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Troubleshooting slow internet speeds

Hi all,

Can someone recommend the basic steps on troubleshooting a slow internet connection when users at a particular site complain that web browsing is slow, etc.

I understand that you normally run speed tests (not always reliable) and ping tests to websites users are saying are slow and checking the response times.

What other basic tests can I run to troubleshoot?
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Mikoyan_2010
Asked:
Mikoyan_2010
5 Solutions
 
BullmanTechCommented:
Buying (cheaply) or using one of several freeward Network Traffic Monitoring software tools will be your easiest path to answering any questions you have related to network traffic / bandwidth concerns.

Here is a page that should help with advice / perspective on the topic:http://www.computerperformance.co.uk/HealthCheck/real_time_netflow_analyzer.htm

Also, don't forget that 'internet' performance doesn't always correlate to your environment. Bottlenecks anywhere along the path will slow down the user's experience. Websites accessed by users could also be slowed by your Internet Service Provider (purposefully or inadvertently due to fluctuations in their customers' usage) or simply by the server / network environment of the hosted website.
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Jerry MillerCommented:
You can take a look at the TCP Optimizer on speedguide.net as well. It will examine the TCP settings on a particular PC and give you a couple of different options on configuring it correctly.
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madunixChief Information Security Officer Commented:
1- Have you considered a virus outbreak? Scan your windows environment, so look at your Antivirus or Firewall software to see if they  report any abnormal issues.
2- Check a duplex mismatch between switch and network adapter, the connection will work, just poorly, but network performance will suffer greatly, with throughput dropping.
3-  Check if you have server backups occurring during production hours or any other activities.
4- Check network cables in your LAN. This will result in FCS Errors on the switch ports or network adapters.  
5- Check the client configuration to see which DNS server it is setup to use, Try setting  DNS to use OpenDNS http://www.opendns.com/ 
6- Do a ping -t <IP> , see if you get packet lost
7-  I use Cacti http://cacti.net/, it  is a brilliant software to narrow down the problem; others could help
http://www.groundworkopensource.com GroundWork Monitor Enterprise
http://www.hyperic.com Hyperic HQ
http://www.icinga.org Icinga
http://www.nagios.com Nagios
http://www.n-able.com N-central
http://www.op5.com op5 Monitor
http://www.open-itcockpit.com openITCockpit
http://www.opennms.org OpenNMS
http://www.hp.com/de/bto HP OpenView
http://www.bmc.com BMC PATROL ProactiveNet Performance Management
http://www.shinken-monitoring.org Shinken
http://www.ibm.com/software/de/tivoli IBM Tivoli
http://www.ca.com/de CA Unicenter
http://www.whatsupgold.com WhatsUp Gold
http://www.zabbix.com Zabbix
http://www.zenoss.com Zenoss Enterprise
http://www.flukenetworks.com/enterprise-network/network-testing/EtherScope-Series-II-Network-Assistant 

8- Check the CPU/Mem on your switches and routers.
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kadadi_vCommented:
Step By Step Procedure is

1. ISP

IP / Subnet / Gateway & DNS
IS it Leased Line or Broadband    
What is the Speed (Ex:  4MBPS  ( 1:1 )

Then Check the Bandwidth on Single PC / laptop  as ISP providing the good bandwidth or not.

2.Good Router Selection & Configuration.

3.Website Content Filtering feature is available in router. And Logs / Reports can  generate from Router ...?

4.How Many Users / PC's on the network...?

5.Have configured the AD integrated DNS server , means for good Internet speed require the Internal DNS Server Cache.

6. Proxy Server Installed..?

7. Now Monitoring internet Usage

Please try this Current-ware Browser Control & Browser Reports , You can check with 20 Days Trial applications.

http://www.currentware.com/

Regards,
Vijay kadadi
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madunixChief Information Security Officer Commented:
As said above; there are many variables that may contribute to slowness including client's machine, client's isp, hosts' isp, hosts' server, etc.

Here's some sites with worldwide tests, at least they claim that:
http://www.uptrends.com/aspx/free-html-site-page-load-check-tool.aspx
http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/
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ChiefITCommented:
There are so many variables to slow internet/intranet communications that you can't really ask a broad question like this and expect to get a focused answer. The best answer to your question is:

ASK MORE QUESTIONS to your users. They are the ones experiencing the slowness. They have to get more specific with you.

Ask these questions to help pinpoint the issue:

How many users are affected?
Is the slowness intermittent?
When you say "slow", how long does it take you to access google.com?
What about internal communications, like to the office web site?
Is printing and file access slow?

The more specific they get, the more focused you can be on troubleshooting. Then, you can tailor your tools and troubleshooting to divide and conquer the root problem.
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Jerry MillerCommented:
Something else to look at when you are experiencing slowness. See if you can access the same site via IP address instead of DNS name. You could have a DNS issue on your network.
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Mikoyan_2010Author Commented:
Thanks for input guys
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