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Slow connection Virgin Media

Discussion in 'Networks' started by warrmr, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. warrmr

    warrmr Byte Poster

    Hi all, i wonder if you guys are able to help me with narrowing down the unstableness of my internet connection, as in the last 2 months or so i seem to be having alight annoyances like i will be browsing the internet you will click on a link and will get page cannot be displayed but if you refresh the page the link will load. or you will be browsing a site with a few pictures in the page and they will come up with the red x and then you refresh the page and they come back.

    now this is my setup

    4Mbit virgin media connection to a motarola surfboard ( its abotu 7 years old)
    netgear fvs125g router
    to my laptop and xbox.

    now internally the network runs perfect i can stream media to my xbox perfect like i was watching the tv normally even with my sister downloading lots of stuff form the internet it doesnt skip a beat.

    so i have done a pathping to google and i noticed that there are alot of packets dropping form iGateway to the first server ( iGateway is my external ip address) but that is not the hostname of my router.

    the results of the ping trace is below

    and the other thing that has confused me is why the ping trace goes from my laptop ip to my external ip then it switches back to im really confused at why it goes private ip public ip private ip surely once my router routes the packet to the public ip it should go through all public ips not back to a private one.

    C:\Windows\system32>pathping google.co.uk -g
    Tracing route to google.co.uk []
    over a maximum of 30 hops:
      0  acer8x000001 []
      1  iGateway [82.46.x.x]
      3  pc-62-30-247-161-do.blueyonder.co.uk []
      4  pc-62-30-247-85-do.blueyonder.co.uk []
      5  perr-t3core-1a-ge-010-0.inet.ntl.com []
      6  bir-bb-b-so-120-0.inet.ntl.com []
      7  lee-bb-b-so-100-0.inet.ntl.com []
      9  pop-bb-b-so-100-0.inet.ntl.com []
     14     *
    Computing statistics for 375 seconds...
                Source to Here   This Node/Link
    Hop  RTT    Lost/Sent = Pct  Lost/Sent = Pct  Address
      0                                           acer8x000001 []
                                   79/ 100 = 79%   |
      1  ---     100/ 100 =100%    21/ 100 = 21%  iGateway [82.46.x.x]
                                    0/ 100 =  0%   |
      2  ---     100/ 100 =100%    21/ 100 = 21%
                                    0/ 100 =  0%   |
      3  ---     100/ 100 =100%    21/ 100 = 21%  pc-62-30-247-161-do.blueyonder.co.uk []
                                    0/ 100 =  0%   |
      4  ---     100/ 100 =100%    21/ 100 = 21%  pc-62-30-247-85-do.blueyonder.co.uk []
                                    0/ 100 =  0%   |
      5  ---     100/ 100 =100%    21/ 100 = 21%  perr-t3core-1a-ge-010-0.inet.ntl.com []
                                    0/ 100 =  0%   |
      6  ---     100/ 100 =100%    21/ 100 = 21%  bir-bb-b-so-120-0.inet.ntl.com []
                                    0/ 100 =  0%   |
      7  ---     100/ 100 =100%    21/ 100 = 21%  lee-bb-b-so-100-0.inet.ntl.com []
                                    0/ 100 =  0%   |
      8  ---     100/ 100 =100%    21/ 100 = 21%
                                    0/ 100 =  0%   |
      9  ---     100/ 100 =100%    21/ 100 = 21%  pop-bb-b-so-100-0.inet.ntl.com []
                                    0/ 100 =  0%   |
     10  ---     100/ 100 =100%    21/ 100 = 21%
                                    0/ 100 =  0%   |
     11  ---     100/ 100 =100%    21/ 100 = 21%
                                    0/ 100 =  0%   |
     12  ---     100/ 100 =100%    21/ 100 = 21%
                                    0/ 100 =  0%   |
     13  ---     100/ 100 =100%    21/ 100 = 21%
                                    0/ 100 =  0%   |
     14  ---     100/ 100 =100%    21/ 100 = 21%
                                    0/ 100 =  0%   |
     15   78ms    79/ 100 = 79%     0/ 100 =  0%
    Trace complete.
    Certifications: MCP 70-270, 70-290
    WIP: MCSA + Messaging, MCSE + Security
  2. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

    shite cable connection.

    I have been complaining non-stop about mine for around six months now - in fact probably longer than that. Ever since Virgin took over from Telewest I have had nothing but problems. Its usually oversubscribed UBRs - a quick fix for you may be to browse to the config page of your modem (usually and change the upstream channel - reboot and see if that works. There are anything from 3-6 upstreams available - numbered 0-5 - if you change it then you may be lucky. It worked for me last weekend when I had NO internet service for three days.

