Title:
Troubleshooting Network Connections from Home


Summary:

When having difficulty accessing MSOE networks, resources and applications from home or from some other location that is away from the MSOE campus, please check the following to determine the cause of your difficulties.


Steps:

  1. Is my home network operating at an acceptable level?
    • Am I getting a good WiFi signal on my Wireless Network?  Does my WiFi icon in the lower-right corner of my screen indicate that I am getting close to the full number of bars?  If not, then perhaps the problem will get better if the computer is moved closer to the Wireless Access Point, or changed to a Wired Ethernet Connection?
    • Are there other users on my home network that might be causing network congestion, such as by watching streaming video or downloading large files?  Many home Firewall/Routers can offer a tool to let users monitor bandwidth utilization.  Additionally, see the Internet Speed Testing options in step 2.
  2. Is my Internet Service Provider operating properly
    • Are other internet services working well?  Is everything kind of slow?  Is video quality suffering on Netflix or Youtube?  If so, it suggests you are having general problems with Internet.
    • Try running an internet speed-test such as https://www.speedtest.net/ or https://fast.com/.  Note you will get a download and an upload speed.  Note, 1Gbps equals 1,000 Mbps and 1Mbps equals 1,000 Kbps.
      • Good Speed: Below are some example speed requirements for various services. Any synchronous streaming service is the most sensitive to speed – for example, slow speeds when web browsing will just increase page load time but slow speeds for web conferencing may break up audio or video.
        • Video Conferencing (Teams, WebEx, etc)  1.5 Mbps download, 1.5 Mbps upload
        • Blackboard Video  1.5 Mbps download
        • Jabber Audio Calls  0.4 Mbps download, 0.4 Mbps upload
        • VidGrid  2.5 Mbps download
        • Respondus Monitor  3 Mbps download, 3Mbps upload
      • Bad Speed: If your speed test is slow, remember that the test is the entire path from the Internet to your computer, so try again closer to your Wireless Access Point or with a wired connection. Try the test from another device on your network to determine if problem is specific to your computer. Also, the test results are a point in time, so try the test again when you are noticing slowness.  Also, remember that other applications on your computer and other devices on your network effect your speed test and performance of services.Besides Internet speed, the quality of your Internet connection can have a major impact on synchronous video and audio streaming. There are situations where you have a good speed test, but due to ‘latency’ or ‘droped packets’ you have broken up video/audio or you lose VPN connections.  To test for latency or dropped packets, see the Ping Test section under Step 4.


  3. Where is the resource that I am trying to use located? Is it the VPN that's the problem, or is it internet traffic in general?
    • Some MSOE software applications require you to either be on the Campus network, or using the GlobalProtect VPN.  Tools such as Jabber, Jenzabar, or software that requires access to a license server (such as Solidworks or Ansys) are among these.
    • Most MSOE software tools do NOT require a GlobalProtect VPN connection, such as any Microsoft Office products (Including MS Teams), Box, Blackboard, etc.  Always try accessing what you need without GlobalProtect VPN first.
  4. Advanced Steps - Some advanced networking troubleshooting techniques, and useful information to provide to IT, include:
    • Check your computer's Internet Protocol Configuration:
      1. Click on the Windows button
      2. Type the abbreviation cmd to bring up the command line

      3. Type the command ipconfig
      4. Review the results to see if your computer is getting an IP Address on your home network.
      5. If you're connected to the GlobalProtect VPN are you getting an IP Address from MSOE (10.200.x.y or 155.92.x.y)
    • Use the Ping utility to check connectivity
      1. Click on the Windows button
      2. Type the abbreviation cmd to bring up the command line
      3. Type the command ping google.com -t (The key-command Ctrl-C will cancel this operation).
      4. A healthy Internet connection will look like below.  Almost every line should show “Reply from”, if you see lines with “Request timed out” or other messages, those are dropped packets.  Also look at the “time” for each reply.  Time should be consistently under 50ms, replies with much larger numbers indicate high latency.
      5. Try the ping command on other network addresses, such as your network's default gateway or sslvpn.msoe.edu
    • Use the Trace-Route utility to check the path that your traffic is taking
      1. Click on the Windows button
      2. Type the abbreviation cmd to bring up the command line
      3. Type the command tracert google.com
      4. Not all internet routers are configured to respond to these requests.  Some hosts will time out, and this may not be an indication of a problem.
      5. Try the tracert command on other network addresses, such as youtube.com or sslvpn.msoe.edu
    • Verify your Internet-Facing IP Address using a web tool such as https://www.whatismyip.com/ or https://ipchicken.com/



Updated: 4/2/2020