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Help - new to Broadband and have problems

johnryden
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 30-07-2007

Help - new to Broadband and have problems

I have only had Broadband since last week using a Binatone 2100 router with PlusNet on 512k Home Surf.

I am achieving an average of 430k download and 200k uploads and am happy enough with that.

But, web browsing is a nightmare. Sites are taking a long time to begin to load. I have the right DNS servers set, but they always time out.

Speedchecks using Dan Elwell's speedchecker show a packet loss of 50% and trace route seems to show I have a time out on the first hop - from PC to router? I have set the MTU to be the same on the PC as on the router - 1458 and have tried to set RWIN appropriately, but not sure if it is sticking.

Before I start pestering PlusNet and BT I want to make sure that it is not my own wiring or my machine settings that are causing this. Being new to this, I would appreciate any suggestions as to what could be causing such a large packet loss.

Thanks. A traceroute to Plus.net shows the following - note the first two lines!

Tracing route to portal.plus.net [212.159.8.137]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 * * * Request timed out.
2 703 ms 20 ms 20 ms lo1.homesurf.pth-ag1.plus.net [195.166.128.32]
3 20 ms 20 ms 21 ms gi1-2.vlan16.pth-gw3.plus.net [212.159.1.244]
4 20 ms 20 ms 21 ms gi4-0-22.pth-gw1.plus.net [195.166.129.209]
5 27 ms 28 ms 27 ms atm0-1-0.ptb-gw1.plus.net [195.166.129.246]
6 27 ms 27 ms 27 ms vl4.pri.ptb-gw4.plus.net [195.166.129.228]
7 28 ms * 29 ms portal.plus.net [212.159.8.137]

Any help much appreciated.

John
10 REPLIES
N/A

Help - new to Broadband and have problems

Hop 1 will be your router, which apears to be set to ignore pings. That is all fine, and normal.

The 703ms result sugest is was borderline ready to timeout.

I suegst following the troublshooting tutorial in the tutorial forum first, to see if that helps.
johnryden
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 30-07-2007

Help - new to Broadband and have problems

Thanks, Philip - I have been trying most of the steps in the various troubleshooting faqs - here and elsewhere but nothing has seemed to help.

It does seem to be a timing out issue - always times out of the DNS servers - others besides Plusnet's - when I try a direct call to them through command window and the web pages load as though timing out is an issue - often loads fast if url pressed a second time.

How about the 50% packet loss? Any idea of what could be causing that? I have tested via router directly connected to master socket and still stays at the same level.

John
N/A

Help - new to Broadband and have problems

You are showing clasic signs of dns cache problems if you are using xp or 2k.

You can stop the service dnsclient or try this from http://www.speedguide.net/read_articles.php?id=158 there are more tweaks etc on their site

Tweak DNS Errors Caching in Windows 2000 / XP

Windows 2000/XP has built-in DNS (Domain Name System) caching, which basically caches resolved hostnames for faster access and reduced DNS lookups. This is generally a great feature, with the only downside that failed DNS lookups get cached by default as well... When a DNS lookup fails (due to temporary DNS problems), Windows still caches the unsuccessful DNS query, and in turn fails to connect to a host regardless of the fact that the DNS server might be able to handle your lookup seconds later.

There are a couple of different ways to tweak Windows 2k/XP not to cache failed DNS lookups:

1. You can flush the DNS cache manually, by going to Command Prompt and typing: ipconfig /flushdns
2. You can wait for the cached lookup to expire or reboot the system...

Or you can permanently solve this issue by tweaking a few Registry entries. You can simply use the patch below to modify your Registry:

winxp_dnscache.reg - patch Windows 2k/XP not to cache failed DNS entries. To install, save to your HD and double-click the filename.
winxp_dnscache_undo.inf - patch to reverse all changes made by winxp_dnscache.reg. To install, save to your HD, then right-click on the filename and chose "install" from the pull-down menu.

If you'd rather do the changes manually, and assuming you feel comfortable editing the Windows Registry, here are the related Registry entries (recommended values are highlighted in red):

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Dnscache\Parameters]

NegativeCacheTime=0 (DWORD, default value: 0x12C (300 seconds), range: 0x0–0xFFFFFFFF seconds) Description: Determines how long an entry recording a negative answer to a query remains in the DNS cache. When the time specified in the value of this entry expires, the DNS client deletes the answer record from cache.

NetFailureCacheTime=0 (DWORD, default value: 0x1E (30 seconds), range: 0x0–0xFFFFFFFF seconds) Description: Determines for how long the DNS client stops sending queries when it suspects that the network is down. When the DNS client does not receive responses to repeated queries sent to any network adapter, the DNS client stops sending queries for the time specified in the value of this entry. During that time, the DNS client returns a timeout response to all queries. If the value of this entry is 0x0, this optimizing feature is disabled. DNS continues to send queries to an unresponsive network.

NegativeSOACacheTime=0 (DWORD. default value: 0x78 (120 secnds), range: 0x0–0xFFFFFFFF seconds) Description: Determines how long an entry recording a negative answer to a query for an SOA (Start of Authority) record remains in the Domain Name System (DNS) cache. When the time specified in the value expires, the DNS client deletes the answer record from the cache.

Note: As always when editing the Registry, a backup is a good idea, and reboot might be required for changes to take effect.

