How ADSL2+ line profiles affect internet speeds

  • Why an ADSL2+ line drops out
  • ADSL2+ speed and stability is a result of line profile
  • Improve speed or stability with a reevaluation of your line profile

Has there ever been a time when you needed to do something urgently online? A bank transfer, submitting an assignment or work proposal, or sending an urgent email . . . and suddenly your broadband freezes and drops out. It’s annoying and time-wasting, and often results in a call to your Internet Service Provider. One of the reasons this may occur is due to an unsuitable line profile.

What is an ADSL2+ line profile?


A line profile governs the speed and stability of your ADSL2+ connection. Not all phone lines are alike in quality and distance, which means not all broadband accounts connect at the same speed. Higher ADSL2+ line profiles – which result in higher speeds – are also more sensitive to interference and connection issues.

What can affect my line profile?

Many factors can affect your line profile. These can include:

  • Improperly filtered devices on your phone line
  • Distance to the exchange
  • Quality of your phone line
  • Length of telephone cable from wall to modem (ISPs recommend a length of no more than 3 metres)
  • Any nearby electrical interference
  • Quality and age of your ADSL2+ modem
  • Older telephone handsets also periodically draw power from the phone line, which can cause ADSL2+ connections to drop out.


Trade-off between speed and stability

It’s like driving a racing car around a track. If the weather is nice and the track is clear and straight, you can put your foot down and accelerate to your heart’s content. However, if it’s raining and windy and the track is full of crafty twists and turns, you would have to slow down for fear of driving off it entirely.

It’s the same trade-off with your ADSL2+ line profile. At lower speeds, the connection is more stable and less prone to drop outs or lags. At higher speeds, the connection can become more erratic, and depends more on the line quality, distance from the exchange and other governing factors to maintain a solid connection.

What can I do to improve my speed?

Some Internet Service Providers automatically place new customers on a conservative line profile that favours stability over speed. If you believe this is the case, give them a call and ask if your line profile can be raised. Others – like Internode – have a tool on their website that allow users to change their speed profile themselves. However, this should only be utilised by advanced users – playing around with incompatible speed profiles may cause you to lose your connection altogether!

Otherwise, examine your home computer setup for any obvious issues. Unplug all non-ADSL2+ devices from your phone line and test the connection – this is called an isolation test, and will be one of the first tests an Internet support technician will ask you to undertake.

If your ADSL2+ connection has a habit of dropping out at crucial moments, contact your Internet Service Provider for information regarding your line profile. Remember, in the battle between speed and stability, you should always favour a stable connection above a fast one.

Finally, if you cannot resolve speed issues with your ISP and you are not happy with the customer service you have been given, it might be time to switch. Give us a call at Compare Broadband on 1300 106 571 and we'll help you find a new provider.