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#3138 - 08/12/17 01:48 PM New to PingPlotter but need input...
Wolf_22 Offline

Registered: 08/12/17
Posts: 4
I've been using PingPlotter (PP) to track down a situation where I frequently experience disconnects from my ISP's DSL connection. I personally think it's something related to the ISP but they seem to be trying to put the blame on my home wiring / telephone lines. I'm just trying to determine if I'm being lied to because the disconnects occur at completely random intervals with no construction work taking place within a quarter-mile of my house, which makes me believe that it likely has nothing to do with my lines.

The line from the outside which comes in from the telephone company starts at a tiny wiring closet that is attached to my home. The line from there goes about, maybe, 35-45 feet and then comes up through the basement and into the line jack that my router connects to. (The point being that the line from the outside telephone wiring box isn't that long.)

At times, the DSL connection works great, averaging about 6Mbps (which is where it should be). At other times, when the connection drops, the router comes back online only to average anywhere between 2 to 4 Mbps. What often happens is that the connection will drop, come back on, drop again... It gets frustrating fast.

I've been trying to deal with the ISP about all this and during the last few times when a tech "did whatever they did," it usually resulted in better outcomes for me as the connection seemed to stabilize. But when / if it drops and I reach back out to them about it, they try to blame my home's telephone lines by stating that "noise" is being seen in their tools (despite the service rep I always speak to over the phone indicating always that there is an issue with the ISP's side).

By using PP, it does look like substantial amounts of latency exists between my router (hop 1) and whatever hop 2 is as shown by the gray line. Where the disconnect seems to occur, though, is at hop 2: the red *always* begins there first followed by red showing up on hop 1 after the red on hop 2. Is this indicative of an external issue? Here's a link to an image showing an example of a moment where these disconnects were happening: DSL Disconnects

I would love some input here about this... Just being able to nail down whether this is an internal to my home or external issue would be invaluable.

P.S. - I had problems attaching an image to this post, so I hope the link above is okay. (It leads to a page on my personal website but I promise it's not some sort of link spam or whatever--I just didn't have anywhere else to post the image and the website I own encodes images using the Base64 encoding like Gmail does, hence it was easier to just post the URL of the page than the image--if this isn't okay, let me know and I'll revisit it.)

Thanks in advance.

#3139 - 08/14/17 05:07 PM Re: New to PingPlotter but need input... [Re: Wolf_22]
Gary Offline
PingPlotter Staff

Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 183
Hey Wolf,

Thanks for getting in touch.

It's honestly tough to speculate on what may be causing your issues with only a screenshot with 10 minutes worth of viewable data. From what we *can* see, though - you've got some definite packet loss starting at hop #1, which is carrying through to your final destination. If this packet loss at around 4:24pm in your image correlates with one of the disconnects you've been experiencing - then this would indicate that your issue is somewhere between your machine (the one running PingPlotter), and hop #1 (likely your router/modem). The results you've got here look *fairly* similar to the example of bad hardware/wiring we have available here:

If you'd like, feel free to send over some more of your results (via the "File" -> "Share" option in PIngPlotter) - and we'd be happy to take a closer look and offer any guidance we can from there.

In the meantime, you next goal should be to eliminate any variables (that you have control over) to see if you can isolate what the culprit here is. If you're on a wireless connection, moving to a wired connection is a *great* first step. If this machine is already on a wired connection, you might try swapping out the cable thatís connecting it to your router. If possible, you could also try connecting to a completely different network with this machine to see if the issue may be related to your machine itself (if you see the same results on a different network - this would be a pretty strong indicator). Anytime you're eliminating a variable, make sure to keep PingPlotter running so you can see if you notice any changes in your results (as this can help you identify what may be causing your problem).

We've got a great walkthrough guide that goes over how to use PingPlotter to troubleshoot network issues like this one, which may prove helpful to you here as well:

If you have any questions - please let us know.

Best wishes,


#3252 - 05/02/18 09:49 PM Re: New to PingPlotter but need input... [Re: Gary]
Wolf_22 Offline

Registered: 08/12/17
Posts: 4
Sorry for the late response, Gary, but I do really appreciate the feedback. I didn't know about the share thing, too. So I thought I'd take advantage of that by sharing this:

The previous image I linked to was when I experienced problems on my router's wifi. I'm now using a direct cat-5 connection to the router and given Hop 2 is the one that's been showing the most packet loss lately (been having constant disconnection issues all week), I'm assuming it could be anything from my home's wiring to anything leading to their DSLAM?

I've contacted my ISP about this and they indicated that their line test showed a fault--they admitted that a tech would have to look into things to make anything make more sense than that because they couldn't even tell me whether it might have anything to do with my home's line or theirs. (Which I guess makes sense albeit frustrating to accept.)

The packet loss increases almost tenfold when I'm actually doing things on the net. When I'm at idle, though, it averages little red lines like those seen in the referenced image. What might that mean? And when the DSL reconnects after the constant reconnects, the speeds are never what they should be (though I will say that after I called the ISP today, the speeds came back more often at the rates they should be, which is interesting--makes me wonder if the ISP knows more than what they admit about whether there's a faulty machine somewhere that might be causing this).

It's hard not to be paranoid with ISPs sometimes!



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