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"Checking internet for dropping" Topic

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379 hits since 8 Oct 2015
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Last Hussar08 Oct 2015 3:17 p.m. PST

We have a TV box that connects to the internet. On the internet channels if freezes every few minutes, screen often goes black, and occasionally it gives an error code associated with not detecting the internet.

I read the problem page, and it gives all the normal solutions – check the cables are in etc. We are using the extenders that you plug into the wall, and it uses the earth wire to route the internet. It says how to check these etc. The thing is we get internet 98% of the time, its the 5 seconds every few minutes.

I suspect that its just the load on the net, especially when my son is using skype/Online gaming etc.

Logic leads me to believe that such drops must be happening on every device, but as computers don't constantly stream if not looking at video, then you don't notice it.

What I'm initially looking for is a app or download that can monitor 10 minutes or so of incoming signal, and show peaks and troughs.

If this is the case, any ideas how to fix.

My tablet wifi gets 15Mbps minimun regularly, and never gets less than 4.

I've just tested the wifi on the Laptop, and that's getting 20mbs

When I connect the extender via cable to the laptop I'm getting 50Mbs

So its not the incoming line speed. I think its literally the amount that the router can distribute the stuff.

I'd like to be able to see this over a long period of time.


Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP09 Oct 2015 2:27 a.m. PST

Depends on what system you're using to monitor and diagnose the problem:


This, however, is your critical issue:

Logic leads me to believe that such drops must be happening on every device, but as computers don't constantly stream if not looking at video, then you don't notice it.

If the infrastructure is sound, you're probably dealing with an issue between incoming packet sequencing (even if you're getting your regular throughput, you could be getting it in fits and starts, which will cause the type of problems you describe) and local distribution.

One thing you could do (if you have the permissions and access) is assign the IP(s) of the TV to a higher priority than the other devices. If you have a lot of stuff on your network, you could even assign asynchronous, low use stuff (hey, printer, fridge, home security system … I mean you) to very low priority.

CeruLucifus09 Oct 2015 9:45 a.m. PST

I can speak from humbling experience that this issue is not always the ISP's fault.

What you need to do is disconnect every other device except the TV box, and see if you still get the same problem. You also need to connect the TV box directly to the ISP's equipment. If you don't have the same issue any more (that's what happened with me), then it's one of your other devices hogging the bandwidth. Reconnect them one by one and retest the TV each time until you find the one causing the issue. Some devices connect intermittently so this may take a while.

It does no harm to test high likelihood devices first, for example this one:

I suspect … when my son is using skype/Online gaming etc.
If it is that device, then you've found it sooner. If not, then you can stop pointing fingers and start looking for the real cause.

In my case it turned out my wife's Mac was screwing up bandwidth and causing latency issues for our gaming. We didn't confirm 100% but my assumption was this: She had set up Apple's service "pay extra to store stuff in the cloud" that syncs data between her iPhone and Mac. By "data" this means photos and videos which are large. She doesn't use her Mac all that much so for a short time there we would just disconnect her Mac when gaming. The problem eventually went away; I assume because all the major data was synced. Had the same issue a few months later when she got a new iPhone; I assume it was resyncing all the data with the phone.

If it's a device on your network, setting up QOS (Quality of Service) is the solution. Give the TV box High priority and everything else Low, and possibly your son's gaming machine Medium. If your router doesn't have QOS options, get one that does; its a pretty common feature so there should be a device in your price range that has it.

On the other hand, if you've proved its *not* another device on your network you have two more tests to do. First try a different TV provider service to confirm the issue is not isolated to that one provider (maybe its the video server that can't keep up).

Next you want to prove its not a bad TV box. Borrow a similar TV box (if necessary buy from store then return afterwards although ideally a friend or neighbor will loan you theirs, or maybe you want a second one anyway for another room) and confirm that also has the same issue.

If so -- this means you are ready to call your ISP. Disconnect everything and connect your TV box directly to the ISP's equipment, call the ISP, and explain what's happening. It will take hours and they'll start by making sure you've done all the tests above but eventually they'll accept it is their issue. In the US they would then fix the bad piece of equipment on the line; I assume in the UK it would be the same. Its possible they'll come back and say they know exactly what it is but you aren't paying for the service that will fix it. That would be frustrating but at least you can choose to pay or not pay, and also now you have another feature to look for when comparison shopping.

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