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How can I pinpoint my connection problem?

By deanlaing12
Dec 8, 2013
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  1. I recently built a new PC and have formatted the PC completely just two days ago:

    Mobo - Sabertooth 990FX Rev 2.0
    Ram - G.Skill 16 GB (Dual 8GB @ 1600)
    CPU - FX-8350 & H100i
    PSU - AX1200i
    Small WD Red 1TB raid 1 & Crucial M500 240GB
    GPU - HD 5770 (sigh - Still using this from last pc build.)
    New Asus optical drive
    Using the Optical connection for audio.
    Running windows 8 on the SSD.
    BT Infinity Package 2 - 80 Meg up, 20 Meg down - BT Home Hum 3.0 - Firmware Version (Type A)

    The problem I am having is this:
    Occasionally, my internet will stop loading. Web pages will load sort of, then stop half way. Sometimes it refuses to load past the white screen.
    Sometimes I am disconnected from "Some" of my messengers on Trillian.

    At first I thought it might be the websites being a little bit dodgy, but it has become a little more frequent now.

    I have heard it is possible to manually detect where the connection problems lay by using the command prompt, however I am having difficulty finding a guide on such tasks.

    How can I pinpoint the connection problems I am having?

    Thanks for reading.
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,330   +788

    There are three separate issues:
    [a-] tcp connectivity, [b-] dns resolution and [c-] website responses.

    On [a-] TCP, the sequence goes like this:
    1. ping (proving the adaptor is working)
    2. ping your ip address (see results of ipconfig)
    3. ping your router (it's the gateway address shown in ipconfig /all)
    4. ping your ISP gateway address (something like http://www.whatismyip.com/ is silly as you may have real issues and can't access that site at all. Instead, log into your router and get the wan-side gateway ip)
    5. ping your DNS addresses shown in ipconfig /all
    This much tells you if your system TCP and ISP access are sane and responding properly.
    btw: ping responds with lines like​
    Reply from bytes=32 time=86ms TTL=53​
    and the time is what to watch. Times < 100ms are great and times >300ms are concerning (and certainly > 1000 is deplorable).​

    On [b-] we test dns resolution (transforming a domain name to an IP address) using
    nslookup google.com
    which (especially for this monster) can have a multiple line reply. Techspot.com looks like
    nslookup techspot.com
    Server: blah blah​
    Address: one-of-your-dns-addresses​

    Non-authoritative answer:​
    Name: techspot.com​
    For [c-] we need to see the ip address
    nslookup techspot.com
    and then reverse the question; what's the domain name?
    Name: techspot04.techspot.com
    So we prove the domain -> ip and ip ->domain

    Now ping the site (ping techspot.com) and watch the times.
    If they are all reasonable, great but if not use this
    pathping techspot.com
    and you will have to wait for the results
    See this topic for an bad example of network reliability (notice ping times are very high and node-2-node backbone packets are timing out.

    If you're into website performance issues, you can explore a site using this, but will have no means to impact the results.
    Jad Chaar likes this.

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