Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

My MacBook Pro running OS X (10.9, but I had the same problem before) is connected to a Belkin router via WiFi and, using Virgin Media as the ISP, to the internet. The connection is extremely unstable – on some days, I get a ping timeout every few seconds. In addition, some domains seem to suffer general connectivity issues. For instance, I often find that while the youtube.com website loads, none of the videos (which are hosted on a separate domain) do. At other times, videos load but always fail to buffer, even though the actual connection speed is ok, even though I’ve disabled dash playback.

Since I’m living in a rented room and the ISP contract isn’t actually mine I’ve got only limited possibilities of addressing the problem. In particular, I have no access to the router configuration and my non tech savvy landlady, while sympathetic, is not in a great hurry to hand the problem over to the ISP’s customer support. What’s more, I seem to be the only person in the house experiencing these problems – but I can imagine that this is simply because I’m the only one who’s using the internet continuously.

I’m searching for specific tests that might be able to pinpoint – and ideally solve – the problem. So far all I’ve managed to do is establish that Virgin is routing my traffic in mysterious ways. Here’s an excerpt from traceroute google.co.uk. It’s worth mentioning that the host name doesn’t seem to matter a lot, the trace route is always the same.

traceroute: Warning: google.co.uk has multiple addresses; using 62.254.36.148
traceroute to google.co.uk (62.254.36.148), 64 hops max, 52 byte packets
 1   (192.168.2.1)  1.112 ms  1.300 ms  2.359 ms
 2  10.100.32.1 (10.100.32.1)  11.926 ms  10.217 ms  24.987 ms
 3  cmbg-core-1a-ae3-610.network.virginmedia.net (80.1.202.93)  28.809 ms *  66.653 ms
 4  popl-bb-1b-ae16-0.network.virginmedia.net (212.43.163.141)  13.759 ms  126.504 ms  20.472 ms
 5  nrth-bb-1b-et-010-0.network.virginmedia.net (62.253.175.57)  28.357 ms  16.398 ms  42.387 ms
 6  nrth-bb-1c-ae1-0.network.virginmedia.net (62.253.174.110)  27.441 ms  15.622 ms  12.044 ms
 7  lutn-icdn-1-ae0-0.network.virginmedia.net (62.253.175.82)  16.678 ms  28.463 ms  28.253 ms
 8  * * *
 9  * * *
10  * * *
^C

If I let it, this goes on until the end of time. It never seems to reach a destination. Is this normal? A friend living in the same town who is also with Virgin Media has a more conventional traceroute output: 7 hops to google.co.uk, all of which send the ICMP TIME_EXCEEDED response.

The obvious fix – rebooting the router – doesn’t seem to help. As far as I can tell, the WiFi connection is stable (I can always ping the router) so the problem is further downstream.

I’ve tried using an alternative DNS before (OpenDNS) but if anything, this made things worse. In fact, it made all Google services nigh unreachable.

share|improve this question
    
Looks like Virgin are having routing issues. I did a couple of traceroutes and you should definitely be getting through. –  Deesbek Nov 5 '13 at 17:21

1 Answer 1

As you said your problem is further down stream.

Your traceroute should be getting through, it looks like a Virgin issue with a combination of DNS issues as well, and maybe some sort of filtering on UDP packets.

To further troubleshoot this issue, I would do traces to youtube when you are having issues and compare the ping as well as trace times to the google IP's as well as 8.8.8.8 which are the google dns servers. I would also then check the traces to the videos you are having issues accessing.

If there are obvious routing issues as there seem to be (loops) I would send a few emails to Virgin.

I have found in the past that when I point issues like that out, I don't get a reply but within a few days the issues resolve themselves. ;-)

A trace to the IP you gave is not working for me from the US: 62.254.36.148 when I use UDP traceroute

When I use traceroute -I the trace gets through:

