cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
dasp
Newbie
261 Views
Message 1 of 13

New customer, faulty connection (esp to work Outlook server), BT help calls not getting anywhere

We are trying to switch from Virgin Media (customers >15 years).  Our phone line is switched to BT and we currently have broadband with both (as a prudent backup which turned out to be a good plan).  So we can easily compare between them. 

 

Although the speed tests and diagnostics report correct connections and good speeds, packets are getting lost somehow when connecting to the work Outlook server of one of us, making home working impossible.  This is a deal breaker for us.  Also, responsiveness on some websites such as Gmail is not as good as with the (ostensibly slower) Virgin Media connection.

 

We have spent over 10 hours on phone and chat to a number of BT people and also time with the system administrator at work (who can see our connections into the Outlook server and responses out).  The laptop with Outlook client works perfectly on the Virgin Media connection, at coffee shops and many other access points it has been taken to.  We have set up another client on a desktop machine and found the same problem exists there so this is nothing to do with WiFi.

 

We have the latest BT Smart Hub.  Have tried disabling firewall, turning off smart setup, disabling IPv6 in client, factory reset of router repeatedly, none of which help with the issue.  BT have even advised turning on parental guidance but I have no idea why that would help.  I don't know if it is ultimately a problem with the Smart Hub or whether packets are lost somewhere else in the network before they get to us (is there a way to find this out?). Email server is in London, we are in Edinburgh.  Somewhat ironically, the company's ISP is BT!

 

Does anyone have any tips or cunning suggestions?  Getting to wits end here.  It seems impossible to speak to someone who can actually help.  We're just after cooling off period for contract.  But the service provided is clearly broken so we're not willing to carry on paying for it, despite BT claiming it works.

 

0 Ratings
Reply
12 REPLIES 12
Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
253 Views
Message 2 of 13

Re: New customer, faulty connection (esp to work Outlook server), BT help calls not getting anywhere

Welcome to this user forum. @dasp

 

Do you have your computer connected directly to the home hub using an Ethernet cable?

 

0 Ratings
Reply
dasp
Newbie
248 Views
Message 3 of 13

Re: New customer, faulty connection (esp to work Outlook server), BT help calls not getting anywhere

Thanks for welcome. Have tried WiFi and Ethernet via a switch+2nd router. Could easily eliminate 2nd router+switch to try direct cable connection when back at home. Not sure this would show any difference, since WiFi connection basically seems fine. VM connection works fine via 2nd router/switch (VM hub and 2nd router have with no IPv6, in case that's the issue).
0 Ratings
Reply
Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
240 Views
Message 4 of 13

Re: New customer, faulty connection (esp to work Outlook server), BT help calls not getting anywhere

A direct cable is the only way to prove it.

 

A switch may not be auto negotiating the correct speed with the home hub, this is quite a common problem with mismatched hardware. You should not be using another router, as that would result in double NAT.

 

Duplex mismatch issues can cause the problems you are seeing, especially packet loss.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duplex_mismatch

 

Try the direct cable, when you get the chance.

 

 

 

0 Ratings
Reply
dasp
Newbie
233 Views
Message 5 of 13

Re: New customer, faulty connection (esp to work Outlook server), BT help calls not getting anywhere

Will try direct cable as you suggest.  But Duplex mismatch and other internal network issues not relevant for direct WiFi connection to Smart Hub (with nothing else plugged into it) which is the use case that ought to work.

 

0 Ratings
Reply
Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
215 Views
Message 6 of 13

Re: New customer, faulty connection (esp to work Outlook server), BT help calls not getting anywhere


@dasp wrote:

Will try direct cable as you suggest.  But Duplex mismatch and other internal network issues not relevant for direct WiFi connection to Smart Hub (with nothing else plugged into it) which is the use case that ought to work.

 


I was referring to possible issues with the switch.

 

Wireless itself can cause issues, like increased latency.

 

0 Ratings
Reply
dasp
Newbie
198 Views
Message 7 of 13

Re: New customer, faulty connection (esp to work Outlook server), BT help calls not getting anywhere

OK, we have tried direct cable connection, with no change over the WiFi situation. 

 

Very occasionally Outlook manages to connect after many minutes.  But then the connection is soon dropped breaking email download. With the Virgin Media connection, connection to the Outlook server takes under a minute and remains stable (indicator in bottom task bar).

 

A simple traceroute to the Outlook server shows a similar number of hops on both connections (& similar latency, in fact a bit lower with BT).  Other traffic seems fine (can watch TV etc).  So there must be something about the type of packets or the network router between us and the server when going over BT.

 

How can we debug this to eliminate the Smart Hub?

0 Ratings
Reply
Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
194 Views
Message 8 of 13

Re: New customer, faulty connection (esp to work Outlook server), BT help calls not getting anywhere


@dasp wrote:

How can we debug this to eliminate the Smart Hub?


You could try a 3rd party router, Like the TP-LINK N300 VDSL/ADSL Modem Router £29.99  at Argos and other retailers.

Its also useful as a backup in the event of a home hub failure.

 

Do you have BT Vision, as some 3rd party router cannot handle multicast properly?

 

0 Ratings
Reply
dasp
Newbie
175 Views
Message 9 of 13

Re: New customer, faulty connection (esp to work Outlook server), BT help calls not getting anywhere

Yes, we have the YouView box added to the package.  But don't really care about it, only free channels.  

 

Anyway, besides the point, this seems to be a BT problem: BT are providing a service and/or equipment which doesn't work properly, so ought to fix or replace it themselves, I don't really want to go and throw good money after bad to buy a 3rd party modem if it is a network problem after all. 

 

I  was rather hoping you might know of a way to capture packets at the Smart Hub or something like that (I meant, eliminate it as a source of the problem).  I can access shell accounts at London based cloud servers to test simple traffic transfer, but I don't know really anything much about the Outlook protocols to debug it and I don't really want to mess around installing test servers.

 

The stress, upset and time wasted already starts to outweigh the cost saving of switching.  We'll have one last go on the help lines and fault reporting, but they are just denying the existence of a problem and I can't see how to get past that if they refuse to investigate further.

 

Thanks for your help in giving tips.

 

0 Ratings
Reply
Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
172 Views
Message 10 of 13

Re: New customer, faulty connection (esp to work Outlook server), BT help calls not getting anywhere

BT are not going to be able to help, and as a residential account customer, its not something they would even be interested in looking at, as residential accounts are just for personal and entertainment use.

 

If you really wanted to capture packets, you would need to connect a managed Ethernet switch with port mirroring, between the home hub, and your computer.

 

You would then need another computer running Wireshark, connected to the mirrored port output, then you could look at what is happening, if you know what to look for.

 

0 Ratings
Reply