DSL Noise Margin

If you’re experiencing problems with your broadband service speeds, DSL noise could be to blame. Your plug and play equipment may need to be tweaked and settings may need to be reconfigured to eliminate this noise and get your service working as it should. To do that, it’s first important to understand exactly what this noise is, what causes it, and how you can tweak your settings to boost your performance.

What Causes DSL Noise?
Before getting into the different settings and configurations, let’s explore what exactly causes DSL noise. DSL noise is defined in simple terms as unwanted interference. This could be distortion, cross talk, or radio frequency. When this unwanted interference occurs, it can impact broadband speeds and lead to an increased number of disconnections. Think of it in terms of speaking with someone on a noisy street. You’ll be less likely to hear them with other distractions – or interference – making noise, such as animal noises, car horns, and other people talking. DSL noise works much in the same way.

What Is DSL Margin?
DSL margin is the difference calculated between the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and minimum SNR that is required to sync. The SNR, as you may have guessed, is a number calculated from the signal and the unwanted interference. This is measured in dB. The higher the SNR, the better. Twenty-nine and above is considered outstanding and as this number drops, the likelihood of sync problems increases. Anything at or below 6 dB is considered bad.

Now, once you know your measured SNR and the minimum required to sync, the calculation of DSL margin is simple. Simply subtract the minimum SNR from the measure SNR, and this number represents your DSL margin. So, for example, if actual measured SNR is 45 dB and the SNR required to sync is 35 dB, your DSL margin will be 10 dB. The higher the number, the cleaner the signal is. The lower the number, the more interference there is, which leads to more disconnections and an unstable signal.

Improving Your Margin
If your margin is showing that there is a lot of interference, there are a few easy steps you can take. This includes purchasing equipment that can manage low margins, installing filters to filter out noise, changing cabling, and changing your provider.

Final Thoughts
If you’re paying for broadband service, you should get the service you pay for. By tracking your DSL margin and taking appropriate steps to resolve any issues, you’ll get the most out of your service with fewer interruptions.

Do you have some tips and tricks for managing your DSL margin? Do you have any questions about how to manage or measure your margin? Just leave a comment below!