Please help diagnose network problem with my new ISP...

Frankenscript

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Hi folks,

I'm in the process of switching from Spectrum cable internet service (100Mbps down / 10 Mbps up) to Metronet's fiber internet service (1Gbps down/250 Mbps up). And even with an extra fee for a static IP it will be cheaper than Spectrum, at least for the 1 year price lock term. Sounds great, doesn't it?

Here's the problem: there's some sort of latency that makes it completely unusable for anything, and I could use some help with understanding the terminology for the symptoms, and the potential causes, so that I can have a decent conversation with the Metronet techs to get them to understand what's going on. I'm quite techie, but am out of my depth here. Note, my static IP isn't assigned yet, so I'm just playing around with it so far; my router-based VPN won't work since Metronet uses carrier level NAT (so, my IPv4 address isn't really mine, lots of people share it). Port forwarding (boo) wouldn't work either.

So here's what I see. First, there's good strong light through the fiber to the optical network terminal (ONT) (like a cable modem, for fiber). The VOIP phone service works fine, clear and doesn't cut out or anything.

My Asus AC86U router is hooked directly up to the ONT, and my main PC is hooked directly to the router. I have internet; if I open a browser it will eventually load my home page. It might load in milliseconds, much faster than the Spectrum service, or it might hang, thinking about it, for 30 seconds before it either fully loads or loads part way, pauses, then finishes. It's this stop-start crap that's causing the problem.

If I go to a speed test site, say speedtest.net, it will take a while, 5-60 seconds, to load the page. On Spectrum it would take 2-3 seconds. After pressing GO to run the test it will pause a bit, longer than I would see with Spectrum. Then BAM the test would run and it would jam at 850-950 Mbps down / 250ish up for the test.

So, when data flows, it's lightning fast. But starting the data connections takes so much longer than with Spectrum. Some services don't connect successfully. My Roku (hardwired, not wifi) won't let me into Hulu, somewhere along the way in it invariably fails.

It's so frustrating. I might go to a forum page and have it load instantly, then clicking on the next thread it might sit 25 seconds before loading the page in an instant once it starts.

I'm not sure what to call this sort of latency or how to test/document it so that the Metronet folks can look into it. Clearly it's unusual. If many people saw this, our local NextDoor would be busting up with complaints. Apparently it's just me (on every computer / device I own). And it's not the router, it's set to largely default settings other than a few reserved local IP/MAC pairings. QOS is off. I've tried auto DNS and setting Google DNS in the Router.

Any help would be appreciated. At the moment I'm back on my Spectrum cable modem, until I either figure out something to try to fix the problem, or until I've got my static IP which should remove one layer between me and the internet and possibly improve the situation.

Thanks folks.
 

alastairstevenson

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And it's not the router, it's set to largely default settings other than a few reserved local IP/MAC pairings.
What does the router show for connection status and in the logs for those times when access is on hold?
What does a ping -t show for an internet destination while access is on hold?
 

Whoaru99

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It probably isn't the router but can you connect a PC directly to the ONT to confirm it?
 

Frankenscript

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Thanks guys. Router shows internet connection fine, I haven't dug into the logs yet. I will also try the extended ping once I have a battery of tests lined up; I'm back on my cablemodem and want to confine my testing time to when my kids won't give me grief for disrupting their games!

A problem with the ping stuff is that when loading a page, there are lots of things at lots of places that need to load, including ads and stuff at all manner of sites, so I'm never quite sure what is holding up the connection. There is probably a way to log this that I would need to dig into.

Definitely isn't the router; when I have the router plugged into my cablemodem everything is liquid smooth.

