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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ensuring a DSL Connection Stays Up

I've got DSL service through Qwest, with an Actiontec DSL modem. Every so often the connection will just hang for no apparent reason. Qwest have not been able to help. I suspect the problem is due to a flaky modem or some accumulation of 'state' in the device that causes it to hang when it reaches a certain point. Power cycling the modem fixes it every time.

Most of the time the connection is fine but I can almost guarantee that it will hang if I go away for a few days. As I run my own web site and mail server it is crucial that the connection stays up.

The fix that I've arrived at is very low tech. Simply plug the modem into a cheap programmable timer and set that to go off for one minute everyday sometime in the middle of the night. That way the modem gets reset once a day whether it needs it or not.

Most importantly it will reset when I'm not here. So even it hangs during the day it will be back within 24 hours.

Since I've been using this I've not had a problem... famous last words...

My timer is an Intermatic with an LCD display, but any reasonable timer from Home Depot, etc. will do the job. It cost less than $20.

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