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Author Topic: How do I test router vs. Internet connection?  (Read 4536 times)

rjbull

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How do I test router vs. Internet connection?
« on: November 05, 2010, 04:53:28 PM »
I'm in the UK.  I use a laptop via a wireless router, a US Robotics Wireless MAXg ADSL Gateway, Product Model 809108.

Lately I've been getting poor Internet connections.  Watching the router's status lights; Power ON, wireless transmission ON, ADSL ON, Internet ON; then after a bit the Internet light goes out and I lose connection.  In the last couple of days, I've had all four lights ON, but no connection, except that the Internet light has been flickering a bit, which I assume means a poor connection.  When the Internet light goes out, I usually have to switch the router off and back on again to get it to reconnect.

Please...  how can I test whether the problem is with my router, or with the telephone company/ISP?

I only have one router and one ISP, so I can't easily eliminate one from the other.  If the problem is likely to be the router, what replacement would you suggest?

<sigh>  nearly typed witless for wireless...

Thanks in anticipation!

Shades

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Re: How do I test router vs. Internet connection?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2010, 05:10:44 PM »
This problem calls for the elimination game.

Normally you connect your laptop straight to the ADSL or cable modem in your house and work like that for a while. Most modern laptops come with LAN (RJ45) connectors, so this should not be to hard to do.

If the connection remains bad, it is your connection and else it is your router. Find this out first so you can get a clearer idea from where to go next.

rjbull

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Re: How do I test router vs. Internet connection?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2010, 05:25:02 PM »
Normally you connect your laptop straight to the ADSL or cable modem in your house and work like that for a while.

I wasn't clear enough...  I think the problem is either inside the router, or, on the telephone line side of the router.  That is, when all my router lights are on and steady, the wireless connection between router and laptop is fine.  So it doesn't seem to be radio transmission per se that's causing trouble.  I'm therefore assuming that it's either an intermittent fault in the router, or an intermittent fault with the telco/ISP.  In another thread, IDEA: Internet disconnection logger I noticed a reference to Karen's Net Monitor, but while I may eventually have to log events, that may not help diagnose the reason for drops.

Shades

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Re: How do I test router vs. Internet connection?
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2010, 07:19:27 AM »
Ah, I understand now that you have a device that contains modem and wireless router and switch. Which makes the straight connection problematic.

Still the idea of using a straight connection is not bad, if you could get your hands on a "simple" modem. Maybe you or a friend have spare or older one. Elimination is still the name of the game.

You are right about log files not giving the reason for drops, but they are handy all the same, as they give you a better insight into the problem. So do not discard this option just yet.

4wd

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Re: How do I test router vs. Internet connection?
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2010, 07:07:55 PM »
Was the modem/router provided by your ISP?

Do you have access to its configuration settings?

USRobotics website shows that the modem/router has very good statistics/logging capability as well as diagnostics, (there's even a nice interactive demo).

Log into the modem now, go to the Status tab and hit the Reset button on the WAN, ATM & ADSL Statistics pages.

The next time it happens, log into the modem, go to the Status tab and look at the System Log and WAN, ATM & ADSL statistics - take screen captures.

Under the ADSL Statistics tab perform a ADSL BER Test and take a capture of the results.

Under the Device tab there is a Diagnostics function, run both test when it happens, capture the results.

Please post them back here.  I'm not saying any of this will definitively isolate the problem but it should help us understand a bit better.

In the meanwhile, it should cost nothing, (well here anyway), for your physical line provider, (copper cable - BT, etc), to perform a remote test on your phone line - ring them up and say your getting intermittent noise on the line.

Also, is the phone working normally when it happens, ie. dial tone, no noise (crackling, etc).

If it's happening often enough, disconnect ALL other devices connected to the phone line, (and I mean ALL - phones, filters, external bells, fax machines, alarm monitoring equipment, etc) - this is the most basic test and will help isolate it to either the modem/phone line or something that's influencing them.

This thread may help, specifically from here on.  gexecuter's fault turned out to be faulty wiring, (loose wire), from his house to the external connection at the pole - which the signal ratios pointed/hinted at.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2010, 07:19:18 PM by 4wd »

Darwin

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Re: How do I test router vs. Internet connection?
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2010, 10:32:56 AM »
I know that Cisco has a product, SpeedMeterPro, that will test this for you, but it is payware (@$40). I've not tried it, though.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

rjbull

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Re: How do I test router vs. Internet connection?
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2010, 10:46:04 AM »
Was the modem/router provided by your ISP?

