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Offline EV607797

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Two slow speed issues on my network
« on: October 25, 2017, 08:05:25 PM »
Hey, all.  I have two questions here.

1. Is there any utility or app that I can use to monitor my network and Internet speeds on a continual basis? The reason I ask is that my Internet speed is extremely inconsistent and the ISP is playing dumb.  I can run a speed test to get a snapshot and I'm receiving ridiculously good speeds (145 down and 45 up) on cable.  That isn't consistent though.  I can't blame it on my ISP because I think something inside my network is bringing it down, which leads me to my second question:

2.  I have a strong suspicion that my laptop is the culprit.  I have two IP phones, a Magic Jack and my iPhone uses my WiFi when I'm at home, plus a desktop PC.  ALL of them usually work OK, but at times, the connection is horrible.  I don't think my ISP's bandwidth is the culprit.  I think my laptop is sucking it all away.  I am pretty sure that things get better when my laptop is out of the picture.

I'm using a cable modem provided by the ISP (Time Warner/Spectrum) with an Arris #TG1672G42 combination modem/EMTA.  I'm using its internal Wifi feature and a separate wired network for the PCs and IP phones.  I suppose it's possible that someone is hacking into my WiFi, since I'm in an apartment complex.  I've changed the default SSIDs and passwords.  The ISP doesn't allow us to access the modem directly to view connected activity; only to change the passwords, etc. through my account page.

Maybe there's a default IP and password to access this device directly?

With that said, I'm thinking that my laptop has been hacked and has something malicious running in the background.  I'm running Windows 8.1 with an XP shell (Classic Shell).  Even when all programs are shut down, I can hear significant HDD chatter, not just the occasional ones.  I mean chatter like it is processing major stuff.  I can shut it down and everything will run fine for a while until it starts to bog down again.

I was at my sister's house this weekend and when I connected my laptop to her limited 25 Mb service, I literally killed it for everyone else.  Even I couldn't do much of anything.

I'm frequently using CCleaner, defrag/scandisk, doing weekly backups to a USB drive and have Malware Bytes installed.  Nothing has been detected. Is there something better that I can be doing to get to the bottom of this?

Note:  I have TeamViewer installed on this device and would not mind granting access to anyone who might be interested in taking a look inside for anything I may have missed.
Ed Vaughn

(910) 833-6000 (V)   (540) 623-7100 (C)
EMVaughn3@Outlook.com

Offline Keighlar

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Re: Two slow speed issues on my network
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2017, 08:47:20 PM »
Ed... This won't answer all of your issues, but I run a program called Glasswire that gives great information about what is running on your PC.  It's free for home use, though there is a more complete paid version.  Here is a snapshot of information from me tonight:
“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
Dr Seuss

Offline silversam

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Re: Two slow speed issues on my network
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2017, 09:41:32 PM »
Ed -

If you're getting your internet on Cable, then there's no real way of getting consistent service.

First problem: TV is their main business and most bandwidth goes there. Second choice is interactive features (pause, rewind, dir playback etc. Third on the list for bandwidth access is Internet.

Second Problem: Cable runs on "segments". If everyone on your segment is sleeping or in school or in jail then you're going to get ALL the bandwidth available on the segment (usually 155mbs or less). If 15 people on your segment are on line downloading movies or playing online games then you will each get about 10mbs.

You can try tracking day & time of when your service drops but that will still require the cable company to own up. Odds of that: slim to none.

BTW, Fios and other direct wired systems do not suffer from the "segment" problem. You're hardwired to the POP and if they promised you 40 or 75 or 155 abs then that's what you're going to get TO THE POP. If however, the provider oversold the service and doesn't have a big enough peep at the POP, then you could still have problems, but that is less likely.

Would wireshark - or something similar help you monitor the network for issues?

I've been on Apple for so long I really don't know jack about Windows anymore.....

Sam

Offline telemarv

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Re: Two slow speed issues on my network
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2017, 09:56:14 PM »
Ed, if you run task manager (crtl, alt del) there is a network tab that will show in real time your pc's bandwidth use.
Marv CCNA


If people had more manners... we'd need fewer laws.

