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Help! Me Internetz iz clogged!!

Since I've been home, I've been experiencing very annoying failure of the internetz. It works fine for a while, then just suddenly everything starts hanging. This happens in both Firefox and Safari, and there doesn't seem to be any specific trigger - it's "random," in the old sense of the word. The only thing that helps is to reboot my modem, but I'm getting mighty tired of doing that every half hour or so.

Before you ask:

My modem is not old - I think I got it last year.
I've cleared my caches etc in both Firefox and Safari.
Network diagnostic shows that everything is working.
Signal shows as strong, but nothing happens.

I want to try and avoid the pain and misery of Technical Support from ISP or Modem makers, so any advice or thoughts you might have would be welcome.

Oh, and another strange thing - if I go into System Preferences "Network" (I'm on a Mac), I get a message "settings have been changed by another application" which then refuses to close and the only way I can get rid of it is to shut down the computer. I don't know if these phenomena are linked.

Another question for Mac users - is there any way to clear settings and go back to some time in the past? Windows had that - I don't remember what it was called, but it was a good way to recover from some unwise download or something.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 16th, 2009 04:48 pm (UTC)
Mac has Time Machine as a back up but only if you are using it as a back uputility with an external drive.
Jul. 16th, 2009 07:42 pm (UTC)
Macs don't back up particularly well, unfortunately. Time Machine blows, and it seems likely that you're not running it (because it has to be set up by you, it's not like Windows which automatically sets system restore points etc.)

I would suggest the following series of escalations:

1. Unplug the router from the telephone and the electricity. Let it go cold. Plug it all back in and hit the reset button. This is often a small hole into which you have to insert a paperclip and push.

2. If that doesn't work, reset the router to its factory settings internally. You may be able to figure out how to do this on your own if the router has an intuitive interface. Direct your browser to the router by typing the word "home" into the address bar. That will normally take you to your router. If that doesn't work, ask Google what the default IP address is for your router's make and model and enter that into the address bar. You may also want to ask Google how to reset your router (by make and model). I have a 2Wire and it's very easy. You go to "Settings" and then you click on "Restore Original Settings" and it does. You then have to re-create all of your port-forwarding for online gaming and/or torrenting or whatever, but oh well.

3. If that doesn't work, check your jack hardware. Clean the connections. It's unlikely that this is your problem but it happens, especially with pets around pulling things partially out of jacks and getting fur and crap in stuff.

3. If that doesn't work, call your telephone company and ask them to test your phone line. They will send a big burst of signal/electricity down your line to see if it needs repair. Ironically, this sometimes fixes the problem with DSL or phone crackling due to humidity in the wires. Use prevents moisture from developing because the wires are so often "hot" - I learned this from SBC a few summers ago. It sounds like fake science to me, but whatever. It worked and I was happy.

The last two are weird and statistically improbable but have solved problems I've had in the past that were technically intractable.
Jul. 16th, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks!! What a great collection of suggestions :-)

I did a search on a Mac forum and someone suggested clearing your personal cache (not the browser cache but in Library). I've tried that, and so far things are working fine, but I won't know for a few hours if the previous lagging has stopped. If it starts up again, I'll work through your suggestions.
Jul. 17th, 2009 04:31 am (UTC)
Is it only the browsers that hang? Can you check in the Mac version of a task manager to see if any strange processes are running?
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


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