Networking

Kevin Vaughn
Kevin Vaughn used Ask the Experts™
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There is a company called Grid4, they sell T1 service and telephone service.  At our office, we have 4 PC's  and 1 printer and one WiFi access point.  The connectivity is horrible in terms of internet access.    Example e.g.   Ping 216.11.111.1 -t  returns 3 digit MS time and drops packets about every 4 or 8 pings, at time 2 drops in a row.  At first we thought a workstation was maybe throwing out a bunch of garbage.  In fact Grid4 says the workstations are "calling Microsoft."  We did check and know that there are many FAILED updates.  However we do not think that the workstation(s) are trying so hard all day long to get updates that the T1 line is saturated.  When we turn off ALL workstation, unplug the Wireless AP, and plug a single workstation into the AdTran (a switch), the results are the same, dropped packets and triple digit mili seconds on the returns.   The service provider has indicated that from inside the switch pinging out to the same IP  216.11.111.1 they also get triple digit reply's and dropping packets every now and then.  

What could be the problem?  We think it's the Adtran or the circuit that needs attention.  When Grid4 sends their tech out he just says, it's your network.  And that they workstations are talking to MS and causing a jam of sorts.      We do know the workstations need maintenance (patches and clean up) however the symptoms are the same with them turned off.
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Commented:
You really need to troubleshoot this on a basic level. Break it down to the most granular and divide the problem then repeat.

Here's how.

Start with a completely disconnected system - unplug your entire network from whatever the final entry point is from your ISP. If they provide you with a modem, leave nothing plugged into the modem. Router? Same. Nothing connected.

Then have them test it to tell you it is working fine up to that point. Get something in writing saying that it passes the tests and meets all deliverable service levels that you are paying for. Have them hook their own equipment directly to the end device on their system and show you the results from there.

Then hook your own $29 router to the connection and plug a computer in to test it. Or connect to the WIFI with your phone and run a speed test. I like the one from Ookla personally, as it is also available as an app. If your speed test results don't match the minimum, then they are not providing the service that you are paying for and you should switch to a different provider if they will not resolve the issue for you.

Alternately, have another ISP come set up a demo connection to compare the results - or simply tie your network temporarily into the neighbor's ISP connection (hopefully with a different provider) with a long patch cable to test the results.
Commented:
I don't work with Adtran line of routers but here is the steps I would take to tshoot this.
1. Login into the router and check T1 interface status. If there are errors, notify your ISP to tshoot.
2. Are there any errors related to the router itself in the logs? If there are software related errors, I would try to upgrade the image. If hardware errors, then look into replacing the router or CSU/DSU module.
3. Try pinging from the router. Do you get the same latency as from the inside?
If you get the same latency and there are no line or hardware errors, open a case with your ISP. It could be the problem on their end either with hardware or routing.

Then hook your own $29 router to the connection and plug a computer in to test it. Or connect to the WIFI with your phone and run a speed test.

Show me $29 router with CSU/DSU...
Commented:
http://www.databug.com/WIC-1DSU-T1-V2-p/WIC-1DSU-T1-V2.htm?gclid=COTWu4-prc8CFQokhgodskEOOw

(Ok, that's just the port...but it is only $29. LOL)

So my point was that to test the Internet connection effectively, have a simple test that has no other variables. Instead of having your entire system plugged in and trying to troubleshoot from end to end, set up a very simple, basic test of the Internet feed that you can verify, right at the point where it connects to the internal network. If you can show a simple pass/fail result at that entry point, you will know which side of that point the issue lies on and where to focus troubleshooting from there. It is a very basic hardware only test and eliminates a wide range of possible issues in minutes. Your results are either "internal" or "external" and you can then proceed to solve the actual issue without anyone trying to assign blame.
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Commented:
Norm, reading your reply I remembered about T1 loopback test. http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/support/docs/wan/t1-e1-t3-e3/5708-hard-loopback.html
You can apply the same method to test here and it's real easy to create T1 loopback with rj-45 and a couple of strands from cat5.
It's been a while since I worked with T1s.

Commented:
Yes, a loopback plug would be ideal.
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
I would get something better than a T1 if available. Bear in mind that a T1 is about 1.55 Mbps. Even though 4 computers isn't a lot, one factor is how users are utilizing the internet. Besides, it would be a heck of a lot less expensive to get cable or even DSL internet service.
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
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