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Thread: Help needed with intermittent internet

  1. #1
    JM
    Guest

    Help needed with intermittent internet

    A customer of mine (I'm an IT-for-hire person) has Comcast business class
    cable internet service. A few weeks ago they started experiencing
    intermittent internet. They have a Comcast/Netgear combo device
    (router/modem/firewall) that we have configured for what they call "router
    mode," which I call "bridge mode." Either way, we have a static IP address
    that is passed through to our LAN, NAT and firewall in the device turned
    off. I have the IP address configured on one of the NICs in a Novell
    server. The second NIC in the server is for the LAN, with the server giving
    out DHCP. There have been no problems there. The Novell server also is our
    main app server and our email (Groupwise) server. When the internet is
    down, everything else works fine. And I changed out the WAN NIC twice.
    Point being there are no indications that the server is behaving in a way
    that would cause the internet problems.

    Each morning when they show up for work the internet is down. They call me,
    and I start trying to ping both the IP of the Netgear (gateway address) and
    the server (static IP). Usually, I cannot get a response from either
    address. Occasionally I can get a response from the gateway, but not the
    server (and of course I can never get the server and not the gateway). This
    weekend I performed random ping tests to the gateway, and I caught it down
    at least 5 times.

    Comcast has changed out the Netgear unit 2 times (meaning we've had 3 of the
    units). They monitored the device for several days and say it does not go
    "off-line." However, this morning they told me that, yet neither I nor the
    support rep could ping the gateway. She offered to "reset the modem" for
    me. As soon as she did, I could ping the gateway, the server, and the
    internet was up at the office.

    Comcast's theory - after many, many support calls, as well as changing out
    the box twice - is that something on the client's network side is "locking
    up" their device (the Netgear).

    Does that make any sense?


    jm










  2. #2
    Warren H
    Guest

    Re: Help needed with intermittent internet

    JM wrote:
    >A customer of mine (I'm an IT-for-hire person) has Comcast business
    >class cable internet service. A few weeks ago they started
    >experiencing intermittent internet. They have a Comcast/Netgear combo
    >device (router/modem/firewall) that we have configured for what they
    >call "router mode," which I call "bridge mode." Either way, we have a
    >static IP address that is passed through to our LAN, NAT and firewall
    >in the device turned off. I have the IP address configured on one of
    >the NICs in a Novell server. The second NIC in the server is for the
    >LAN, with the server giving out DHCP. There have been no problems
    >there. The Novell server also is our main app server and our email
    >(Groupwise) server. When the internet is down, everything else works
    >fine. And I changed out the WAN NIC twice. Point being there are no
    >indications that the server is behaving in a way that would cause the
    >internet problems.
    >
    > Each morning when they show up for work the internet is down. They
    > call me, and I start trying to ping both the IP of the Netgear
    > (gateway address) and the server (static IP). Usually, I cannot get a
    > response from either address. Occasionally I can get a response from
    > the gateway, but not the server (and of course I can never get the
    > server and not the gateway). This weekend I performed random ping
    > tests to the gateway, and I caught it down at least 5 times.
    >
    > Comcast has changed out the Netgear unit 2 times (meaning we've had 3
    > of the units). They monitored the device for several days and say it
    > does not go "off-line." However, this morning they told me that, yet
    > neither I nor the support rep could ping the gateway. She offered to
    > "reset the modem" for me. As soon as she did, I could ping the
    > gateway, the server, and the internet was up at the office.
    >
    > Comcast's theory - after many, many support calls, as well as changing
    > out the box twice - is that something on the client's network side is
    > "locking up" their device (the Netgear).
    >
    > Does that make any sense?



    You start by saying that there are intermittent outages, but you only
    specifically mention it being down first thing in the morning. Are there
    on-going problems at random times during the day, or is this only
    happening when the connection has been idle for some time?

    If the problem appears often after the use of the Internet connection
    has been unused for a period of time, then I would check to see if the
    server is shutting down the NIC because of some power management
    setting.

    Also, if it only happens overnight, set it up to run ping continuously
    overnight, and see if the problem goes away.

    Something else you could try is instead of having the Novell server
    connected to the Internet, connect a different system. Of course this
    wouldn't be practical during the work day, so you'd probably have to do
    this over the weekend. Make sure there are no power management settings
    to shut parts of that system down when idle, and test to see if the
    Internet connection goes down.

    BTW... You don't mention how you get the connection back up when it goes
    down. Are you rebooting the server? Power-cycling the modem? Calling
    Comcast, and having them reset the modem remotely? What does, and what
    doesn't work to bring the connection back up?

    --
    Warren H.

    ==========
    Disclaimer: My views reflect those of myself, and not my
    employer, my friends, nor (as she often tells me) my wife.
    Any resemblance to the views of anybody living or dead is
    coincidental. No animals were hurt in the writing of this
    response -- unless you count my dog who desperately wants
    to go outside now.