Related Articles:

MS TechNet - DNS Caching, Network Prioritization and Security
TechTV - Kill DNS Errors for Faster Broadband
Microsoft - DNS Resolver Cache Service



Increase bandwidth by tweaking QoS in Windows XP Pro

The following tweak applies only to Windows XP Professional edition.

The default system behavior is that all 100% bandwidth is available, however, if there is a running application that indicates to the OS it needs to send high priority/real time data, then as long as it has the socket open, Windows XP will restrict “best effort” traffic to 80% of the bandwidth so that high priority traffic can be accommodated. Basically, applications can make this request to the operating system for QoS support using the QoS application programming interfaces (APIs) in Windows and this only applies if a specific app is requesting QoS.

If you'd like to change how much bandwidth is reserved for QoS (the default is 20% of the total bandwidth), do the following:

1. Make sure you're logged in as "Administrator" (not just any account with admin privileges).
2. Navigate to START>Run and type: gpedit.msc
3. Navigate to Local Computer Policy > Administrative Templates > Network > QOS Packet Scheduler
4. In the right window, double-click the limit reservable bandwidth setting
5. On the setting tab, check the enabled setting.
6. Where it says "Bandwidth limit %", change it to read 0 (or whatever percentage you want to reserve for high priority QoS data)
7. Click OK, close gpedit.msc

Under START > My Computer > My Network Connections > View Network Connections, right-click on your connection and under Properties (where it lists your protocols), make sure QOS Packet Scheduler is enabled.

You need to reboot for changes to take effect.
Note: This tweak applies only to The Professional version of Windows XP.
To read more about QoS, refer to the MSDN Documentation.

For some additional tweaking tips, check out the Advanced Tweak
johnryden
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 30-07-2007

Help - new to Broadband and have problems

Thanks for the advice. Flushed the DNScacthe and used the registry tweak but with no difference at all. Still timing out problems. What could be causing the 50% packet loss?

John
N/A

Help - new to Broadband and have problems

Sounds like my problem too. Terrible delays often on browsing. Hotmail.com always the worst. I ran the speed test you mentioned and I also got approx 50% packet loss in all tests.
I've not tried the suggestions from mwright yet but will do.
Spen
N/A

Help - new to Broadband and have problems

Done the reg edit and still no better. Hotmail takes forever if it comes at all. Most other sites are usually OK but Hotmail is consistently slow.
Would anyone else mind clicking www.hotmail.com and let me know what happens and how long it takes. I may have a different issue to the original one??
Thanks
Spen
the_norris
Grafter
Posts: 463
Registered: 02-08-2007

Help - new to Broadband and have problems

I get to hotmail.com

DNS resolves ok. Ping 100% loss.

Pinging www.hotmail.com [207.68.173.245] with 32 bytes of data:

Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.

Ping statistics for 207.68.173.245:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 0, Lost = 4 (100% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 0ms, Maximum = 0ms, Average = 0ms

>ipconfig /flushdns

Windows 2000 IP Configuration

Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.



Pinging www.hotmail.com [207.68.171.233] with 32 bytes of data:

Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.

Ping statistics for 207.68.171.233:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 0, Lost = 4 (100% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 0ms, Maximum = 0ms, Average = 0ms

>tracert www.hotmail.com

Tracing route to www.hotmail.com [207.68.171.233]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 <10 ms <10 ms <10 ms router [192.168.7.1]
2 30 ms 20 ms 20 ms lo1.plusnet.pth-ag2.plus.net [195.166.128.6]
3 20 ms 30 ms 20 ms gi1-2.vlan3.pth-gw4.plus.net [212.159.1.3]
4 30 ms 20 ms 20 ms ge-4-1.metro2-londencyh00.London1.Level3.net [21
2.113.11.41]
5 20 ms 30 ms 20 ms so-1-2-0.gar2.London1.Level3.net [212.113.0.118]

6 20 ms 30 ms 20 ms so-7-0-0.mp2.London1.Level3.net [212.113.3.9]
7 90 ms 90 ms 90 ms as-0-0.bbr1.NewYork1.Level3.net [4.68.128.106]
8 170 ms 160 ms 180 ms so-1-0-0.mp2.Seattle1.Level3.net [209.247.10.133
]
9 170 ms 170 ms 170 ms ge-10-0.hsa2.Seattle1.Level3.net [209.247.9.86]

10 * * * Request timed out.
11 * * * Request timed out.
12 * * * Request timed out.
13 * * * Request timed out.
14 * * * Request timed out.
15 * * * Request timed out.
16 ^C

I stoped it there - got bored Smiley

Phil
the_norris
Grafter
Posts: 463
Registered: 02-08-2007

Help - new to Broadband and have problems

Just used Visualwares live demo server in the US to ping to www.hotmail.com

100% loss - looks like a hotmail problem.

Phil
N/A

Help - new to Broadband and have problems

I thought it was a hotmail prob too when I installed ADSL 10 days ago but it's been the same ever since. Anyone else got any ideas? Hotmail works fine from my home dial up by the way.........
N/A

Help - new to Broadband and have problems

100% packet loss to hotmail does not mean a thing.

The route taken to the Hotmail servers uses peering from Level3. It is well known that Level3 block IMCP requests.

As such, you will never see complete traceroute and get 100% loss on pings.