General discussion

Internal contention

I think my network may have an issue with contention. It's only a small network servicing about 16 client machines but we keep getting timeouts as we use the web. The ADSL line has been tested and the router, switch, filter, and wiring have all been changed but we still have the problem.

Does anyone know how I can test to see if it is contention or have any advice as to what it might be?

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Seems right.

At 16 users I would expect this. For example if just a couple users are watching video content all others may suffer. Of if the others are downloading big files.

With only DSL and that many users they will have to learn to tap the web lightly.

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The machines...

There's only 4 active users browsing the web etc.
The 16 machines/devices connected are 5 PCs, 6 VoIP phones, 2 servers (they are v. low use...not serving to the public), 1 printer, 1 mobile, and one occasional wireless user. We have a 20mb "BT business" connection.
We don't regularly stream lots of content as this is our work connection so we are mainly browsing web pages and uploading/downloading files but most of the files are tiny (<300k) and the ul/dl don't happen all day every day just occasionally.

Does that still seem like it's overuse to you? I'm not sure what I should expect from this connection.

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You just explained it.

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The VoIP phones use hardly any bandwidth. We only have two that are used with any regularity as most of what we do we do via email and sms.

We've had this number of phones connected before we had this problem (this problem is a recent occurrence, we have been running this setup for several years with a problem occurring only in the last few months).

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Sorry but having seen VOIP trouble I know to never discount it or its bandwidth. The issue was not bandwidth but timeouts and missed connections. I think your ISP should service you.

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Maybe its time.

To just let the ISP service your system? It may be a few bucks but how much time are you losing here?

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ISP says no problems...

We've had the ISP (BT) look into the problem. They did multiple line checks and swapped our hardware and came to the conclusion that the connection between us and the exchange is working fine.
The logs don't register any drops of service and running a ping test I could ping over 5000 packet with 0% loss (I stopped the test manually at 5000, it would have carried on doing more without fault I think).

The problem only manifests when we are using our browsers and get timeouts that can take several attempts to clear up and deliver the pages.

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Then look again at your machines.

Look at the complaints about one example (there are many others.) AVG's link scanner can cause such. Your post is lacking in so many ways that I can't begin to list the thousand reasons why such delays happen. But there is VOIP so I know that it can soak the network and cause a DNS to fail and game over. The fix for that is up to you and your IT to work out with a dedicated DNS if that's it.

But I find folk that go into "it can't be that" mode and find it best to let them season for awhile.

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Thanks for your help. I wasn't actually ruling out VoIP just supplying further info as to why I was looking elsewhere (the VoIP having worked fine in the past with the same setup).

I've since read a bit about QoS so I'm going to see what QoS settings come as default with Trixbox.

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