Home Network Troubleshooting and Monitoring Help?

Discussion in 'Smartphones, Computers, Gaming and Networking' started by jasn, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. jasn

    jasn Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

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    Greetings. My home media service is with Comcast and I am using their ARRIS TG1682G cable modem. The number of devices I am connecting to this device has grown leaps and bounds via direct connection to the router and a pair of gigabit ethernet switches.

    One of the connected devices is a whole-house generator we recently installed that is networked and continuously monitored so that I can access it via my laptop and a phone app. Several times a week I am getting alerts that I have lost network connection to the generator, sometimes for a few hours. It has, so far, self-restored.

    I'd like to troubleshot the problem and thinking to start by setting up a network monitoring tool to learn if my router is the culprit. I'm not particularly pleased with several aspects of my home network and wireless performance and would like to see if I am creating my own troubles.

    I know there are some smart network folks here and would appreciate a (hopefully free) monitoring software recommendation and perhaps some other advice, hopefully also free. ;)

    Thx!
     
  2. JeffC

    JeffC Well-Known Member Donor

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    The Arris is your router? And you're hanging switches off that device? Is your generator wired or wireless?

    If you can give me a better understanding of the physical connections and the devices along with what your wireless performance concerns are I can probably point you in the right direction. I'm guessing you'll need a better router.

    I can't think of any monitoring software that would be helpful for you. You just need to try and accurately estimate your traffic and build a network for that level of throughput.
     
  3. Chris Slade

    Chris Slade Well-Known Member Top Poster

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    I am not a networking guru and I don't even play one on television...… this is why I have an Orbi mesh networking set-up. Literally life changing home network success.
     
  4. Chris Slade

    Chris Slade Well-Known Member Top Poster

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    That is until you try and used KEF wireless speakers, then it all goes to hell, until you use a wired connection for the speakers (which are designed to have initial set-up done wirelessly. I do blame this on the speakers not the Orbi, cause everything else is pretty much flawless.
     
  5. jasn

    jasn Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

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    Thanks Jeff (I was hoping you'd post. :)

    Yes, the Arris is my router and the generator is Ethernet wired, along with several other devices and switches. I'm not at home right now, so can't recall exactly how I've got all my devices mixed in, but do suspect your advice for a better router is the right path. I'm already researching that for compatible devices on Comcast to find the strongest one that I can purchase and also avoid the monthly rental.

    When I can I will map out my connections and come back for an update. Thx.
     
  6. jasn

    jasn Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

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    Sorry to remind you of that Chris... :(
     
  7. JeffC

    JeffC Well-Known Member Donor

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    If it was me, I'd put that Arris gateway into bridged mode and figure out what kind of router you want depending on your house layout. I've had pretty good luck with this Asus Router for home users but there are a lot of good consumer options.

    Netgear does have the Orbi system that Chris likes (I haven't used it, but never heard anything bad about it.) Asus, Dlink and even TPLink and Linksys all have small mesh systems as well.

    Do you have an android phone or tablet? There's a app called PingTools that I use that has a wifi scanner that will give you signal strength. If you go all the places you want wifi and take readings you can get a good idea of what you need. It will show the access point, channel and dBm of the signal and it will go red when it's degraded.

    Anyway, once you have your info together post it here or PM me and I'll send you some options. If your comfortable with pro gear Ubiquiti makes some nice gear. Not the most user friendly but not horrible like Cisco. :smile:
     
  8. Chris Slade

    Chris Slade Well-Known Member Top Poster

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    Jeff I looked up that app, was going to give it a try. Seems the latest update to the app his really pissed off a lot of users. Is your version up to date, and do you still recommend the app if it is up to date?
     
  9. JeffC

    JeffC Well-Known Member Donor

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    Mine is version 4.27. Not sure what the most recent is, but I would think mine would update automatically like all the other apps. I just use it for signal strength and pings or DNS lookups. Looks like the complaints are about resource usage. I have a Galaxy 8 and it runs just fine. Couldn't speak to anything else. If it's using too many resources on your phone, I'd just uninstall it.
     
  10. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Well-Known Member Top Poster

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    Let us know what you have plugged into what and we can take it from there. I've always taken the approach of not using the ISP's routers for anything other than being a modem and using my own gear....typically ubiquiti router and access points with a couple of unmanaged GB switches as needed.
     
  11. jasn

    jasn Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

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    Sorry to have dropped off with this subject. Turns out, in my initial haste setting up my network last year, I used a Tricklestar Power Strip and had an ethernet switch plugged into a switched outlet. Duh.

    I still have a bit of a mess with all of my other connections and started rolling up my sleeves to tidy them up, but life's a bit too kooky right now to do it right. Thanks for the advice from all and I will come back to this thread after the holidays.

    BTW @JeffC, I too have an Asus router, one model earlier than yours (RT-AC66U). It's installed in a 2nd floor closet that the builder smartly ran a CAT5 cable from the basement (where my cable router is) and installed an AC outlet on the upper shelf. I'm bridging to it for wireless broadcast.
     
  12. JeffC

    JeffC Well-Known Member Donor

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    Good deal. No worries Jim. If you need something, holler.

    That's not a bad router. You should route with it and buy an access point for the second floor. :grinning::grinning::grinning:
     
  13. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Well-Known Member Top Poster

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    jasn likes this.
  14. jasn

    jasn Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

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    Thx Andrew. Will look into this.
     

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