    Maintain your landscape with Black & Decker:
    http://www.holzemville.com/mall/blackanddecker




  3. #3
    JM
    Guest

    Re: Help needed with intermittent internet




    >>A customer of mine (I'm an IT-for-hire person) has Comcast business class
    >>cable internet service. A few weeks ago they started experiencing
    >>intermittent internet. They have a Comcast/Netgear combo device
    >>(router/modem/firewall) that we have configured for what they call "router
    >>mode," which I call "bridge mode." Either way, we have a static IP
    >>address that is passed through to our LAN, NAT and firewall in the device
    >>turned off. I have the IP address configured on one of the NICs in a
    >>Novell server. The second NIC in the server is for the LAN, with the
    >>server giving out DHCP. There have been no problems there. The Novell
    >>server also is our main app server and our email (Groupwise) server. When
    >>the internet is down, everything else works fine. And I changed out the
    >>WAN NIC twice. Point being there are no indications that the server is
    >>behaving in a way that would cause the internet problems.
    >>
    >> Each morning when they show up for work the internet is down. They call
    >> me, and I start trying to ping both the IP of the Netgear (gateway
    >> address) and the server (static IP). Usually, I cannot get a response
    >> from either address. Occasionally I can get a response from the gateway,
    >> but not the server (and of course I can never get the server and not the
    >> gateway). This weekend I performed random ping tests to the gateway, and
    >> I caught it down at least 5 times.
    >>
    >> Comcast has changed out the Netgear unit 2 times (meaning we've had 3 of
    >> the units). They monitored the device for several days and say it does
    >> not go "off-line." However, this morning they told me that, yet neither
    >> I nor the support rep could ping the gateway. She offered to "reset the
    >> modem" for me. As soon as she did, I could ping the gateway, the server,
    >> and the internet was up at the office.
    >>
    >> Comcast's theory - after many, many support calls, as well as changing
    >> out the box twice - is that something on the client's network side is
    >> "locking up" their device (the Netgear).
    >>
    >> Does that make any sense?


    Thank you very much for your excellent reply.
    Here are some answers (I'll get other answers this evening).

    > You start by saying that there are intermittent outages, but you only
    > specifically mention it being down first thing in the morning. Are there
    > on-going problems at random times during the day, or is this only
    > happening when the connection has been idle for some time?


    It happens throughout the day, mostly on the server's static address (for
    terminology clarification, I'll use "gateway" address and "server" address
    from now on). This fact led Comcast to conclude pretty early on that the
    problem was on our side, since when we called during the day they could ping
    the gateway address. That was reasonable, enough, until I started finding
    the gateway address down at certain times, too, and often it's down in the
    morning. However, over the weekend, I had failed ping tests to the gateway
    at various times, day and night. Another fact perhaps worth mentioning is
    that every workstation in the business is turned off at night and weekends.
    So whatever is happening along the lines of Comcast's theory is limited
    solely to server activity. In other words, if some activity on the lan side
    indeed is "locking up" the Netgear, it's emanating from the server, not a
    workstation, i.e., a malware-infected computer flooding the network. (and
    I'm being open-minded, but I have my doubts in any event that something
    lan-side could indeed lock up a cable modem). In general, there seems to be
    no relationship to idle time.



    > If the problem appears often after the use of the Internet connection has
    > been unused for a period of time, then I would check to see if the server
    > is shutting down the NIC because of some power management setting.


    This does not appear to be the case.


    > Also, if it only happens overnight, set it up to run ping continuously
    > overnight, and see if the problem goes away.


    As mentioned, it happens day and night.


    > Something else you could try is instead of having the Novell server
    > connected to the Internet, connect a different system. Of course this
    > wouldn't be practical during the work day, so you'd probably have to do
    > this over the weekend. Make sure there are no power management settings to
    > shut parts of that system down when idle, and test to see if the Internet
    > connection goes down.


    That is my plan for tonight. I'm going down there in a little while to
    connect a newly-formatted PC to the connection. That should be very
    informative.

    >
    > BTW... You don't mention how you get the connection back up when it goes
    > down. Are you rebooting the server? Power-cycling the modem? Calling
    > Comcast, and having them reset the modem remotely? What does, and what
    > doesn't work to bring the connection back up?


    That is another strange aspect to the story. For 3 straight days, the modem
    began working again during my call to Comcast. I would call in, and after
    identifying the customer the Comcast rep would attempt to log in to the
    Netgear to "take a look." The router would start working immediately. In
    fact, during that 3-4 day stretch, one of the reps and I used the "sleep
    mode" analogy, such as you mentioned with the power management suggestions.
    However, many Comcast folks have assured me the Netgear has no sleep mode.
    This morning when I called in, the Comcast rep offered to reset the modem,
    which brought the internet back up. When I said that indicated a problem on
    their end (or with their equipment), she reiterated Comcast's position that
    since they've swapped the unit out twice the problem MUST be on the client
    side. They think something is locking the Netgear up, requiring a reset
    sometimes, while other times not.

    jm













  4. #4
    $Bill
    Guest

    Re: Help needed with intermittent internet

    JM wrote:
    >


    I'd start with a separate router and modem setup if possible.
    Should make it easier to isolate your problem and it might just go away.

  5. #5
    JM
    Guest

    Re: Help needed with intermittent internet


    "$Bill" <news@SPAMOLAtodbe.com> wrote in message
    news:46365f47$0$9942$4c368faf@roadrunner.com...
    > JM wrote:
    >>

    >
    > I'd start with a separate router and modem setup if possible.
    > Should make it easier to isolate your problem and it might just go away.


    Funny you should suggest that, as I just returned from driving halfway to
    the customer site to install a Linksys. Instead, I turned around, deciding
    to have them turn off the server tonight to see if the gateway still "locks
    up" or otherwise stops responding anytime between now and 7:30 a.m tomorrow
    morning. I have a ping test monitoring the gateway right now. If the
    gateway still has problems with the server and all workstations turned off,
    I think Comcast's theory is pretty much debunked.

    Agree?

    jm








  6. #6
    JM
    Guest

    Re: Help needed with intermittent internet

    After further consideration, I don't see much value in this bit of
    troubleshooting. Unless the unit is bad in a manufacturer defect kind of
    way (which I seriously doubt, since we're on our third one), there is no way
    the unit will fail with no traffic going through it.

