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Can modems go bad?

This is a discussion on Can modems go bad? within the XDTalk Chatter Box forums, part of the XD Talk category; So for the past few months Ive been having intermittent problems with my internet connection. It will range from having to reload a page every ...


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Old 11-04-2010, 02:07 AM   #1
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Can modems go bad?

So for the past few months Ive been having intermittent problems with my internet connection. It will range from having to reload a page every so often, to restarting the router and modem, to me yelling and cussing out bresnan (my ISP) cause nothing is making the net, work and its the only thing that keeps me from ripping the modem out of the wall and throwing it across the room. Now I do understand that from time to time the modem and router need to be restarted but when it happens everyday or multiple times a day that's not right. Also I know that during the peak hours the connection will get slow and will have more problems but when it happens at the wee hours of the morning or in the middle of the afternoon (1-4 pm) there's a problem there. I have gotten a new computer with windows 7 on it and it will tell me that there's network access but no internet access when I'm having problems. The modem in question is a Motorola Surfboard that is about 5 years old. Im not leasing it and I would prefer to not lease one if i can help it. Im running a newer (past year) linksys N router, and have an old WRT54G that I can hook up if needed. I have called bresnan out and of course they have stated that the problem is not on their end.

So any help would be appreciated in helping me with my internet problems.
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:17 AM   #2
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yes, they can go bad, but its usually a line problem weakening the signal (but not enought to mess up the TV) in my experience.

corosion at a break or something would be my guess, a cable guy can check your signal at a few spots.

you can pick up a new modem for not too much cash, and call in to have them set up for the number on the modem. not too much hassle.
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:41 AM   #3
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Yes, modems do go bad, but it may not be the modem.

Contact your ISP and start the problem solving from there.
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:58 AM   #4
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I've gone through 9 aDSL modems since I got DSL service.

They can and do go bad.


Have your ISP ship you a new modem (yes, it'll cost) or buy a new one for yourself. Plug it in, set it up and see if it fixes your problems.

If the problems go away - it's the modem
If the problems stay - return the modem and have the ISP come out and fix the lines.
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsh341 View Post
Yes, modems do go bad, but it may not be the modem.

Contact your ISP and start the problem solving from there.
tried that, they said that its not on their end (but of course they are gonna say that)
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:57 AM   #6
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We have the exact same problem with CenturyTel, crappiest "broadband" I have ever heard of.
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Old 11-04-2010, 04:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csutke View Post
tried that, they said that its not on their end (but of course they are gonna say that)
Take your modem out of the question by just plugging the ethernet directly into your computer. If that gives you a steady signal with no intermittent breaks, you know its the modem.

A new modem is pretty easy to set up, and they aren't really that expensive anymore.
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Old 11-04-2010, 04:34 AM   #8
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To isolate the problem, if possible, bypass your router and hook straight into the modem. That will eliminate the router as the cause. If you still see the same issue, then in some cases the ISP will replace the modem for you.

If you are on DSL, bad filters can be part of the problem as well. Like another user said, cables can be a problem. If for some reason you have crappy cables, sometimes too many cables that are incorrectly shielded can interfere with one another. Be sure to check that all cables and wires are properly seated.

I would also run a speed check at DSL reports by going here.

Speed Test : upload and download | DSLReports.com, ISP Information

This will let you see how good of a connection you have and any latency you might see via your ISP.

I just ran one from here (NC) and I get the following to NY.

9586 Kb/s Download
480 Kb/s upload
20 ms latency

You can and will see better, but this will give you a basis for comparison. Running the speed check will not give you any magic information, but if your speeds are way off from what I'm showing, it can give you some clues, particularly if your latency numbers are super high.

By the way, I'm on Time Warner.
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:31 AM   #9
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I've been through 5 modems with my aDSL service over the years. What causes them to go bad is heat. Some of them get VERY hot and have poor ventilation.

Same for routers and switches. I've had to replace my switches a couple of times also.
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:44 AM   #10
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Try to find similarities with the problem in order to present a good case to the ISP. FOr isntance my modem always goes down when it is raining. This would alert them to the fact that water is getting into the line somewhere...

at first it sounded to me like a modem problem until u mentioned speeds dropping off later in the day.... i would run speedtest.net and pingtest.net to get some concrete stats and keep a log off them to rpesent to the ISP. Also take the router out of the loop.

BTW wireless or wired connection?
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