$ traceroute -I 62.254.36.148
traceroute to 62.254.36.148 (62.254.36.148), 64 hops max, 72 byte packets
 1  192.168.2.1 (192.168.2.1)  4.473 ms  1.630 ms  1.805 ms
 2  hlrn-dsl-gw07.hlrn.qwest.net (207.225.112.7)  25.282 ms  24.626 ms  23.868 ms
 3  hlrn-agw1.inet.qwest.net (71.217.188.49)  24.561 ms  23.959 ms  23.544 ms
 4  lap-brdr-03.inet.qwest.net (67.14.22.78)  85.451 ms  59.270 ms  63.060 ms
 5  63.146.27.146 (63.146.27.146)  57.686 ms  60.734 ms  57.675 ms
 6  xe-1-2-0.man11.ip4.tinet.net (141.136.107.49)  183.289 ms  181.508 ms  180.518 ms
 7  telewest-communications-group-gw.ip4.tinet.net (77.67.65.142)  192.229 ms  306.696 ms  307.004 ms
 8  leed-bb-1b-et-710-0.network.virginmedia.net (62.253.175.26)  177.170 ms  176.597 ms  177.369 ms
 9  leed-bb-1c-ae1-0.network.virginmedia.net (62.253.174.26)  185.542 ms  186.098 ms  184.577 ms
10  nrth-bb-1c-ae9-0.network.virginmedia.net (62.253.174.122)  192.738 ms  192.278 ms  193.189 ms
11  lutn-icdn-1-ae0-0.network.virginmedia.net (62.253.175.82)  193.644 ms * *
12  m148-mp2.cvx1-a.lis.dial.ntli.net (62.254.36.148)  194.769 ms  194.916 ms  199.594 ms

When I do a dns lookup and trace to google.co.uk I get a Denver based address which is where I am at.

Can you post a trace to the google dns server 8.8.8.8?

Here is my output:

ff-macbook-pro:~ $ traceroute -d google.com
traceroute: Warning: google.com has multiple addresses; using 74.125.225.161
traceroute to google.com (74.125.225.161), 64 hops max, 52 byte packets
 1  192.168.2.1 (192.168.2.1)  3.497 ms  2.813 ms  2.908 ms
 2  hlrn-dsl-gw07.hlrn.qwest.net (207.225.112.7)  25.471 ms  33.509 ms  26.338 ms
 3  hlrn-agw1.inet.qwest.net (71.217.188.49)  28.182 ms  32.209 ms  27.871 ms
 4  dvr-edge-13.inet.qwest.net (67.14.24.93)  25.827 ms  25.075 ms  34.959 ms
 5  67.134.166.226 (67.134.166.226)  25.509 ms  28.257 ms  35.462 ms
 6  72.14.234.59 (72.14.234.59)  27.451 ms  27.234 ms  24.206 ms
 7  209.85.251.9 (209.85.251.9)  25.893 ms  25.906 ms  25.264 ms
 8  den03s05-in-f1.1e100.net (74.125.225.161)  26.085 ms  27.530 ms  33.049 ms
-macbook-pro:~ $ 
-macbook-pro:~ $ 
-macbook-pro:~ $ 
-macbook-pro:~ $ traceroute -d 62.254.36.148
traceroute to 62.254.36.148 (62.254.36.148), 64 hops max, 52 byte packets
 1  192.168.2.1 (192.168.2.1)  5.426 ms  1.308 ms  2.052 ms
 2  hlrn-dsl-gw07.hlrn.qwest.net (207.225.112.7)  24.993 ms  23.944 ms  29.122 ms
 3  hlrn-agw1.inet.qwest.net (71.217.188.49)  24.853 ms  26.421 ms  25.547 ms
 4  lap-brdr-03.inet.qwest.net (67.14.22.78)  58.722 ms  66.810 ms  60.422 ms
 5  63.146.27.146 (63.146.27.146)  58.612 ms  65.550 ms  60.771 ms
 6  xe-1-0-0.man11.ip4.tinet.net (89.149.181.38)  182.197 ms  192.739 ms  188.749 ms
 7  telewest-communications-group-gw.ip4.tinet.net (77.67.65.142)  193.114 ms  192.274 ms  186.872 ms
 8  brhm-bb-1b-et-400-0.network.virginmedia.net (62.253.175.69)  187.353 ms
    leed-bb-1b-et-710-0.network.virginmedia.net (62.253.175.26)  184.031 ms
    brhm-bb-1b-et-010-0.network.virginmedia.net (62.253.175.73)  186.819 ms
 9  nrth-bb-1b-et-410-0.network.virginmedia.net (62.253.175.78)  194.633 ms *
    nrth-bb-1b-et-400-0.network.virginmedia.net (62.253.175.46)  194.617 ms
10  nrth-bb-1c-ae10-0.network.virginmedia.net (62.253.174.146)  193.762 ms * *
11  lutn-icdn-1-ae0-0.network.virginmedia.net (62.253.175.82)  202.066 ms  203.886 ms *
12  * * *
13  * * *
14  * * *
15  * * *
16  * * *
17  * * *
18  * * *
^C
share|improve this answer
    
So my 8.8.8.8 traceroute is getting through. Do you think this means the issue is with the ISP’s DNS? As I’ve said I already tried using OpenDNS with mixed (read, bad) results. I might try Google’s but I’m kind of scared to give them even more to snoop me out with. –  Konrad Rudolph Nov 5 '13 at 18:50

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.