    As $Bill suggested, perhaps it would have been better for me to go ahead and
    install the Linksys and remove the server-as-internet-gateway from the
    equation.

    jm






    "JM" <jake@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:f_KdnbrJ6sOz96vbnZ2dnUVZ_tmknZ2d@comcast.com...
    >
    > "$Bill" <news@SPAMOLAtodbe.com> wrote in message
    > news:46365f47$0$9942$4c368faf@roadrunner.com...
    >> JM wrote:
    >>>

    >>
    >> I'd start with a separate router and modem setup if possible.
    >> Should make it easier to isolate your problem and it might just go away.

    >
    > Funny you should suggest that, as I just returned from driving halfway to
    > the customer site to install a Linksys. Instead, I turned around,
    > deciding to have them turn off the server tonight to see if the gateway
    > still "locks up" or otherwise stops responding anytime between now and
    > 7:30 a.m tomorrow morning. I have a ping test monitoring the gateway
    > right now. If the gateway still has problems with the server and all
    > workstations turned off, I think Comcast's theory is pretty much debunked.
    >
    > Agree?
    >
    > jm
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >




  7. #7
    $Bill
    Guest

    Re: Help needed with intermittent internet

    JM wrote:
    > "$Bill" <news@SPAMOLAtodbe.com> wrote in message
    > news:46365f47$0$9942$4c368faf@roadrunner.com...
    >
    >>JM wrote:
    >>
    >>I'd start with a separate router and modem setup if possible.
    >>Should make it easier to isolate your problem and it might just go away.

    >
    >
    > Funny you should suggest that, as I just returned from driving halfway to
    > the customer site to install a Linksys. Instead, I turned around, deciding
    > to have them turn off the server tonight to see if the gateway still "locks
    > up" or otherwise stops responding anytime between now and 7:30 a.m tomorrow
    > morning. I have a ping test monitoring the gateway right now. If the
    > gateway still has problems with the server and all workstations turned off,
    > I think Comcast's theory is pretty much debunked.
    >
    > Agree?


    It would go a long way towards it if indeed all the LAN equipment is off,
    but that really doesn't solve anything.

    Next try sticking that Linksys in and reconfiguring the Netgear as a
    plain router (I assume that can be done) or replace it with a another
    router.

  8. #8
    JM
    Guest

    Re: Help needed with intermittent internet


    "$Bill" <news@SPAMOLAtodbe.com> wrote in message
    news:46368f89$0$4670$4c368faf@roadrunner.com...
    > JM wrote:
    >> "$Bill" <news@SPAMOLAtodbe.com> wrote in message
    >> news:46365f47$0$9942$4c368faf@roadrunner.com...
    >>
    >>>JM wrote:
    >>>
    >>>I'd start with a separate router and modem setup if possible.
    >>>Should make it easier to isolate your problem and it might just go away.

    >>
    >>
    >> Funny you should suggest that, as I just returned from driving halfway to
    >> the customer site to install a Linksys. Instead, I turned around,
    >> deciding to have them turn off the server tonight to see if the gateway
    >> still "locks up" or otherwise stops responding anytime between now and
    >> 7:30 a.m tomorrow morning. I have a ping test monitoring the gateway
    >> right now. If the gateway still has problems with the server and all
    >> workstations turned off, I think Comcast's theory is pretty much
    >> debunked.
    >>
    >> Agree?

    >
    > It would go a long way towards it if indeed all the LAN equipment is off,
    > but that really doesn't solve anything.
    >
    > Next try sticking that Linksys in and reconfiguring the Netgear as a
    > plain router (I assume that can be done) or replace it with a another
    > router.


    The Netgear is provided by Comcast. It's a combo router/cable modem, and
    it's the only device they offer for business use with static IP.

    jm








  9. #9
    $Bill
    Guest

    Re: Help needed with intermittent internet

    JM wrote:
    >
    > The Netgear is provided by Comcast. It's a combo router/cable modem, and
    > it's the only device they offer for business use with static IP.


    Borrow one or buy your own for $40 and sell it later if need be. At least
    you'll have a chance of finding the problem for $40 (or less if you pass
    it on when you're done) and I assume you already own the Linksys.

    If it works with your equipment, they won't be able to pass the buck.

  10. #10
    JM
    Guest

    Re: Help needed with intermittent internet


    "$Bill" <news@SPAMOLAtodbe.com> wrote in message
    news:4636a9a9$0$8996$4c368faf@roadrunner.com...
    > JM wrote:
    >>
    >> The Netgear is provided by Comcast. It's a combo router/cable modem, and
    >> it's the only device they offer for business use with static IP.

    >
    > Borrow one or buy your own for $40 and sell it later if need be. At least
    > you'll have a chance of finding the problem for $40 (or less if you pass
    > it on when you're done) and I assume you already own the Linksys.
    >
    > If it works with your equipment, they won't be able to pass the buck.


    I asked about this a few days ago, and they told me they do not allow
    customer-owned cable modems. I pressed the issue with another csr, who
    insisted they cannot do this, since there is no way for them to provision
    the service on equipment other than theirs. She asked me, "How in the world
    would we configure it?"

    jm









  11. #11
    $Bill
    Guest

    Re: Help needed with intermittent internet

    $Bill wrote:
    > JM wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> The Netgear is provided by Comcast. It's a combo router/cable modem,
    >> and it's the only device they offer for business use with static IP.

    >
    >
    > Borrow one or buy your own for $40 and sell it later if need be. At least
    > you'll have a chance of finding the problem for $40 (or less if you pass
    > it on when you're done) and I assume you already own the Linksys.
    >
    > If it works with your equipment, they won't be able to pass the buck.


    It just dawned on me that you didn't say wether your Linksys was a modem
    or router - I had assumed modem.