Offline EV607797

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Re: Two slow speed issues on my network
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2017, 12:15:51 AM »
Stacey:  Thanks for the suggestion.  Anything is worth a shot, so I'll give Glasswire a try.

Sam:  I'm in an apartment complex of 28 buildings, 8 apartments each, with roughly half using cable, so I'm pretty sure that we fall within the node's maximum of 253 simultaneous users.  I agree that throughput would be varied in the evenings, or like I had in my prior residence where it came to a halt when the kids got home from school.  That's not the case here.  There is no consistency to the slowdowns.  It can even be in the middle of the night.  You are correct:  The cable people aren't going to admit to anything.

Many others here use satellite for their TV, further reducing the number of subscribers on our node.  My only other option here is DSL through the local telco (Centurylink), who will supposedly guarantee 25 MB.  That's just silly these days.  There are no services like FiOS here.

Marv:  Yes, I've tried using task manager, and when I do, it's usually at a point where my laptop is almost at a standstill.  It often takes minutes (as in five or more) to even get it to open.  By then, nothing suspicious appears to be running.  I wonder if there is something malicious running in the background that it isn't smart enough to realize that I'm getting ready to shut it down and it goes away on its own?  I'm no pro on this stuff, so bear with my ignorance.

Since this demon appears to be attached to my laptop (as witnessed when I was at my sister's house), I'm ruling out my ISP for the moment.  I'm still eager to see if there's some kind of program that offers a continuously-running speed test.  If one exists, I can leave it active on my desktop PC and check it whenever necessary.  Wishful thinking?
Ed Vaughn

(910) 833-6000 (V)   (540) 623-7100 (C)
EMVaughn3@Outlook.com

Offline telemarv

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Re: Two slow speed issues on my network
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2017, 08:25:42 AM »
I'd start with the free version of malware bytes and let it do a clean up.
https://www.malwarebytes.com/
Marv CCNA


If people had more manners... we'd need fewer laws.

Offline telemarv

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Re: Two slow speed issues on my network
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2017, 08:37:56 AM »
Stacey,
I just downloaded Glasswire. Very interesting program.

Ed, could be useful.
Marv CCNA


If people had more manners... we'd need fewer laws.

Offline MacGyver

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Re: Two slow speed issues on my network
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2017, 09:49:19 AM »
Ed, I think I'm late to the party and you've likely gotten your answer, but I'll add my two cents.

A constant speed "test" isn't going to be very viable.  In theory we can say a packet travels at the speed of electricity.  Your bandwidth is how many of those can we fit through your pipe at once, much like the packet being a drip in a water pipe.  To test the band or pipe width, we need to fill it and force all through it we can, so to test the speed we have to max it out.  There are some devices that give you pseudo speed readings, but I don't think you're getting a true reading.

With that said, we test what you're dealing with using the gateway device.  If I log into our clients' firewalls, we can see how much bandwidth has been used by each device on the network. When we have a rouge laptop, we'd see an unusual amount of resources being used by that device.  Once we take it off the network, speeds go back to normal.

To echo Sam's comment, cable isn't like DSL or T1.  It's a set amount to be shared at the user level to the complex.  It's not like a home run wire pair going back to the C.O. dedicated just to you.

BTW, for those that haven't come across it yet, FING is a very good free app that will help you keep track of what's on the network.  You can put it on your phone, walk into a client site, jump on the WIFI and see everything. 

Although I haven't used it, Fingbox may monitor your bandwidth being consumed by each device:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B072JTVTJS?tag=geo02a9-20
-I'm only here because my flux capacitor is broken.

Offline hbiss

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Re: Two slow speed issues on my network
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2017, 12:30:37 PM »
If it were me with that kind of problem and being suspicious of what might be running that I can't find, I'd say it's time to wipe the HD and do a clean re-install of the OS and everything that you use.

Oh, and try it out before you install any AV and see how it flies! That should show you how much the AV is sucking resources.

-Hal
I gotta get out of this business...

