Your BRAS profile (also known as IP Profile) is often the reason people
'complain' about a sudden slow-down in their connection!
You can find out your BRAS (Broadband Remote Access Server) profile by visiting
www.speedtester.bt.com (you will need your Freeola adsl login details).
If you have a 'low sync event' - which means for whatever reason you connect
lower than normal (Bad weather, Damaged line, Router on the blink, BT up your
pole!) then your BRAS profile will be reduced accordingly. Now if you manage to
re-connect at a higher or normal rate, your BRAS profile will take between 3
hours and 5 days (it's normally 3 days) to return to normal!
So if something has caused you to have a low connection, you should check that
your connection speed (Sync) is back to normal and then all you can do is wait
for around 3 days for your BRAS profile to increase and give you your normal
speed back. If you can't manage to get your normal sync back there may be a line
problem - see below.
Yet another thing to be aware of is it's possible your local exchange or ISP
is suffering from congestion - so even if everything looks fine but using any of
the many speed tests available shows poor results, there may not be a problem.
When Freeola's off-peak period (10pm) starts it would be normal to see some
reduction in speed as people start scheduled downloads etc. So the thing to do
is try a speed test at another time of day to see if you still have a problem.
Test Socket (BT Master Socket NTE5): More on
BT Master Socket
If you report a problem to Freeola (you can only report adsl problems to your
ISP even though BT Wholesale maintain the main network) you will invariably be
asked to connect to the Test Socket in the BT Master Socket (NTE5).
If you have a modern BT Master Socket it will have a removable face plate on the
bottom half. You can remove this plate which will reveal the Test Socket behind.
As you remove the plate it will disconnect all your internal phone extensions -
this is so that you can see if your problem is due to something in your house
(phone gone potty, faulty micro filter, cat chewed a phone cable!).
Plugging your router/modem directly in to this means you can test your adsl
connection, proving that any phone line problems are BT's and not yours.
But remember - even if you connect to the Test Socket and see your normal Sync,
your actual speed won't improve until your BRAS profile increases (around 3
Some other 'Rules':
SNR: More on resolving
SNR problems here
If your line becomes unstable, the BT kit can increase your 'target SNR'
(in 3db jumps) to 9/12/15db.
Each time the target SNR increases your Sync speed will fall (by roughly
500-750kbps) in an attempt to
stabilise your connection. Getting your target SNR to reduce if it's over 6db
should happen automatically after 14 days of stable connection and depending on
the amount of errors that are being seen on your line. But in reality this is
sometimes hard to achieve!
If your SNR falls too low then you will lose your connection and when the
router reconnects the sync speed will have reduced in an attempt to stabilise
If you have managed to have a stable line for 14 days and then have a low
connection, but manage to reconnect at your normal speed almost straight away -
then within an hour or two, your BRAS Profile should return to normal rather
than the normal 3 days'ish'. ***Unfortunately it seems BT have stopped using
this rule*** So if you have a low sync/connection it can take 'up to' 5 days
to get your normal profile back!
Re-connecting/disconnecting your router:
As you are hopefully seeing by now - there are quite a lot of factors
affecting the state of your adsl connection!
You should be aware that re-booting
your router or disconnecting and reconnecting the phone line, or working on any
of your phone extensions etc. can all 'upset' the BT kit which could in turn
cause you to get a lower BRAS profile! So don't do any of the above too often.
Ring Wire tweak (Improving your broadband
connection and increasing your line speed):
If you find that connecting directly into your Test Socket improves your
connection speed - as many people do, then this shows that your internal wiring
is affecting things. I'm assuming all your phones etc. are already correctly
filtered by this stage. If you find your connection speed is better in the test
socket then removing your 'ring wire' or 'bell wire' (connection 3) could be worth doing. The
theory being that the ring wire is acting like an aerial picking up RF (radio
frequency) 'noise' which will affect your connection.
All you need are wires to terminals 2 and 5 connected in your phone sockets -
all the other wires are not required and could be introducing interference/noise
on your line.
Removing the ring wire in all your sockets won't stop modern phones from
ringing as with adsl the micro filter provides this functionality. NB. You
aren't legally allowed to mess with anything on BT's side of the Master Socket.
i.e. You can remove the face plate and change that wiring, but you can't change
the wiring within the main Master Socket where the outside wires come in. If in
doubt don't do it!
Some people have seen their connection speed improve by 2 or 3MBits/s - so
it's worth looking at!
When your phone line has been 'adsl enabled' then you have to have
micro-filters on all your phones/fax/alarm/sky phone connections. The filter
'splits' voice and data using different frequencies so that they can share the
Another option to improve your connection is to fit a 'filtered face plate'
- this replaces the normal BT face plate (which can be removed) and means all
your internal phone wiring is filtered at source - so you won't need any other
BT BRAS/ IP Profile table:
|Sync speed: From
If you normally connect around 3,200kbps.
This will give you a BRAS Profile of 2,500.
So 2,500kbps will be the best download speed you can expect.
Low SNR and Router choice First a Netgear DG834
then a 2Wire 2700 and finally success with a Speedtouch 585
Quick and simple speed checker here View your
current broadband download speed