  12. #12
    $Bill
    Guest

    Re: Help needed with intermittent internet

    JM wrote:
    >
    > I asked about this a few days ago, and they told me they do not allow
    > customer-owned cable modems. I pressed the issue with another csr, who
    > insisted they cannot do this, since there is no way for them to provision
    > the service on equipment other than theirs. She asked me, "How in the world
    > would we configure it?"


    That's got to be both the funniest and stupidest thing I've heard lately.
    Who trains these people ?

    You should have told her the same way every other ISP does it. :)

  13. #13
    Warren H
    Guest

    Re: Help needed with intermittent internet

    $Bill wrote:
    > JM wrote:
    >>
    >> I asked about this a few days ago, and they told me they do not allow
    >> customer-owned cable modems. I pressed the issue with another csr,
    >> who insisted they cannot do this, since there is no way for them to
    >> provision the service on equipment other than theirs. She asked me,
    >> "How in the world would we configure it?"

    >
    > That's got to be both the funniest and stupidest thing I've heard
    > lately.
    > Who trains these people ?
    >
    > You should have told her the same way every other ISP does it. :)
    >


    I don't think she meant that it wasn't possible in the global sense, but
    rather it isn't something that they're allowed to do, and there aren't
    any work-arounds, either.

    I don't know why Comcast requires that those business-class customers
    use only the modem that they provide, or why they chose that particular
    modem. I suspect it has to do with an SLA, and their need to minimize
    the variables out of their control.

    But it's not a training issue. The company could provision a
    customer-owned modem, but they've chosen not to allow the agents that
    ability. So they, the agents, don't have any way "in the world" to
    provision it, but that's probably not the best way she could have gotten
    that point across.

    BTW, this brings up another point. Is there an SLA in the contract? The
    cost of business-class service has gone down considerably in most
    markets, and that may be because they only include priority support, and
    not an SLA these days But I suspect that if there is an SLA, it would
    have something to do with the modem being up, but not necessarily
    anything beyond. If there's an SLA, they would probably keep records to
    protect their liability, and those records might also be available to
    the agent. I'd ask what they show. And if there is no SLA, and they
    don't keep those kinds of records, there ought to still be a way to
    escalate the issue to the NOC, and have them do such monitoring.

    It would be hard for a customer to do the monitoring themselves. A
    DOCSIS cable modem has an IP address on it's WAN side. Normally it's a
    class A private range IP address, so monitoring the modem would require
    being on their network. And it would also require knowing what the
    modem's IP address is, and that's not something that there is any way
    for the customer to discover. Perhaps the CRS is able to see what that
    IP address is, but it's also possible the tools they have hide that
    address as well.

    I'm also curious about what the modem's indicator lights are indicating
    during the problems. And I also wonder what the modem logs show.
    Confirming that it's a TCP/IP problem, and not an RF problem (or vice
    versa) is an important step that should have already been taken. (And
    probably was, but, hey, if we're brainstorming...)

    --
    Warren H.

    ==========
    Disclaimer: My views reflect those of myself, and not my
    employer, my friends, nor (as she often tells me) my wife.
    Any resemblance to the views of anybody living or dead is
    coincidental. No animals were hurt in the writing of this
    response -- unless you count my dog who desperately wants
    to go outside now.

    Maintain your landscape with Black & Decker:
    http://www.holzemville.com/mall/blackanddecker




  14. #14
    JM
    Guest

    Re: Help needed with intermittent internet


    "Warren H" <wholzem@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:r_KdnSlLmv9yxarbnZ2dnUVZ_jCdnZ2d@comcast.com...
    > $Bill wrote:
    >> JM wrote:
    >>>
    >>> I asked about this a few days ago, and they told me they do not allow
    >>> customer-owned cable modems. I pressed the issue with another csr, who
    >>> insisted they cannot do this, since there is no way for them to
    >>> provision the service on equipment other than theirs. She asked me,
    >>> "How in the world would we configure it?"

    >>
    >> That's got to be both the funniest and stupidest thing I've heard lately.
    >> Who trains these people ?
    >>
    >> You should have told her the same way every other ISP does it. :)
    >>

    >
    > I don't think she meant that it wasn't possible in the global sense, but
    > rather it isn't something that they're allowed to do, and there aren't any
    > work-arounds, either.
    >
    > I don't know why Comcast requires that those business-class customers use
    > only the modem that they provide, or why they chose that particular modem.
    > I suspect it has to do with an SLA, and their need to minimize the
    > variables out of their control.
    >
    > But it's not a training issue. The company could provision a
    > customer-owned modem, but they've chosen not to allow the agents that
    > ability. So they, the agents, don't have any way "in the world" to
    > provision it, but that's probably not the best way she could have gotten
    > that point across.
    >
    > BTW, this brings up another point. Is there an SLA in the contract? The
    > cost of business-class service has gone down considerably in most markets,
    > and that may be because they only include priority support, and not an SLA
    > these days But I suspect that if there is an SLA, it would have something
    > to do with the modem being up, but not necessarily anything beyond. If
    > there's an SLA, they would probably keep records to protect their
    > liability, and those records might also be available to the agent. I'd ask
    > what they show. And if there is no SLA, and they don't keep those kinds of
    > records, there ought to still be a way to escalate the issue to the NOC,
    > and have them do such monitoring.
    >
    > It would be hard for a customer to do the monitoring themselves. A DOCSIS
    > cable modem has an IP address on it's WAN side. Normally it's a class A
    > private range IP address, so monitoring the modem would require being on
    > their network. And it would also require knowing what the modem's IP
    > address is, and that's not something that there is any way for the
    > customer to discover. Perhaps the CRS is able to see what that IP address
    > is, but it's also possible the tools they have hide that address as well.
    >
    > I'm also curious about what the modem's indicator lights are indicating
    > during the problems. And I also wonder what the modem logs show.
    > Confirming that it's a TCP/IP problem, and not an RF problem (or vice
    > versa) is an important step that should have already been taken. (And
    > probably was, but, hey, if we're brainstorming...)
    >


    The activities of the front panel lights don't tell me anything, although
    I'm not sure I would know what I'm looking at anyway. The power light is
    on, of course, as the "network" light (as the csr called it), indicating
    sync with the ISP. Then there two opposing "lightening bolt" lights
    (upstream/downstream) that flicker contstantly. They seem to flicker 3
    times in unison, and then several times alternating. Then there are
    numbered lights for the lan ports connected.

