"Choppy" intenet connection

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Hector Polector, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. Sorry for the elusive subject however I don't know how else to describe

    After years of fine internet access, (Originally Bell Sympatico DSL,
    and more recently Rogers Highspeed), I am having some problems.

    My internet seems to work however only with lots of 'forcing'. Pages
    will sometimes load fine, sometimes load after a long while and
    sometimes only load after I stop/refresh them (in which case a page
    usually loads right up).

    This is essentially sporatic.

    MSN messsenger sometimes logs me right on and sometimes wont' let me

    Using apple mail takes much much much longer to connect to each of my
    mailboxes and often won't send out emails on the first try.

    I had recently installed two new pieces of software (Toast 7.01 and
    CDFinder 4.6) so I was beginning to blame them, however I have just
    uninstalled them and I am having the same problems. I also updated a
    lot of my Firefox extensions (~6) so I am wondering if it might be one
    of them however this problem occurs with Safari as well.

    Any help or advice greatly appreciated.

    I'm using a 15 inch 1.5 GHz Powerbook, OS 10.4.6, Firefox
    Hector Polector, Jun 6, 2006
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  2. Better give us an idea of what your network looks like. The notion is
    to simplify the problem as much as you can, and then test and measure.
    If you have another host on your network, is access to that also slow or
    problematic? Is it only the connections to outside hosts that are a

    You can use "Network Utility" to investigate various aspects of your
    connection to various hosts. Check to make sure that "lookups" to
    various external hosts work, and that "pings" are coming back in a
    timely manner. Of course, you want to do this when you notice the
    problem. "traceroute" is helpful, but is often not as useful as it used
    to be. You can use it at the command line forcing ICMP (if you know or
    care about such things) to get better results.

    An easy solution is to call your provider and convince them it is not
    your problem -- you will have to do some legwork before doing this.

    Have you tried the obvious, like restarting the DSL/Cable modem?
    Clever Monkey, Jun 6, 2006
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  3. Hector Polector

    Adrian Guest

    My suggestion is that the OP borrows a laptop ... even better if it's
    using a different OS ... if the same problems can be logged then the
    problem lies with the ISP ... which in 9 instances out of 10 (in my own
    experience) is the case, even though they will hotly deny it!

    I recall being able to be pretty convincing to my ISP a couple of years
    ago when I could replicate network problems using 3 different computers
    using 3 different operating systems and 2 different modems! The problem
    was finally acknowledged!
    Adrian, Jun 6, 2006
  4. Hector Polector

    Rick Jones Guest

    Sounds like lost traffic coming your way. From a terminal window you
    might check the netstat statistics for tcp and see how many "out of
    order" TCP segments you receive. That will give an indication of
    packets being lost on their way to your system.

    When packets are lost, the sender starts to back-off. If it happens
    enough, the backup can make things very slow. When you stop/refresh
    IIRC you get new TCP connections, starting with a clean slate.

    You could also try pinging some willing host on the network and see
    what the ping loss rates are. Definitely vary the size of the
    pings. You may find that the small pings get through much better than
    the long ones. That is a possible sign of bad bit error rates.

    rick jones
    Rick Jones, Jun 6, 2006
  5. Hector Polector

    Bob Harris Guest

    I would wonder if your DNS servers are working correctly. If the
    first DNS server times out, the secondary server will provide the
    translation. This can give the appearance of a slow internet.
    And if the DNS server works some of the time it might give that

    AS A TEST, Look in /etc/resolv.conf to see if you have 2 DNS
    servers listed. Then in your
    System Preferences -> Network -> TCP/IP
    preferences try entering the DNS servers in reverse order. That
    is the 2nd one first. This will make the 2nd DNS server the
    primary, and the old primary the secondary server. If there is a
    problem with the primary, this should change things.

    You could also try checking your ISPs web site to see if they list
    any additional DNS servers and try those.

    Or do a Google search for "Public DNS Servers". Then try a few of
    those. If the behavior does not change, then it is not the DNS
    servers and I'm all wet.

    Remember to undo the experiment and restore your Network

    If this experiment works, contact your IPS and tell them they have
    DNS server problems.

    Good luck.

    Bob Harris
    Bob Harris, Jun 7, 2006
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