Internet Connection and Speed Tests

Connectivity can vary considerably from one location to another, and is even be dependant on the direction. Connectivity testing to a web server should always be done by the from the location of the client if they are haivng speed issues accessing your website or between the server and another computer on the Internet if it is experiencing general connectivity issues. The DSL Speed Test Service is a useful tool to use in such situations. Be aware however that it may not be helpful if you are trying to resolve media streaming issues with audio or video.

Other Connectivity Tests

The following are "DOS" commands. You must use the Windows Command Prompt (Start > Run > Cmd) to run these. (Linux servers have similar commands)

  • arp:
  • hostname: Show the host name of the computer.
  • ipconfig (ifconfig): not really a connectivity test. Gives info about your own computer's connectivity. The IP address will only be useful if you are not in a LAN of some sort. Otherwise, 10.xx.xx.xx addresses are typically local addresses. 169.xx.xx.xx addresses usually signify a lack of a connection – check your cables, modem, etc.!
  • ping: to see if you can reach a site, and how long it takes to do so. It also provides the IP address of the site if you are using a site name. Usually sends four test messages of 32 bytes. Note that some sites block this (e.g. Microsoft). Examples: ping www.yahoo.com, ping -t www.yahoo.com. You will see Request timed out for a site that took too long to reach, or that it is blocked.
  • tracert (traceroute): A far more comprehensive test of getting to a site. As with ping, this command sends a packet of 32 bytes to the designated site. It tries three times. Unlike ping, it provides the times for the different hops along the way, listing them for each of the three tests (in three columns). Timeouts are shown with a *. The IP addresses for each hop are shown with the times. Typically, it will take around 15 hops to get to a site. This command is a bit slow. Examples: tracert www.yahoo.com, tracert -d www.yahoo.com
  • nbstat (nmblookup):
  • netstat:
  • nslookup:
  • TCPView: View active sockets -- for Windows only.
  • WinDump (tcpdump): This is not included with the operating system. It must be downloaded and installed before you can use it.

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