    As for network monitoring, I asked about that, and, you're correct, it's not
    something they can do from their local help desk. They simply don't have
    the tools. I had another support group on the phone on Saturday, and she
    actually referred to the "real" IP address, not our static (I wrote it down
    if that would do any good). They could not monitor the network traffic,
    either. Interestingly, she said her group could not even log in to the
    Netgears. Comcast has recently purchased Time Warner - our old ISP - and
    Adelphia. There seems to still be a lot of fragmentation.

    The question remains: Why is the Netgear locking up? Some Comcast reps
    still deny their equipment is ever going off line. But while I was at the
    customer site today I proved it again, at least to my satisfaction. The
    internet went down, I reset the Netgear, the internet came up.

    While Comcast's basic stance is that the problem is on our side (after all,
    they've tried 3 Netgears), one event seems to stop them all in their tracks
    when I bring it up: Last Thursday during an outage, I called Comcast - as
    has been my habit every day for 3 weeks - and the rep was in the process of
    logging into the Netgear when the Netgear did a full power reset. For some
    reason, this didn't flip my lid. I simply asked the Comcast rep, "What did
    you just do?" He answered, "What do you mean?" When I told him the Netgear
    powered off and back on, he didn't hesitate: He said, "That's never
    supposed to happen. I'll have a tech out shortly." Thus, our 3rd Netgear.

    With that in mind, what in the world are my options?

    thanks to EVERYONE who has given of their experience and time in helping
    brainstorm this issue.


    jm



















  15. #15
    Warren H
    Guest

    Re: Help needed with intermittent internet

    JM wrote:
    > While Comcast's basic stance is that the problem is on our side (after
    > all, they've tried 3 Netgears), one event seems to stop them all in
    > their tracks when I bring it up: Last Thursday during an outage, I
    > called Comcast - as has been my habit every day for 3 weeks - and the
    > rep was in the process of logging into the Netgear when the Netgear
    > did a full power reset. For some reason, this didn't flip my lid. I
    > simply asked the Comcast rep, "What did you just do?" He answered,
    > "What do you mean?" When I told him the Netgear powered off and back
    > on, he didn't hesitate: He said, "That's never supposed to happen.
    > I'll have a tech out shortly." Thus, our 3rd Netgear.



    When they replace the modem, are they just replacing the modem, or are
    they also replacing the power cord and power supply brick? If they just
    swapped the modem itself, the problem piece may be still sitting there.

    And what is the power supply plugged into? If it's plugged into a power
    strip, surge protector, or UPS, try taking that out of the mix. Plug the
    power supply for the modem directly into a normal wall outlet. Use a
    heavy-duty extension cord if there isn't one close enough.

    In fact, if you can reach an outlet on a different circuit, try that --
    especially if there's a laser printer (or any other appliance that
    periodically needs to heat-up) plugged into the circuit it's on now.

    --
    Warren H.

    ==========
    Disclaimer: My views reflect those of myself, and not my
    employer, my friends, nor (as she often tells me) my wife.
    Any resemblance to the views of anybody living or dead is
    coincidental. No animals were hurt in the writing of this
    response -- unless you count my dog who desperately wants
    to go outside now.

    Maintain your landscape with Black & Decker:
    http://www.holzemville.com/mall/blackanddecker




  16. #16
    w_tom
    Guest

    Re: Help needed with intermittent internet

    On May 1, 7:03 pm, "JM" <j...@yahoo.com> wrote:
    > The activities of the front panel lights don't tell me anything, although
    > I'm not sure I would know what I'm looking at anyway. The power light is
    > on, of course, as the "network" light (as the csr called it), indicating
    > sync with the ISP. Then there two opposing "lightening bolt" lights
    > (upstream/downstream) that flicker contstantly. They seem to flicker 3
    > times in unison, and then several times alternating. Then there are
    > numbered lights for the lan ports connected.
    >
    > As for network monitoring, I asked about that, and, you're correct, it's not
    > something they can do from their local help desk. They simply don't have
    > the tools.


    Your modem is receiving radio waves. Just like any radio, signal
    integrity is determined by signal strength, or more important, Signal
    to Noise ratio.

    Many cable modems for some reason cannot bother to provide that
    critical parameter. Without it, then one can only speculate whether
    the cable connection is good or bad. As obvious from responses -
    modem 'swappers' are only speculating. Wildly replacing modems
    without first learning what is wrong. Without that 'signal to noise'
    ratio number, then no one can even know which side of the modem is
    failing.

    That number is displayed by a modem on a status page. But only if
    the cable provider had an engineer (not a bean counter) selecting
    modems.

    Meanwhile, eliminate other reasons for intermittent operation.
    Start with something so often forgotten by untrained cable installers
    and that can permit household or neighborhood appliances to create
    intermittent failures. That cable must drop down to be connected
    'less than 10 feet' to the same earthing electrode that is also 'less
    than 10 feet' from the breaker box. Make that earthing connection
    before cable enters the building. Connected to an earth ground that
    every other utility also connects to; using a ground block (as even
    sold in Lowes for $2) and 'less than 10 feet' of 12 AWG wire.

