Q&A: Frequently-dropped broadband connection

Q My TalkTalk router drops its Internet connection two or three times a day, and I have to reboot it by powering it off and on again. Following advice, I checked its logs, and there are frequent bursts of error messages containing “netMakeChannDial: err=-3000 rn_p=805b13d0”. Why is this happening?

A The most common reason for disconnections is line noise becomes too great for their speed. That can be because of the load being placed on the shared bandwidth (an ISP issue), or over copper rather than fibre-optic connections, because of local electrical noise perhaps from heavy plant.

Check your end of the connection uses recommended filters and hardware, and router cables avoid electrical items which could cause noise. Line noise may rise at certain times of the day, usually the result of increased demand being placed by other users. Some routers cope better with this, by negotiating a lower speed, than others.

However you should reset your router using its browser interface or reset button, not the power switch. You will need to discuss these issues with your ISP, who should be able to adjust their settings for your line and control the problem in future.

Updated from the original, which was first published in MacUser volume 30 issue 11, 2014.