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Broadband No Sync

What is Sync?

Sync stands for "Synchronisation", and indicates whether your ADSL/Broadband modem is connected to your local Internet exchange. If your modem has No Sync, you will not be able to connect to the internet. This article describes some of the most common causes of No Sync.

Diagnosing the cause behind No Sync can be quite a time consuming process. For the fastest resolution, you may wish to contact our Technical Support Team.

Before you begin, if you have only recently noticed the problem, try switching your modem off for 30 seconds and then switching it back on. Your modem may have simply locked up, and if so this should resolve it.

  1. How to tell if your modem has No Sync
  2. Checking Filtering
  3. How to figure out if you are filtering correctly
  4. Isolation Test
  5. Phone Problems
  6. Phone Cabling and Phone Socket
  7. Line Codes
  8. Checking Your Modem
  9. Further Troubleshooting

How to tell if your modem has No Sync

Most ADSL Modems have a light on the front of the modem indicating whether or not they have sync with the exchange. This light will generally be labelled with DSL, ADSL or Sync. Some modems differ in this convention - please consult the modem manual to determine how to tell if it has sync or not. Generally, the "Sync" light will be doing one of three things:

  • Off - The modem has not been able to achieve sync.
  • Flashing - The modem is currently trying to sync. After a while, the flashing may stop, and the modem may attempt again. On many modems, it will indefinitely repeat this process, which means the modem has No Sync.
  • "Solid" - The light stays on permanently. It may flicker from time to time, but should stay Solid. This means your modem has sync. The aim of this guide is to get your "Sync" light solid. If it is already doing this but your internet connection is still not working, please check the Broadband ADSL Problems article to determine the cause.


Checking Filtering

A major cause of "No Sync" has do with devices called line filters. Any equipment that are located in your house/premises that connect up to any phone socket at all, need to put plugged into what is called a Line Filter (1). There are 3 common types of line filters, pictured below:
(1: the only exception is if you have a separate phone line physically installed - this will generally have its own phone number and have its own line rental charge).


The reason why every device needs to be filtered, is because the signal from your ADSL modem and other telephone devices will eventually be combined once they leave your house. If you have devices that have no filters connected to them, their signal may be interfering with your modem's signal, making it unable to connect to the local exchange and thus causing No Sync. If you notice your modem loses Sync frequently, and disconnects a lot, you may wish to visit the Broadband Dropouts article.

A common misconception is that only telephones need to be filtered. This is incorrect - below are a list of devices that commonly connect up to a phone socket that will cause disconnections. Many (including telephones) monitor for an incoming signal, and will still cause disconnections, even when you are not using them.

  • Cordless phones
  • Fax Machines
  • EFTPOS Terminals
  • Monitored Alarm Systems / Back To Base Alarm Systems
  • Foxtel Digital / PAY TV Systems

How to figure out if you are filtering correctly

  • Walk around your house, and check every device that plugs into a phone socket.
  • Each device should have a filter plugged into it. If you are unsure, follow the telephone cord from the back of the device to the phone socket and see if you can find a filter attached.
  • If any of these devices do not have filters, this may be the cause of the No Sync issue. Try plugging in a filter to see if that resolves the problem. In the meantime, you should be able to get an internet connection by Isolating your line.
  • The exception to this rule is with ADSL/Broadband modems. Many filters also act as double adapters, and allow you to plug both a Modem and Telephone device into the same phone socket.
  • These filters will look like Figure 2 (pictured above). With these, the ADSL/DSL/Internet socket (on the filter) is not actually filtered, and merely there to provide double adaptor functionality in case you need to plug two devices in to the same phone socket.
  • If your modem is plugged into a filter:
    • Check to see if it plugs into a port labelled "Phone" or "Line". If it is, this may actually be the cause of the No Sync problem, so unplug the filter and plug the Modem straight into the phone socket.
    • If your Modem is plugged into a port labelled "DSL", "ADSL" or "Internet", this is fine. This socket is not actually filtered, and should not cause any connection problems. If your modem is the only thing plugged into the filter, then the filter is unnecessary and you should unplug it.

If you have any of these devices, and they do not have a filter plugged in to them: You will need to purchase a filter to plug the device in to in order to resolve the problem. These can be purchased from most electronics stores, as well as our Sales team. You should be able to gain sync by temporarily unplugging any devices without filters.


Isolation Test

If you have all your devices in your house filtered, the problem may still be with your filters. Filters naturally wear out over time, and may be subject to surges over the phone line as well. In order to determine whether your filters are the problem, it is recommended you do an isolation test.

An isolation test involves unplugging all devices that connect up to a telephone point in your house. It allows us to determine whether dropouts are being caused by ADSL filters not functioning correctly. We say the line is in isolation when the only thing plugged into any phone socket anywhere in your house is a single ADSL Modem.

