Internet connection trouble (solved... or is it?)

I realize that this topic only remotely touches on frugality, but I know many of you are tech savvy and don’t like to be abused by big companies, so here it goes.

I am using Salt Fiber and since a few weeks I’ve noticed a serious deterioration in the quality of my internet. Websites often takes ages to even start loading, YouTube and Netflix can freeze or the quality can drop down to 360p. This experience is shared by all my devices: laptop, tablet and Apple TV.

Ironically, when I run any speedtest, it shows my 3 ms ping and it maxes out my WiFi speed.

I called Salt and been treated like the most tech-unsavvy customer. I’ve been told to absolutely activate 5GHz on my router, because 5GHz is not the same a 5G! (apparently some customers are afraid of 5G…) and that Apple TV is like a smartphone and I should close all my apps there once a week to make it run smoothly (nevermind that I never do that on my iPhone and it works fine on 4G).

After being fed such bullshit I really gave up on Salt support. The thing is, the behaviour of my internet is very erratic. Once I open Google Maps and it’s there, once I need to wait 5 seconds and some images are still missing. This is not the sort of thing where you can clearly say it doesn’t work, but the experience is totally frustrating. I did not find any “internet quality test” online, most of them just test the max speed and the ping to one server.

So what can I do? Suck it up and live with a “10 Gbps internet” that randomly freezes my Netflix when I’m trying to relax in the evening? Any tips, any experience dealing with this? Thanks.

Not sure if it helps for your problems in general but on the Netflix side, when speed testing it could be interesting to check fast.com (Netflix’s speed test) from another device and see what numbers you get. You can then compare the results with e.g. speedtest.net. If you’re on WiFi the results will anyway be limited by your WiFi link, but in theory Netflix 4k only needs 25Mbps so if you see values lower than that then you have a problem.

Also if it is not the case, I would connect the Apple TV through an ethernet cable. I had some issues with Netflix sometimes lowering resolution and buffering on my TV when it was connected through WiFi and it went away with the ethernet cable.

Also, I’ve read that the Salt fiber bandwidth is shared between multiple customers - similar to cable - but I’m not sure if it is true. If so, you might have more troubles during peak hours.

Sometimes you get what you pay for. I always disliked Salt. I’m intentionally paying more for my internet and mobile provider.

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In France, Free (same owner as salt) was known for having pretty bad peering. If you get good speed to the isp but not to content providers (Netflix, Google, etc) that might be the issue.

Suspiciously I also don’t see salt in https://www.google.com/get/videoqualityreport/

The problem is not the maximum speed, it’s the reliability. There are times when the movie loads and plays fine, but some time later I will see the “rotating circle” even to load the menu and thumbnails.

The fiber socket is located at the entrance and the TV is 10 meters away. No chance to connect any device via cable. But my browsing problems also persist when I sit with my laptop 2 meters from the router.

I know what you mean. I don’t even need 10 Gbit, but I thought that if it’s fiber, then I should have the lowest latency possible and no lag in games or when connecting to web servers. But with Salt Fiber I even experience problems using this forum. I click “edit post” and nothing happens. Then when I edit the post, I see a popup “this post is being edited in another window”. This suggests some packet loss or other connection problems.

I had troubles with the WiFi router 4 meters away from the TV and in direct sight (well except me and the sofa in between). But yeah for the laptop there should not be an issue.

Hi Bojack!

I have used Swisscom for years and stick to them. It’s more expensive, but you get the service. Quality has its price and I get it back through the time I don’t lose dealing with issues, which I also see as a different form of frugality. You can increase your revenue but not the number of hours in a day.

(I have no affiliation with Swisscom except for a long exposure, as for all other SPI companies).

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I use UPC for internet/TV (69.-/month) and Wingo (which is actually Swisscom) for mobile (25.-/month).

I can recommend Fiber7 for fiber internet. Very reliable, and free TV is included (which I don’t use, though). They allow to use your own router and your own TV app.

I even used to work for Swisscom so I had their internet at home, because it was “for free”. Indeed it worked fine, but it was only 25 Mbps (there was no fiber yet).

But how can you really know which company will provide you with quality? I know UPC from Poland and there it is anything but quality. I even got a payment request from them for 1000 PLN for breaking the contract 1 year after I did it. Had to fight them and prove them that back then they said it was ok…

Anyway, I am still stuck with Salt Fiber for over a year, so switching is not an option.

Regarding my connection, what really pisses me off is when I click a link and I wait and wait for the page to load. Then I click the link again or refresh the page and it loads instantly. What the hell??

Sounds like you’re having issues with DNS. Have you tried using alternative DNS servers directly such as the ones from Cloudfare?

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Yes, I put 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1 DNS in the network settings on my mac but to no avail. Btw, the Salt Box does not have that option, even in expert mode. So if that was the problem, I would need to do it on every device.

Some routers hijack DNS requests and even if you’re asking Cloudflare they would just take it and make a request to their own DNS. Among other things that helps them profile you. It wouldn’t surprise me if Salt was doing this.

Have you seen a different behavior when using a VPN?

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Try to ping your box for a while and look for packet loss. You can also try to ping your other devices. If it happens the issue is probably on your WiFi side.
I had this issue at work.

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Get a VPN or rent server/VPS in some nearby datacenter and VPN from it.

Do you live in a place with multiple WLAN around? My sunrise fibre box has an option to check for channel occupation. All modem usés the Same channel and this leads to reliability problem. I switched to an empty channel and got much more reliable internet
See here

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Yes, I live in a low-rise building, but still I see 12 different WiFi networks. Maybe it is indeed a WLAN problem, unfortunately neither of my devices has an ethernet socket. I’ll have a look. And thanks for the VPN tip, I’ll test it. Although my work laptop uses company’s VPN and there Citrix apps get interrupted once in a while.

If you ever decide to switch I can recommend green.ch (Swisscom reseller but cheaper) and the Sunrise QoQa deal if that comes back this winter

Thanks for your suggestions, guys. I think the problem does not lie with DNS. When I navigate to https://1.1.1.1/ it can also take ages (like 15 seconds) before the page starts loading. I bought a VPN test package and I was not convinced, then even the VPN connection was interrupted.

I also ran the network test and set the wifi channel to the one suggested by my Macbook. No improvement.

Ironically, I had trouble even writing this post, was constantly interrupted with the following popup:

I even googled for this message and found this statement from the Discourse staff:

We had a condition where drafts could be saving “concurrently” meaning the composer could be in the middle of saving a draft and another draft save would be issued. This only happened when network latency is high

It just feels so enraging to use an internet connection which boasts the 10Gb speed, but it fails to deliver on basic stability.

Get some sort of cable and test again. It might be the wifi

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