It’s pretty safe to say that Frontier won’t finally fix the area’s crappy internet connection and speed any time soon. So, just like anything else today, we need to take matters into our own hands. Although some people’s issues with DSL are out of our hands, there are a few things we can do to increase the odds of a good connection.


If this stuff is over your head, or you don’t have time, give me a call. I’ve helped a ton of people resolve their internet troubles.


Going into test mode

If you depend on the internet and really want to figure out what’s going on, there are a few things we can do to ensure our house and devices don’t have much to do with the issue.


Hook up as soon as it enters the house

Usually next to your electric panel in the basement or garage, there is a main connection where the phone wires enter your house and split off to all the jacks in your home. The best thing to do is remove the main hook up and plug the DSL modem direct into that connection. This requires some wiring knowledge, and you probably wouldn’t need this article if you knew that stuff. So, see if you can  at least locate a phone jack that is closest to that main connection. The purpose of this is to reduce the chances of wiring in your home adding to the issue.


Reduce interference on the phone lines

When your DSL is installed, it is supposed to have digital filters installed on any hard-wired phone devices in the home. If a device doesn’t have a filter, it will bleed interference into the DSL modem’s signal, especially if the device is being used. This issue usually stands out because the internet disconnects when the phone rings or whenever someone uses it or when they hang up. If you don’t see filters and are not sure, unplug any phone devices you can expect for the DSL modem and see how it goes.


Reduce electromagnetic interference in your home

All electronic devices cause EM interference. The amount of EM interference created depends on the size and power of each device. Microwaves, air conditioners, refridgerators, fans and electric heaters are examples of massive EM polluters. Televisions, computers, wifi, cell phones, led lights and doorbell transformers are examples of devices that spit out odd amounts of EMI in random directions. Wifi is known to cause ‘bands’ of EMI that sort of lock on to other device’s output and strengthen. The best way to troubleshoot this one is to unplug as many electrical devices as possible in the house. Turning off all circuit breakers but the ones needed can make this easier, otherwise, just turn off tvs and anything you can think of.


Override some network configuration settings

I would get into details here if I thought anyone would use them. The issue is there is a small chance of nuking your connection and then you’d be mad at me. I know of a good 5 or so tricks that can sometimes make huge differences in performance and connection quality. A common one that even comcast user’s can make use of is overriding the ‘World DNS’ servers that your router and/or computers see. The World DNS server is what knows where to send your computer when you type into your browser. Crappy internet providers use crappy DNS servers which can cause your computer to hang up each time you plug a website’s name in.

A trick for bad connections is adjusting the size and timing of your packets. As your interweb’s data packets spill all over the road on the way to Sheptown, the device making a sad attempt at receiving this scattered info is trying desperately to work with your modem to resolve bad data. Sometimes you can find a sweet spot in the timing and these issues can be resolved in milliseconds instead of 3-4 seconds each time. This trick has a decent chance of destroying your connection, which is sometimes hard to get back when you’re not sure what you are doing and the DSL equipment is overheating from screaming to itself for the past few weeks.


Does your computer work well with other internet?

Sometimes our computer has a lot to do with these speed issues. Unless your computer is pretty old, Google Chrome web browser should speed things up. If you’ve tried Chrome and it was worse, you probably have Norton Antivirus which is useless and slows your computer down tremendously, or you have viruses that are trying to hijack your internet’s communications.

Sometimes our computers have a ton of extra little programs running in the background, checking the internet for updates or sometimes they are up to sneaky stuff like sharing large amounts of your bandwidth for various things. Opening a system resource monitor and watching network traffic should help you spot anything eating your network bandwidth.


Is it your wifi?

Try plugging into the DSL modem with a network cable. Wifi is susceptible to many different kinds of interference. Sometimes the neighborhood is loaded with wifi on the same channel. Sometimes an air conditioner unit makes wifi uesless most of the times. A common issue is wifi routers or devices getting old and/or overheating when there is a lot of internet activity. This is usually a sign that something needs to be upgraded.


Did I miss anything? Let me know!



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