To perform the isolation test, do the following:

  • Unplug all devices that connect up to a phone socket in your house. This includes Wall Phones, Cordless Phones, Fax Machines, EFTPOS machines, Pay TV Services that use a phone socket connection (i.e. Foxtel) and Monitored Alarm Systems (where possible).
  • Unplug any filters from your ADSL Modem.
  • Plug your ADSL modem straight into a telephone socket in the wall, preferably with the shortest possible phone cable available.
  • At this stage, the only thing plugged into a telephone socket in your house will be your modem. Your line is now in isolation.
  • If your modem's telephone cord runs through a surge protector, unplug this as well.
  • Switch the modem off for 30 seconds, then turn it back on. Wait about 2-3 minutes, and check the "Sync" light on the front of the modem (labelled as DSL/ADSL/Internet/Sync).
  • If it has turned on permanently, then you now have Sync. This means that one of the devices you unplugged is causing the problem. Double check each device has a filter plugged into it, and begin a process of elimination by slowly unplugging devices one by one. If your modem's Sync light comes back on after unplugging a certain device, the filter attached to this device is likely broken and will need replacing.
  • If the Sync light is still off, proceed with the guide. We have now ruled out interference from other devices as a possible cause of the problem. It is recommended you err on the side of caution and leave your line in "Isolation" for the rest of the guide.


Phone Problems

Problems with your Telephone can indicate possible causes of No Sync. Pick up your telephone handset and check to see if you have a dial tone, and you can make phone calls. In addition, listen for any static/crackling. If you can hear anything significantly audible, or you have no dial tone, you will need to contact your telephone provider to lodge a phone fault with them. Please note that they will generally require you to test a corded phone handset with different phone cabling before allowing you to submit the fault.


Phone Cabling and Phone Socket

The phone cable that runs from your modem to your wall socket may also wear out over time. If it is particularly long (usually in excess of 10 meters), it may cause No Sync to occur from time to time. Try another shorter phone cable, and see if you still disconnect following this.

If you have any additional phone sockets in your house, try plugging your modem into each of them for a few minutes to see if your Sync light comes on. Please note that you do not need to have a computer plugged into the modem for the sync light to come on, so you will not need to move your computer to test this, only the modem.


Line Codes

Have you made any changes to your Phone or Internet connections recently? This includes things like changing phone provider, changing the Leasee of the phone line, submitting a churn application to another internet company and so on. The reason this can cause problems is that ADSL uses what is known as "Line Codes" applied to the phone line which provide information about your internet company - and often making changes like these can clear your codes and stop you from being able to connect. The Technical Support Team can check if you have codes, and the Provisioning Department can be contacted on 1300 887 387 to re-apply the codes.


Checking Your Modem

Modems can also begin to malfunction over time. The easiest way to determine whether your modem is at fault is to test another modem at your location. If you do not have easy access to another modem, perform a Factory Reset on your current modem first (see below).

Factory Reset

A Factory Reset will restore your modem to default "factory" settings. In some situations, if the modem has become faulty, a factory reset may help fix the problem. Please Note: Factory resetting your modem will erase your Westnet username and password from your modem. You will not be able to connect up to the internet until you put them back into your modem. This can be a difficult process, and varies greatly depending on the model. It is recommended you contact our Technical Support Team for assistance with this. If you are confident to do this yourself, there should be a small pinhole located on the back of your modem. Insert a pin/pen/sharp object into this for about 10 seconds, and proceed to put your Westnet Settings in the modem, and check for disconnections after this.

Testing Your Modem

At this stage, we cannot be sure whether the problem is being caused by the modem itself, or a condition with the line. There is a simple way to test this: Plugging your modem into another ADSL connection and seeing if the sync light comes on there, since this shows that the modem is able to gain sync and means that there is something at your premises that is causing the problem. Any place which has an active broadband connection will be suitable - such as the house of a friend or family member. To do this, take your modem, including the power cord to the other location, plug your modem into a power socket, and then unplug the phone cable from the back of their modem and plug it into yours. Wait at least 5 minutes to see if the sync light comes on. If the sync light does come on: please contact our Technical Support Team for further investigation, as there may be an issue with the line. If the sync light does not come on: This means your modem has had trouble connecting to the exchange at 2 different locations, and is highly likely to be at fault. You may wish to again contact Technical Support to confirm this.

Instead of testing your modem elsewhere as above, you may also test another modem on the service (such as an old one that is known to be working, or one borrowed from a friend). If that modem's sync light comes on at your house, it means that your modem is likely broken. However, if it does not come on, contact Technical Support Team for further investigation.


Further Troubleshooting

  • Set the modulation correctly on the modem/router to "G.Dmt".
  • If there is no improvement, please contact Westnet Support on 1300 786 068 for further troubleshooting.
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