Tech Overload – 5 Hour Trouble Shooting

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This is probably the most intense network trouble shooting I have done in my life. I have spares for most situations, back up plans, and tools ready to go but what happened to me confused the hell out of me.

Problems:

  • Network Went Down, No Internet (Kems Connection)
  • Internal Network was inaccessible as well

Possible Issues:

  • External Issue with Internet – Internet Down
  • Modem could be malfunction – Internal Network Issues

Solutions:

  • Kems to Solve Issue
  • Replace Modem
  • Replace Switch

PS3SlimBunker 004

What Happened:

I changed both the modem first and I was still facing issues, I redid the external wiring from MOC into the house and installed the best connectors and cleanest route and still faced the same issue. Then I installed the modem, configured it which got complete and it was connecting but packets were bouncing. Basically I was also going nuts not being able to access my tv shows, movies and anime, it was cutting off so it wasn’t watchable. Since the internal network was still facing problems I installed a new switch to see if that was the issue, even though it was working fine for over two years.

So replacing the modem didn’t help, replacing the switch didn’t help, rewiring the external telephone line didn’t help. So the next step was cable testing but I didn’t have the equipment, so KEMS sent their engineer to test everything out but any work was sent by an external company recommend by Kems and they did the work. We went through and tested over 23 different Cat-6 Cables on three different floors to find that issue was that with the two networks the computer face an issue with a conflict of an internal router addresses so I redid that. We tested every cable and arranged every one of them once we test each one, one by one and cleared it, one cable was causing an issue and the switch was facing an issue whenever we connected it, I’m not sure how it went bad. After 5 hours of testing and going through everything and slowly getting everything up, the machines all worked at last.

Conclusion:

  • KEMS support is the best in Kuwait
  • Make sure to check router main address whenever configuring the modem, conflicts from the modem can cause major problems.
  • Label cables for easy trouble shooting. I have a spaghetti for a network even though in my head it was all completely logical.

Access Point Search in London

We have internet at home, even though its a little bit on the slow side but I needed an access point to put another location to cover the whole house because the one from the modem is very weak. I thought that would be simple enough, but it turned out to be a lot more difficult then I expected. I was in Harrods and decided to ask if they sell access points in the computer section, the lady looked at me like I was speaking Chinese to her so I thought I would go to Totenham Court road and find many there. I walked over there and I stopped at nearly 9 different electronic and computer shops on that street and every one of them don’t sell access points any more, they sell so many kinds of modems, routers and switches but no access points. It seems London is no longer in need of access points so I decided to order it from Amazon.co.uk and it came the next day, much simpler then running around for a few days.

ADSL Modem/Router

I have to ISP coming in and I have two different technical setups for them, but both of them are the same idea. An ADSL modem which is a attached to a router which handles the network. For past couple of weeks my internet from Qnet has been acting up, I have done pretty much every possible conceivable solution to try and remedy this but to no avail. I have decided to do some testing with my modem, I have feeling that its life has come to an end after 6 years of good service, its a Thompson ADSL Modem but I can’t really do any configuration on it when I try to access it, so I wanted to replace it. Called my Qnet and all they offer is the Linksys ADSL which was crap from Kems, I asked for a Cisco modem but they said that it is only for corporate customers and they don’t have that in stock.

I’m judging these modems by a few of the points listed below, the main point is stability and no issues then I go on to other testing.

Key Points for successful modem:

  • Faster Connection, with the newer modems surfing is substantially faster due to the better architecture, a Cisco modem is much more stable and faster the a Linksys modem and I have tried that first hand
  • FTP and VPN access without any issues
  • Extra features such a Port Forwarding, VPN configurable, Black or White Listing IPs & MAC addresses, DynDNS, and Wireless options

I have taken the options into my own hands, and after reading up online I decided to do some testing on affordable regular ADSL modems to post it up later. All the below have decent reviews and had their own problems and what they were good at, I’m going to test it to my preferences and see what I come up with as a winner.

  • D-Link ADSL Modem/Router/Wireless
  • D-Link ADSL Modem/Router
  • Actiontech ADSL Modem/Router/Wireless

Two Tier Solution

I had the Belkin ADSL which worked all nice and dandy for only a few days before funky things started happening. I wanted a one box solution which I could use for all my needs instead I got another bunch of headaches. If I left my desktop for more then a day it wouldn’t be able to access the internet, I would have to manually restart the router. If a laptop was put into standby I wouldn’t be able to connect to the wireless connection, again I would have to reboot the router. Another thing which really bothered me was that for some reason the connection was a bit slow whenever I did a traceroute there was always a long delay with a multiple websites, so after going through this hell for a couple of weeks I went back to my old solution.

I brought back the Cisco Modem and D-Link Router, as soon as I plugged it everything was back to normal. Browsing felt very fast and stable, I was downloading and browsing faster then before. Even when I was sharing the connection with the main PC I was having issues with it hanging. Now with this solution its working perfectly, my only gripe is that I can’t really do any configurations with the Cisco Modem, if I try anything from the console I will probably crash it, I can’t even access its web based interface, until I find somebody that can I will leave things as is.