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edit: despite the very good answer I once accepted, now I'm look for a simpler tool that requires no installation or preparation. Something like a ping with a timestamp would be of great help already.

Once in a while I get bad Internet connection access points. Be it physical cables, WiFi or 3G spots. And I always figured how good would it be to have a way to monitor it, to determine exactly where's the issue and either consider trying to fix it or just accept there's no way.

My current way of doing it is freaking ping. I ping any Internet IP I memorized and the Gateway. That tells me if the router is bad, eventually. Or that the Internet fell down, and it's not my computer issue, but not for how long it's down. Neither that it did so X hours ago, and that's why my download didn't went through, rather than some torrent issue, or server maintenance. And so on. Ping is a very old tool and not full featured at all.

Currently came to my attention another way of doing it: logmein logs (idea came from looking at console). But I couldn't make much use of any of those logs so far. Anyway...

Here I ask if there is any software, free and/or paid, that can give us those basic stats about our current network connection. And a connection graphic over time would be a big plus!

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4 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

You are looking for mtr. I always leave mtr 8.8.8.8 running.

If you're not familiar with 8.8.8.8, it's Google's global DNS service, using anycast, so you always get a nearby node, and it's a dead easy IP to remember. So it works no matter where you are located, and if you move.

Once mtr starts press d once, then you'll see the last X pings, beautiful.

                            My traceroute  [v0.82]
host.local (0.0.0.0)                                   Sat Jun 14 14:10:27 2014
Keys:  Help   Display mode   Restart statistics   Order of fields   quit

                             Last  50 pings
 1. 192.168.1.1              .....?.........?...............?.........??.......
 2. 87.186.224.71            ..................................................
 3. 87.190.171.194           ..................................................
 4. b-ea6-i.B.DE.NET.DTAG.DE ..................................................
 5. 194.25.211.30            ..................................................
 6. 209.85.249.182           ..................................................
 7. 66.249.95.175            ..................................................
 8. 216.239.48.53            ..................................................
 9. 0.0.0.0                  ??????????????????????????????????????????????????
10. google-public-dns-a.goog .................................................?

Scale:  .:3 ms  1:6 ms  2:9 ms  3:17 ms  a:35 ms  b:53 ms  c:85 ms

Pro tip: Stretch your window to the last 200 pings... :-)

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How come almost 4 year to get this proper answer?! :D (PS, yeah, I was aware of google dns... While still hoping to find something better, I have been using AutoPing with it, and it's actually worse than using ping, except it's at least more practical) Now if only we could get a nice GUI for this... –  Cawas Jun 15 at 20:22
    
BTW, here's MTR for mac I've used. –  Cawas Jun 15 at 20:29
1  
You can install it without needing sudo if you use homebrew I think. I think brew install mtr will do the trick, but then there's some output telling you to run 2 commands that bypass the need for sudo I think... –  chmac Jun 15 at 20:33
    
yeah, homebrew, macports, fink, etc... But don't they all require Xcode? I've been avoiding them. –  Cawas Jun 15 at 20:39
    
Only xcode command line tools, or something like that, can't exactly remember, installed it a while back. Was pretty painless. I think there's a package you can download from Apple somewhere for just command line tools. –  chmac Jun 16 at 17:24
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  1. Switch from using ping to tracepath (traceroute)
  2. Install Nagios (it is available for Windows too), then write a tracepath/ping module (or take something from a standart bundle)
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Are you telling me there's nothing done in this sense and I should build my own? –  Cawas Nov 3 '10 at 14:07
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If all of your devices can do SNMP, you could use MRTG http://oss.oetiker.ch/mrtg/

Alternately, you could run smokeping. http://oss.oetiker.ch/smokeping/

Either one should give you some nice graphs, you can see when your network use is high, when it's utterly flat, etc.

You can use Nagios to alert you when there's a problem, smokeping might do it to, it's been awhile since I've used it.

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will sure try those and report back! :) –  Cawas Nov 4 '10 at 14:18
    
that's great, exactly what I was hoping for! why "it's been a while since you've used it"? don't you use any of them anymore? new tools? –  Cawas Nov 4 '10 at 16:31
2  
Everything I'm interested in monitoring is capable of SNMP, so I use MRTG for gathering and graphing a history of bandwidth use. It's nice because I can look back over time and see trends. I use Nagios for monitoring and alarming. –  mazianni Nov 4 '10 at 16:47
    
actually I ran into an issue with this now. I'm at some place without SNMP and where I can't install smokeping due to lack of permission. so I'm still lacking a simpler tool. –  Cawas Feb 8 '11 at 19:16
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I created this simple batch file:

@echo off
echo Internet Service Availability for %date%
:again
ping 70.45.95.8 -n 1 -l 1
time /T
timeout /T 300 > nul
goto again

Run it redirecting it to a file the like c:>run.bat > statuslog.txt. The /T flag of the timeout command sets the pooling time interval, in this case 5 minutes. The /T flag for the time command provides the time stamp. You can then check the created file for reply or request time out patterns.

Another alternative (the one I prefer), is to use one of the following freeware utilities that provides a more professional result:

Pingplotter Freeware
EMCO Ping Monitor free
Internet Connectivity Monitor (java app)
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all sounds awesome, but even the java app is windows only! :( –  Cawas Mar 4 '13 at 21:39
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