Is there some site that would be sort of like a speed test but would log connection times to say a battery of 25, 50, 100 sites ? I could compare my cablemodem results with the ONT/fiber results.
 

c hris527

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It probably isn't the router but can you connect a PC directly to the ONT to confirm it?
You are 100% Correct when diagnosing these kind of problems, Start at the source and work backwards. If in fact it is still doing it then..then it on the New Company. I have chased my tail on issues like this before.
 

newfoundlandplucky

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You should consider some non-browser tests. Some of the problems you describe could be related to DNS address lookup. Do your machines use the ISP supplied DNS server or have you configured it locally on your machine to something else? The ISP supplied DNS server usually has better caching (at the expense of being tracked by your ISP to your account).

Tools to consider:

Every OS has something like trace route. On windows, for example, it is tracert.exe. Pick a set of destinations and use their ip address not the DNS address. Example from CMD window: tracert 8.8.8.8. The first hop should be less than 1ms. The others less than 10ms.

DNS address lookup. nslookup.exe on windows. It should respond instantaneously. Example from CMD window: nslookup www.google.com. Get a timer program to measure the response time.

Your browser has a window for measuring HTTP response time. My browser is firefox. Go to IP Cam Talk and use the left click menu button "Inspect Element (Q)" or press Q. There is a debugging tab called "Network". Click network and hit the browser refresh button. It will show all of the timings in ms for each component of the page. I've attached mine for reference.
 

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Whoaru99

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I still suggest connecting the PC directly to the ONT to positively rule out the router. Yes, even despite the apparent fine working with the other service. The point is the new service is not the old service. It's a very simple thing to do.

I think doing so probably also addresses the point about DNS if you have the computer set to automatically IP and DNS from provider.

Could also try some of the "big name" DNS servers instead of what the ISP is handing out.
 
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pozzello

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check your DNS server configuration... symptoms you describe sound like you have issues there.
 

Frankenscript

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Great ideas guys. In a few minutes I'll connect directly to the ONT and run some tests. At least that way I'm not disrupting the entire household!! A few answers to the things suggested so far:
My computer (and all computers in the house) hare set to auto IP configuration (DHCP) and auto DNS servers. The router is also set to get DNS auto from the ISP, though for a while I tried the google DNS servers (8.8.8.8 / 8.8.4.4) with no effect. So, Metronet DNS versus Google; no difference.
I agree it sounds like a slow DNS issue, but given two different DNS providers give the same issue it's a bit weird.

OK, I'll be quasi offline for a while as I test some things out. Appreciate the responses so far, and will report back!
 

newfoundlandplucky

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Reverse name binding of your gateway address may be slow. Could be worth trying a lookup on your assigned IP to see what results you get.
 

Frankenscript

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Reverse name binding of your gateway address may be slow. Could be worth trying a lookup on your assigned IP to see what results you get.
With Metronet, the IPv4 address I get isn't "mine" until I eventually get assigned a static IP (probably Monday or Tuesday, at a cost of $10/month). The public IP I have at the moment is shared with others; they do carrier level NAT unlike Spectrum. I can look up my public IP of course but not sure what to do with it since it isn't the whole story. I've got a public IP and the ONT has a local IP from within the Metronet network. Once I get static IP that goes away I believe.

I've been doing a bunch of tests so far, and indeed the router may --and it's only MAY at this point-- be the issue or part of it.

1. Connected computer directly to ONT. Things seemed fine, fast, no lag, speed close to rated speed both downstream and upstream. Notably this worked at SPeedtest.net and fast.com. One of the symptoms I was suffering yesterday was that fast.com would rater either 0 Mbps or ~5 kbps (yes, kbps).

2. Took my "old router" (Netgear W4300, taken out of service in favor of my new Asus AC86U with built in OpenVPN capability), hooked it up so it was just ONT-NetgearW4300-My desktop. Updated router firmware to latest, reset router to factory defaults, ran tests. Things were fine, no lag, but speed tests at both sites (Fast and Speedtest) maxed out around 270 Mbps downstream, about a third of what I was seeing directly connected. Upstream was fine at about the rated 250 Mbps that Metronet delivers. But just to my one PC, internet seemed fine and no lag or weird delays noted.