COMSYSTEC- Phone Systems | paging systems | background music systems | foreground music systems | retail music | restaurant music

Offline EV607797

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Re: Two slow speed issues on my network
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2017, 06:21:45 PM »
Trace, no need to apologize for late arrival.  I appreciate everyone's input so far.  Yes, I'm very familiar with how nodes work with regard to CATV Internet access works.  Spectrum has confirmed that my complex is on a single node and that there are not nearly enough subscribers on it to hamper the overall bandwidth available.  I understand that it only takes a few heavy hitters to bring the whole thing down.  I'm suspicious that I've been one of them.  As you can imagine, the only way that I was able to gain this coveted information about my node was to ask a field technician.  We all know that customer service people aren't going to share that information, even if they had access to it.

I took Stacey's advice and tried Glasswire.  It really is a useful tool that provides much of what I was seeking.  After I downloaded and installed it, I removed Malware Bytes and McAffee virus protection and *poof*, my issues were gone.  My laptop performs as if it is new and there are no bottlenecks whatsoever.  I suspect that these programs may have been the culprits, but I may never know.  My overall bandwidth has improved dramatically on a consistent basis for the day, the incessant hard drive activity has stopped and my phone calls are clear.  I'm happy!

I'd still like to know if anyone knows the default access and password for the Arris TG1672G42 router.  I'd love to see if there are any rouge users accessing my WiFi.  I've tried 192.168.0.1 and managed to access it, but without the login credentials, it's of no use to me.
Ed Vaughn

(910) 833-6000 (V)   (540) 623-7100 (C)
EMVaughn3@Outlook.com

Offline telemarv

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Re: Two slow speed issues on my network
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2017, 06:53:40 PM »
quick search of Arris 16xx routers. Default login

User: admin
password: password
Marv CCNA


If people had more manners... we'd need fewer laws.

Offline Keighlar

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Re: Two slow speed issues on my network
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2017, 07:57:23 PM »
I'm glad Glasswire was useful for you.   :054:  It's a nifty little tool.
“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
Dr Seuss

Offline MacGyver

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Re: Two slow speed issues on my network
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2017, 08:03:57 PM »
Ed, for future use, Stacey also turned me on to Process Lasso, and that has been useful in finding out what is bogging things down on a single workstation.
-I'm only here because my flux capacitor is broken.

Offline MooreTel

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Re: Two slow speed issues on my network
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2017, 07:20:56 AM »
If it were me with that kind of problem and being suspicious of what might be running that I can't find, I'd say it's time to wipe the HD and do a clean re-install of the OS and everything that you use.

Oh, and try it out before you install any AV and see how it flies! That should show you how much the AV is sucking resources.

-Hal

I agree, however rather than reinstalling Windows 8, I'd put on Windows 10...
Wilson's Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy - As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.

Offline hbiss

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Re: Two slow speed issues on my network
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2017, 11:01:25 AM »
Like I said, you found out how much AV sucks your resources.

I don't know if he could upgrade to 10, depends on the machine. But likely he could go back to 7. Win 8 was a disaster.

-Hal
I gotta get out of this business...

COMSYSTEC- Phone Systems | paging systems | background music systems | foreground music systems | retail music | restaurant music

Offline EV607797

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Re: Two slow speed issues on my network
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2017, 12:17:31 AM »
quick search of Arris 16xx routers. Default login

User: admin
password: password

Thanks, Marv.  I tried all of those too and was thinking that maybe this series was different.  It turns out that they changed the password to my account number.  I took a stab at that and it worked.  I did find one rogue wireless user that I kicked off and all seems to be good.
Ed Vaughn

(910) 833-6000 (V)   (540) 623-7100 (C)
EMVaughn3@Outlook.com

Offline MacGyver

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Re: Two slow speed issues on my network
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2017, 11:00:31 AM »

  I did find one rogue wireless user that I kicked off and all seems to be good.

Interesting.  I don't know if your system allows for it, but we use MAC Address Filtering at all of our locations.  It doesn't matter if someone gets the password; we have to add their MAC to the system. 
-I'm only here because my flux capacitor is broken.

