Virgin Broadband randomness

edited March 2012 in General chat
I know there are other Virgin threads but thought I'd start this new one, as this is a specific question.<br><br>Since moving home in summer and having a new Virgin account set up, we get random outages every so often.<br><br>What happens is quite specific. Internet suddenly loses connection - occasionally notice tv picture goes dodgy at the same time if it's on.<br><br>The wireless network shows up in the bottom right corner of the PC as full strength and connected. <br><br>Trying to connect by iphone, it also says it is connected<br><br>But both the PC and the iphone are not actually connected and you can't use the internet. <br><br>So it is definitely the network not the computer (my internet radio also can't connect, so I've got three devices all proving this)<br><br>Sometimes I can cure this, by turning off the wireless router at the plug and the back of the box, sometimes - like last night and this morning - that doesn't work.<br><br>Two questions (Virgin are not much help)<br><br>1) is this same problem happening to anyone else round here?<br>2) for those more technical than myself - any thoughts on what causes this and how to sort this?<br>


  • <font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">The first thing to say is that the connection between your devices and the wireless router is different to the connection from the wireless router to the Internet. Just because your devices are connected to the router does not mean you have an Internet connection.</font><div style="font-family: Arial, Verdana; font-size: 10pt; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal; "><br></div><div style="font-family: Arial, Verdana; font-size: 10pt; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal; ">Do you have a separate router and modem? How old is the hardware?</div><div style="font-family: Arial, Verdana; font-size: 10pt; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal; ">The most likely reason for poor performance or outages is cabling, most likely that between the box outside on the pavement (probably with its door missing and wires hanging out(!) and your wireless router.</div><div style="font-family: Arial, Verdana; font-size: 10pt; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal; "><br></div><div style="font-family: Arial, Verdana; font-size: 10pt; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal; ">You can try replacing the network cables from the wall socket to your modem and from the modem to your router (if they are separate). A cold boot every so often will also help (disconnect from the power, count to 10 and reconnect).</div><div style="font-family: Arial, Verdana; font-size: 10pt; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal; ">Do you have more than one cable socket in your house? If so it is worth connecting everything up to the other one and seeing if it's any better.</div><div style="font-family: Arial, Verdana; font-size: 10pt; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal; "><br></div><div><font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Having said all that, it is more likely to be a dodgy cable somewhere else, in a wall or under the floor that has been kinked or chewed (rats like chewing wire) or in some other way damaged. If it's a continuous problem, threatening Virgin with a move to Sky should prompt them to send an engineer to investigate.</font></div>
  • We sometimes get this, but usually only on my PC - the apple products we have are fine. This leads me to the suspicion that it is something to do with the way Windows and iOS get their IP addresses. Like all computer equipment routers need a boot every now and then - once or twice a week I'd say - to clean them out. Rebooting works, as does pretending to roam onto another person's router then cancelling and going back onto the Virgin router, but this is merely staving off the inevitable reboot as it is only a temporary measure. <br><br>I did have many Virgin problems in the summer, this was (after many calls and complaints) explained as a network capacity issue that they were trying to resolve without telling anyone. It's all OK now and the broadband flies - subject to the above. At that time my TV would go dark and as I don't have an aerial connection that was not great. <br>
  • We've had Virgin since we moved here in 2009.  We had a spate of problems throughout 2011, but (touch wood) it's been miles better recently: stable, fast, and working (always a bonus).  Before then we had intermittent outages (very often when trying to watch a movie on a Saturday night using on-demand, really really annoying).<br><br>After too many phone  calls they admitted there were general problesm in the area.  Apparently they were looking into it around November time, and ever since it's been good (and I've not heard back from them).  I found their customer service quite painful to deal with though, so you have my sympathies.<br>
  • I had broadband and the only problem i had was when the road was dug up (stroud green road about 7 years or so ago) and we lost reception for 2 months, because of lots of red tape.  Since i've had wifi over a few years ago I never have many problems. One a month or so I have to reboot.  That's all.  I guess I'm lucky on this front.
  • Got it working again the other day by turning off the router with the button on the back, leaving off for a bit, then turning back on.<br><br>Thing is, I;d already tried that numerous times to no avail.<br><br>Only variable was I moved its position slightly. <br><br>I suspect I have some dodgy wiring. Thing has never worked entirely properly since it was set up.<br><br>Cheers for the answers<br>
  • I've had a similar problem where the internet disconnects and I have to turn the router off and on again. Virgin have sent me a new modem (mine was ages old apparently) ... so we'll see if this fixes the problem.
  • I never knew one was supposed to reboot the router - what exactly does the process clear out (not too much detail please, I won't understand it!)?