    Next, where does that cable wire route. What else connects to it?
    An alternative test is to route a wire direct to where cable enters
    the building with nothing else connected - and change nothing else.
    Does system work more reliable? You would know that immediately if
    modem provided S/N ratio numbers. Of course this test performed only
    because useful information to identify a fault is (apparently) not
    available AND your cable 'tech support' has no idea.

    Meanwhile, a computer can connect directly to modem's status page -
    constantly. That being one way to monitor customer side of the
    modem. When outside connection is lost, is that modem status page
    still accessible?

    Of course, anything you do to make the problem worse should help
    find the failure. Find a failure before trying to fix or replace
    anything. Since they did not do that and then replaced modems, what
    do you know? Nothing. You don't even know which side of the modem is
    problematic because they did not identify a problem before fixing it.
    Instead they shotgunned. Therefore nothing useful was learned.
    Therefore zero progress has been made. You don't even know what is
    good. Everything is still unknown.

    If available, get that S/N ratio number that every miminally
    acceptable modem (cable, DSL, etc) must report.


  17. #17
    JM
    Guest

    Re: Help needed with intermittent internet


    "w_tom" <w_tom1@usa.net> wrote in message
    news:1178235617.893336.88510@y80g2000hsf.googlegroups.com...
    > On May 1, 7:03 pm, "JM" <j...@yahoo.com> wrote:
    >> The activities of the front panel lights don't tell me anything, although
    >> I'm not sure I would know what I'm looking at anyway. The power light is
    >> on, of course, as the "network" light (as the csr called it), indicating
    >> sync with the ISP. Then there two opposing "lightening bolt" lights
    >> (upstream/downstream) that flicker contstantly. They seem to flicker 3
    >> times in unison, and then several times alternating. Then there are
    >> numbered lights for the lan ports connected.
    >>
    >> As for network monitoring, I asked about that, and, you're correct, it's
    >> not
    >> something they can do from their local help desk. They simply don't have
    >> the tools.

    >
    > Your modem is receiving radio waves. Just like any radio, signal
    > integrity is determined by signal strength, or more important, Signal
    > to Noise ratio.
    >
    > Many cable modems for some reason cannot bother to provide that
    > critical parameter. Without it, then one can only speculate whether
    > the cable connection is good or bad. As obvious from responses -
    > modem 'swappers' are only speculating. Wildly replacing modems
    > without first learning what is wrong. Without that 'signal to noise'
    > ratio number, then no one can even know which side of the modem is
    > failing.
    >
    > That number is displayed by a modem on a status page. But only if
    > the cable provider had an engineer (not a bean counter) selecting
    > modems.
    >
    > Meanwhile, eliminate other reasons for intermittent operation.
    > Start with something so often forgotten by untrained cable installers
    > and that can permit household or neighborhood appliances to create
    > intermittent failures. That cable must drop down to be connected
    > 'less than 10 feet' to the same earthing electrode that is also 'less
    > than 10 feet' from the breaker box. Make that earthing connection
    > before cable enters the building. Connected to an earth ground that
    > every other utility also connects to; using a ground block (as even
    > sold in Lowes for $2) and 'less than 10 feet' of 12 AWG wire.
    >
    > Next, where does that cable wire route. What else connects to it?
    > An alternative test is to route a wire direct to where cable enters
    > the building with nothing else connected - and change nothing else.
    > Does system work more reliable? You would know that immediately if
    > modem provided S/N ratio numbers. Of course this test performed only
    > because useful information to identify a fault is (apparently) not
    > available AND your cable 'tech support' has no idea.
    >
    > Meanwhile, a computer can connect directly to modem's status page -
    > constantly. That being one way to monitor customer side of the
    > modem. When outside connection is lost, is that modem status page
    > still accessible?
    >
    > Of course, anything you do to make the problem worse should help
    > find the failure. Find a failure before trying to fix or replace
    > anything. Since they did not do that and then replaced modems, what
    > do you know? Nothing. You don't even know which side of the modem is
    > problematic because they did not identify a problem before fixing it.
    > Instead they shotgunned. Therefore nothing useful was learned.
    > Therefore zero progress has been made. You don't even know what is
    > good. Everything is still unknown.
    >
    > If available, get that S/N ratio number that every miminally
    > acceptable modem (cable, DSL, etc) must report.



    Thank you for your reply.

    I cannot access the modem's config, but Comcast (both locally and the level
    2 guys in their Denver NOC) insist that their levels (S/N, upstream,
    downstream) are all "within spec." And, regarding their support, I've now
    spoken to more knowledgeable, more sincere Comcast people, and I'm convinced
    for the most part that they are simply as stumped as I am about this whole
    deal.

    How strange is this: Every morning the internet is down. I can neither
    access the lan nor ping the modem's gateway address remotely during this
    time. However, as soon as I call Comcast and the support person pulls up
    the portal to "take a look," the internet starts working again.

    It's the most bizarre thing. It's as if the modem is going to sleep at
    night. However, in Comcast's software the modem shows to be online the
    entire time.

    jm












  18. #18
    w_tom
    Guest

    Re: Help needed with intermittent internet

    Comcast on their end only sees their connection to line amplifiers.
    That number only says whether everyone is getting connected. It says
    zero about a connection only on your end.

    Again, your problem is classic of intermittents which is why a
    provider should provide S/N ratios on your modem that you can
    monitor. Did the Comcast tech look at signal strength from modem
    while standing in the room - or instead only with his measuring
    equipment? Modem can report valid and useful number. Their equipment
    can only report what modem 'might' see - and not from their equipment
    on other side of amplifiers.

