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Demon broadband big problems

Our Demon broadband service has been good for years, but over the past few weeks it's been really bad. We have had the same wifi router for ages (a D-Link) and it's been reliable, but in recent weeks the ADSL service has cut out completely, three or four times per day.

The wifi is still working (I can communicate from one local computer to another) but the connection to the outside (in either direction) is totally gone, and the "ADSL" light on the router is flashing indicating a problem. I can "solve" the problem by rebooting the router, but rebooting the router three or four times a day is completely impractical and a right pain - and, of course, 100% impossible if I'm away from home and trying to log in remotely.

(I'm actually having problems posting this blog article, since my connection only lasts about two or three minutes at a time this evening. Have rebooted router five times while writing this post. Cor blimey this is a bad service....)

I rang Demon customer service and I could tell I wasn't the only one having the problem - they've recently added a message saying "if you're having broadband problems try rebooting your router before ringing". I see from a recent news article that it is definitely affecting lots of people.

The first thing Demon told me to do was move my router so it was plugged into the main landline socket (not an extension) and try changing the microfilter. So eventually I found the kit for that and did it, but the problems were exactly the same.

Then I rang back, spent another 45 minutes waiting for an answer from the tech support, and after going through the same questions, the only thing they could tell me was "buy a new router". Hmm, so if the problem is that my router is crap, how come everyone's having the exact same problem as me, all at the same time? Everyone's router has broken at once? Not particularly likely. Apparently Demon have done some kind of "upgrade" to their broadband service, the details of which I don't know, but it looks like something might have gone badly wrong with that because lots of people seem to be having the same problem as me - a service that worked perfectly well and pretty much rock-solid for five years is now "upgraded" to a totally awful state.

IF YOU HAVE PROBLEMS: First reboot the router - turn it off, wait 20 seconds, turn it on. If you have the same as me (rebooting fixes it but not for long), try making sure your router is plugged into the primary landline wall socket (with no extension cables), and try changing the microfilter. Tech support will refuse to help you until you do those steps. Then if you ring tech support, they might say that your router must be faulty and try a different one. I certainly don't know of a wifi router I can borrow. But if everyone is having the same problem then it isn't our routers that are at fault but Demon's service.

Tuesday 16th June 2009 | IT | Permalink
Name: Matt
Email: sharopolis art gmail dort com
Date: Monday 29th June 2009 20:35
Hi Dan,
Have you tired updating the firmware on your router?
I had a similar problem at one point and that cured it.
From what I can gather, if they've upgraded they've probably gone to ADSL2+ and your router might not fully support it if it's a few years old. They've only recently standardised the protocols apparently, so this is a common problem.
See if you can flash some new firmware(you might need windows to do this!), I think D-Links are pretty well supported so you might be in luck.
Name: Kim
Date: Wednesday 1st July 2009 09:32
I'm having exactly the same problem - 30th June 2009. Demon are telling me too that it's my router at fault. I can't afford to buy a new router, and even before reading this (I'm at the library using their public screens) I suspected it was Demon's fault not mine or BT.
Name: Dan
Date: Wednesday 1st July 2009 12:18
Matt - yes I searched for new firmware but I already have the latest version (2005 if I remember right). Always worth checking that though.

Name: Alan
Date: Wednesday 8th July 2009 17:02
Exactly the same problem, upgraded the firmware works a bit better but then just stops working for hours at a time, or works for 15 minutes stops for ten then works for another 15 and so on! Got told its because everybody else is using on demand tv on the internet and xbox's and sapping the network speed, how come this only happened after the upgrade!!!
Name: joe
Date: Monday 27th July 2009 19:44
demon are upgrading to ADSL2+
go to their website, they are offering new free compatible routers to existing and new customers
I reset my netgear to factory settings and re installed it
now working well, with improved speed from pre upgrade
Name: jonath
Website: http://jonath.co.uk
Date: Tuesday 18th August 2009 22:14
Hey, Dan, jonathan here. Did you ever sort out your problems with Demon? I've been having problems since early June, when I suspect the ADSL2+ conversion began. I have a Netgear DG834Gv3 with the latest firmware installed and the service has been appalling for several months now. I'm moving over to Eclipse, which has so far been very painless. Life's too short.
Name: arthur
Email: arthur art normington dort demon dort co dort uk
Date: Tuesday 18th August 2009 22:57
I have the same problems, it sometimes takes 20mins for my netgear router to connect. I have had the same advice from Demon and bought a new Netgear router - no better. Why don't Demon come clean and tell people if they have a problem, I guess it's time to switch ISP.
Name: jonath
Website: http://jonath.co.uk
Date: Wednesday 19th August 2009 22:28
Arthur - yes, just move to another ISP. I was with Demon and I got sick of it. Moving to another ISP is dead simple nowadays. You just need the migration code (MAC?!) from Demon (actually, you don't even need that, but it makes the process simpler and quicker), which took them about 24 hours to produce when I asked for it.
Name: Dan
Website: http://www.mcld.co.uk/
Date: Wednesday 19th August 2009 22:35
Demon have just sent us a new router, been using it for about a day - so I don't have much accumulated evidence but it's good they sent us the new router... will let you know how I get on...
Name: John
Date: Tuesday 1st September 2009 00:00
Same problems here too. Service was fine until about 3 months ago, and now it's frequently problematic. Works fine for days, but then stops working for some reason. Getting them to clear the connection and then waiting 20 minutes got it back earlier, and if that will always fix it at least it's a start. But will it, I wonder?
Name: Rowan
Date: Sunday 16th May 2010 06:50
Same peoblem with me but it is now 16th May 2010 and we have had the problem for months and have gone through 3 routers thinking that was the issue.
Be bye Demon your customer service was never great anyway and I see BT are offering 24/7 customer service now. Just sad as we spent about 8 years together but enough is enough.
Name: Ingrid
Email: hi art hicrawfod dort demon dort co dort uk
Date: Thursday 8th July 2010 10:59
I only started having problems after updating to Sky+ for my TV
Has anyone followed up on this option?

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