Who is to blame, me or ISP?



  • Hi all,

    I have had some issues lately with my internet connection but I’m not sure who's to blame. This morning I could not get online and I found that my router (a PC Engines apu1c4 with the 4/1/2014 FW) could not ping my ISP's DHCP server. (See attachment)
    I called my ISP but I got the usual "have to tried rebooting speech", since I did not have the time at that time I just let it be and finished by breakfast. A while later the connection was back up, without me doing anything really.
    I also noticed that the pfSense GUI did not respond very good, it took me several minutes to login. The login screen was also slow to respond, this is why I suspect that my internet connection issues could be something on my side. I was able to SSH into the box but I did not test to ping the ISP site unfortunately…
    My ISP is Com Hem AB (Swedish) and they are not known for a very good service, so the issue might just as well be on their side. The setup is that I have the pfSense box as my router and a Netgear 3700 bridged in front of it. (As the internet comes through a Coaxial cable)

    I had similar issues this weekend as well, the connection dropped for an hour or so Saturday night and when it came back I had been given a new IP from their DCHP. (They only offer dynamic IP) Today the IP did not change however.

    Any ideas on what may be the issue here?
    I can see that PC Engines has released a new FW to the APU, might it be a good idea to upgrade? (It's still in beta)

    /Ivan






  • Can you plug directly into the ISP's modem and connect to the internet when this happens?  We have a router upstream from the pfSense so we can easily bypass the pfSense when necessary and verify the internet connection via wifi.  This is not feasible/practical for everyone, though.  Our ISP can be very unreliable at times too, so I can see your suspicion.

    We did have very intermittent problems several months ago with our connection and it turned out to be one of the ethernet cables had a bad connector that would sometimes come loose.  I replaced the cable and the problem disappeared.  Check all the cable terminations and maybe just swap cables to see if that helps.



  • Com Hem? It's not worth the telephone call… You can check for service interruptions on their homepage. Sometime it helps, to unplug only the cabel modem (Netgear 3700 in your case, I guess).

    The 100% packet loss is a service interrupt from Com Hem, I've seen that quite often, lately...

    Last Tuesday even the carrier signal was gone for some hours (at their homepage you found "short interruptions of service" :-D )




  • @pfSensible:

    Can you plug directly into the ISP's modem and connect to the internet when this happens?  We have a router upstream from the pfSense so we can easily bypass the pfSense when necessary and verify the internet connection via wifi.  This is not feasible/practical for everyone, though.  Our ISP can be very unreliable at times too, so I can see your suspicion.

    We did have very intermittent problems several months ago with our connection and it turned out to be one of the ethernet cables had a bad connector that would sometimes come loose.  I replaced the cable and the problem disappeared.  Check all the cable terminations and maybe just swap cables to see if that helps.

    I did not try to bypass the router but that seems like a good thing to try next time. The CG3700 has 2 LAN-ports so i should be able to connect a computer directly to the second port.
    Changing the cables seems like a bit of a stretch but I could do it anyway.

    @chemlud:

    Com Hem? It's not worth the telephone call… You can check for service interruptions on their homepage. Sometime it helps, to unplug only the cabel modem (Netgear 3700 in your case, I guess).

    The 100% packet loss is a service interrupt from Com Hem, I've seen that quite often, lately...

    I actually checked the website but there was "no known issues", also when I called the support guy said that he could not see any issues… I only have Com hem since I have no other options as that location. (I can however see wireless networks in the area with "ownit" in their SSID's, frustrating to have neighbors with 1Gbps connections and at the same time being stuck with Com  Hem)



  • Ownit… fixed IP, service quality mixed... do you know a GOOD Swedish provider?  :-\

    btw Telia should do the trick anyway, huh?  :o

    Using a machine directly hooked up to the cable modem does no good in my case. And I had to spoof the MAC of the pfsense box to access internet at all...



  • I approached the ISP on Facebook as well, speaking to several members of their support staff I was asked to take the discussion in a private message. When I did they simply answered back that they could not see any service disruptions at that time. I guess it's a dead end from here; seems like it's hard to get an honest investigation started…

    @chemlud:

    Ownit… fixed IP, service quality mixed... do you know a GOOD Swedish provider?  :-\

    btw Telia should do the trick anyway, huh?  :o

    Using a machine directly hooked up to the cable modem does no good in my case. And I had to spoof the MAC of the pfsense box to access internet at all...

    I had Ownit before and was very happy with their service, as the 100Mbps was included in the rent the upgrade to 1Gbps was under 200SEK/month. Happy times!  8)



  • And the service quality was OK with ownit? I have different experiences… Was it with a fixed IP, too?

    The providers all lie, when you complain about the lousy quality, nobody tells the truth and often I have the feeling they don't even know what they are taking about (as usual at level-1 service, very difficult to escalate a complaint to a level where you talk to a competent person who knows what he is talking about)

    I had that with Telia, too, in the past, they "repaired" a telephone line in the neighborhood and simply disconnected our IP-line. Took more than 1 WEEK to get back online. Nightmare...



  • @chemlud:

    And the service quality was OK with ownit? I have different experiences… Was it with a fixed IP, too?

    The providers all lie, when you complain about the lousy quality, nobody tells the truth and often I have the feeling they don't even know what they are taking about (as usual at level-1 service, very difficult to escalate a complaint to a level where you talk to a competent person who knows what he is talking about)

    I had that with Telia, too, in the past, they "repaired" a telephone line in the neighborhood and simply disconnected our IP-line. Took more than 1 WEEK to get back online. Nightmare...

    Dynamic IP from Ownit, but it remained the same for several months. Did not have the pfsense loaded equipment at the time so i have no quality statistics from that connection. Speed was great however!

    I was promised a more detailed investigation if the issues continue, they say that they have done some "maintenance" last night. I recognize the support patterns from my professional work as well (at one of the word leading exchange companies), it's hard to get things started sometimes…


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