New Albany, IN
[Equipment] strange issue with Arris cable modem I wanted to share a little tale about problems I've had with an Arris Touchstone, which I ultimately resolved by simply upgrading to 30/3 service that required a modem upgrade anyway.
I added telephone service to my existing CATV / IP residential account earlier this year. The technician who came out to "install" this stuff had the Arris Touchstone linked up to my laptop just fine, so I assumed everything would work. I couldn't get it to link up to my router for anything, though. After a sanity-checking call to tech support I tried several different CAT5e patch cables, eventually finding one that worked, and I assumed I was just unlucky and had a bunch of bad patch cords. I threw them all out.
Fast-forward to last week, when I purchased a new router (Linksys e4200), and I again had trouble getting the Touchstone to link up. I had bought brand new cables in various lengths and tried quite a few of them, eventually finding that two of the ~20 CAT5e and CAT6 cables I owned would "work." The others would not. I don't own a cable tester but I'm fairly sure those cables aren't all bad because they work fine with everything else.
Now, when I say this "worked," what I really mean is I got about 0.8 Mbps download speed (speedtest.net) and 1.5 Mbps upload speed. After resetting, swapping cords, etc. a bunch of times, I eventually got tired of reaching for the e4200's power cord and reset button, and moved it a few feet further from the Touchstone. Like magic, my speedtest.net results increased to about 3 Mbps download, with normal 1.5 Mbps upload speed.
Amazingly enough, I could reproduce this reliably -- moving the devices closer together would reduce performance. I even tried taking both devices into a different room and had the same situation there. Further confusing me was the fact that LAN speeds, from one PC to another on the wired or wireless network, were excellent. At this point, I was ready to assume the e4200, being fresh out of the box, was somehow faulty, but then I remembered that problem I had when I first got that new Arris Touchstone!
So I tried connecting that cable modem to just about everything I have. An old 10/100 switch, a fairly new 10/100/1000 switch, directly to my PCs, laptop, wireless bridges I use to extend the LAN to my TVs in the other rooms without running cables. Virtually every device I own had trouble with some or all of the four or five patch cables I was trying.
I now placed blame on the Touchstone. After some more sanity-checking steps with Insight's phone support, they agreed that replacing my modem would be a good idea. However, I recently learned about the 30/3 service, and the tech informed me that I would get a new DOCSIS 3.0 modem if I upgraded to that anyway. So that's what I did, replacing the modem worked out great, and now everything works great.
.. and 12 hours later, some HFC problem in my area (New Albany) turned my happy experience into 75% upstream packet loss. Of course I didn't know that was the problem until a tech arrived to tell me about all the calls he had been on today, and he insisted on making sure all my digital STBs worked correctly, along with the Internet, before he left. I even called back to tech support before he arrived to let them know that everything was working well again, but they said I should just let the tech come and check everything out just in case.
Maybe if they would waste less money on unnecessary truck rolls they would have more money to budget for quality cable modems! I have had at least four of those Arris modems fail and require replacement in the last ten years, and I'm glad the one they just gave me is a different brand.
Anyway, I hope this tale may help someone else if they end up troubleshooting a similarly strange problem!