3. I now have swapped the old router onto the old Spectrum internet connection so my family doesn't have to suffer further tests for a while.

4. With my current router (AC86U) connected to the ONT, and only my desktop PC plugged into the router, I am seeing things much better than yesterday but still the occasional lag that I wasn't seeing in prior tests. Speedtest is giving me 900 Mbps+download/250 upload BUT FAST.COM IS SHOWING KBPS SPEEDS. So, I seem to have a quick test capability, by going to fast.com.

I'm going to reset the router to factory defaults (oh, lord the setup will eventually be painful due to all my fixed IPs for local devices). But something seems squirrelly and this is the obvious next step, since it appears the problem isn't actually on Metronet's end, possibly.

You guys have given me great feedback and advice, and I appreciate it. Any other thoughts will also be helpful.
 

looney2ns

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With Metronet, the IPv4 address I get isn't "mine" until I eventually get assigned a static IP (probably Monday or Tuesday, at a cost of $10/month). The public IP I have at the moment is shared with others; they do carrier level NAT unlike Spectrum. I can look up my public IP of course but not sure what to do with it since it isn't the whole story. I've got a public IP and the ONT has a local IP from within the Metronet network. Once I get static IP that goes away I believe.

I've been doing a bunch of tests so far, and indeed the router may --and it's only MAY at this point-- be the issue or part of it.

1. Connected computer directly to ONT. Things seemed fine, fast, no lag, speed close to rated speed both downstream and upstream. Notably this worked at SPeedtest.net and fast.com. One of the symptoms I was suffering yesterday was that fast.com would rater either 0 Mbps or ~5 kbps (yes, kbps).

2. Took my "old router" (Netgear W4300, taken out of service in favor of my new Asus AC86U with built in OpenVPN capability), hooked it up so it was just ONT-NetgearW4300-My desktop. Updated router firmware to latest, reset router to factory defaults, ran tests. Things were fine, no lag, but speed tests at both sites (Fast and Speedtest) maxed out around 270 Mbps downstream, about a third of what I was seeing directly connected. Upstream was fine at about the rated 250 Mbps that Metronet delivers. But just to my one PC, internet seemed fine and no lag or weird delays noted.

3. I now have swapped the old router onto the old Spectrum internet connection so my family doesn't have to suffer further tests for a while.

4. With my current router (AC86U) connected to the ONT, and only my desktop PC plugged into the router, I am seeing things much better than yesterday but still the occasional lag that I wasn't seeing in prior tests. Speedtest is giving me 900 Mbps+download/250 upload BUT FAST.COM IS SHOWING KBPS SPEEDS. So, I seem to have a quick test capability, by going to fast.com.

I'm going to reset the router to factory defaults (oh, lord the setup will eventually be painful due to all my fixed IPs for local devices). But something seems squirrelly and this is the obvious next step, since it appears the problem isn't actually on Metronet's end, possibly.

You guys have given me great feedback and advice, and I appreciate it. Any other thoughts will also be helpful.
Set the static IP's in the devices to avoid this type problem.
 

Frankenscript

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Oh, WOW

The router's AI Protection seems to have been at fault.

Before resetting it to the stone age, I noticed that it was on, and remember needing to turn off "Two-Way IPS" once to reduce lag on Blue Iris when I was remote.

I turned off AI Protection entirely and Fast.com is giving me full speed readings immediately. Further tests showed that specifically it was the "Infected Device Prevention and Blocking" that was killing Fast.com.

Further tests ensuing; seems like I found it though.
 

Frankenscript

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Set the static IP's in the devices to avoid this type problem.
Yup, I've been doing that since figuring out that was the better way. So I've got a mix of devices with static IPs and some using MAC-IP binding ; fortunately I have a list I just exported from the router. But it seems a reset of the router won't be necessary!
 

Frankenscript

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All seems well now with the AI Protection turned off. Thank you all very much for your help troubleshooting this!

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