Intermittent DSL Internet Connection. Need to Narrow down patterns

Posted on 2011-10-04
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I have a client who has had an intermittent Telus ADSL Internet Connection since they opened up shop about 4.5 years ago. Over the years, we have changed the modem, Talked to Telus many times, Telus has changed ports etc.etc.

Three factors that have hindered a proper resolution of this are:

A. The office only had 3 computers. Now it only has 2.

B. The users are light internet users and have not given timely feedback as to outages.

C. The problems are intermittent. Sometimes 30-60 minutes can go by without any significant packet loss and then suddenly the connection is down for a minute or two.

Recently, we have made changes to the remote server that they connect to at head office and it has become apparent that the internet is still acting up.

The shop is an oilfield fabrication shop and the phone lines come into the back of the shop and are somehow routed to the front where the modem and router are.

I believe that it is not a neighborhood issue as there are much bigger companies around who would not put up with that kind of inconsistency. I have checked with another IT company that services that area and they have verified that the Telus connections for their clients are consistent.

In order to get a final resolution to this, I need to be able to find a way to accurately map out when the connection is dropping so that I can verify if it is the same time every day or the same time for the appropriate day of the week or if there is simply no pattern to it.

I can also change ISP's but the cost will go up about 3X.

Can anyone think of a way to accurately map timeouts throughout the course of a day/week without someone having to sit there and watch it?

I have ruled out the router by bypassing it and testing with a laptop directly.

We have swapped out the modem, but it was several years ago.
Question by:MJCS
    LVL 13

    Accepted Solution

    PingPlotter might be a useful too for your situation...

    I would try to monitor 2 targets: The first hop or gateway IP for the office; and some other random remote target like (Google DNS).  If the first hop drops, that eliminates anything beyond it; if the first hop is reliable but a remote host drops, that would suggest a provider problem (or someone upstream from them).

    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    You might also monitor their DSL modem too while you're at it just to make sure it's not a hardware issue at the site.
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    One more thought: You might ask Telus to put a debug-level monitor on your client's connection.  If the DSL line drops out due to a sync problem or something, they should easily be able to pick up on it via logging at their end.  Maybe they can do the same thing on the client's DSL modem (enable some kind of detailed logging).
    LVL 2

    Author Closing Comment

    This software is exactly what I was hoping for.

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