    That 10.x.x.x address you're seeing is the 'other' side of the cable modem and is in Telewest's cloud prior to being routed out of their core. Harry will probably know this better, but I imagine that there are publicly-addressable blocks of contiguous IPs assigned within the cable network which are then NATed via private IPs to core routers. My address is in the 10.85 range - public IP is in the 82.x.x.x range


    Here's the email i sent to Virign Media earlier in the week

    I have watched the service you provide going downhill since you took over running the cable network from Telewest. I was a Telewest customer for seven years prior to you rebranding it and had a sum total of two broadband service outages in four years prior to March 2007. Since then, I have experienced at least eight outages of over a day - four of these have been longer than three days and one of them was almost a week. This is a completely unacceptable level of service - I work in IT and if any of the systems, routers, servers or firewalls I look after were down for anything even remotely approaching a day I would be fired.

    Your service most certainly is not cheap (I could go with any one of a number of ADSL ISPs and get faster speeds at a cheaper rate) but I stay with cable for the reliability. If Virgin media cannot even offer me that, then I will go elsewhere.

    The most intensely frustrating thing about my experiences with VM is the utterly atrocious 'support' I receive whenever I have a problem. Unlike most of the knuckle-draggers who complain about foreign call centres, I am not the sort of person to mock impenetrable accents, moan about companies cutting costs by paying staff a tenth of what they would in the UK or simply resorting to the casual racism that seems all too commonplace these days, when even the merest mention of an offshore call handling centre is enough to send otherwise rational men into fits of slavering Daily Mail reading Kilroyism. However, I will say that, whether I get through to an Indian or UK call centre, the experience is mind-numbingly frustrating. Being told every single time that you are being charged 25p for the privilege of listening to utter nonsense from a first line bod who hasn't the first clue about networking is both churlish and unnecessary - this warning is already given during the recorded announcement prior to the call being answered. That alone is enough to set every call off on the wrong note - but the real kicker comes when you actually attempt to impart information to the poor wretches you end up dealing with.

    As an example, let me walk you through the most recent problem - a complete lack of Internet service during waking hours between 15th and 17th March. I awoke on Saturday morning to find that I was utterly unable to browse the Internet. Some judicious packet sniffing on my internal network and lookups via my own internal DNS server proved that the problem lay beyond my router but, just for arguments' sake, I restarted my DNS server, cleared caches, checked internal IP addressing, restarted my firewall etc. etc. etc. Finally unplugging my entire network and plumbing a laptop directly into the cable modem - a harrowing experience for me - as a Security Admin I run plenty of logging software on my internal network and am constantly appalled that your network is rife with crap that even the most basic ACL-based firewalls would be able to keep out (messenger spam on TCP ports 1026-1031, NetBIOS related traffic on ports 135, 137, 139 & 441 for instance) I discovered that the problem was exactly the same - unable to browse the Internet, traceroutes to most sites timing out somewhere inside your cloud and ridiculous latency and packet loss on pings to any site/IP I tested.

    Armed with this information, and satisfied that I had proved beyond any doubt that the issue was related to your network, not mine, I phoned the support number. After being told that I was to be charged through the nose to have someone with as much experience of troubleshooting network problems as the average Ring Tailed Lemur talk nonsense to me for twenty minutes, I began talking to someone who had as much experience of troubleshooting network problems as... well, I won't go there again. Suffice it to say that after twenty intensely frustrating minutes, I was eventually put through to somebody who at least admitted that there was a problem. They seemed summarily unable to do anything about it, however, and my mood was not improved when I was advised that it would take 'about 72 hours' to fix the problem. At this point I was on the verge of cancelling my service altogether and asked to be put through to the billing department to do so. After speaking to someone who was about as helpful as a chocolate teapot - who didn't seem remotely concerned about retaining me as a customer, I finally spoke to someone who assured that somebody from second line would ring me back to discuss the matter. Unsurpirsingly, this didn't happen.

    The next day - still with no Internet service, and having been inconvenienced immensely by this (no VPN access to my network at work meant that, following a server failure, I had to drive to one of my data centres (a 150 mile round trip) to fix a server that would have taken me fifteen minutes had my Internet connection been working) I called again in the evening - as you can imagine, not in the best of humour. I went through the same ridiculous process as before - made even more laughable as I attempted to suggest fixes that could be made from past experience (switching me to a different upstream, seeing whether the UBR(s) I route through were oversubscribed etc) only to quickly gather that the person I was talking to didn't have a clue what I was talking about. In hindsight, perhaps I should be charging YOU 25p per minute whenever I call as I am clearly providing more training for the first line bods than you are giving them yourselves!

    Finally I snapped and, at the end of my tether, asked to speak to a manager. After an interminable period on hold I was put through to someone who knew about as much as the person I had been speaking to previously, but promised to, once again, get second line to ring me to discuss it. She also said that she would be refunding me one months' worth of subscription fees. Later on that evening (around 23:45 or so) I was suddenly able to access the Internet, browse and recieve email - so it became obvious to me that the issue was one either of oversubscription on the UBR, or the QoSing during peak periods that you have so generously applied carte-blanche to your entire network in a forlorn attempt to stop teenagers downloading crap all day long somehow going wrong.