  • The cache. It's the technical equivalent of emptying your wallet when it gets too full of receipts, coffee loyalty cards and train tickets.
  • Nice analogy Andy<br>
  • <P>Yes, thanks @andy - I understood that! Wallet could do with emptying, now you mention it...</P>
  • We had regular (fortnightly) issues with Virgin broadband. Some outages lasted 10 minutes, others several days. We had engineers in every couple of months. They sorted out the problem for a short while, then it came back.<br><br>Last time the engineer replaced our (apparently ancient) modem and router with a new single device. Seems more reliable. Lots of annoying blinking lights, though. Keep meaning to put electrical tape over them.<br>
  • You all don't know you've been born! I'm on TalkTalk, I get random inages :(<br>
  • New modem is in place - everything working :)
  • I have never had any problems with Virgin, but having said that I have never had Virgin Broadband so I wouldn't.
  • Virgin is rubbish in this area. Iv had the same problem for a year. I think it cables or the exchange. Im a computer freak and trust me you wont fix it. My old house was perfect but this area is always blacking out. I was placing an online bet one day when my internet cut off, i lost out on 1230 pounds coz all my bets won. I was furious,they gave me 2 months free.
  • edited March 2012
    Not sure if this the right thread, but here we go ... I am a Virgin cable customer ... tv, broadband, phone ... I am tempted by a recent offer from BT for internet snd phone. BT still has overhead phone lines in our street, and does not use the Virgin cables, so by reconnecting with the old overhead lines I am not sure of speeds ... not interested in gaming or downloading video ... Does anyone else here use BT phone and broadband ...whether overhead wires or underground ...? What is it like?
  • It is brilliant. Little blips now and again - usually just after Corrie or very late at night. Otherwise excellent, we have BT infinity on the Lower West Side.
  • Blimey, @ashman, any chance you could post betting tips as well as recipes?!
  • seems like TalkTalk will be offering download 80Meg and upload 20megfrom April extra £15 a month
  • We had this alot on Virgin - my partner eventually phoned them up and they took about 2 hrs to show him how to connect to a different 'channel' as apparently ours might have been too busy with other users! anyway so far so good so if anyone else is still having problems it might be worth calling like we did (although it took agggges to get thru!)
  • Man came round, checked all leads, replaced the router with a new one, we shall see how it works.<br><br>Currently it does seem faster.<br><br>May try changing channels though as that sounds promising.<br>
  • There is an open source software to check what is on your channel and whether it might be interfering: <br><br> <br>
  • Yep, that channel thing....<br><br>...we recently started experiencing problems with wifi, but there was nothing wrong with our Internet connection.  I reaslied our next-door neighbour had recently isntalled Virgin also, and since everyone (including us) used the default settings, I wondered if it was chaneel interference (everyone's on the same channel, so it's hard to keep a good connection).<br><br>I switched channels and so far all good.  There are some channels that are better than others: I think 1, 6 and 11 are non-overlapping, and therefore are better than the others.<br><br>
  • How does one change channels? My service this evening is atrocious!
  • edited March 2012
    The exact instructions differ depending on the router, but essentially you need to login to your router (normally via your web browser) and go to wireless settings.  You'll normally see an option called Channel that defaults to something like "Auto-select" (which means let the router figure one out.  If you un-tick this option, you can then manually choose a number from 1 - 13.  I'm told 1, 6, 11 and 13 are the best, but I'm no expert.  Then save your changes.<br><br>You shouldn't need to change anything on any of your devices (laptops, tablets, phones, etc.)<br><br><br>
  • @boxrunner, thanks - I did eventually figure it out, with the assistance of a very helpful lady at Virgin (no, I can hardly believe they have one either). In the process I seem to have renamed my broadband connection, so I guess I'd better try and work out if I also changed my password, and what I changed it to! 
  • I checked my channel using Ian's link above, turned out we are the only people on our one that it found. Think the helpful Virgin man sent round may have done that along with numerous other things. Internet is, touch wood, currently much improved. Time will tell. <br><br>Lesson seems be persistent with Virgin in demanding an engineer.<br>
  • Virgin broadband major outage for the next 5 days possibly. Just spoke to them and "there has been exponential loss to the area" which means they believe it's a cable fault and the sheer amount of cabling they'll have to replace may take up to 5 days!!! They've given me a discount. They think we may get service periodically. There's not much to be done but I'm now off to find some Internet connection somewhere
  • come back BT ... slow but steady ... all is forgiven ...
  • Virgin are fucking shit. Nothing but trouble with their service recently, and it ain't cheap.
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