General Question

bookish1's avatar

Can you help me diagnose an internet connectivity problem?

Asked by bookish1 (13110points) October 14th, 2012

I’d really appreciate some input here. I can barely get online (I often get DNS error messages) and when I do, pages load like it’s 1996. This has been happening for the past week or so. It doesn’t seem to correspond with peak usage times or anything, it’s just random. I’m used to slow internet service, because there’s one company with a monopoly on it in my area, so they can get away with crappy service, but this is just unprecedented.

-Yes, I’ve turned off my router and turned it back on again. Numerous times. It might speed up the connection for a few minutes but then it goes glacial again.
-Problem occurs with both browsers I have, Chrome and Safari.
-Problem seems to occur most often when I try to load google and gmail!

I’ll be happy to provide more details if that would help. I would really appreciate any thoughts on this.

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11 Answers

Coloma's avatar

Have you inquired with your IP to see if they are getting similar complaints or if they are doing work on a tower or something?

bookish1's avatar

@Coloma: Thank you for the suggestion! I am so impractical. No, I haven’t. I’ll go kvetch at them now.

Coloma's avatar

^^^ LOL Good luck! :-)

elbanditoroso's avatar

Set you DNS to (google’s open DNS) and see if things improve.

Shippy's avatar

Did you recently download any programs that claim to speed your computer and or clean it? Often they will change windows “for better performance”, which could explain the look. They often attach to your search engines. Perhaps check in your control panel and remove anything that looks like it.

flutherother's avatar

I’d run a check for viruses and spyware which can slow down your machine. If you’ve got a wireless connection it could be another wireless device is interfering with the signal. Your ISP should be able to change your wireless frequency to avoid this. I’d report it to your ISP if the problem persists.

bookish1's avatar

@elbanditoroso : Thank you for that! I did that, and I haven’t had any DNS errors since, although it still is pretty slow and I can’t load videos.

@Shippy: Nope, I have a Mac, but thank you for the suggestion.

@flutherother : Thank you for the tip; I didn’t even know an ISP could change my wireless frequency. Good to know!

jrpowell's avatar

I hate to do this. It might be time to get dirty…

Open Applications/Utilities

Open the Terminal

Copy and paste:

open /System/Library/CoreServices/Wi-Fi\

into the Terminal and hit enter.

View—> Performance

You want the yellow bar high and the green bar low on the top graph.

Here is mine. If the lines cross you have problems.

Move the laptop around and see if it helps. Even a few inches can make a difference.

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bookish1's avatar

@johnpowell: Whoa, I love it when you talk nerdy. Thank you for that. What is this supposed to do?

I am still having problems, although I changed my DNS as @elbanditoroso suggested. I get error messages in both browsers saying that my network can’t connect to the server, or that the DNS lookup failed.

But this is intermittent. It’s really frustrating not being able to count on internet access when I pay so much for it. The “Send” light on my router is blank when I can’t connect at all. Is this a problem that I should call my ISP about?

Thanks, all.

jrpowell's avatar

My hunch is the router is dying. They tend to do that.

Totally wild hunch here. Is the router getting good airflow? My mum had hers covered by mail and (shocker) it was having a lot of errors.

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