PSN connectivity has suddenly become intermittent
  • For 3+ years, my connection to the PSN has been near flawless. (Plenty of network setting issues with one online game or another over the years but never a general PSN problem.) Suddenly my connection is intermittent, after hours of troubleshooting I'm stumped as to the cause. Specifics:
    • Problem started three days ago. Signed into the PSN for online gaming 6am Friday morning, no problem. Friday evening, couldn't connect. Sat 630am, no prob. Sat eve, no connect. Sun 630am, no prob. Sun noon, no connect. During three hours of troubleshooting this afternoon, connected 3 times out of about 20 tries, and no idea why those 3 were successful.
    • Same ISP for 10 years. No recent changes to cable modem, router, network settings, firewall, etc.
    • Desktop (hardwired), two laptops (both wifi), and a media server, all have normal connectivity; only PS3 is an issue.
    • Confident this isn't a "local" bandwidth issue. Using desktop or laptops for internet is normal speed, no slowdowns, not even with the notoriously bandwidth hogging World of Warcraft.
    • Running the PS3 internet connection test, Obtain IP Address = Successful, Internet Connection = Failed. Error at bottom of that screen says "The connection to the server timed out (80710092)."
    • Tried rebooting PS3, router, modem, all repeatedly, no luck.
    • Tried disabling/re-enabling internet connection and media server from xmb, no luck.
    • Have the PS3 config'd for both wired and wireless. Usually run wired, but tried switching to wifi and then back to wired, no luck.
    • Tried connecting the PS3 directly to the modem instead of going through the router, no luck.
    • Took a look through all the usual settings, UPnP, ports, PS3 is in the DMZ, etc. etc. But given that this started suddenly, after years of a-ok connectivity and no changes made on my side, and given that I still have internmittent connectivity, this doesn't seem the most likely source of trouble.

    Spent almost 2 hours on the phone with Playstation tech support. They tried really hard but couldn't figure anything out. Eventually pointed me back to my ISP to check on MAC filters and the possibility that my modem is set to "on demand" instead of "keep alive". MAC filter doesn't seem logical, given that I can connect sometimes. On demand vs keep alive...maybe...but why suddenly a problem now, after 3 years?

    To me it all adds up to a PSN issue. If it were ISP / general internet issue, I should see connectivity issues or slowdown/lag with other devices and apps, and I don't.

    Any suggestions? Thanks so much!
  • Is your router secure with a strong pass word? do you have a way to see whats on you network. It seams funny that your problems are happening in the pm. You might have a hitcher causing you to loose connectivity due to band width issues. Just a thought.
  • Good line of thinking, but wouldn't all our internet connection points be compromised if we had a bandwidth hitchhiker? Our desktop (wired) & laptops (wifi) are just fine, no connectivity or speed/bandwidth issues - it's just the PS3. Thanks for the idea...more are welcome!
  • Not necessarily. just fun the fun of it next time you are booted access your router and check your network. If it is OK do a speed test.
  • After my 6am post this morning, I tried signing into the PS3, with near instance success. So.... Fri, Sat, Sun & Mon ~6-630am EST, no probs. Fri & Sat eve, Sun noon - 9pm, couldn't get connected at all.

    This morning my husband said he ran a couple speed tests last night - said we weren't superfast, but not slow either. And I play World of Warcraft (laptop/PC not PS3), which is a notorious bandwidth hog, at all hours, with no trend for there to be significantly more lag say, in the evenings and less in the mornings. And WoW is very "responsive"...meaning, if anyone else in my household is doing anything else with our bandwidth, surfing the internet, downloading files, I can tell because WoW's latency rate shoots up. So I tend to think that any traffic/bandwidth impacts would show up there too.

    Another thing that strikes me as odd is where things seem to get hung up. First three steps on the PS3's Internet Connection Test:
    • Obtain IP: Always successful, nearly instantaneous
    • Internet Connection: Prior to Friday, always successful, near instantaneous. Since Friday, early mornings are always successful and near instantaneous like they've always been; but anytime else, a consistent Failed.
    • Playstation Network: If the internet connection is successful, this always is too. If it fails, obviously the process doesn't move on to this step.

    So, a marked change between the past two+ years and Friday. One that seemingly only affects the PS3. And one that seems tied to time of day. Doesn't seem like a settings issue - if it were ports or MAC filters or what all, then I wouldn't be able to connect at all. Seems more likely a traffic or bandwidth issue. But...where.

    While on the phone with PS3 tech support yesterday, I tried to find out what exactly the PS3 is doing at each of those 3 steps. Obtain IP, obvious. Playstation Network, obvious (and they're quite certain they're not having a PSN problem). In between..."Internet Connection" and getting a 'connection to server timed out' error. *What* server? Is it my home server? That kinda doesn't make sense...PS3 has already established that connection when it gets the IP. So at the "Internet Connection" stage, is the PS3 trying to use the IP it's gotten to connect to a particular server...possibly a playstation server if not "the" PSN server, maybe a queuing or gateway type server? The rep didn't know, but seemed to dismiss the idea that it was one of their servers vs mine.
  • here are 2 more stabs in the dark. is your ip AT&A or is your router a belkin N? I have read about alot of ps3 problems with these 2 things. I was just reading is your PS3 up to date? check for updates, Who knows might be your prob
  • Thanks for the stabs, haha, i'm in the dark too, so it's all good!

    Internet service provider is my local electric company (, had them for almost 10 years with few problems. Modem is a Motorola. Router is a Belkin, one we've used for 2-3 years with no probs, PS3 or otherwise.

    Hubby just ran another speed check, we're just over 2mb. He's downloading some huge files for his work right now, and speed remains consistent. Hmm.

