back to article Plusnet goes titsup for spectacular hour-long wobble

Plusnet's broadband and phone service is slowing coming back to life, after the telco's network suffered a nasty hour-long outage this morning. The BT-owned firm did not cough to the cause of the downtime, which struck customers at 9:30am, but it did confirm that subscribers would struggle to get online. Anecdotal reports on …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Mike Tyler

    Filter

    Filter 100% working then ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Filter

      More like filtering out 100% of traffic :).

      I'm presently staying at a place that made the mistake of choosing Plusnet, and it's been a while I've been exposed to such a heap of crap. Having said that, that may be caused more by the shoddy router they supply, though - it is unable to support more than about 4 concurrent WiFi connections.

      Thankfully I'm moving this week :)

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Filter

        I very quickly replaced the wireless access point at my mother's Plusnet equipped house. Went for WiFi Powerline LAN back to a base-station wired into the Thompson router. Good coverage now, even in the outbuildings. Previously, when my son with his laptop and me with my iPodTouch and my brothers with their laptops and my step-father with HIS laptop, and the wireless printer... well, let's just say it wasn't pretty. Now, it copes well and I've not had an issue in the last 18 months.

        1. AMBxx Silver badge

          Re: Filter

          Um, perhaps you're confused about the difference between the broadband connection and the wifi provided by plusnet?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Filter

          "Went for WiFi Powerline LAN back to a base-station wired into the Thompson router. Good coverage now, even in the outbuildings, and none of the neighbours can listen to any DAB station"

          1. Michael Hutchinson

            Re: Filter

            "Went for WiFi Powerline LAN back to a base-station wired into the Thompson router. Good coverage now, even in the outbuildings, and none of the neighbours can listen to any DAB station, but that's not a problem because they don't even know what DAB is"

  2. dwrjones87

    Am with Plusnet here and not noticed any problems at all.....

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Here too.

      1. GrumpyOldMan

        Been with Plusnet and one of their subsidiaries now for 14 years. Didn't notice any problems this morning.

      2. This Side Up

        ditto.

    2. AndrueC Silver badge
      Meh

      My connection seems fine. Perhaps as others have said it was a DNS outage.

    3. janimal

      I did have issues this morning, it seemed more like a DNS issue - except that I don't use their DNS servers. I couldn't connect to any websites or my vpn provider, however my torrent client was still happily transferring data.

      Since it happened immediately after I had to repair a win XP VM which could no longer update having had BITS borked by a previous update, I thought the machines had turned against me.

      All back to normal now.

  3. Madboater

    Switched from Talk Talk to Plus Net

    They made TalkTalk look good, I shall switch back once my contract is up.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Switched from Talk Talk to Plus Net

      Talk talk have been crap in my experience. Only company I know who instigated a legal action for non payment when they actually owed my parents money.

      1. CADmonkey

        Re: Switched from Talk Talk to Plus Net

        The mark of a good service is not an absence of problems, but rather the company's response to problems. Plusnet (and Force9) have always been very transparent in my experience. I've used their phone support and their support-ticket system, and both have always been very acceptable, to say the least.

        I'm possibly one of their oldest customers. Been using them since 14k modem days.

  4. Blitterbug
    Thumb Up

    Ahhh...

    ...Good ol' Pusnet

  5. DanDanDan

    Spectacular?

    Nothing particularly spectacular about it; I'm getting almost constant evening and weekend issues in my (city centre) apartment.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Spectacular?

      Might be something to do with your exchange (or another localised issue)..? I've never had any problems with them (and I tend to only really use the home connection out of office hours).

  6. Novex

    Other than a single drop out I've had no issues. Restarted modem and router and all has been fine since.

    I don't think Plusnet are any better or worse than any other provider - most times their customers have no problems, occasionally they're struggling. How is that different to BT, TalkTalk, Virgin, etc.?

    Admittedly the router I had supplied to me is pretty basic and probably not up to making many connections (i.e., more than a couple or three wireless connections at once), but it works for most usage scenarios. In the case of needing lots of wireless connections, it's up to the user to look into their usage patterns and find something after-market that works for them. How is that different than any other provider?

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
      Meh

      More users means news outlets more likely to notice

      I use them for ADSL (GIVE ME FIBRE DAMN YOU) and its fine for the price

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: More users means news outlets more likely to notice

        "(GIVE ME FIBRE DAMN YOU)"

        I'm being punted fibre but I don't want it!

