Why does my modem loose connection so offten?

Question

I'm having a persistant problem with my cable modem internet connection that is irritating to no end. I don't know why, but I'm not getting that 'always on' that I should. Ever since I had this installed, (3 weeks ago now) the modem loses sync with the ISP network (my cable provider is RCN). It will do this sporatically... just lose connection, and the re-initialize and come back online. It can do this once every few hours... or 4 times in two minutes! It's very annoying... especially since I play online games and seems like I get cut off just when I'm in a fight!

Like I said, my ISP is RCN, and I've had their broadband internet before and it was pretty good. So, since the new building I moved to is wired for RCN, I got their service again. To cut down on expenses, this time I bought my own cable modem... chosen from RCN's list of modems that they allow on their network. The modem is a Toshiba PCX2200, which is DOCSIS compliant like RCN wants. The first time this began happening I thought it might be the modem, as the tech that came out to look at it agreed, so I returned the modem and got another... same model and brand. Another tech came out to provision it, but as soon as he left it started dropping connections again. Another tech came out, checked the signal level, said that there was no problem there... so he took the modem off the spliter (as I also get their cable TV service too) and gave the modem it's own direct line. Still, the modem loses signal. I tried another modem, another network card, registry tweaks... still, no steady, always-on connection.

I'm at the end of my rope. I've had 3 different techs come out to lokk at this and they can't find a cause for this. A lead tech is coming out soon to check this problem, but I need some advice. Is there something on my system that might be causing this? I'm running a home-built machine with Windows 2000 SP 3, P4 1.7GHz processor, 1 GB system RAM, ASUS P4S533-E motherboard, Creative SB Live! sound card, nVidia GeForce MX 440 graphics card, one DVD-ROM drive, and one CD-RW drive. I do have 2 software firewalls installed on this machine, Zone Alarm Pro and Norton Personal Firewall. I thought that might be a problem, but when I take the machine to my job and use it on the company LAN, it works flawlessly.

Am I missing something? Is there something else on my machine that I can check, or is this the ISP's issue? But if the tech comes out again and finds nothing, THEN what do I do?

Thanks

Answer

This question was answered on February 25, 2004. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

1.How far away is the phone line from the jack to the modem? If its more than 4 feet away electromagnetic interference could be you problem. (4 feet is the upper limit).

2.If not try to reinstall your modem and let you computer detect the modem for you, and install it's own drivers.

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Author

Posted by Student of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on February 25, 2004