Saturday, July 11, 2020

A diagnostic tutorial

I got a call from a client with a networking issue. The ISP's tech had been in his office because he wasn’t getting the 200 Mbs he was paying for. (Incidentally, after the ISP left, he also had lost connectivity between his computer and the server.)

Naturally, the first thing I did was disconnect everything and plug my laptop directly into the modem. The ISP’s speed test reported 235 Mbs, so the problem isn’t there. Then I reconnected the router and rebooted first the modem, then the router. That gave me 67 Mbs. So, for the first time I looked closely at the equipment. The router was a Linksys Wireless G (manual © 2007, last firmware update 2012.) and the switch was a 16-port Linksys 10/100. Maybe that explains the inability to get full speed in the office. He was lucky there wasn’t a 10 Mbs device in the system.

After I explained the problem and the cost of the solution; I restored his network and rebooted everything in the correct sequence. Magically, he regained access to the server and network printers.

He asked if I’d be back in an hour to upgrade his system. I explained that in the current environment I’d probably have to order equipment. Then I’d configure the new network on my bench – with more features than just gigabit network ports. Unfortunately, my source didn’t have any compact 16-port gigabit switches, so I’ll have to shoehorn a 19” rackable switch into his closet and hope the wires are long enough.