How important is your Internet connection?

Have you figured out how much per hour your business will lose both in productivity and lost opportunity without the connection?

If your connection has been unreliable or is running at capacity you are already probably feeling the consequences of this and have some idea about what it’s costing you per hour. If your staff are constantly asking each other “is your Internet working?” or ”are you having trouble with your Internet?” then you need to take action fast. The cost of an Internet connection is minor in comparison to 5 or 500 employees not working because their Internet has failed.

Unreliable Internet connection – How to figure out what is wrong with your internet connection

There are many different methods to find the problem and often it can be difficult to pinpoint where exactly where the problem is. Below is a quick and simple way to start to break down the issue to determine if it’s internal or external.

Doing a basic ping test might help you figure out where the problem is. Ping both google.com and your internal router address and see what the ping time is. Your internal router should be 1 millisecond or less. If it’s more than 1000 you probably have an internal issue.

A ping to google.com could result in anything from 5 milliseconds to 300 milliseconds which can be normal sometimes more depending on your location. Anything above 1000 milliseconds you might have an Internet issue.

If you have drop outs to your router you have an internal issue or if you have a solid ping resposne to your router but drop outs to google.com well then you have a problem with your Internet and your internal network is ok.

Using tools like Ping for life or Ping Plotter will help you determine where the problem is.

Different things that might be causing your Internet to drop out

There are many different reasons your Internet might be dropping out here’s a list to start looking at;

  • Is the problem an internal problem with one of your routers or switches. Ping the router or the switches.

  • Is the problem with one of your users or servers? Are they utilising all the available bandwidth and slowing it down for everyone else? Check your Internet usage either on your own device or with your service provider they can provide stats. It’s often easier and better to have a device like a Fortinet UTM Firewall that can monitor your usage. This device can monitor by user or by application, it makes it much easier to find the problem. One of your users might be syncing Dropbox or Google Drive, they might be downloading content they shouldn’t be.

  • Does one of your users have a virus? Viruses can cause all sorts of network issues.

  • Is your ISP having a problem? Check their service status page on their website. Give them a call and ask them. Maybe their upstream provider is having trouble.

  • It could be your internal cabling or even the cabling from your office in the building or to the street. You might need a qualified or licenced cabler to check this for you.

  • If you are using a copper solution with multiple cables it’s possible one of the cables might be dropping out. Your ISP should be able to help determine this.

Backup Internet connections

If you are dependent on your Internet connection then you might want to consider having multiple Internet connections in the event one is to fail. If you choose to have multiple connections you may want to choose a cheaper one so that at a bare minimum your essential services can still operate or a particular team who always needs it can still work.

You may decide you need a connection that is 100% capable of handling your full load if one connection fails. Or you might decide your current connection can’t handle your capacity and you need to aggregate a number of connections together to spread the load.

If you plan to aggregate your connections together you will need a device which can handle this and choose the appropriate connection to send the traffic over the right connection at the right time. You might choose one connection because it’s important traffic and another one for lower value traffic or you might choose to evenly split your traffic.

We like to work with Fortinet devices as they can handle different connection types. They can handle fibre, ADSL, SHDSL and 4G. They can even handle all of those at the same time.

We recommend if you get a second connection make sure you choose a different ISP. There’s no point getting two connections from the same provider if you are trying to protect yourself against the service provider having trouble. If you have a connection with a different provider and the provider has a failure you’re much more likely to still be operational.

Types of Internet connections in Australia and the pros and cons

Australia is geographically very large when compared with many other countries in the world. Coupled with fact that we have a far fewer people than most countries this means that running cables for Internet connections is comparatively very expensive.

So what does this mean to you and me? – Our choices are slow and expensive. We are using older copper networks extensively still and our experience is certainly not as nice as many other countries in the world.

Australia:

  • ADSL, Pros – cheap. Cons – slow and not really for businesses unless nothing else is available.
  • ADSL 2+, Pros – cheap, faster than ADS. Cons – faster download but still a very slow upload speed again not really for a business of more than a couple of people.
  • SHDSL Pros – Faster and guaranteed speeds. Cons – more expensive than ADSL
  • Fibre  Pros – becoming cheaper, can be very fast. Cons – highly expensive to install, can take months to install.
  • Fixed Wireless Pros – might be an option where other fixed cable options are not available, it can be fast. Cons – usually very expensive and not as fast or reliable as a cable.
  • 4G Pros – cheap, and can be setup in hours. Cons – slow and bandwidth is very expensive

Need help with your IT?
Speak to the experienced team at Stanfield IT on 1300 910 333