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Posted 05/02/2020 in Basic Help
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Troubleshooting Your Internet Speed


Troubleshooting Your Internet Speed

Troubleshooting Your Internet Connection.


In this article we will be showing you the best way to troubleshoot your internet connection for speed and your house network. But first a little info about me, I am a internet installer for both DSL and Fiber internet connections. I troubleshoot internet problem everyday.

I will start out by saying "Having A Good Router Is Not Enough, You Need A Great Router"!



We will start out with DSL internet troubleshooting.

  • First thing is to know that your internet is limited to speed because of the mechanics of the DSL internet system. (Read more about DSL internet service here.) Remember most DSL services only do about 12 meg down and 1 meg up... You will need to know what speed package you are purchasing from your provider before you start these troubleshooting steps. 
  • Take notes on what lights are on and what color they are on the modem when having trouble. A solid DSL light (or green) mean the modem is linked up with the phone companies equipment, problem is probably in your network. A blinking DSL light (or red) means the modem is not connected with the phone companies equipment. If you have a a red or blinking DSL light call your internet provider.
  • After reading the article above, you can start out with unplugging the power cord to your router. Many low cost routers can not keep up with the demand that they are under with WIFI devices in the homes today. Unplugging the router/modem will reset the CPU and clear any cache that may be built up in the router. You should reboot a low cost router at least once per week.
  • If you have moved the modem, Put it back where it was... read on.Troubleshooting Your Internet Connection.
  • Many houses may have what is called a house filter installed which removes the DSL signal from going to all the phone jacks. It will have a designated line for the modem, which means the modem needs to stay in that jack. The house filter could be installed in the phone companies "D" mark on the outside of the house or in a low voltage panel inside the house.
  • Make sure all devices have a DSL filter hooked up (phones, alarm systems, gate intercom, satellite box, answering machine, ect...) BUT NOT THE DSL MODEM! The filters need to be installed correctly, there is a in and a out marked on them. (Filters are one of the most troublesome problems)
  • If you have 2 routers plugged into the service, unplug the 2nd router and test with a computer that is plugged directly into the 1st router/modem. This will tell you if the 2 routers are having a conflict.
  • If you are still having trouble with your internet, Turn off the WIFI server or turn off all devices that are connected to the router via WIFI (TV, Roku, Cameras, Tablets, Amazon Stick, ect...). Then plug a computer directly into the router/modem and do your speed test. If the computer gets a good speed test then you are having a WIFI problem. This could be something like a Ring door bell that is saturating your WIFI system. You can start to turn the WIFI devices back on 1 at a time and do the speed test after each device is turned back on. This will tell you if you have 1 device that is hogging up all the bandwidth or just to many devices. As you turn on more devices you will start to see your speed test get less and less results.
  • If you can not plug a computer directly into the modem/router you can do this. An alternative to shutting down the server or all the devices is to change the SSID name (your WIFI name) of the routers WIFI server. This will make it so none of the devices are hooked up to the service, You can then hook up just 1 device to the new SSID name and do the tests. Just add a 1 to the end of the excising SSID name.

If you have done the steps above you should be getting better speeds. From reading the article "How does DSL internet services work?" we learned that DSL service is restricted mostly by the amount of wiring from your modem to the phone company equipment. So the more wires and jacks you have hooked up in your house is adding distance to the total footage of wire. If you have jacks you are not using, unhook them.


Fiber High Speed Internet Troubleshooting.

Fiber internet is a different setup then the DSL system. High speed fiber internet can have blazing speeds for transferring data in both the download and upload. Usually Fiber is brought to your home and a ONT (Opticle network terminal) is installed at the house. The ONT changes the fiber light into copper connections. In the early times of fiber to the home, it was used to bring internet, phone and cable TV services to the home, but now with streaming TV services many providers are moving away from the cable box method of providing TV service. 

There is really not a lot that can go wrong with a fiber hook up once it is installed. 

  • Make sure the ONT has power. if no ONT power, nothing will work. Check any GFI breakers in the house.
  • Unplug the power feeding the router to reboot it. Many low cost routers can not keep up with the demand that they are under with WIFI devices in the homes today. Unplugging the router/modem will reset the CPU and clear any cache that may be built up in the router. You should reboot a low cost router at least once per week.
  • If you have 2 routers plugged into the service, unplug the 2nd router and test with a computer that is plugged directly into the 1st router/modem. This will tell you if the 2 routers are having a conflict.
  • If you are still having trouble with your internet, Turn off the WIFI server or turn off all devices that are connected to the router via WIFI (TV, Roku, Cameras, Tablets, Amazon Stick, ect...). Then plug a computer directly into the router/modem and do your speed test. If the computer gets a good speed test then you are having a WIFI problem. This could be something like a Ring door bell that is saturating your WIFI system. You can start to turn the WIFI devices back on 1 at a time and do the speed test after each device is turned back on. This will tell you if you have 1 device that is hogging up all the bandwidth or just to many devices. As you turn on more devices you will start to see your speed test get less and less results.
  • If you can not plug a computer directly into the modem/router you can do this. An alternative to shutting down the server or all the devices is to change the SSID name (your wifi name) of the routers WIFI server. This will make it so none of the devices are hooked up to the service, You can then hook up just 1 device to the new SSID name and do the tests. Just add a 1 to the end of the excising SSID name.

If you are having to constantly reboot the router, you may want to purchase a quality router, expect to pay at least $200 for a good router.



Here are a few more things we have found over the years of troubleshooting internet that will affect your service.

  • Roku and Fire Sticks - With TV streaming services getting more and more popular we are seeing this problem more and more. If you have a streaming device that is plugged directly into a power outlet, and even some USB ports on the back of the TV that are not killing power to the USB when the TV is powered off, You need to push the "Home" button when you are done watching TV. If you just turn off the TV power it is not shutting down the stream of the show you were watching via the Roku or the Firestick streaming device. Thous you are transferring data even with the TV off.  

Example: You are watching YoutubeTV in the family room and you decide to go to bed and finish watching the show. If you turn off the TV power without hitting the home button, then go into the bedroom and start watching the show you could now have 2 streams of the show playing. When the show is over you turn off your TV in the bedroom without hitting the home button, all TV's are off but you could have 2 streams still running. That could add up to be around 10 to 15 meg of data per second that you are using.  The next morning you get on your computer to do some work and your internet is hardly working....  Not a internet problem, but a internet budget problem! Check your streaming devices...

  • Video Conference Websites (Like Zoom) - If you are running a video conferencing app or website on DSL you will have trouble if you are trying to do to much. You will need a GREAT router to handle the data traffic if you are going to use these apps and websites even on a high speed internet connection.
  • Some new computers come programmed to upload any upgrades and any programs to the cloud. We had a gamer that got a new laptop, he was uploading new updates to his game every couple days. The upgrades were around 1.2 gigs of data. As a download on DSL at 12 meg per second this could take awhile. But where the problem was the computer, without the owner knowing, was uploading all the upgrades to the cloud at 1 meg per second. This locked up the DSL service!
  • Security cameras that are uploading to the cloud when ever they see motion. Motion can be a tree branch moving in the wind or a spider walking across the lens of the camera. Again this can lock up the service.
  • Static IP's on cameras, if you have static IP's set for cameras you need to make sure those IP's are not in the DHCP server range. This can IP conflicts.
  • Make sure only 1 patch cable ties any network switches together. Having more then 1 patch cord between a router and a switch will lock up the whole system.Troubleshooting your internet connection

 


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