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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long are Usenet articles stored on your news server?

Instead of having strict retention times, we have disk space limits for different (groups of) hierarchies.

When these are full, the oldest articles are dropped to make space. This means that for many hierarchies, our news server can act as a useful archive, keeping articles for months.

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Should my ISP provide outbound email?

Most ISPs do offer an outbound email service when you sign up to an internet connection: however, there are some ISPs, like BT Broadband, who do not provide this service. Gradwell provides the ideal solution for customers in this situation.

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How do I check the service status?

In the unlikely event of a system problem, our network monitoring system lets us know automatically. Before reporting any problems please check to see if it is already listed at www.gradwellstatus.com.

The status website also has updates from our engineering team regarding any current or planned outages. Please note that these services are hosted for us by a totally independent ISP and thus should be available even if our own systems encounter a minor problem.

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What happens if I make changes to my PSTN service during my broadband order?

If any changes to your telephony service are made (i.e., you upgrade from a residential to a business service, or the line stops for any maintenance whilst a broadband order or service is on the line) the broadband order or service will be automatically cancelled.

This service will then need to be re-ordered/provided at the usual 7-10 days.

If you are planning any changes it is advisable to check with Gradwell support to find out how the changes may affect your broadband service.

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Why does my router keep disconnecting?

You may encounter intermittent disconnections if your router is unable to maintain a constant connection with the Broadband equipment in your local exchange.

This particular fault is typically the result of:

  • Incorrect physical set up (wiring and filtering)
  • A line fault (including high noise levels)
  • Equipment failure (router/filter)
  • Outside interference
Below is a list of items that have been found to interfere with broadband signals:

  • Halogen lamp
  • Fluorescent lights
  • Scanners
  • 900 MHz cordless phones
  • Some mobile phones
  • AM or home built radios
  • Dial up modem, fax, or other non standard device on the telephone line
  • Microwave oven
  • Broadband modems connected to telephone extension cables
  • House security/alarm system
  • The PC or peripheral devices (scanners, external drives etc.) if the modem is located on top of or directly beside these devices
  • Central heating thermostats
  • Christmas tree lights (really)
It is important to note that f you actually lose the broadband signal when the connection drops, the loss of the broadband signal is indicated by a flashing or completely absent DSL light on the router.

It's also worth trying to find out if there is any pattern to the connection dropping, such as occurring at a particular time of day, the frequency and the duration or anything that you are doing at the time (like sending a fax), as this may help identify the cause of the issues.

If you are disconnected intermittently however your DSL light remains solid then it's likely the connection between your PC and the router that is dropping and not the broadband connection.


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What are your common server names?

It is recommended that you connect to these machines via their host names and not IP addresses as those can change without warning.

  • shell.gradwell.net - SSH login server
  • pop3.gradwell.net - POP3 incoming email server
  • relay.gradwell.com - Outgoing SMTP server
  • imap.gradwell.net - IMAP login server
  • pop3ftp.gradwell.net - FTP Access to customer mailbox store
  • news.gradwell.net - NNTP (Usenet) News server
  • mysqldb.gradwell.net - MySQL v4 Database server
  • mysql4db.gradwell.net - MySQL v4 Database server
  • mysql4db-1.gradwell.net - MySQL v4 Database server
  • mysql5db-1.gradwell.net - MySQL v5 Database server

  • ftp.gradwell.net - Customer FTP server
  • www.gradwell.com - Main company website
  • www.gradwellstatus.com - Company service status and information server
  • portal.gradwell.net - Gradwell customer portal

  • newsip.gradwell.net - Next Generation VoIP services
  • iax-lb.gradwell.net - IAX Outbound load balancer
  • sip.gradwell.net - SIP Inbound/Outbound and single line server
  • lon-pbx-X.gradwell.net - Our hosted Centrex "PBX" servers

If a host is unreachable or not responding we recommend that you check the current network service status at www.gradwellstatus.com.

If you are still unable to reach the server and there is no service information posted - please open a support ticket via the customer portal or via email.


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If I move house, can I keep the same VoIP number?

Yes. The number is not tied to a geographical location. Numbers associated with a VoIP operator, such as Gradwell, can be used anywhere there is an Internet connection.

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Do I need to keep my computer on to use VoIP?

No. As long as you are connected to your broadband router, and that remains on and connected to the Internet, you can use VoIP without the need for a computer.

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Can I use my VoIP line for fax?

We do not recommend putting fax machines on VoIP lines.

We suggest using our Email-2-Fax and Fax-2-Email services to send and receive faxes from your email address.

An alternative would be to use your fax equipment over the PSTN line which hosts your Internet connection.

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Are there any phone numbers that VoIP phones can't call?

You can phone most phone numbers, apart from premium numbers.

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Can I redirect calls to another phone number?

Yes. You will need to use our UK and International call forwarding service.

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What is an SMTP account used for?

An SMTP account is used to process your outgoing emails, that you send to other people.

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Is there a limit on the amount of mail that I can forward?

No, there is no limit.

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What is DNS?

Domain Name System (DNS) is a database system that translates a computer's fully qualified domain name into its IP address.

It is similar to using an address book on your mobile phone. You look up and select the name of the person you are calling, but the telephone transparently calls the actual telephone number - it turns a name into a number.

Networked computers use IP addresses to locate and connect to each other, but IP addresses can be difficult for people to remember. For example, on the web, it's much easier to remember the domain name www.gradwell.com than it is to remember its corresponding IP address (

DNS allows you to connect to another networked computer or remote service by using its user-friendly domain name rather than its numerical IP address. Conversely, Reverse DNS (rDNS) translates an IP address into a domain name.

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