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19 posts

Geek


Topic # 11093 1-Jan-2007 17:16
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Am I the only one??

Ever since I changed to this plan when it came out I’ve had massive corruption issues where a large portion of downloaded files (regardless of type, the larger the more probable) end up corrupt, i.e. their md5’s don’t match, zips don’t extract etc.

I have been toying with xtra support since this problem began and they have yet to be of any help, recently they attempted to close the issue with this email:


Thank you for your email. We arent aware of any data corruption issue on our Go Large plan and havent had any other such reports from customers. All Go Large customers share a common boundary and we do not suspect this to be a network fault. We have liased with our networks team regarding this issue and no fault has been found. Your line is operating in peak condition as well. We strongly suggest you take a look at your hardware and firewall settings.

Best Regards,

Xtra Broadband.


Best regards indeed.

Given that this only started after changing from their ‘go’ plan to ‘go-large’ I have trouble believing it’s on our end, even so, I’ve tried everything: different modem, computer, cables etc, no change.

Now of course, since it’s go-large I also get dial up speeds with torrents and internationally, national speeds aren’t too much better, being in the order of 800kbit/s (with sync speeds of 3200). Previously, before go-large, 3200kbit/s was very much attainable, at least nationally. Since it seems xtra have given up on me I think its time to change… The first thing I’m doing it changing back to ‘go’ to see if the issue disappears, if so, then I’m going to make sure I get some compensation.
 
In any case, I think its time to change providers. The first company that came to mind was worldXchange, since we do tolls with them, but I just found out they don’t do any toll discounts… Even so, for $50 which is what ‘go’ would cost, xnet’s river is much better value for money.

Sorry for the rant, what I really want to know I suppose is am I alone in this problem??
And, as far as I can tell from other posts, Xnet is great, but is there anything else I should know? Or are there any other ideas on what I should do?

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 56719 2-Jan-2007 09:55
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Have you tried restarting your computer? :P

Maybe you should reply back & suggest that they restart their router and check their firewall settings. Afterall, you're no less competent than Xtra. At least that's my assumption. I find it near insulting when someone from the helpdesk suggests that I close-my browser etc. I had some moron once tell me that I should install a software firewall on Windows. Rediculus.

Provided that you're not using a download accellerator and you don't have any broken hardware, you shouldn't be getting corrupted downloads. There's too much error correction at each level of the protocol stack.

If you use a dial-up connection (your Xtra login lets you dial-up) and you can download files correctly, then you can isolate the problem to your broadband connection. Assuming you've got the same firewall / virus software restrictions in place for both your broadband connection & dial-up, that is.

Thats even assuming you have a modem.



174 posts

Master Geek

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  Reply # 56724 2-Jan-2007 10:24
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Have struck this problem twice now (neither customer was on go large). The only way we managed to get this fixed was for telecom to change their port on the exchange, now actually getting telecom to do this when all their testing showed no issues was like pulling teeth. However once the customers port was changed the problem magically disappeared.



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Geek


  Reply # 56728 2-Jan-2007 11:29
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Thanks for the replies,

Thats a good idea, maybe i will pull out an old 56k'er and try that. As for download accelerators, happens with or without them, one of xtra excellent suggestions was to use one to see if that helps... The way i have been avoiding this problem has been to torrent everything (even the smallest of files), since that has inbuild hash checks, you should see the hash fails log though, its huge, but at least i get the file ok in the end.

As for changing the port. This had been suggested to me by someone previously, i was all excited and rang xtra to request this, the person said they would ask the advanced team to do this and then he or they would call me back within 24 hours. Two day later i called them back to find a note had been added to my case: "we cannot change the port on this plan, your only option is to change plans"... Another brick wall.

The final straw for me was when i called up to try and change back to 'go' and spoke to an xtra tech support guy who actually admitted he tried go large for a total of 3 days before getting sick of it and changing back. Now thats saying something.

All this after being with xtra for ever, its going to be very annoying to have to change email addresses or do the whole $2.50 p/m to keep it.

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  Reply # 56731 2-Jan-2007 12:06
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Quattro: ...its going to be very annoying to have to change email addresses or do the whole $2.50 p/m to keep it.

It would be a good idea to get yourself a free Google Mail address so you can move freely between ISPs in future.  You can access Gmail via POP3 or via a Web Interface and you get 2.7GB of storage totally free.

Some people however take exception to Google scanning their mail in order to offer "helpful" adverts.  I might add that this only happens if you use the Web Mail interface, it isn't an issue with the POP3 interface.

However, if that concerns you, another way around it is to register your own domain name for US$15 per year via a provider such as http://www.directnic.com/.

Once you have your own domain, you can forward your e-mail anywhere regardless of which ISP you are using.  I have had my own domain for the past 10 years and hate to think how many times I have changed ISP in that time.  Yet my e-mail address is still exactly the same.

