Tag Archives: Connection problems

Five Tip Friday ~ Connection problems and how to resolve them


I have Gigabit Fibre, via Vodafone, and it can be really quick, at least outside peak times, but I just wish it was more reliable. Damn me it it doesn’t drop out at least once a day, if not more. Actually, my Vodafone connection has always done this, and it’s a pain in the you-know-what, although things are usually resolved with a modem restart, for some reason. I have called Vodafone many, many times but 1/ it can take forever to get a human to talk to, and 2/ the problem has never been fixed, although I’ve been through several modems over several years. Anyway, here are some tips to get you back online.

1/ Is it your internet connection or your wifi? My Apple TV is connected via wifi to stream iTunes and Netflix onto the TV in my lounge. Inevitably around 8pm, when seemingly everyone else in New Zealand is doing the same thing (heavy internet load), connection gets flaky. The easiest way to tell whether it’s the wifi zone in my house that’s down or the entire internet (my connection to it, anyway) is to whip out my iPhone, drag upwards from below the bottom of the screen (nay he Home button) to launch the Control Center, and tap Airplane Mode. This disables every connection into and out of the iPhone: cellular, Bluetooth and WiFi. But the great thing about this feature is that once it’s initiated, you can turn Bluetooth and WiFi on separately.
[Bonus tip: this is how you avoid Roaming Charges when you are overseas. You can stop your iPhone or iPad trying to find local cellphone networks, hence plus charging you for roaming, while still enjoying local public or hotel/airport/private WiFi, or a Bluetooth connection within, say, a car, by using Airplane Mode and turning on the two other services independently – in the picture, you can see Airplane Mode is activated as there’s a plane icon at the very top left of the screen, and the Airplane Mode button is orange, but also that the WiFi button is on, as it’s blue.]
Anyway, back to my lounge. with Airplane Mode on and WiFi on, if a page loads in Safari, I know it’s loading over my WiFi network and not over cellular, which is off, so any problems with the Apple TV are with the Apple TV itself rather than my bigger internet connection.

2/ Turn your modem off — This is also known as a Hard Reset. Most internet modems have a button on the back for power. Our it off. Count slowly to 5. Turn it back on. wait about 2 minutes and check if things are connecting. In most cases, this fixes my problem. [NB, ISPs like Vodafone in New Zealand hate you turning off the Optical Link modem, which, if you have fibre, your Modem is connected to, since it’s beyond their jurisdiction.]

3/ Test for Packet Loss — Packet loss is one type of connection issue. It can happen if you have a weak Wi-Fi signal or bad Ethernet cable, but it can also happen if your ISP’s connection is flaky. The tool ping is available from the Terminal of every build of macOS and OS X (and MacOS X before that!). To test your connection, open up the Terminal (it’s in the Utilities folder within your Applications folder), type in ‘ping http://www.apple.com’ (without the single quotes) and press enter.
This command sends requests to http://www.apple.com and looks for replies from the same. By default these should happen once per second. You’ll see the display show them as they happen, and they should be consistent. The icmp_seq field should increment sequentially, and the time should be about the same (within 15ms). After 20 or 30 seconds of this, press Control-C to stop the output and get a summary. Packet loss should read 0.0%. If there is any packet loss or a wide variation in response time, that can be an indication that yo
u have a connection problem.
Here’s the trick: it’s possible this test might identify packet loss within your home so, if you do see packet loss, be sure to repeat the test with a Mac that is Ethernet-connected to your router. If that test shows packet loss, then you likely have an ISP problem. Similarly, if the Ethernet-connected Mac shows no packet loss but your Wi-Fi connected Mac at the other end of the house does, then you might need to beef up your Wi-Fi connection with a new router.

4/ Test the Ping inside your own local network — Now that you know how to use ping, you can also use it inside your network. Open up a Terminal window again and type ‘ping’ (without the ingle quotes) followed by the IP address of your router (open System Preferences, tap the Network tab, highlight your network connection – it’s typically the one at the top of the list – and click TCP/IP. If you’re on a Wi-Fi connection, click the Advanced… button and then TCP/IP. In that screen you should see your Router address which always looks something like 192.168.76.1.
By looking at the TCP/IP section of the Network prefpane, you can find your router address.
The same analysis as above applies. If you see any packet loss or wide variations in response time, you almost certainly have a Wi-Fi issue because these ping tests are only happening locally between your Mac and your router, not using the internet. [From the Mac Observer.[

5/ Enter the world of surreality — That’s right, call your provider. Once again, than goodness, your iPhone can help out as it has speakerphone. Call your ISP’s free number (Vodafone is 777, from cellphones). Launch the Phone app, tap the number on the keypad, tap the speaker icon at top right, and at least you can put your phone down and keep doing things until someone answers.
And the surreality? The other day I got a call from a  Vodafone Service Representative. “We have noticed you have made several calls to our help desk. How would you rate our service?”
“Pleasant and helpful, but the problem has never been resolved.”
“That’s good to hear, is there anything else we can help you with?”
“What? I said the problem has never been resolved.”
“Great! If you’d like to call my supervisor (supplies number) and tell her I’ve done a good job, that would be really nice.”
“What? Like I said …” Click… (Disconnection tone.) Gah!