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How to Troubleshoot Internet Connections

An Incomplete List of Symptoms and How to Fix Them

This assumes problem persists before you have to proceed to the next step. This list will be updated as soon as more problems are written up. If your problem is not found here, proceed to the next header for a step by step walkthrough on how to detect and fix your problem.

ADSL light blinking (ADSL desync)
  1. Pick up phone, hold until telephone proceeds from dial tone to beeping tone.
  2. Using phone, dial your own handphone number. Let it ring for 5 times (listen to the receiver, doot doot, doot doot, doot doot, doot doot, doot doot. If you are using a caller ringtone, count to 10 before stopping). ADSL light should go solid before you put down the phone.
  3. Disconnect splitter, connect phone to line directly, repeat step 1. Disconnect phone and connect modem to phone line.
Incomplete loading of webpages/Many F5 presses before webpage loads/Webpages loading very slowly (Packet loss)
  1. Read the news and see if any recent earthquakes happened near the sea outside Taiwan. If yes, read on and see if any undersea cables snapped due to earthquake. If yes, you are schtupped.
  2. Check your router. Is it old? Is it hot (As in temperature)? Is it cheap? Does it have a personality? If yes to any of these questions, ask whoever usually handles the router to do his damned job. Remember, redundancy is useful. While he is doing his, make sure you find out what goes on and remember how to do it.
  3. Check your modem. Go through the same steps as your router. Make sure at least 2 people in the office knows how to do it.
  4. Check for malware. Get a reputable internet security program. Scan and terminate with extreme prejudice. If you can't, add/remove programs is your best bet. Remove suspicious programs that aren't essential. There are one or two spyware that masquerades as windows update packs. Check their publisher name and delete any that does not say Microsoft.
  5. Check your network and see if anyone is using the network to do torrent downloading. Bad torrent clients are known to take up more network bandwidth than they are worth. Terminate with extreme prejudice. For repeat offenders, make sure to cause a scene in the office so everyone knows who it is.
Steps to take before attempting to solve Internet problems by requesting additional services.

Before any sort of action can be taken, the problem has to be identified. That much is obvious, however, this is the most difficult part because this bit requires the greatest amount of experience to get right.

Although anything could go wrong with a computer, the following steps could be taken to detect and solve problems most commonly reported to support staff.

1. The Moron Tests
These tests fall under the category of physical examinations of the various connectors connected to the PC. Any support staff worth his salt should know what to check for here.

2. Network Connection Setting tests
In a Windows PC, there are too many things that could go wrong with the network connectivity. Most often, it is caused by careless enabling of a proxy server when the computer in question is not using one. Apart from that, IP settings should be set to new settings if the computer is moved to a new networking location. Lets not forget about the DNS settings while the IP configurations are checked.
3. Network Connectivity tests
If the settings seem to be correct, yet network connectivity remains bad, proceed to check on whether or not the network itself is suffering from problems. A common problem that can cause loss of network connectivity is the quirk of a network hub, be it a switch or router. Therefore, the first questions should be asked about the operations of these equipment. If they are indeed known to be quirky or attempts to connect to them are refused, restarting the hubs should be the next step.

Apart from the network equipment, do make sure all your firewall settings are in order. Remember to turn the firewall back on after everything is fixed.

If your ADSL light indicates that it is not synced, you need to make sure that the ADSL splitter has not gone to the great scrap heap in the sky. Connect the modem to the wall socket phoneline. If it does not work, check to see if your phone line is still working for your phone. Most likely it will be, so while you are doing that, wait until the dial tone proceeds to the beeping tone that is heard when you hold the receiver up for longer than 10+ seconds. Connect your modem back to the phone line and pray for syncing. If it doesn't, skip step 4 and go to step 5. (If you are wondering, outstanding bills do not cause ADSL refusal to sync)

On the other hand, if it is found that everything is in order, it is time to ping the Internet.

4. The Ping tests
In a Windows pc, go to start -> run. Type in "cmd" without the quotes in the command line. In the terminal (Linux users, just open a terminal), type "ping [insert url here]". Suitable names that may replace [insert url here] are: (make sure you put in the www in the front of tmnet's website)
and basically any other high traffic, normally fast website you can think of. Just remember to include at least 3 local websites. does not count as a local website.

If you are using Linux, you need to use ctrl-c to stop the pinging. At this point, if you are experiencing any major packet loss, it is your ISP's fault. Make sure you make screen shots of all your ping check results and save them somewhere because they would be asked for at one point or another.

5. Calling TMNet
TMNet's help line is 100. Then, you want to press 1/2, 2, 1 to get BM/English -> Internet -> Tech Support. When the  operator speaks, tell him your account information. A common misconception here is that you need information on your registration form to proceed from here. You don't. Just tell them your company name, your phone number, and your address. That should be enough for the operator.

Next, he will ask you to do every single thing in steps 1 to 4. Be very careful about what you tell the operator as it might cause a delay of a day or two due to wrong task forwarding.

Telling the operator it's "slow connection" will cause the operator to forward the problem to Telekom Malaysia, in which case a technician will look at the cables and hardware near your area. If you say "high latency" (They mean different things apparently), the operator will instead ask TMNet to go look at their servers and software. Obviously, if your problem is with the ADSL light, obviously you want Telekom to look at the telephony equipment and if your problem is with shitty connections, then "high latency" is the way to go. Remember, the operator is only the messenger, so you would get better results once the issue is forwarded to the proper technician. Therefore, refrain from overloading the poor operator. Save your really nitty gritty stuff for the technician when they get to you.

When you call TMNet, be sure to get the operator's name and a report number. You will need them later when you make follow up calls. As with other things in real life, you can make your own issue expedited if you call 100 repeatedly (Within reason. Once every 10 minutes is not.). Make sure you give them your report number and if the operator gives you any discrepancies, drop the previous operator's name. A call every 1 or 2 hours would do just fine.

6. If TMNet fails repeatedly
This is the part where you suggest to your client to change ISPs.