        I have no need, my current 4mbps connection supports my needs. I dont torrent as I have no need for bootleg versions of anything!

        Keep your expensive fibre.

        1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

          Re: More users means news outlets more likely to notice

          Hmm can I slap a laser link on the side of your house?

  7. Millsey

    no problems for me

    no problems on Hayling Island - the usual robust and speedy service has been fully operational as usual.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All OK here

    Been on conference call all morning through PC - all working fine

  9. Psepha

    Had dodgy connection this morning - was showing as could not connect to the 2 DNS servers (202.159.6.9 & 10). Seems to be back now.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      DNS

      I think it must have been DNS - I don't use the plusnet DNS servers, relying upon OpenDNS instead.

      That said, they had BT Openreach problems yesterday, so maybe this is related?

      1. DuncanL

        Re: DNS

        Sounds like a possible explanation. As anecdotal evidence to back that up; I've been working from home all day on my Plusnet and it's been exactly the same as usual - but I use the Google DNS.

      2. janimal

        Re: DNS

        I use opendns too, but did suffer an outage for about 20 minutes this morning. Although my torrent client was still connecting to peers OK, couldn't make any http connections. So it felt like DNS, but I triple checked that the router hadn't decided to use plusnet's on it's own cognizance

  10. James Pickett

    Plusnet aren't perfect, but their customer support is generally good, and calls get answered by people whose first language is English (well, Yorkshire)...

    The wires are still BT, of course, but that's the same for almost everyone on copper.

  11. roblightbody

    Happy with Plusnet

    Hi,

    I've been with plusnet for 12 years or more (from when they were Force9), and currently getting genuine 73mb downloads, and paying £22.50 a month, which I'm very happy with. I'm not aware of any reliability issues, and would forgive them if they've had one after so long without trouble. As long as they get it fixed before I get home from work!

    - Rob

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Meh

      Re: Happy with Plusnet

      Yes, similarly a long standing customer here. I did get concerned a while back when they mucked around with my domain and actually removed my MX records, then claimed they didn't do it, then claimed that the original MX records caused unspecified problems for their systems, and admitted fiddling with them. The overall response was the first really poor bit of service I've had from them, and I was so rattled I moved my domain management elsewhere.

      Having said that, the boot is occasionally on the other foot. Our connection was increasingly flaky, an after a cursory local check, I contacted them to find out what was going on. "Looks OK from here. Have you checked your connections?" was the techie's opening. Of course I got all high handed, but checked again anyway and found a lump of green gunk* behind a bookcase where an ethernet extender ought to have been. Hard to convey red face on the support ticket, but I did own up.

      S

      *- and me without a Vogon poetry book either.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Moved from BE to plusnet, and the speed has been fine. Not had to call or had any problems. I did replace their crappy router though. I still would rather have BE back.

  13. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    I'm Mr Angry, from Birmingham...

    How dare a network provider have an unexpected outage. Especially as I pay £4.99 (plus line rental) for that service every single month.

    I'm outraged that without my regular supply of cat videos I'm having to face up to the gaping chasm that's appeared in my life.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Re: I'm Mr Angry, from Birmingham...

      To mention nothing of the gentle irony of people taking to the internet to moan that they can't get on the internet...

      1. This Side Up

        Re: I'm Mr Angry, from Birmingham...

        Or of help desks telling you to go to the web site because they're busy when you've phoned up to find out why you can't get on the web.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm Mr Angry, from Birmingham...

      Indeed, how dare a service provider who are "providing" a "service" at a cost of thousands per year completely and utterly fail to provide any semblance of "service" for the term of that contract. At all. Then try and blame their failings on a third party network provider (Then telewest). PlusNet are the absolute worst kind of shoddy, they know it, don't care and sure as hell won't rectify real issues - even for business customers. Hell, they even employed a "customer service" manager whose sole role in life was apparently to stonewall unhappy corporate customers - a shower of sh*t whom I shall never recommend again.

      The service I received from KC after kicking them into touch (even though they [PlusNet] failed to provide the contracted bandwidth, ever, they insisted that early termination would result in court proceedings) was a breath of fresh air. Reliable, consistent, service - UK based call centres and, moreover, when my employer was completely flooded in 2007 we had engineers on site the following day rerouting service over spare fiber to alternate business locations. I sincerely doubt I'll ever get that quality of service from a telco ever again and I certainly don't think I'll ever see an Openreach engineer turning up on time, in waders, to sort out customer issues.