    Monday evening, I returned home from work to find exactly the same problem and, once again rang support and spoke to... well, I think you can probably see where that's going. In the end, after half an hour on the phone to someone else who, though certainly friendlier than any of his colleagues (I believe his name was 'Jide'), was equally useless technically, I was cut off and almost beat myself to death with the telephone in frustration. My cat was looking askance at me at this point - almost as if he expected me to rain my vengeance upon him - but I love him dearly, so resisted the urge to do so. Instead, I took out my frustrations at this point on a heavy bag I have set aside for just such moments. Let me tell you - there really is nothing like pounding the living s&*! out of an inanimate object for restoring one's equilibrium in times of stress. Suitably at peace with myself and the world once more, I returned to my PC and, after five minutes ferreting around on the web interface on my cable modem I discovered the facility to switch to a different upstream. Hey presto - one reboot later, everything worked fine and has done ever since.

    As you can see - my experience has not been a good one. I would like to be able to tell you that this is an isolated incident. Sadly, this is not the case. Since you have taken over the old Telewest network, every single time I have a problem (and, as mentioned at the outset, they are far from infrequent these days) I go through the same rigmarole.

    In short, your customer service stinks, your attitude towards retaining customers reeks and I am looking at my 'free upgrade' to 10Mb/s with utter trepidation - it would be nice if you could provide me with a service that is more reliable than a dial-up connection before trying to upgrade me to a faster speed that your network in my area obviously cannot cope with.
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  3. warrmr

    warrmr Byte Poster

    Thanx zeb for the wealth of information, when i initally had this problem i wanted to blame the cable connection and not my network setup thats why i did the ping trace and tryed all i could to work this out.

    and thanx to your post i think i have managed to prove its the cable connection, i just need to plug my computer directly to the modem to confirm thos though i just want to be sure that the firewall is as hard as nails before i do you know how paranoia sets in when your not sat behind an industry streanth firewall.

    i have a few questons to ask abotu your post.

    What is a UBR? im assuming its a channel on the cable network ( if i google i get lots of links to WoW)

    when you say to change the upstream channel and reboot im assuming its just the modem not all 3 modem/router and pcs on the router.

    excuse the noobieness i know nothing about cable networks and how they work, as all of the expriance i have with them is plug them in and forget.

    ive just noticed that i appear to be locked to Upstream channel 2 as i change it save settings and restart the modem then i goto the signal page and it tells me im back on channel 2 again

    Channel ID                       2 
    Frequency                        29200000 Hz Ranged 
    Power Level                        41 dBmV 
    Certifications: MCP 70-270, 70-290
    WIP: MCSA + Messaging, MCSE + Security
  4. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

    I wondered about UBR - not an acronym I'd come across before. But then I'm not on cable, but on ADSL.

    UBR = Universal Broadband Router.

    And here is a link to a site with a vast amount of info. It hasn't been updated for about 2 years but I suspect that it is still fairly accurate.

    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  5. warrmr

    warrmr Byte Poster

    thanx harry

    you have kindof explained what the address in my ping trace aswell that page you linked to has a hell of alot of info in so and looks like it may be able to explain most if not all of my questions.
    Certifications: MCP 70-270, 70-290
    WIP: MCSA + Messaging, MCSE + Security
  6. dingy

    dingy Bit Poster

    I'm with VM,used to be NTL.It's constantly going down and generally being crap now.
    I am always threatening to go elsewhere.
    Certifications: A+,N+,MCDST
    WIP: Relax
  7. warrmr

    warrmr Byte Poster

    Unfortuanly i dont have the luxuary of choosing what out ISP is as im still living at home,

    we were an origional Birmingham cable customer then went to telewest and now VM.

    i think i have narrowed my issues of the pages timeing out and giving me 404 pages i think it is the webcache so i have forced my IE browser to use a different webproxy and seems to have fixed this
    Certifications: MCP 70-270, 70-290
    WIP: MCSA + Messaging, MCSE + Security
  8. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

    Also one thing to remember, if VM deem you to be a heavy downloader they will throttle your connection at peak times.
    Certifications: SIA DS Licence
    WIP: A+ 2009
  9. warrmr

    warrmr Byte Poster


    ive also been told there a little over zelouse with there QoS policys. but im not fussed about having my bandwith limeted providing the pages dont constantly time out or start loading a page and give up or forget to load the pictures on the pages its not fun to view the interent text only you see.

    me changing the webproxy settings in IE fixed my issue for 1 evening now the problems are back and biteing.
    Certifications: MCP 70-270, 70-290
    WIP: MCSA + Messaging, MCSE + Security
  10. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    Love that complaint letter Zeb, that's one for thier wall i reckon :twisted:
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)

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