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Spotty Internet Connection and Slow Speeds but Don't Know Why

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#1 Marshall92


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Posted 28 January 2016 - 08:45 AM

Hello all. I have a spotty internet connection and I can't for the life of me figure out why.

I recently got a refurbished Windows 7 Pro box which seems to work just fine, but I won't rule out that it's the problem here. For three weeks after buying it everything was okay, but then in early January we had a bad ice storm which caused a lot of brownouts and the power going off and on for a while. My internet connection started to get iffy soon after.

We fixed it for a couple of weeks with a new router -- our old one was getting really hot and resetting it would bring back the internet connection for a while. We bought a new LinkSys E900 router and haven't had problems.

Three days ago the same internet problem started happening again. This time it seemed like it was the modem (Motorola SB6121 Surfboard) at first, but resetting it didn't always help. Resetting the router doesn't always help, either. Sometimes resetting one will help, sometimes the other, sometimes neither. It seems random.

What's also odd is that the connection will work fine for a few minutes to an hour or so, then conk out. When this happens, it's not across all devices in the home. So the TV will be able to stream Hulu for 10 minutes, but during that same timeframe my PC won't be able to connect with wireless at all.

That said, when I use the Local Area Connection instead of the wireless on my PC, I have more consistent connectibility but still have issues, mainly that I can't get enough speed to stream anything.

We also ran virus scans and Malwarebytes just in case. Nothing found.

Would this be a problem with the modem, then? I wasn't able to get the modem connected directly into the PC to work (not sure why, I rebooted everything and tried ipconfig /release then /renew but no luck) so I can't test the modem like I really want to. I'm also really clueless when it comes to internet connections, modems and routers, so I'm lost here. I've tried reading various webpages online to troubleshoot the issue but no luck. My cable company just wants me to rent a modem/router from them and is otherwise of no use when I call.

Any thoughts?

Edited by Queen-Evie, 28 January 2016 - 10:27 AM.
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#2 Smsec


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Posted 31 January 2016 - 10:06 PM

You might try using a ping plotter tool to graph connectivity to check and see if its a problem with your internet connection to your Internet Service Provider. This site has a 30 day free trial. www.pingplotter.com. A ping is just a way to see if a site is reachable and also test how long a round trip takes. There's a network troubleshooting guide here https://www.pingplotter.com/netnirvana/  with explanations. If there's a problem between your router and the ISP site it should show up in the graph produced by the software. I've used this to troubleshoot a problem with my ISP's network and was able to use the graph to prove an intermittent problem which never showed up when I'd call and complain. 


I'd try plugging the computer with the ping plotter software directly into the cable modem and let it run for 12 hours or so. That eliminates your router as a source of problem while testing. If nothing shows, it may be a problem with  your wireless or router.


You might try pinging your ISP's web site first as that will limit your research to their network. Some sites block ping requests so if it fails you may need to try pinging a different site. 


Good luck.

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