      AC Because my employers (past and present) would most likely not like to be associated with my views (both personal and professional) of aforementioned local ISP...

  14. Hugh Pumphrey

    DNS problems likely

    I'm not at home right now. But I have had internet supplied by PlusNet and their predecessors since the days of dialup. I have had sporadic problems for a while now and I strongly suspect that they are DNS-related. When the problem occurrs I can view simple web sites and ssh into work as long as I use the numerical IP address. Usually, the problem only lasts a few minutes. I keep meaning to nag PlusNet about it but I have been too busy. Today's fracas seems like a more widespread version of the ongoing problem I have been observing.

    1. This Side Up
      Headmaster

      Re: DNS problems likely

      I get spasmodic problems, but not sporadic ones because I'm normally accessing the internet from one place.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not sure if I'd notice

    Not sure if I'd notice any reduction in speed that Plusnet provide, below the 1.5mb/s.

    Might be fine in 1998, but in 2014 it is shockingly slow.

    1. janimal

      Re: Not sure if I'd notice

      @sir Wiggum:

      Oh come on!

      That sort of speed has to be down to your geographic location & the method of transmission. They provide me 76mbps / 16mbps is that because they like me better? No it is because we're on FTTC. However ADSL on our street can't get above 4mbps. Is that the providers fault? Nope just the length of copper between us & the exchange.

      Hardly plusnet's fault you only get 1.5mbps

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not sure if I'd notice

        as janimal said, when I was on ADSL i could barely get 1Mb (but all other ISPs were also only willing to offer the same ... due to proximity etc). Now on fibre and 30Mb+ no problem. ISP independent feature that speed thing.

  16. Lallabalalla

    It wasn't just plusnet

    BT Infinity was stupidly slow last night - so slow in fact that speedtest.net stalled out halfway through and wouldn't complete a run. When it showed anything, it showed peaks of around 1.1Mb - average about a third of that at best, with lots-o-nothin (tm) in between :(

    Roll on the cable guys - they're coming on Monday...

  17. SiempreTuna

    Been with PlusNet for around 18 months and so far they've been fine. I had a few issues with a dodgy profile after they switched me to unlimited but the support was excellent and got things sorted in a couple of days.

    The router they supplied is a bit basic (though still WAY better than the one TalkTalk provided) but what can expect for under £7/month for an unlimited, 12.5mbps service? I keep meaning to buy a better router but I somehow never seem to get around to it.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      It's only the wireless bit of it that I've found to be a bit lacking. The wired connections work fine, the ADSL works well... setup could be a bit hairy at times.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Would rather have 4g than have talk talk as one commenter has said, how about getting yourself a new router (or move) then you might not have any problems

    FTTC has been great with a decent router 45/11 on a 40/10 capable line, some niggling DNS issues at the back end of last year, but very minor, hopefully they have been pushed into sorting this out if it is still a problem for some

    I long for the day when people making purchase decisions on routers at ISP's actually know what they are buying

  19. rslsys

    And now this :-

    In order to us to maintain a high level of service, and protect our network against potential attacks, we need to make a change which affects your account.

    This change is related to the broadband firewall which all of our customer accounts have access to.

    We'll be making a change to block incoming traffic on ports 53, 111, 135, 137, 138, 139, 445, 515, 1080, 1433, 3128, 3306, 6000.

    In most cases these ports will already be blocked by your local firewall however in the event of a compromised router, the ports may be unblocked or used in a potential attack.

    It is unlikely you will need these inbound ports open, if you do you please visit http://contactus.plus.net and let us know by responding to this support ticket.

    There's nothing you need to do, and your connection should continue to work as normal apart from a brief disconnection whilst we make these changes. In the vast majority of cases your router will automatically reconnect. If you experience problems getting reconnected following this maintenance please try a single reboot of your router.

  20. MonkeyThink

    DNS was the problem

    I experienced the problem this morning. I quickly realised that I could reach cloud hosted servers by ip address and so it must be a DNS problem.

    Switching to OpenDNS resolved the problem immediately.

  21. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    WTF?

    Stalk Stalk is better than Plusnet?

    Hmm.

    I smell BS.