There are some options for you to think about.

Cheers,
Grant.

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  Reply # 56736 2-Jan-2007 12:41
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Or even better something like Goddaddy.com who charge US$8.95 per year for a domain and you get free email - pop and web based.




19 posts

Geek


  Reply # 56738 2-Jan-2007 12:51
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Since we've had our xtra address for so long we probably wont end up changing it.

I too wish we had gotten a web or domain based one earlier, but oh well, $2.50 isn't too bad. I think what may happen is that it will change, but slowly, we do actually have a domain, ill try get the family to start using that, we'll see.

But for now the greatest issue is actually getting functioning broadband... Im still waiting for the change back to 'go' to go through.

What do most people on Xnet use? i was thinking river with 15Gb for ~50p/m, its just so annoying, we went from a 1gb plan, to an unlimited one (i was so excited when this came out, but of course it was too good to be true), and now back to a much better, but still limited plan.

Will NZ ever get unlimited usage plans that work?

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  Reply # 56739 2-Jan-2007 12:58
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Quattro: What do most people on Xnet use? i was thinking river with 15Gb for ~50p/m,

XNET River with 15GB would be the best currently available option for you probably.

We are still on the old 2Mbps/128kbps/10GB plan for $42.95 per month, having been there for around 18 months.  It's good value and we rarely exceed the 10GB cap.  Reliability has been excellent during that time.

Your idea of a gradual changeover of e-mail address sounds like the best idea.  You can keep an eye on how many e-mails are coming via Xtra, and when it dwindles to an insignificant level, then you can save your $2.50 per month.  In the meantime, it's a very reasonable amount to pay.

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Master Geek

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  Reply # 56741 2-Jan-2007 13:34
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One thing to be aware of when forwarding email is the forwarded email will generally bypass the spam filter on the second ISP's end, so if the first ISP's spam filter lets something through the 2nd ISP wont pick it up even if it usually would.

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  Reply # 56742 2-Jan-2007 13:44
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Griven: One thing to be aware of when forwarding email is the forwarded email will generally bypass the spam filter on the second ISP's end...

This is not the case for us:

US-based Web Host --> ICONZ --> Death2Spam (hosted on an ICONZ server)

D2S is the best Spam Filter I am aware of.  You can train it to your individual preferences as to what is and what is not spam.  It also has a Black List/White List function.  So far as I am aware, the other ISPs who use Brightmail etc do not allow their users to tweak the settings in the way you can with D2S.  ICONZ hosts D2S on their system so you don't have to download any spam before rejecting it.

Oops, just realised we are getting a bit off topic here...



19 posts

Geek


  Reply # 56795 3-Jan-2007 14:47
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Ok, the change back to 'go' finally went through, im now on a 219.etc ip range instead of 125., but the speeds are no different...



Testing for corruption will take a bit longer, but so far there arent any CRC errors on the modem log unlike with go-large.

But now im starting to think, although im getting much higher sync speeds than this, maybe its just the network (ie, overloaded exchange) which is causing these speeds and as such, maybe there is nothing i can do to help it.

Im doubting whether changing providers would help... What do you think?

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Master Geek

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  Reply # 56826 4-Jan-2007 08:07
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Easiest way to check if its a congestion issue is to run a speed test morning, afternoon and evening. If the results vary by wide margins its congestion, if they are relatively similar  that suggests more of a line/port issue.



19 posts

Geek


  Reply # 56873 4-Jan-2007 15:53
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Speeds seem pretty constant...

Does that mean goint to Xnet wont help?

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  Reply # 56878 4-Jan-2007 16:12
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Quattro: Speeds seem pretty constant...

Does that mean goint to Xnet wont help?

The best way to answer that is to find a friend or neighbour who uses a different ISP than Xtra in your immediate neighbourhood i.e. on the same exchange.

Doesn't need to be XNET specifically, just a different ISP than Xtra.

Run the Speed Test at their place and see what the answers are.

Given that many people are on holiday, I wouldn't have expected exchange congestion to be a factor right now.  Then again, with Bit Torrent Leeches, anything is possible... Yell.



19 posts

Geek


  Reply # 56880 4-Jan-2007 16:19
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Thanks for the reply.

Im friendly with 3 neighbours, but all are with xtra... But thats a good idea, ill see what i can do.

And it seems changing plans hasnt helped the corruption. Does anyone know, would a plan change (golarge->go) also change your port?

Thanks, and i think ill try Xnet in anycase, i dont really have anything to lose.

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  Reply # 56882 4-Jan-2007 16:24
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Quattro: Does anyone know, would a plan change (golarge->go) also change your port?

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe that Telecom would change your port when you move between ISPs.

At one stage the port we were assigned to at our local exchange failed completely and we were moved to a different one, but so far as I know, most of the provisioning is done remotely which would preclude moving physical ports.

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