Help/Advice re PC/Broadband issue.

My PC is a rather aging Dell, however a year ago it was completely overhauled with all new and upgraded internals. Don't know the tech specs unfortunately, as I am an utter technotard. The work was all done by a local engineer whom I know.

I live in a village location, within 1/4 mile of the BT exchange, however said exchange has yet to be upgraded into the 21st century and the best connection available around here is up to 8mb. I have mine provided by Orange (or EE or whatever they're calling themselves now). My connection had been for a long time running at about 7mb, sometimes dipping to about 5mb at peak times.

That was until about 2 months ago when, literally overnight I found I could no longer stream, and was lucky if I could send or receive e-mails. Speed tests were showing the connection running normally so I got the same engineer to look at my PC again, he found nothing wrong with it. That began the last 6 weeks+ of phone calls to Orange's so called technical support, multiple visits from BT openreach, etc.

The end result has been it's no different. I can conduct multiple speed tests on different testing sites, one after the other, and get wildly fluctuating results (sometimes the connection is so poor I can't even get the test pages loading). I've tried the tests with different browsers, different test sites, running tests back to back, or at the same time in different tabs, every combination I can think of. All the normal diagnostics have been done. The router has been replaced, I've done the tests with other devices and got the same results. I'm on a wired connection straight into the only phone socket with a built in filter, this has all been checked by BT and the equipment in the exchange replaced (allegedly anyway).

Even when the speed tests are showing full speed I can't play a clip on Youtube at the lowest setting. Orange have as good as admitted they've not got a clue. I've got a migration code to go to another provider on the basis that it can't be any worse, my connection won't load a page any more demanding than a plain text forum most of the time.

Any thoughts/suggestions gratefully received, I'm tearing out the little hair I have left at the moment.
Could just be a poor connection in the wire between your computer and the street. Ask for a second opinion ?

About 3 years ago when I was still on AOL (yes I know) the bloody thing would disconnect literally 10 or 20 times a day, every day. As I'd initially been on dial up, which is slower than 2nd class post, I didn't bother about it. Then one day, the landline phone stopped working. BT came out and checked the wiring (under the ground not off a telegraph pole) and the engineer said the wires were dead. Fortunately there were several extra pairs of wires so he just connected it to another pair that wasn't broken. Since then, the twunternet hardly ever disconnects at all.
Take your computer to a friend's house and try it. If it's OK there, the problem is your phone line and/or ISP. Additionally, there might be something amiss with your computer, be it duff hardware (LAN) or summat nasty in the software side.
You can try a few things before moving it. A different DNS server might get the pages to load faster.

Do you a have laptop/phone/tablet that you run off the wireless and if you do is that still turd?

If you're on an Ethernet connection a different cable could help if you're on wireless then some faffing around with the security/bandwidth settings could shed some light.

Have you tried running a good old fashioned constant ping to google for a few minutes to see if any packets are lost?

Lastly ( the one I see most often) do you have any teenagers/broadband thieves "borrowing" you're connection for some epic smut downloading?

Is the modem you have yours or was supplied by the ISP?

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You can try a few things before moving it. A different DNS server might get the pages to load faster.
Unlikely - DNS info is kept in local cache until it hits the TTL as set in the SOA, usually 1 hours (3600 seconds) for the major sites, some site running on Virtual servers will have 1 second TTL though. Other shite is to do with Secondary zone transfers etc

Youtube is 3600, so once you have resolved youtube, you're good for at least an hour

MacBook:~ nobbyd$ nslookup
> set type=soa

Non-authoritative answer:
origin =
mail addr =
serial = 2012121301
refresh = 10800
retry = 3600
expire = 604800
minimum = 600

Authoritative answers can be found from:


Book Reviewer
there should be an online help or you can ring them up and get them to tinker with it as there is a surprising amount they can do to up your signal. also make sure you haven't got any viruses or bloatware hogging the system and causing it to lag. some antivirus/internet security are buggers for it. Norton used to slow you to a standstill and had so many complaints they had to rewrite it.

I'd been complaining about mine for years as I would go through weeks of drop outs when we had a weather change and it finally got sorted, I had a broken wire outside the house but it took a total failure to get them to look at it properly.

its possible they choked it their end if they thought you were using too much bandwidth, some isps allocate you so much full speed then throttle it afterwards, a chat with the tech guys might help. the O2 guys have been really good even with the issues although their solution to everything was to send me a new router just in case :)
I had a similar problem back in the days of dial up. Connection was fine for anything from 5 mins to a week, then nothing. Phone worked ok and after while the 'net would come back. After many phone calls to BT and many engineers visiting telling me theres nothing wrong, one engineer turned up and found the fault in 30 secs. Bad/corroded connections in the box on our pole and the pair of wires running from the house back to the cabinet in the road were duff. He swapped us over to the last spare pair and all was well again.
The trouble is you can turn up to a broadband fault and everything tests fine, so there is no fault to chase after. It took us around 16 visits on one line to track the problem down.

Sent from my HTC Wildfire S A510e using ARRSE mobile app
Thanks for the responses folks. I have been shopping around for a new provider. Gave BT a ring, and apparently I can now get BT Infinity where I live. Bloke at BT sales made it sound amazing, speeds on my connection reckoned to be about 65Mb, etc. That's about 10x better than anything I've been able to get before, anyone else here had/got it and know if it's all it's cracked up to be?
I install the thing all the time, considering your distance from the exchange you're probably not too far from your cabinet either, which is the key thing with fibre to the cab, it is a very good product and sadly the only reason I don't have it is the sods did not upgrade my cabinet.
Well, I've gone ahead and ordered it. Can't help wondering if the sales bloke has made a mistake though, the exchange my connection is on doesn't show as being enabled for BT Infinity on their website. He was adamant though, and went ahead and took my order. We'll see I guess, he's booked my install for 3rd Jan.
Just checked that for you Milo - if you're in ashford TN26 - it doesn't look like you're Infinity enabled - here's the address to check your exact address Superfast Broadband – Get Fibre Optic Broadband with BT Infinity.
DON'T believe BT Sales (or helpdesks) - Most BT staff that i've dealt with are inept lying bast***ds - according to the BT address check you can only get BT broadband - which I was offered for free and turned it down !!!!
If you can get Virginmedia cable its a lot more stable than BT and the speeds bitch slap them as well for speed for your cash. Currently running at 120mb/s and when it gets to the heavy traffic times im never below 100mb/s.
I suppose you could run traceroute (or tracert on Windows boxes) to YouTube's IP address. That'll tell you approximately where the bottleneck is happening, whether it's a latency or bandwidth issue.
Well, just rung BT again to double check that my order is progressing. Spoke to someone different and they are still absolutely adamant that I will be getting BT Infinity. I've asked several times in both calls to them if they're quite sure about it, and they are definite. My concerned questions have been met with polite laughter both times, like I'm daft for even doubting them. They have my full address with postcode and land line phone number so can't see how they can be cocking it up, yet I'm still skeptical.

Still, I'll see within the next few weeks, copper connection goes over to them 3rd of Jan then Infinity installed within 2 weeks of that (allegedly).

I've had a look at VM cable broadband as well. That's definitely not available where I am, shame because it is just a couple of miles up the road.

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