network issues

I have a potential client who is experiencing "network issues".  I have not been to the site just yet, but from what I spoke with the contact, the network seeems to be running very slow.  When they attempt to go to the internet, it's very slow, when they attempt to get out to one of the shares it's slow.

I believe they have a DSL line with about 10 users and they are a MS shop.  Don't think any Cisco equipment is being used.

How do I troubleshoot this issue?  Are there free utilities out there that can assist with this?
vulture714Asked:
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SimonK987654321Connect With a Mentor Commented:
From their report it sounds like everything's affected - LAN and WAN - but if it's actually WAN comms only and the ISP has assured them that the DSL line is good, you might check the MTU size on the branch DSL router and try reducing it (if the option is available).  MTU can vary between ISPs so try 1400, test and work up from there.
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athomsfereCommented:
I would start simply by rebooting their router and modem, especially if they are using off the shelf consumer grade equipment and not enterprise level equipment.
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cavp76Commented:
Flaky switch? Broadcast storm (a faulty NIC )? bad cabling? NO way to be sure until being there and take a look at things
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Evotec-ITCommented:
Reboot the DSL router and see if that helps, if they have a server then i'd get them to log out and save their work and reboot it. If that doesn't fix it then check the servers C Drive to make sure it hasn't run out of space. Are there any other devices on the network..? Is it happening to all users..? Is it all Websites that are slow ( have they actually tried a few).  

They're the first steps I would take and if nothing above helps then post back with a more detailed description of the issues, what version of Windows they're running and the set up of their network.  
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akhalighiCommented:
I'd start from isolating the issue ; does slowness happen on LAN as well ? if yes , then it has nothing to do with DSL router. you'd better to check hub and switches.

- Ask if they connected any new machines or changed cabling. a wrong cable from one port to another causes loops.

- do they have a domain controller or server ? restart that .

- check for virus

- Use this one , free to try to see the traffic : http://www.javvin.com/packet-traffic.html

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clinker83Commented:
Agree with akhalighi, you need to check if LAN speeds are slow as well. If so, you should look at how DNS is configured as well as what other posts have suggested.
If clients are using ISP for DNS then it could affect the resolution of names on the local network as well. Run ipconfig /all and see what DNS servers they're using. Ideally DNS server should be configured on server instead of using ISP for local name resolution.
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profgeekCommented:
Reboots are always the first (and easiest) thing to have a client try, but don't forget to reboot the switches.  I have seen your symptoms caused by a switch that needed to be reset.
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