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Fixing common Eircom Broadband problems

Are you struggling to watch YouTube videos, or websites seem to take ages to load? Here are a few easy tips to troubleshoot your Eircom Broadband connection. How do you know you might have a problem? If you have 3Mb Eircom Broadband or faster, there is no reason why YouTube videos should frequently struggle to play smoothly.
broadband router
The first thing to do is to check what speed your broadband modem is connecting at. To do that, open a browser window and go to http://192.168.1.254. An informational screen looking something like this should appear:

eircom broadband

Under the Eircom logo on your left, there is a list of options. Click "Troubleshooting". More options will appear. Click "Statistics" followed by "DSL". You will now see "DSL Statistics" information. This will give you important information about the quality and speed of your connection. First of all, look at "Max Allowed Speed". If you have 7Mb Eircom Broadband, this should be showing a number somewhere near 7000 kbps, as 1 Mb equals roughly 1000 kbps. If the speed is significantly below that, it is likely there is a problem with your connection. For example, if you have 7Mb Eircom broadband, but your modem is only showing a "Max Allowed Speed" of 4000 kbps or less, there is likely a problem with your line or the internal wiring in your home.

After where it gives your speed, also check the SN Margin and Line Attenuation. SN Margin should be around 10 or higher to get a good connection (higher is better). As for Line Attenuation, here is a guide (a lower number is better):
  • 20dB and below is outstanding
  • 20dB-30dB is excellent
  • 30dB-40dB is very good
  • 40dB-50dB is good
  • 50dB-60dB is poor and may experience connectivity issues
  • 60dB or above is bad and will experience connectivity issues

Sometimes, equipment in your home might interfere with Eircom Broadband. Things like Sky boxes are common causes of interference. Try disconnecting all devices in your home, including phones, fax machines, Sky boxes and anything else you may have. Follow this by turning off your Eircom Broadband modem for a moment, before powering it back on. Now check your DSL stats again as described above. Do you see a significant improvement? If you do, you know that another device in your home is causing the problem. Try adding devices one by one, making sure to always connect them using a ADSL filter supplied by Eircom (see diagram below).



One final tip: If your "Max Allowed Speed" is very low, for example just 200 kbps, it is also possible Eircom may have put your line in a test mode by accident. If that is the case, a quick free phone call to 1901 will fix the problem.

If you know of any other advice, you can let the author of this blog post know by posting in the comments.

Use OpenDNS to speed up the Internet
When you visit any website such as www.google.com, your computer contacts Eircom's DNS (Domain Name Servers) to translate this address into a number your computer can connect to. Sometimes this can take a few moments. To speed up the process, you can use OpenDNS. It's a free service, and not only will it increase the speed websites load initially, but they use technology to protect you from websites known to host viruses and malware. Find out how to setup OpenDNS on your computer here.

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