    Had to laugh when I got home, 6pm, and tried to sign into the PS3. No go. Just like Fri, Sat, Sun eves. Hahaha. But this morn at 630am, like every other morning at 6am, no prob. HA.
  • Almost sounds like there may be some sort of restriction set up in the router to prevent the PS3 from getting online that time of evening. Either that or there is so much activity from other people using the same provider in your area it's keeping you off.
  • That's kinda what hubby & I were wondering too, given the maybe-not-coincidental timing with high traffic times. We use BELD, Braintree Electric, our local town electric company, and it's a great service. So pretty plausible that there could be a lot of other people using the same provider in our area.

    But such a sudden change, and such a harsh/impactful change, when I've had perfect connectivity for years with BELD, same router & modem, and when it's only the PS3 that's affected. It just seems so odd.

    Would a 'restriction set up in the router' be something that could be done remotely by the ISP? Our modem doesn't have any buttons that we could use to change anything.
  • No, they would not be able to change settings in your router remotely. This would have to be done through one of your own computers. Log in to the router and have a doublecheck of the settings, it is possible somehow a schedule was set to disable the PS3's access around that time.

    One of the main reasons I think it may just be a bandwidth availability issue is I ran into a slightly similar problem here with my ISP, getting randomly kicked offline despite being an "always on" DSL connection. Turned out the way they had some things routing through junction boxes at an intersection was disrupting my connection.
  • Curiouser and curiouser. So a router schedule could be set, and only by us not our ISP, and it could be specific to one device (e.g., restricting use only of the PS3, not our desktop/laptop uses)? I'll see if hubby can check the router settings, but I'm not holding out much hope - he's set up all the household networking and definitely hasn't made changes to the router config lately. (Haha unless he's decided he doesn't like a gamerwife?)

    But given the times of day, some sort of bandwidth availability issue makes sense. I just can't figure out what or why it's limited to the PS3.

    One thing to note - I've never been kicked offline once I'm successfully on. I just...can't get on. Except at "offpeak" times like 6am.

    With your problem, was it limited to PS3 or did it affect your desktop/laptop connectivity or speed as well? We've got a desktop (wired) and laptops (wifi) also running, and none of them are experiencing any difficulties making or maintaining a connection. If it were general ISP, it should affect everything - but when I can't get on the PS3 in the evenings, I typically switch to World of Warcraft on my laptop, and it gets all the ridiculous bandwidth it needs.

    Last but not least, is there any chance it's something on Sony's side, perhaps not with the PSN itself, but maybe with an intermediary connection step? Total stab in the dark here... But the PS3 connection test first step goes to my network to get an IP, successful; then gets to its second step, Internet Connection, where it's trying to connect to a server...what server? Maybe a Sony or Playstation intermediary server, gateway, queuing area of some kind where it passes through before getting to the PSN, and it's getting hung up there?
  • In my case it did affect everything, computers and all.

    If it was a problem on Sony's end there would be a whole lot more saying something to them and on forums and there has been nothing reported on either front so it is something happening locally.

    I'm starting to wonder if there is something set up on one (or more) of your computers sucking away the extra bandwidth the PS3 needs (video or bit torrent downloads as an example) keeping it offline at that time of day. You may also want to look into a possible firmware upgrade on the router (which can be found at the router manufacturer's web site).
  • I see your point about it not likely being a more global Sony issue. :) Although I wonder how many people connect both "off peak" (e.g. 6am) and during peak like I do...if they're only trying to connect during peak times, they'd always fail, and would likely assume they had a network settings or hardware issue, because they'd have no indication that they could connect at all. Anywho. Working assumption for now, it's not Sony.

    So moving on, with my apologies for not mentioning this all the troubleshooting and discussion, I lost sight of it. But I think we can eliminate the router as a likely cause. My usual connection is wired, through our router, to our cable modem. But during troubleshooting, I plugged the ethernet cable from the modem straight into the PS3, skipping the router entirely. Still couldn't connect. So that makes a router 'schedule' or other issue less likely, right?

    Going direct from cable modem to PS3 would also take other household devices out of the equation, right? All our other wired and wifi devices hit the router, and then router goes to modem, so when i took the modem cable for the PS3, everything except the PS3 was disconnected from the internet. That should eliminate any other bandwidth-suckers?

    One nuance to note here...during my troubleshooting Sunday noon-5pm, I ran the PS3's internet connection test several dozen times, probably 65% through the router and 30% direct to modem. None of the router attempts were successful. Teeny improvement going direct to modem - two of the modem attempts (out of a dozen or more) were briefly successful (e.g., was able to pass the internet connection test and immediately tried to sign into the PSN from the XMB, but that timed out).

    So I've got 100% success rate establishing and maintaining a connection at 6am five mornings staight. And a near zero success rate establishing a connection at any other time, whether I'm connecting via wired-router, wifi-router, or wired-modem. Given the trend with time of day, a traffic/bandwidth type issue still seems viable...but i just can't figure out *where*.

    Sorry...sorry I'm such a problem! I really appreciate the detective work offered so far. Any other ideas of things for me to research or test, I'd be happy for. Thanks again,

    - Holly
  • If it did it even with direct access to the modem that time of day then the problem is in Bend themselves for sure. You may want to contact them to ask about possible options.
  • Ok, that's my next step then, to call BELD! Didn't get a chance to try signing into the PSN last night, but interestingly...for the first time since this became a problem (Friday evening) husband noticed a marked slowdown in his non-PS3 internet access. That lends much credence to the idea that it's ISP related. Up to now, that wasn't high on my list of possibilities, because up to now only the PS3 was impacted but our other internet uses were fine. But after last night...and after ruling out every other idea with fair conclusivity...back to BELD we go. Thanks again for the guidance! Will post with resolution, if/when I get some.