I’ve been experiencing a couple of day of infuriating disconnections from our Virgin media (rebranded NTL) cable based Internet connection. During periods of connectivity I’d managed to look on-line and see that I was not alone.
Before the desperation of trying to embark on the tortuous process that is technical support on the phone I decided to do some troubleshooting myself using my own slightly sad but sometimes useful technical abilities.
I was having to unplug and restart the cable modem up to 10 times a day so the problem needed diagnosing. I noticed that during periods where there were seemingly devoid of an Internet connection I could ping Virgin’s two DNS servers so that suggested to me that perhaps this was some kind of DNS resolution issue.
I then input Virgin’s DNS servers manually into our netgear router & also made sure that the ethernet mac address showing was that of our main computer and not the router after reading that people using routers were having more problems that those where the modem was connected directly to a computer. I had also tried removing the router from the equation but the problem persisted.
So I then dispensed with Virgin’s DNS server addresses and used the third party OpenDNS server addresses input manually into the netgear router and this seems to have resolved our connection reliability issues completely.
If you’re using Virgin’s cable broadband and having similar issues it’s worth trying this solution to see if it also solves your own intermittent connection problems. Many Virgin media cabled areas are experiencing connectivity issues. In some cases it’s the local exchange, in others it’s faulty modems which can be replaced but for us using an alternative DNS service has improved our connection 100%.