My parents got a BSNL fibre connection in Bangalore recently and promised speeds were in the double digit Mbps range. However, the connection was very erratic with many sites like facebook loading ok once and then just refusing to load properly. The speed tests were all ok giving results in the 10+ Mbps range and ping and traceroute from the router also didn’t indicate any issues. Even changing the DNS servers to Google didn’t make any difference.
The problem was persistent across all our devices ranging from laptops to phones & tablets, and faced both on wifi and wired connections. Finally came across this old post recommending an update to the MTU size settings to 1460 (it was set to 1480 for me) and sure enough, things speeded up and seem to be working fine. It seems to have been caused by some changes in the BSNL server setup.
So, if you have a BSNL connection and are facing a similar issue, just go to your router connection settings and update the MTU settings to 1460. In case you would like to do some more granular troubleshooting, check out this post that lays down the steps to figure out the ideal MTU settings by trial & error.
That’s the article view that greeted me when I tried to read one of the news articles on the Android NDTV app. MTNL has been doing this for the last few weeks in Mumbai, and I’d noticed it earlier while browsing sites on my iPad, laptop and phones as well. I finally gave up and decided to block the IP serving these ads – 126.96.36.199 – at the router level itself so that I wouldn’t be bothered on any device.
In fact this doesn’t seem to be the first time MTNL has done this given Yogesh’s similar post from over a year ago which also contains instructions to block the ads in greater detail (maybe first time in Mumbai though). If you want detailed instructions, check out his post, and use the IP- 188.8.131.52, as his IP seems to be for MTNL Delhi. It is also possible that they start using other servers, so if you come across any MTNL ad, right click and check out the source server IP, and then add it to your router blocklist. In my case, I found the IP this way, and then enabled the firewall on my TP Link router and added a rule to block this IP (use add WAN host to add the IP).
This is a very poor way to treat customers and it really gets in the way on mobile devices. Of course, this kind of injection only works on non secure sites only, so HTTPS sites like Google, facebook etc should be problem free. Here’s to hoping that MTNL stops being user hostile.
I finally got an MTNL broadband connection at home (Mumbai). Since I decided to get my own TP-LINK modem+wi-fi router (a good value for money model that I plan to review after a couple of months of use), I had to do the modem settings on my own. The settings for some models are available on the MTNL site, but it was missing for my particular model. The modem’s default PPPoE dialer settings did not seem to work, so I decided to check out one of the MTNL documents, and here’s the configuration that I found:
Username:<phonenumber> OR <phonenumber>@a E.g. 12345678 OR 12345678@a
Password:<CA number> (you can find this from your bill, or by calling 1500 from the landline) E.g. 4567890123
(The VPI & VCI settings chosen by my modem were different due to which it failed to connect & I had to change them manually to the above settings)
Connection Type: PPPoE LLC
MTU: 1400 bytes (another setting that had a different default on my modem)
MRU: 1492 bytes
Default route: Enabled
You can also set the DNS servers manually to point to OpenDNS (184.108.40.206/220.127.116.11) or Google’s DNS servers (18.104.22.168/22.214.171.124) which should prevent ISP level DNS blocking of sites, and most likely provide better lookup speeds.
Below is the D-Link modem settings from the MTNL document from where I have picked the settings.
As for the wi-fi settings, you can stick to the defaults – just don’t forget to secure your network using a passkey to keep away free riders.