    Remember a trend among techs. It was never a problem elsewhere;
    therefore it is not your problem.

    Listed were numerous things to perform. Did they confirm above
    listed connections? Your post did not reply to what can create a
    significant problem and can only be identified by visual inspection..
    And yes, many techs do not appreciate the engineering even in simple
    earthing. Often because it did not cause a problem elsewhere;
    therefore is not your problem. Did they perform the 'reroute' test?
    If not, then why not? Is existing cable good only because they know
    it must be good?

    Meanwhile, what did you do to verify a problem does not exist on
    subscriber side of modem? For example, as your computer pings the
    modem constantly, what happens to ping (the numbers) both when
    connections are working and not?.

    Again, their levels can always look good. But only valid number is
    S/N number read directly from your modem. Any only valid number is
    both when connection is working and has failed. That number must be
    measured on your end of wire and is only useful if read directly by
    modem. That number read anywhere else says nothing about your unique
    connection.

    Your post implies a "we have done everything and nothing is wrong"
    attitude. One indication of a bad attitude is no numbers taken when
    system is both working AND while failure is ongoing. But again, who
    confirmed the earthing connection? I don't see the results of an
    inspection so critical that I posted it. Who monitored the S/N
    numbers both when modem is working AND when a failure occurs? And who
    did same thing using ping from subscriber side - and collected numbers
    from that ping both when connections are good and bad? Nothing in
    that previous post can be ignored if the problem is to be solved.
    Nothing in the last post says to me that technicians are really
    looking for a problem.

    On May 6, 10:50 am, "JM" <jakem38671omitt...@yahoo.com> wrote:
    > I cannot access the modem's config, but Comcast (both locally and the level
    > 2 guys in their Denver NOC) insist that their levels (S/N, upstream,
    > downstream) are all "within spec." And, regarding their support, I've now
    > spoken to more knowledgeable, more sincere Comcast people, and I'm convinced
    > for the most part that they are simply as stumped as I am about this whole
    > deal.
    >
    > How strange is this: Every morning the internet is down. I can neither
    > access the lan nor ping the modem's gateway address remotely during this
    > time. However, as soon as I call Comcast and the support person pulls up
    > the portal to "take a look," the internet starts working again.
    >
    > It's the most bizarre thing. It's as if the modem is going to sleep at
    > night. However, in Comcast's software the modem shows to be online the
    > entire time.



  19. #19
    Warren H
    Guest

    Re: Help needed with intermittent internet

    w_tom wrote:
    > Comcast on their end only sees their connection to line amplifiers.
    > That number only says whether everyone is getting connected. It says
    > zero about a connection only on your end.


    Not true. At any given moment, they can tell how many modems are up (and
    down) on each node, and which ones they are. This is at the IP level.


    > Again, your problem is classic of intermittents which is why a
    > provider should provide S/N ratios on your modem that you can
    > monitor. Did the Comcast tech look at signal strength from modem
    > while standing in the room - or instead only with his measuring
    > equipment? Modem can report valid and useful number. Their equipment
    > can only report what modem 'might' see - and not from their equipment
    > on other side of amplifiers.


    Again, not so. Their monitoring equipment can tell what each modem is
    reporting.


    > Remember a trend among techs. It was never a problem elsewhere;
    > therefore it is not your problem.
    >
    > Listed were numerous things to perform. Did they confirm above
    > listed connections? Your post did not reply to what can create a
    > significant problem and can only be identified by visual inspection..
    > And yes, many techs do not appreciate the engineering even in simple
    > earthing. Often because it did not cause a problem elsewhere;
    > therefore is not your problem. Did they perform the 'reroute' test?
    > If not, then why not? Is existing cable good only because they know
    > it must be good?
    >
    > Meanwhile, what did you do to verify a problem does not exist on
    > subscriber side of modem? For example, as your computer pings the
    > modem constantly, what happens to ping (the numbers) both when
    > connections are working and not?.
    >
    > Again, their levels can always look good. But only valid number is
    > S/N number read directly from your modem. Any only valid number is
    > both when connection is working and has failed. That number must be
    > measured on your end of wire and is only useful if read directly by
    > modem. That number read anywhere else says nothing about your unique
    > connection.


    What the agents on the phone see is what the modem is reporting. It is
    not a measurement from their end. It is the numbers that the modem
    itself reports back.


    > Your post implies a "we have done everything and nothing is wrong"
    > attitude. One indication of a bad attitude is no numbers taken when
    > system is both working AND while failure is ongoing. But again, who
    > confirmed the earthing connection? I don't see the results of an
    > inspection so critical that I posted it. Who monitored the S/N
    > numbers both when modem is working AND when a failure occurs? And who
    > did same thing using ping from subscriber side - and collected numbers
    > from that ping both when connections are good and bad? Nothing in
    > that previous post can be ignored if the problem is to be solved.
    > Nothing in the last post says to me that technicians are really
    > looking for a problem.


    This whole idea that it has to be a grounding problem is quite a
    long-shot, and really doesn't fit with the symptoms reported to this
    point. However since we're all starting to run out of ideas, and
    practical isolation troubleshooting hasn't been very fruitful, he might
    as well start checking random long-shots.

    I also don't detect any bad attitude on his part. What I see is that he
    tried everything he could think of (which is different from everything),
    and still has not found the problem, and is therefore trying to
    backtrack, and look for things that may have missed. Hardly the "bad
    attitude" you're attributing to him. If anything, his attitude is better
    than most of the people who post problems here.

    --
    Warren H.