No.

Quote
Do you have access to its configuration settings?

Yes, but, I think I have to dig out the cable.  When I first configured it, I had to connect via cable to get at security settings etc.  It couldn't be done wirelessly.

Quote
USRobotics website shows that the modem/router has very good statistics/logging capability as well as diagnostics, (there's even a nice interactive demo).

Thanks  :-[

Quote
for your physical line provider, (copper cable - BT, etc), to perform a remote test on your phone line - ring them up and say your getting intermittent noise on the line.

Good idea.  I should ask my next-door-neighbour too, as they use broadband a lot.  I think they use a different ISP but the wiring would still be BT (I think).

Quote
is the phone working normally when it happens, ie. dial tone, no noise (crackling, etc).

Hadn't thought to check that!  Another good idea, thanks.

Quote
If it's happening often enough, disconnect ALL other devices connected to the phone line, (and I mean ALL - phones, filters

I once had a faulty filter, just one out of three on the line.  It was a real pain finding that one...

Many thanks!  :)

Carol Haynes

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Re: How do I test router vs. Internet connection?
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2010, 11:03:06 AM »
Two ways to see if it is the router or the ADSL line:

1) Borrow another router and see how well that works

2) Take your router to someone else's house where you know their connection working well

In both cases make sure to back up the setting and then reconfigure it for the connection and see if it works.

Stoic Joker

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Re: How do I test router vs. Internet connection?
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2010, 01:49:29 PM »
For Quick-N-Dirty network connectivity testing ping is your best friend.

Make sure the WAN side of your ADSL router is ping-able.
Make a list of external IP addresses that you know will respond and keep it handy for testing.

When the connection fails, try pinging the LAN side of the router, if you can the WiFi is fine.

Log into the ADSL router and look at the WAN status, you should have an assigned IP address and gateway. Ping the WAN IP Address. if it responds, then you can get traffic across the router (e.g. it's fine). Ping the WAN gateway, with the internet light blinking/going out this is where it will most likely fail (anything from here on will be an ISP issue).

Ping the external IP addresses from the above list... if they succeed, then you are connected to the internet, but have a DNS issue. Some ADLS boxes seem to hing the internet light on/of pass/fail on DNS lookups - I don't know why - But checking this has saved me a bunch of time on several occasions.

Note: do not rely on the default 32 byte ping packet for these tests, use a large unfragmented packet to put a bit of oomph behind the "question" to be sure you have the equipments attention. :)

ping -f -l 1024 [target]

Note2: when ping replies remember these two points:

Destination host unreachable means target is down/nonexistent.
Request timed out means target is there, but is unresponsive.


In the field I frequently use a custom written ping program that I colloquialistic-ly refer to as a "line stressing" utility (It's actually more of a ping flooder). Handy as it is for identifying weak equipment I'm afraid to release it for fear of it's misuse. But if you can find something that will send a constant stream of large unfragmented packets with zero wait time between them...it can speed up the diagnostic considerably by causing the weak link to fail on request (so to speak).

4wd

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Re: How do I test router vs. Internet connection?
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2010, 05:53:11 PM »
Ping the external IP addresses from the above list... if they succeed, then you are connected to the internet, but have a DNS issue.

Just for my information:

Is the DNS involved if you ping an IP address?

Wouldn't you need to ping a URL, (eg. www.google.com), for a DNS to be queried?

I suppose I should really do it myself and watch the packet log.......



Never mind, stupid me I read your context wrong  :-[


Addendum:

YEEHAA!!!
greenshot_2010-11-08_10-54-04.jpgHow do I test router vs. Internet connection?

I'm now officially 50% more evil than I was before!
« Last Edit: November 07, 2010, 06:01:53 PM by 4wd »

Renegade

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Re: How do I test router vs. Internet connection?
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2010, 06:28:50 PM »
Addendum:

YEEHAA!!! (see attachment in previous post)
I'm now officially 50% more evil than I was before!

Hahahah~! Reminds me of some developer education materials that I did for a company -- some of my examples used models "333" (half as evil), 1332 and 1998 (2x and 3x as evil). :D

More totally off topic...

Off topic and potentially NSFW



On topic -- that Cisco software has a trial. I'm thinking about giving it a shot myself as I have similar issues here.
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