Frequent internet pauses/disconnects

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
I'm connected to the internet wirelessly through an airport extreme (the older UFO, 802.11g kind) and I find my internet access is commonly temporarily "stopping". One computer is hooked directly into the airport, and one is connected wirelessly. The airport is then plugged into a modem, that itself plugs into the phone line (at&t dsl).

Sometimes my airport status in the menu bar lists itself as "disconnecting" then will reconnect after 20 or so seconds. Other times there is no visible status change but any file I'm downloading will stop. If it occurs when I'm playing an online game, such as WoW, I will pause and then be disconnected from the server. Other times I will simply "lag out" for 10-20 seconds then everything will move in fast-forward as I catch back up to the server.

During such outages I've found that I can browse and transfer files over the local network. Which would seemingly eliminate the router as the problem? Could such "pauses" be caused by the modem?

Rev. A G5


And all the latest airport firmware as far as I can tell.


  • Reply 1 of 1
    Couple things:

    Is your DSL connection PPPoE? If so is the airport initiating the PPPoE connection?

    Sounds like the PPPoE connection is what is going down.

    I have a Time Capsule with a similar problem. It starts the PPPoE connection to the Verizon modem but will drop it at random, at which point I need to restart the Time Capsule.

    Some possible solutions:

    1. See if your ATT modem has a firmware update available. Might help. Might not (didn't help for me).

    2. Confirm that you have the latest firmware for the Airport.

    3. See if your ATT modem is one that has a web control panel, if so poke around there and see if there are any settings you can tweak.

    4. Failing that, consider getting a newer ATT modem, one which has PPPoE built in to the modem and also a router. These are available on Ebay for around $25. Then put the Airport Base Station into bridge mode (not router).

    If you have specific questions about your ATT modem, is a good place to start.
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