Lost/Dropped Internet Connectivity

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jdlessley
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Lost/Dropped Internet Connectivity

Postby jdlessley » Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:39 pm

Our stake family history center houses the stake center's internet access for the FHC, the stake administrative computer (stake clerk), and three ward administrative computers (ward clerks). The internet connection is provided by AT&T by way of a 1.5 MB DSL line. Prior to the authorization to use collocated Church Communications Network (CCN) broadband connections for administrative computers the issue of lost/dropped internet connections was more of a nuisance than a problem. Now the issue is elevated to more of a problem because of the inconvenience to the ward users at critical times.

For unknown reasons and at random times the internet connection goes down. By this I mean that the internet connection at the DSL modem is lost. This is indicated by the Internet light on the modem being off and of course the lost ability to connect to the internet on networked computers. Because the commercial power grid for the stake center has interruptions that last anywhere from less than a second to up to a few seconds I installed an uninterruptable power supply for the DSL modem, Cisco PIX 501 firewall, two Linksys network hubs and one WAP. This only lessened the number of outages but did not eliminate them. For this reason I don' think the power grid blinks are the cause of the problem.

I have the same ISP and DSL service at home. I too lose connectivity occasionally at home. The two differences are that my house is on a stable power grid and I have full access to my router and to my modem electronically to reset them if needed. Unlike the internet connection at the stake center I seldom need to do more at home than open my browser or ping a remote address such as Google.com to get a communications reset. At the stake center I cannot access the PIX 501 or the modem electronically to reset them. Therefore I must temporarily wire the modem directly to one of the FHC computers to force a communications reset. A high percentage of the time merely connecting the modem directly to a computer and opening the browser is sufficient to reset the internet connection. Some times I must access the modem's browser based interface and initiate a reset that always re-establishes the connection.

After all that, this is what I need help with. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to access the modem's browser based interface without bypassing the PIX 501 firewall? I do not know the modem's IP address. Nor can I find out what it is when it is connected to the firewall. I am also wondering if using a switch instead of hubs would increase the possibility that the request for internet access would get to the modem to cause it to reset. AT&T claims that the modem is not the problem nor is there anything on their end causing the problem.

If anyone has any experience in this or similar situations and found a solution would be appreciated.

Just for further information power cycling the modem or firewall or both only re-establishes the internet connect a small percentage of the time.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Thu Feb 19, 2009 3:27 am

I'm just guessing here, but it seems like it "shuts down" if it's inactive for a period of time. Otherwise I don't understand why a ping to a remote address or just connecting things "wakes things up".
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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Thu Feb 19, 2009 4:57 am

Do you know the make and model of your modem?
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

techgy
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Postby techgy » Thu Feb 19, 2009 7:44 am

jdlessley wrote:Our stake family history center houses the stake center's internet access for the FHC, the stake administrative computer (stake clerk), and three ward administrative computers (ward clerks). The internet connection is provided by AT&T by way of a 1.5 MB DSL line. Prior to the authorization to use collocated Church Communications Network (CCN) broadband connections for administrative computers the issue of lost/dropped internet connections was more of a nuisance than a problem. Now the issue is elevated to more of a problem because of the inconvenience to the ward users at critical times.....


If you haven't already done so, check the information on THIS thread.
I went through much the same series of problems with the DSL in our stake center and we're also using AT&T. It took three service calls before we had someone who recognized a problem and took action.

The higher the usage was the quicker the line went down. Being that you've upgraded to additional users, your usage is now up.

