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Connection Alive

Posted on 2012-08-17
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We are having an issue with our ISP our connection has been dropping. They are having a hard time tracking it down because every time they look everything looks good. We had it said maybe it is our firewall. Could be but I do not think so. So I setup a computer with another Static IP address and placed it right on the internet directly connect to the ISP's equipment. Just in case you are thinking.... Yes I do not care about this computer.

What software and or method would be best to monitor any disruption in internet connectivity. It would nice if it was free.
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Question by:RickEpnet
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by:John Hurst
ID: 38307070
I would get a copy of Wireshark (packet sniffer and free) and set it up to monitor packets on the computer you don't care about. I use CommView for this, but you should be able to set Wireshark to log packets. Allow for a long time log (hours) and see when it drops and on what.

Wireshark is at wireshark.org.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 38307097
You might also consider a new and faster router as the router may be overloading with traffic. If that is the case, that would be why the ISP says there is nothing wrong on their end.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:RickEpnet
ID: 38307196
I do not think that is the issue. We moved 95% of the web servers (about 30 web sites) , 1 of the main mail servers over 100 users, 2 database server to Amazon AWS at the same time we got this line. So our old T1 and this same firewall was doing much more work right before this new line came in.

(the mail server that is still on site is only about 15 users) There is such a light load a standard DSL line could handle it in fact that is our backup line and it works fine when they are down. The new cable modem is supposed to be 100meg down and 5 up of course we did not expect to get the full 100meg but it did expect it to stay up.
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Author Comment

by:RickEpnet
ID: 38307199
thinkpads_user that is not a bad idea but shouldn't I use something to generate traffic?
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Expert Comment

by:andrew1812
ID: 38307232
1. You could try and use an infinite ping to multiple servers on the internet from the computer.

Ping server.com -t

This gives you an idea of IP packets being lost on the network.

You can view the dropped packets on the screen and then provide the screen shot to the ISP for proving your point.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 38307592
The new cable modem is supposed to be 100meg down and 5 up

I understand your point about the router load. Thanks. Still, routers can mis-behave, so keep that in the back of your mind for a while.

Then, I have had modems fail. The ISP cannot always tell if it stopped and started (they may not be logging that or the logs may not go back that far).  Since you have raised this issue with your ISP, you can always ask them to replace it.

... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:RickEpnet
ID: 38307944
They have mentioned replacing the modem. I will let them do that next week but gut feeling it is deeper than that. We had some minor problem when they first went in but thing got much worse after there was an accident near the building that took out the line completely and ever since that time it seems thing have gone down hill. I have no empirical evidence just a feeling. I am trying to get the evidence.
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by:TekServer
TekServer earned 1000 total points
ID: 38308399
I've always used PingPlotter for tracking these kinds of problems.  There is a freeware version, plus a couple of paid versions with free trial periods & different levels of functionality (graphs, multiple traces, etc.).

Here is the feature comparison page.  I would go with at least the Standard version, because of the "Graphs any host over time, including packet loss and latency." feature.  This will make it easy to see patterns of packet loss (red splotches on the graph).

:)
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Accepted Solution

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nam0a earned 1000 total points
ID: 38308701
you can use the ping command and put it in batch file and make an alarm in case the connection goes down.
-----------------------
REM =======================================================================================
REM =   PINGCHECK - PING address to make sure it is reachable
REM =======================================================================================
echo off
:PINGCHECK

  PING 192.168.0.1 -n 1 -w 5000 | FIND "TTL=" >nul 2>&1
  IF ERRORLEVEL 1 ( CALL :SPEAK "wireless IS DOWN wireless IS DOWN" )
 
  PING google.com -n 1 -w 5000 | FIND "TTL=" >nul 2>&1
  IF ERRORLEVEL 1 ( CALL :SPEAK "GOOGLY IS DOWN GOOGLY IS DOWN" )
 
  PING yahoo.com -n 1 -w 5000 | FIND "TTL=" >nul 2>&1
  IF ERRORLEVEL 1 ( CALL :SPEAK "YAH WHO IS DOWN YAH WHO DOWN"  )
 
  PING ntc.net.np -n 1 -w 5000 | FIND "TTL=" >nul 2>&1
  IF ERRORLEVEL 1 ( CALL :SPEAK "N T C IS DOWN N T C IS DOWN"  )


Goto PINGCHECK

:SPEAK
nircmd.exe speak text "%~1" 2 100
ECHO %DATE% %TIME% "%~1"
REM ALARM.MP3
EXIT /B
-------------------------------
you will need an alarm sound (alarm.mp3) and nircmd.exe
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Expert Comment

by:TekServer
ID: 38308717
An excellent script, nam0a which I plan to steal shamelessly for my own use!
;)

PingPlotter does have a couple of advantages worth considering, though:  graphical, easy to understand output, somewhat more flexible automation, and a longer available history than that provided by the command line buffer.

Also, that alarm sound could get really annoying if they're getting significant packet loss - say one or more lost packets every few seconds.

;)
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Author Closing Comment

by:RickEpnet
ID: 38319419
I actually used a PS script so it could email me for each loss ping. I did it from 2 different locations pinging into a computer that was directly connect to the internet through the ISP's modem.
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Expert Comment

by:TekServer
ID: 38321679
Glad we could help!

:)
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