How to monitor if my internet connection is out, when I'm out?
May 17, 2006 2:15 PM   Subscribe

I'm having troubles with my ISP (UK) and I need to prove the times when my internet connection is out. How can I record if my connection is up or down when I’m not there to check?

My phone line is provided by BT, and! my! ISP! is! BT Yahoo! Three weeks ago my broadband connection was upgraded to 8Mb. Since then I have had outages of 4 to 15 hours every day (the router reports no ADSL synchronisation). Despite numerous calls to BT Technical Support and a written complaint to their Customer Services Manager, they have failed to do anything to fix the problem. I believe that the line speed needs to be capped at a lower rate (BTs own initial estimate was 5.5Mb). I just can’t get BT to accept that there’s a problem.

I have a two-month-old good-spec PC (XP) and I’ve even installed a new router to establish that my equipment is not at fault.

I can see this heading for the Office of the Telecommunications Ombudsman, and maybe even to the Small Claims Court (I’ve already been debited this month’s charges, and I’m damned if I’m paying for a service I’ve not had) so I’m preparing the paperwork to establish BT's non-performance and to claim re-imbursement for the downtime.

Is there a little widget or dongle somewhere that can automatically check the connection, say every 15 minutes or so, and write a line to a log file, that I can use as evidence? My Google-Fu has failed me.
posted by lagavulin to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Can you run perl? I run a perl script called downtime by Justin Wheeler which just pings a (reliable) host of your choice, and logs when your connection goes down and for how long. I can't find any sites distributing it on a quick google, but I have it on a few machines, so if you need it just mail me.
posted by fvw at 2:17 PM on May 17, 2006 [1 favorite]

Best answer: On windows, the program you want is "PingPlotter".

What it does is to do a traceroute to some designated destination host on a regular basis, and stores the result in a log file for you, complete with time stamps.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 2:38 PM on May 17, 2006 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks guys. PingPlotter has it:

An ISP is telling you that it's your problem, not theirs, but you've had your side checked out and need to show your ISP where the problem really is.

Very simple to use with neat, scalable (and damning) graphs!

Many thanks Steven C. Den Beste.
posted by lagavulin at 10:12 PM on May 17, 2006

Lagavulin : I'm having the exact same problem - again after the 8 meg upgrade - despite BT quoting the 5 meg limit.

BT have been less than useless so far. I'll be using the same tools (Thanks Steven C Den Beste)

I wonder if there is a forum/group that are collecting data on these issues as well?
posted by mattr at 1:27 AM on May 18, 2006

Response by poster: Sorry to hear that, mattr. Frustrating isn't it? I've found a couple of forums where others are reporting the same problem and generally complaining about BT's dreadful customer service:
There's also quite a lot of stuff on BT OpenWoe.

The common theme seems to be BT's indifference. They are blatantly ignoring their own complaints procedure, hence I'm compiling evidence for the Ombudsman. Having played with PingPlotter for a few hours, I'm convinced it'll give me what I need. Good luck!
posted by lagavulin at 4:22 AM on May 18, 2006

Response by poster: For anyone still monitoring this thread, there is more info at The Register.
posted by lagavulin at 11:35 PM on May 20, 2006

« Older does 51% sharehold mean control?   |   Alternatives to SourceForge? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.