07 September, 2006

Troubleshooting Your Internet Connection

I seemed to have found several good resources related to speed and connectivity issues. My wife in particular has been frustrated that certain http connections seem slower than most – more specifically Yahoo! And Go Daddy. I decided to do some investigation, including whether I have other options besides Comcast (which I do not if I want broadband).

I found a site called T1 Shopper, which provides tools and help, plus links to bandwidth testers. For example, here is their information on traceroute. They can even run a traceroute from their end to me, though Comcast seems to block the last hop. T1 Shopper also offers a download calculator. I cannot speak about the services they can hook you up with, but I believe the resources are great.

Back to my connectivity issue. Here is what I sent to Comcast. Does this seem technically right? Any suggestions for better ways to troubleshoot and report connectivity issues?

It seems we have problems connecting to websites reliably. My wife noticed specifically Yahoo!, Go Daddy, and American Express. The one I have problems with most often is ZDNet. Of course, we go to these sites more often than others, so we detect these the most.

I decided to do some tracert and noticed that we get a lot of failures going through the 2nd and 3rd hops of the Comcast network (rarely other hops) -- here are some examples.

2 10 ms * 9 ms GE-2-38-ur01.vancouver.wa.bverton.comcast.net [68.87.218.241]
3 11 ms 9 ms * 10g-8-3-ar01.beaverton.or.bverton.comcast.net [68.87.216.21]
=====================
2 9 ms * 10 ms GE-2-38-ur01.vancouver.wa.bverton.comcast.net [68.87.218.241]
3 * 11 ms * 10g-8-3-ar01.beaverton.or.bverton.comcast.net [68.87.216.21]
=====================
2 12 ms 9 ms * GE-2-38-ur01.vancouver.wa.bverton.comcast.net [68.87.218.241]
3 11 ms * * 10g-8-3-ar01.beaverton.or.bverton.comcast.net [68.87.216.21]
=====================

Of course the delays are greater for each failure. What can you do to fix this? I want service that I can count on for the sites I use most.

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