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    Help diagnosing cable interet issues


    I moved into a new apartment on Oct 1 and got Time Warner Cable High Speed Internet. Since then I've been having a lot of problems... subjectively, my experience is that webpages load fine and quickly, and then suddenly nothing will load. In these cases, Google Chrome tells me it couldn't perform a DNS lookup.

    However, I do not believe it is a DNS issue. I have used both Time Warner's own DNS and OpenDNS, and experience the same issue. I think the entire internet connection goes down at times, although sometimes I can still ping 8.8.8.8 when other things are not working.

    This problem occurs on two different laptops, both running the latest version of Win XP. Complicating the issue, an iPhone and an iPad seem to use the WiFi network at the same time with no difficulties. But the 2 laptops work perfectly when run on any other networks... including a neighbor's WiFI which also has TimeWarner (but a NetGear wifi router as opposed to TWC's provided router).

    The internet is not down all the time. It is only down 1/2 of the time and I can't find a variable that would explain it. Any suggestions for other tests I could run? Needless to say, TWC tech support has not helped.

    NOTE: There are also other slowdowns and pauses that may have other causes.


    Also, as a follow-up question, would TWC's DOCSIS 3.0 line (aka "TWC Wideband") be run on the same infrastructure as its traditional high-speed cable, or different infrastructure? I'm basically curious if I'd be buying into a better infrastructure as a whole, or just a better protocol/data cap/cable box... at this point I'm willing to pay a lot to get better service.
    Last edited by psychoxl99; October 27th, 2011 at 02:54 PM.
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    I'd start by trying a different router. See if you can borrow one, otherwise buy one (and return it if needed) and see if you experience the same symptoms.

    BTW, DOCSIS 3.0 is a signalling standard that is run over the same cable infrastructure. You *shouldn't* have any control over that since it would have to be completely configured at the head-end.
    Adam TT
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    Originally Posted by AdamPI
    I'd start by trying a different router. See if you can borrow one, otherwise buy one (and return it if needed) and see if you experience the same symptoms.

    BTW, DOCSIS 3.0 is a signalling standard that is run over the same cable infrastructure. You *shouldn't* have any control over that since it would have to be completely configured at the head-end.

    Well, check out this result. Shows 58% packet loss which would explain a lot.
    http://www.pingtest.net/result/49427729.png

    TWC called me today to say that they have identified a localized issue (actually same thing they've been saying since Oct 2) and ordered replacement hardware (for a bad node) with no ETA. So far they have given me 2 months of free subscription, but I'd rather just cancel since I have no confidence that they will ever fix the problem. Unfortunately I don't have many other viable options.

    At least I'm through to somebody who is responsive (their government liaison, after I complained to the NYC agency that regulates them). Would be great if they had some competition instead.

    I am thinking about going with MegaPath DSL (6MB/768KB) until FiOS eventually comes to my neighborhood in NYC. The problem is it's $109/month for 2/5 the alleged speed of TWC and it's B2B so you're basically committing for all 12 months (there is no early termination fee, you have to buy out the whole contract). The only other wireline option is Verizon DSL at only 3MB down.
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    Stick with cable for now and demand free or reduced cost service until they fix it. You shouldn't get too much push back if you're polite about it but firm that you won't pay for a service level they cannot provide. If you're good you'll be able to convince them that they want your business, and you want theirs, but want the quality you deserve.
    Adam TT
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    Thanks for your suggestion. Any idea about some network analysis tools I can run to try to narrow down the issue? Whenever I call their tech support, they're never able to identify an issue because my pings and tracerts run fine, and web pages seem to load successfully.

    But during my "normal" usage I get big delays and timeouts on web pages. I'm wondering if somehow I'm setting off an internet network management throttle. But the weird thing is, I don't use bittorrent or anything that would cause heavy usage.

    The problems started when I moved. I had Time Warner Cable in Manhattan NY, and it was fine, but out in my more remote part of Brooklyn it's terrible. I getter performance with Clear Wireless 4G (not even a wireline) than I do with TWC.
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    Did you try a second router yet?

    Otherwise I'd keep a constant ping going out to several DNS servers and record the failed times (correlate them to your outages for best results.) You might consider scripting a short program (Powershell works great) to create a log of those outages.
    Adam TT

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