The modem, as Mikerowaved has suggested, could also be configured incorrectly, but it wouldn't hurt to have AT&T check for any Bridge connections.
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jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:38 am

RussellHltn wrote:...I don't understand why a ping to a remote address or just connecting things "wakes things up".
I don't understand either. I was in the process of troubleshooting one day that I discovered this. I didn't mention that I am using a Linksys WRT54G wireless router at home. But all this is an aside to my problem at the stake center. I just mention my home situation as a point of comparison (same ISP and broadband) in correcting the CCN problem.
Mikerowaved wrote:Do you know the make and model of your modem?
I will find out and post later.
Techgy wrote:If you haven't already done so, check the information on THIS thread.
I've read that thread and I have contacted AT&T about the issue. They tell me that if the procedure I use (bypassing the firewall and resetting the modem by opening the browser or using the web based interface) resets the connection then there is nothing wrong on their side of the modem. As far as re-establishing the connection - I would have to agree. That does not address the loss of the connection in the first place. But I think this happens to many DSL users. Only they do not notice the connection is lost because the modem does its job and automatically resets the connection as soon as the line is clear. One possible thought was that the modem was the causal problem since all other DSL subscribers experience lost connections but the modem auto-resets the connection. I bantered this about with the AT&T people but they assure me that as long as the problem has been going on that it cannot be the modem. They said that while a failing modem may show some of the same characteristics in the early stages of failure that it will fail in a lot less time than three years or more (the period of time I have known about the problem). The end result is that we would have to purchase a replacement modem. Since I am not certain it is a bad modem I cannot justify to the FHC director expending precious sacred funds on the hope it is a bad modem. I need to know for sure first - or at least have reasonable suspicions.
Techgy wrote:The higher the usage was the quicker the line went down. Being that you've upgraded to additional users, your usage is now up.
True the usage is up but the number of outages is down. There does not appear to be a correlation there.
Techgy wrote: The modem, as Mikerowaved has suggested, could also be configured incorrectly…
I have gone through the modem and can find nothing unusual.

I guess part of what I am trying to find out, along with a possible solution from someone who experienced the same or similar situation, is how to access the modem electronically without bypassing the firewall. It is really frustrating to not have access to the firewall routing functions to get IP addresses of devices so that rudimentary troubleshooting can be performed.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:01 pm

You might also want to talk to GSD. They may know of something they can set in the Cisco box to reset the connection as needed.
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Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

techgy
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Postby techgy » Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:06 pm

jdlessley wrote:.... They tell me that if the procedure I use (bypassing the firewall and resetting the modem by opening the browser or using the web based interface) resets the connection then there is nothing wrong on their side of the modem. ...


I disagree. This is exactly what was going on with us. I'd reset everything and that would restore the DSL. I'd then leave and in a day or two I'd get another call from someone that the DSL was out again. This scenario went on for 2-3 weeks until we finally had someone out who knew what to look for. He brought out some equipment that did a thorough test of the line and within 15 minutes he had the problem nailed. It took another day for the line repairman (a different guy) to find the Bridge Tap and remove it. Our DSL has been stable since then.

Now I'm not stating for a fact that this is your problem. It's just a possibility and something I'd check into. The next time you lose the DSL don't reset anything. Call the repair service and ask that they do a line test.
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jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:04 pm

Techgy wrote:The next time you lose the DSL don't reset anything. Call the repair service and ask that they do a line test.
I would like to do that. Only every time I am called it is because there is an emergency need (in the eyes of the people calling) to immediately get an internet connection.

Thanks for the input. I will probably find a time when the connection is down that it is not an emergency and can hopefully get a service investigation from the ISP.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:14 pm

Mikerowaved wrote:Do you know the make and model of your modem?
It is a Speedstream model 5100.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

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mfmohlma
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Postby mfmohlma » Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:18 pm

jdlessley wrote:I will probably find a time when the connection is down that it is not an emergency and can hopefully get a service investigation from the ISP.


You already know your connection is flaky and the process to detect a bridge tap (TDR) will not require a "lost connection" per se. (In fact, the process works better if there is no signal on the line.) To save yourself some headaches, I'd do what I could to get a technician there at your convenience. If they won't come out unless there is no connection, you might be inclined to help that condition occur when you call. ;)


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