Offline hbiss

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Re: Two slow speed issues on my network
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2017, 01:53:07 PM »
How did they get the password Ed?

-Hal
I gotta get out of this business...

COMSYSTEC- Phone Systems | paging systems | background music systems | foreground music systems | retail music | restaurant music

Offline EV607797

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Re: Two slow speed issues on my network
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2017, 11:14:21 PM »
How did they get the password Ed?

-Hal

Funny you should ask, Hal.  When I first set up service here, I only used the 2.4G and not the 5G wireless  that this router offers.  I changed the 2.4 settings for SSID and password (through the portal on Spectrum's website for my account).  I never even thought about the separate one.  Embarrassingly, I didn't realize that it existed.  The default password for this SSID was very simple, like the router's model number plus two digits.  I guess it was easy enough to guess.  I can only assume that someone locked in on that one and stayed put.  Even if I would reboot it, they could still get back on.

I've since changed the SSID and key for both, and things seem to be much better now.  Knock on wood.  :001:
Ed Vaughn

(910) 833-6000 (V)   (540) 623-7100 (C)
EMVaughn3@Outlook.com

Offline hbiss

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Re: Two slow speed issues on my network
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2017, 10:55:28 AM »
That's why I never use and tell my customers to never use the junk that the service provider gives you for free. I always use my own router with a separate access point(s) so I have complete access and control of both. Many service providers make you go through their tech support or their on-line control panel if you can change the settings at all.

-Hal
I gotta get out of this business...

COMSYSTEC- Phone Systems | paging systems | background music systems | foreground music systems | retail music | restaurant music

Offline silversam

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Re: Two slow speed issues on my network
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2017, 05:17:32 PM »
Trace -

Originally I set my system for MAC address filtering. It worked fine - until I couldn't add a device. It turns out my router had a maximum number of MAC addresses that it would filter (I think 20 - which sounds like a lot - until you start adding them). I eventually went to WPA2,

Sam

Offline MacGyver

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Re: Two slow speed issues on my network
« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2017, 09:41:57 AM »
Sam,

I've been there too.  In fact, I've also ran into another challenge at times.  Just because you have 40+ MAC entries, doesn't mean the processor can search them all quicly enough.  It can be a challenge.

Hal,

We do the same thing.  In fact we go one step further and put the provider unit in bridge mode so it's just an open pipe as if it doesn't even exist.
-I'm only here because my flux capacitor is broken.

Offline EV607797

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Re: Two slow speed issues on my network
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2018, 12:01:36 AM »
I'm checking back to report my most recent findings on this issue in hopes of helping others.  While many of the ideas offered here so far have helped, I still have had a lingering problem with my laptop.  All other devices on my network work just fine.  I finally got a pop-up from Firefox (my default browser) asking me if I wanted ideas for addressing my slow speed.  I followed their instructions and went to my browser settings.

By default, Firefox is set to allow four simultaneous applications to run.  Anything beyond that is a crap shoot.  I increased this to the maximum and now it flies as if I just took it out of the box.

I always have two on-line instances of Outlook (OWA) running, Facebook and sites like this, so with that said, my limit of four was spent before I even started to do anything.  Add YouTube and the misc. web browsing that I do, and it's only a matter of time before things go awry.  I would often get a yellow pop-up bar when switching to another tab indicating that another app was slowing my system.  It wouldn't tell me which one it was; it just offered the option of stopping the unknown app or waiting.  That was useless, but obviously, I was stopping something that I was using.  This was apparently causing a domino effect.

Couple that with the fact that I'm running DosShell to mimic XP instead of the resident Windows 8.1, and MS Office, I have found that I've been taxing my system's RAM.  Now that I've changed this setting, I think I'm finally set.

Dave Moore had mentioned that the new version of Firefox sucks (mine is version 57.0.4) and he was  right.  My issues started shortly after I upgraded to this.  After making this modification, Firefox seems to be behaving as one would expect.  I'll check back in the event that I was wrong again.
Ed Vaughn

(910) 833-6000 (V)   (540) 623-7100 (C)
EMVaughn3@Outlook.com