    ==========
    Disclaimer: My views reflect those of myself, and not my
    employer, my friends, nor (as she often tells me) my wife.
    Any resemblance to the views of anybody living or dead is
    coincidental. No animals were hurt in the writing of this
    response -- unless you count my dog who desperately wants
    to go outside now.

    Maintain your landscape with Black & Decker:
    http://www.holzemville.com/mall/blackanddecker




  20. #20
    JM
    Guest

    Re: Help needed with intermittent internet



    > Comcast on their end only sees their connection to line amplifiers.
    > That number only says whether everyone is getting connected. It says
    > zero about a connection only on your end.


    I'm no expert on internet/WAN, by any means, but I don't believe you are
    correct on this point. Even the local first-tier support people can log
    directly into the modem using what I believe they call PSV, peruse the
    settings, readings, config, etc. Granted, the information they glean
    appears to be rather limited - compared to the NOCs of other providers with
    whom I've worked - but I think you are describing Comcast's support as much
    more "in the dark" than they actually are.


    > Again, your problem is classic of intermittents which is why a
    > provider should provide S/N ratios on your modem that you can
    > monitor. Did the Comcast tech look at signal strength from modem
    > while standing in the room - or instead only with his measuring
    > equipment? Modem can report valid and useful number. Their equipment
    > can only report what modem 'might' see - and not from their equipment
    > on other side of amplifiers.


    I'm not following the reasoning.


    > Remember a trend among techs. It was never a problem elsewhere;
    > therefore it is not your problem.


    I respectfully disagree with this generalization. I have been a technician
    for seven years, and I used to operate a team of 13 telecom technicians. In
    general, technicians try to solve problems to the best of their ability.
    Your characterization is the exception, in my experience.


    > Listed were numerous things to perform. Did they confirm above
    > listed connections? Your post did not reply to what can create a
    > significant problem and can only be identified by visual inspection..
    > And yes, many techs do not appreciate the engineering even in simple
    > earthing. Often because it did not cause a problem elsewhere;
    > therefore is not your problem. Did they perform the 'reroute' test?
    > If not, then why not? Is existing cable good only because they know
    > it must be good?


    Several issues here. First of all, I have not had time to distill your
    suggestions and put them into context. Secondly, Comcast is not simpy going
    to execute every list of suggestions that might come their way. Third,
    while I sincerely appreciate your willingness to help, and I respect your
    expertise, I do not believe your earthing theory is valid. The reason is
    that cable internet has been functioning perfectly in this location for
    years. Only within the past 3 weeks have the problems arisen. While I'm no
    electrician, I do understand the basics of electricity and grounding, and I
    do not see how this factor bears on an internet connection's reliability
    after working so well in the past. However, I may be missing something, and
    I welcome your arguments to the contrary.


    > Meanwhile, what did you do to verify a problem does not exist on
    > subscriber side of modem? For example, as your computer pings the
    > modem constantly, what happens to ping (the numbers) both when
    > connections are working and not?



    This is a valid question, and there is much to say here when I have a little
    more time, but for now I want to ask: What are some examples of problems on
    the subscriber side might cause intermittent internet?


    > Again, their levels can always look good. But only valid number is
    > S/N number read directly from your modem. Any only valid number is
    > both when connection is working and has failed. That number must be
    > measured on your end of wire and is only useful if read directly by
    > modem. That number read anywhere else says nothing about your unique
    > connection.


    > Your post implies a "we have done everything and nothing is wrong"
    > attitude.


    To some degree. However, more accurately, the attitude is: "Yes, something
    is wrong. We have caught our modem offline a time or two. However, for the
    most part our equipment shows your modem to be online. Whatever is causing
    the Netgear to stop responding is a result of a problem on your LAN side."

    They do not disagree that something is affecting the performance of their
    Netgear modem. They just don't think the problem is "their fault."


    >One indication of a bad attitude is no numbers taken when
    > system is both working AND while failure is ongoing. But again, who
    > confirmed the earthing connection? I don't see the results of an
    > inspection so critical that I posted it. Who monitored the S/N
    > numbers both when modem is working AND when a failure occurs? And who
    > did same thing using ping from subscriber side - and collected numbers
    > from that ping both when connections are good and bad? Nothing in
    > that previous post can be ignored if the problem is to be solved.
    > Nothing in the last post says to me that technicians are really
    > looking for a problem.


    Without re-reading all my posts on this issue, I'm not sure what details of
    included and left out. However, I can say with certainty that everyone
    involved is "looking for a problem." They/we may not be looking in the way
    you would look, but that doesn't negate the effort.

    And please clarify your suggestion regarding recording ping results from
    subscriber side when connections are good and bad. Ping what? When the
    internet is down, the Netgear [usually but not always] will not respond to a
    ping, either from within or from the outside. Perhaps I've missed your
    point.

    Thank you for your determination to help.

    jm

















    >
    > On May 6, 10:50 am, "JM" <jakem38671omitt...@yahoo.com> wrote:
    >> I cannot access the modem's config, but Comcast (both locally and the
    >> level
    >> 2 guys in their Denver NOC) insist that their levels (S/N, upstream,
    >> downstream) are all "within spec." And, regarding their support, I've
    >> now
    >> spoken to more knowledgeable, more sincere Comcast people, and I'm
    >> convinced
    >> for the most part that they are simply as stumped as I am about this
    >> whole
    >> deal.
    >>
    >> How strange is this: Every morning the internet is down. I can neither
    >> access the lan nor ping the modem's gateway address remotely during this
    >> time. However, as soon as I call Comcast and the support person pulls up
    >> the portal to "take a look," the internet starts working again.
    >>
    >> It's the most bizarre thing. It's as if the modem is going to sleep at
    >> night. However, in Comcast's software the modem shows to be online the
    >> entire time.

    >




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