBox was designed that way rather than it being an unfixed flaw.
Did you read this post? Maybe not the EXACT same issue but using a different router fixed his PPPoE drop outs - frequency of dropouts is irrelevant. Yes, his connection speed was reduced as a result but that would be the DLM taking action, which its probably not doing in your case (DLM behaves uniquely on every line)


I had a similar issue around a couple of years ago, just after I replaced a Zyxel router with a FritzBox when I recommitted to a new contract. The line would drop maybe a couple of times a day, no evident pattern to it. The line speed would reduce after every drop.

After a lot of investigation with Zen's tech team, we arrived at the conclusion that it was somehow linked to the router. I restored the Zyxel router and the issue stopped dead. So, if you have another router, it's probably worth a try to put it back in circuit.

Even if you are determined to use Zen's router no matter what, I would still test a different router in the meantime to potentially rule out equipment in your home - if you don't want to spend a penny then buy one from amazon so you can return it back free of charge and get all your money back. Because if another router stops your disconnections (and the Zen replacement doesn't) then its 100% an issue on the Fritzbox - or it may not even be an 'issue' on the Fritzbox, just that the DSL chipset on the Fritzbox doesn't get on well with the chipset in your FTTC cabinet. Its quite a common occurrence for non-Broadcom DSL chipsets (which the Fritzbox uses) to be far more unstable on certain lines. If you can prove to Zen that a different router fixes the drop outs then its makes life easier for you in the sense that you won't be asked to waste time on checking your internal wiring, connecting to your your test socket etc. In which case Zen would either have to provide you with a different router model or as a last resort release you from your contract penalty free (assuming you don't want to buy your own router).
 
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D

Deleted member 924270

Guest
I know it's been a while but I thought I would provide an update.

The 5 to 10 second PPP disconnects when downloading large amounts of data was due to a faulty cat6 cable. The packetloss exceeded 20% after 45 minutes or so of downloading on the faulty ethernet. Other computers on the network were fine downloading large files. A replacement ethernet cable as resolved this issue. Packetloss remains steady at 10%. Tested it with multiple game installs such as Mass Effect Legendary Edition, Cyberpunk 2077 etc with no temporary dropouts.

As for the ISP PPP dropouts a replacement FritzBox 7530 as fixed it. Almost 2 months since installation with the cabling replaced including the dsl cable. The only thing I didn't use from the box was the ethernet cable and I didn't bother to hook up the microfilter to the testsocket either.

I have began to notice another issue though... The Corrected DTU's on the router replacement can be fine and stable for 10-15 days with a 20-500 correction rate each 15 minutes. Then out of the blue that corrected dtu rate number goes crazy high and causes lots of ES, CRC and Uncorrected DTU's. Restarting the FritzBox manually brings those numbers back down to the single digits. Any idea what this issue could be? The cpu usage, temps, spectrum stats etc continue to look stable during these moments of madness. Does this too sound like a router issue or a possible fault outside? I am at 3dB SNR and 500 metres away from the cabinet so could it have something to do with strain / tension on the line the longer the uptime?
 
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