• My Internet Service Provider seems to be deteriorating

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    I’m not sure where to post this question. Feel free to relocate this question if necessary.
    My Internet Service Provider seems to be deteriorating. Several times throughout the day, my internet access will disappear and then return a few minutes later. It seems to be getting worse. As far as I can tell, I don’t do anything to cause the disappearance or the restoration of my internet access. My question is:
    Is there a simple free ISP monitor that I can install on my PC (Windows 10) to keep track of how often and how long this happens? I’m not looking for some complicated network management tool, just a simple monitor that can give me a report when I ask for it. Thanks for any suggestions (or other ideas about what to do).


    Viewing 8 reply threads
    • #2474898

      Before rushing to blame your ISP, check to see if there might be problems with your actual installation or network setup, first.

      One initial question: Do you have a WiFi (wireless) or wired (Ethernet, cable connected to the computer from the gateway/router) networking connection? Also, exactly which version of Windows 10 do you have, for example Windows 10 21H1 Home 64 bit?

      There are sites where you can test your connection speed to the Internet, but first you need to see if there are any causes within your own setup or network that you can fix yourself to help improve the connection.

    • #2474903

      There are a number of speedtests you could use to document what is going on and when. I don’t think any of them would be able to actually do ‘monitoring’ but perhaps–I haven’t tried that with any of them.

      There is a lot of issues related to Internet speeds, including the amount of data being carried by any part of the traffic lines and wi-fi. Early on, with one of the ISPs, I found that things slowed down when kids were out of school and doing homework.






      and more…


      • #2474921

        Early on, with one of the ISPs, I found that things slowed down when kids were out of school and doing homework.

        That symptom is one of the “shortcomings” oh having a cable TV-based ISP. Everyone in the neighborhood shares the same feed coming into it from the ‘net. This tends to make speeds slow down with a higher number of users. In recent years, though, cable-based ISPs, such as Spectrum, Cox and Comcast/XFinity have been replacing coax cable feeds with fiber optic cable feeds, allowing them to increase speeds and also reduce the above-mentioned slow down(s).

    • #2474947

      I had a similar issue and I found that changing the DNS from the ISP helped. I used google DNS of and back up DNS of That was awhile ago .Not sure if that would work now, so make a note of present DNS so you can change back to the way it was if it doesn’t work.

    • #2474954

      Thanks to everyone who responded. Additional Information:
      1. System Info page says I’m using MS Windows 10 Pro, Version 10.019044 Build 19044
      Windows Specifications page says OS Build 19044.1889 I’m using WiFi.
      Also, when internet access disappears, then the small WiFi icon at the bottom of the screen sometimes changes to a globe like icon that says “No Internet Access” This doesn’t always happen however.

      However, I don’t think this is a Windows problem because I have a Samsung tablet uses the same router and seems to go offline at the same time. I suppose it could be a router problem but I doubt that.

      2. This problem is NOT a speed problem. When internet access is available, speed is fine, so I don’t think the various online speed tests would give helpful information. The problem is that internet access simply stops, and then returns after a few minutes.

      3. I’m using DSL over a standard hardwired telephone line, not a cable system.

      4. The Domain Name Server field in the router says:
      There doesn’t seem to be any way to change it. The numbers don’t look like either or so I don’t know what that means.

      I originally requested information on some kind of ISP access monitor so that when I call the phone company I will be able to specify when and how often the problem occurs.

      Thanks for any other thoughts or suggestions.


      • #2474957

        Since you say that your computer and tablet seem to go offline at the same time, this suggests that there’s  a problem with the WiFi signal they’re getting (or not getting).

        I had a neighbor come over many years ago with the same problem…their WiFi would alternate between being either very S L O W or would just not be available to them when they wanted to connect. They invited me to take a look at their setup, and it turned out that their son had shared their WiFi password with several of the neighborhood friends who’d then shared it with even more friends. With their permission, I went into their router and tightened the security so that those freeloaders were history, and they also had a stern talking-to with their son. After that, their WiFi worked just fine, and the only time they didn’t have internet access was when the provider went down.

        The reason that their WiFi would sometimes go down (only for them) instead of just slowing down was that their router could only handle a certain number of WiFi connections, and when those connections were filled by the freeloaders, the neighbors wouldn’t be granted access until one of the freeloaders had their DHCP lease  from the router expire.

        So, go into your router to see if you have more folks accessing it than there should be, and get rid of any entries for computers you don’t recognize. If you have any doubts, check with everyone who normally uses your WiFi in your household.

        Also, when you don’t have any access, check with a nearby friend or neighbor who has the same ISP to see if they have access or if it just went down for them as well. This step by itself, without regard to the paragraph above, might be all you need to do to isolate it down to either the ISP or your own installation in the house.

    • #2474973

      Would this old post help you?