    But in all honesty I don't think I'd trust either of them given PlusNet is now part of BT

    OTOH aren't there about 400 ISP's in the UK?

    Perhaps it's time people looked at some of the smaller ones?

  22. PG2255

    A one hour outage aint bad. With VM it'd probably be half a day!

    As long as the comms are good and they seem to be acting quick to resolve (eg have competent engineers) then what more can you want?

    If you want a 100% reliable service, either pay a fortune or have an ADSL line, a cable line and a mobile service plumbed into a fancy router (or two)!

  23. Daniel 1

    That's not the whole of it!

    For some time, yesterday evening, their DNS servers were rerouting web requests for "www.google.co.uk" to a phishing website purporting to the the download location for something called "Flash player pro". I kid you not.

    After determining that it was not my router, that had joined all the other stuffed-up routers across the world, or the computer itself, I reported the matter to Plusnet. I got no acknowledgement, but I shall be reconfiguring my router to use OpenDNS from now on.

  24. Message From A Self-Destructing Turnip

    Was this a Plusnet security problem??

    I am a PlusNet subscriber. Last night all attempts to access any Google servers resulted in redirects to a fake flash update page. This affected all my devices (Ubuntu PC, android tablet & android phone). Based on this I suspected that my router had been hacked. Swapping to a different spare router made no difference. Both routers being hacked does not seem that likely so could the problem have been with PlusNet's DNS being compromised?

    The problem disappeared after about midnight last night. When I checked again this morning Google.co.uk failed to load the page with a warning that a secure connection could not be made. This was without me changing any of my network or device settings?

    1. Daniel 1

      Re: Was this a Plusnet security problem??

      Yes, I think it was. Their DNS servers were compromised all yesterday evening. I experienced exactly the same thing, and followed exactly the same steps to determine that it was so. I knew something was wrong, when I first got redirected on a machine that doesn't even have Flash Player installed. It was immediately apparent that some where in the DNS chain, there was poison. Your reports just corroborate what I experienced. Glad I didn't imagine it all. In the end, I kanked the power cable on my router and went out to the local pub quiz.

      However, I'm guessing a lot of Plusnet Windows users might now have badly infected home computers as a direct result of this - because as Phishing sites go, it wasn't that unconvincing.

      Of course, it is also possible something got borked during a botched attempt to fix the /original/, problem, from the day before? Maybe some Plusnet sys admin decided to download a 'This will cure all your woes' fix, that he discovered on a website whose URL ended in '.cn' TLD? These are the people who store all our broadband passwords in plain text, after all (unless they have some magic way of reversing the encryption on just letters x and y of my password - since this is their usual "security" question, whenever I phone them). been thinking of switching suppliers for some time, even though they are the cheapest (for a reason, it seems). this might be enough to make me do so.

      1. Message From A Self-Destructing Turnip

        Re: Was this a Plusnet security problem??

        On closer Inspection this evening I discovered my everyday router DNS settings were 199.233.212.99 and 199.233.215.157. I needed to set the DNS back to PlusNet addresses before things worked again. The spare router DNS seems to be automatically allocated to point to PlusNet. Hmmm... cant help but suspect routers were being owned last night.

        1. Daniel 1

          Re: Was this a Plusnet security problem??

          I would guess that if the router were at fault, it would have changed things on the router (a hosts file, for instance), not intercepted, and rewritten the IP addresses of the DNS servers to use. More likely your main router retains a record of the DNS servers Plusnet were offering on Tuesday evening. If you rebooted the other one, it will have gone out and picked up what they are specifying, now.

          The onus still lies with Plusnet, as far as I can see. For two Plusnet customers to have observed exactly the same problem, from the same vendor, for the same period of time, seems a little suspect, otherwise. Do you know other people on other ISPs who saw this?

  25. Daniel 1

    And... The DNS Servers are hosed again

    Plusnet's DNS servers are, once again, directing requests for popular web sites to the Same Phishing website they were directing them to on Tuesday night. Switched my Router to use OpenDNS, and the problem immediately disappears. It's definitely Plusnet's DNS servers.

    Unbelievable. Windows users on Plusnet will be getting infected with whatever is in that 'setup.exe', the site is peddling, right now, because of this. Their contact number is reporting an average 30 minute wait time, when you ring it.

    Now all I have to do, is find a new broadband provider that isn't either owned by BT, already, or likely to be bought by them in the next 12 months.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019