Ping attempts to reach the requested service. If you get a "request timed out" message, then you are unable to connect to the GamesGrid server. Then next step is the try to find out where the problem might be.
Try a traceroute to identify the problem node.
Traceroute makes multiple pings to each node on the route to the target. It will give you output that looks something like this:
You will see up to 30 lines of traceroute information. Each line represents a node (or "hop") on the route between your computer and GamesGrid. The sets of numbers in the righthand column are the IP addresses of the nodes. If "reverse-lookup" finds an entry on your DNS server, the name of the node is shown.
Traceroute tries to ping each node in the route three times. Columns 2 through 4 show the number of milliseconds (ms) for each ping. DSL and other high-speed connections should have times less than 100 ms. 56K or 33.6K modems should have times less than 300 ms. (These are optimal times, depending on your location. Take readings when your connection is good to establish a baseline for your connection type and location.) Times greater than 300 ms indicate less-than-optimal connectivity. A * means that the ping timed out. (The default timeout is 1 second 1000 ms.) Note that each node in the path is pinged in turn, so intermediate pings may time out even though later pings on the route succeed. Similarly, each ping goes through all of the intermediate nodes in the path, so a failure anywhere at any previous node will be reflected in the result for the current node.
If you see consistently high numbers or *s to a particular node, or a "Request timed out" message, you are experiencing network connection problems. The problem is either at the first "bad" node, or between the last "good" node and the first "bad" node (i.e., the connection between them), but because each ping goes through all of the intermediate nodes in the path, the problem may at first appear at a later connection point than the one where the problem actually exists. You will need to do a series of tracerts to isolate it to a particular node or pair of nodes.
If the problem occurs in the first few nodes of the path, you may have problems connecting to your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Talk with Technical Support for your ISP. Give them the output from your baseline and less-than-optimal traceroutes, so they have some data to help them investigate the problem.
If the problems start at a node between your ISP and GamesGrid (for example, at the connection or "peering point" between two major carriers, or backbone providers), there isn't much you can do except report it to your ISP, who may not be able to do much about it except report it to the larger carriers. But at least you will know that GamesGrid itself isn't the source of the problem.
The following is an example of a bad result due to poor connectivty to an ISP. It indicates a problem at node 1, which is the router at the other end of the modem connection. (This is an artificial example, and no slight is intended to the provider.) If it was a real problem, the ISP should be notified. They may already be aware of the problem, but they may not, since it may affect relatively few customers. Until such a problem is resolved, connectivity will be poor.
The following is an example of a bad result due to poor peering between providers. It indicates a problem between nodes 5 and 6, which are the two ends of the MAE-West peering point between Above Net (maew.above.net) and Hurricane Electric (mae-west.he.net). (This is an artificial example, and no slight is intended to either provider.) Note that the problem in this example is not the GamesGrid server, even though there are three *s in that line of the results. If the problem is at a Hurricane Electric peering point, they would probably already be aware of it, and be working to resolve it. However, we might be able to help. Major problems, such as fiber cuts or satellite link difficulties, can take hours or even days to resolve. Until such a problem is rectified, connectivity will be poor.
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last modified: 2005-04-27