      I too notice the odd connectivity issue with my Shaw cable ISP provider.  I’m hard-wired and fiber is pretty close,  and it’s not likely any of the other issues described.  I think Shaw just bumps from time to time – or the Shaw modem connection to my internal router.  Mostly it is very short lived and hasn’t bothered me much.  Sometimes rebooting the Shaw Cable modem/router seems to reset things – their modem is somehow actively managed (I use that term loosely) by Shaw and seems to need a wake-up punch occasionally.  The occasional time I’ve phoned Shaw the tech people seem to be able to see my modem and tell me the problem is mine – which I am inclined to believe – but I forget now exactly what occasions have lead me to call them.



    • #2475060

      3. I’m using DSL over a standard hardwired telephone line, not a cable system.

      I use to be a contractor and regularly installed DSL service for individuals so here’s a few things you should check.

      First, eliminate any problems with the DSL filters that keep the phone line from interfering with your DSL signal. If one or more of them is defective, has started to degrade (they don’t last forever), or a new device that uses your phone line was plugged in without a filter, it can cause the symptom you’re having.

      Do ALL the phones (or devices that use your phone line) have DSL filtering in place?

      The filter can either be placed between each device and the wall jack it’s plugged into and will look similar to this (note, it “may” only have one jack.)

      Where the line side (the cord) plugs into the wall outlet and the phone device plugs into the phone jack (or the only jack if there’s just one.)

      It’s also possible the DSL filters may be located on the “exterior” of your residence either beside the DMARC (the gray box on the outside of your house where the phone line comes in) in a second box like this.

      Or even “inside” the DMARC box itself using one of these.

      If your filters are the type using the small box with a short phone cord on one end, are any of them missing? If so, either add a filter or unplug that device.

      If your filter is beside/in the DMARC on the exterior, the phone wall outlets “should” be labeled as to which ones are/aren’t filtered. Have any new “phone” devices been plugged into an “unfiltered” outlet? If so, either add one of the small DSL filters or unplug it from the wall outlet.

      If any of the above was true and you applied the appropriate remedy, check to see if your problem has been resolved? If not, proceed to the next steps.

      Have there been any thunderstorms with lightning in your area recently and, if so, did you experience any power fluctuation/outages during that time?

      If the answer is yes, one or more of your DSL filters may have been blown out by a power surge and need to be replaced (DSL filters are like phone modems, if you look at them the “wrong way” they always seem to fail. )

      A quick way to check this is to unplug all the devices using your phone line (except the DSL modem) and see if your problem disappears?

      If so, plug them back in one at a time until you locate the ones causing your problem and either, leave them unplugged, or, if they use the small DSL filters, replace them (those type of filters are usually available at Walmart, Target, or most hardware stores.)

      If your DSL filtering is located on the “exterior“, you’ll need to contact your ISP to have them replaced.

      If you’ve gotten this far and not found what’s causing your problem, it’s possible the wires in the exterior DMARC and/or DSL filter may have started to corrode and are in need of being uninstalled, re-stripped and reinstalled.

      It’s not difficult to DIY this but, if you feel it’s beyond your abilities, call the ISP and ask them to come check it out.

      BTW, another symptom of the phone wiring starting to corrode is you’ll sometimes hear cracking/popping noises when using your landline phone.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2475464

        This is a great post! I’d just add that I had similar issues with a dsl modem/router years ago. It was mounted on a western facing wall and would drop out periodically after noon. Of course I blamed the phone company for a couple weeks. Then I took it off the wall and placed on the workbench. No more trouble. The afternoon heat was causing the issue. It was an older device so I replaced it and no more issues.

        Never Say Never

    • #2475454

      I use PINGSTATUS to monitor my connection.

      You can find it at OlderGeeks.com:




    • #2475535

      A router I use does that because of ISP scheduled firmware checks when “not in use”.

      I suppose it could be you have one of these and it’s under attack, using the bandwidth running a botnet etc.. might be worth checking all devices have up to date firmware.




      Could also be worth revisiting the MTU setting if you have recently installed security software or such.. especially if you didn’t use the removal too for a pre-existing product.

    • #2499422

      Brief update of my situation:

      I changed the DSL filter, but that didn’t seem to make any difference.

      I purchased an internet uptime monitor which pinged three websites every three seconds and recorded failed responses.  This response failure happened several times/day.  However, this didn’t help identify the problem since internet access would still sometimes disappear while the monitor could still ping.  Othertimes, the monitor detected a delayed response, said the internet was down, but I could still access websites.  Since I didn’t know what to do, I just watched the situation for several weeks.  Finally, and more recently, the internet access problem has disappeared without me doing anything.  No problems now.  My conclusion is that it really was an ISP problem that they finally fixed.  No notification or other information from the ISP however.  In any event, no further problems as of now.

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