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It begins with DSLR, and the Line Monitor. (Click here for an example) It pings (knocks on your door) the DSL line, to see how long it takes to reach your line from their server. This provides a lot of helpful information. The ping is graphed in milliseconds, over a series of graphs, in hours, days weeks, and months. A slow ping can mean DNS problems, backbone routing issues, or a problem on your end. Getting no response at all can mean a area wide outage, or an outage with your DSL line.
This can help us identify and single out the problems, since AT&T's status site or customer support may not be aware of the issue. It is much easier to check the status page then to wait on hold or fish through AT&Ts website.
So what do you need?
1) A connection that is on 24/7, since that is the most effective way to monitor a connection. Those with Cable/DSL routers can take advantage of this easily, leaving the router on to be monitored.
Those with out routers will need to leave their PCs running at all times, staying connected through PPPoE software. Your modem may have a PPPoE client in it already and if that is the case you might not need to leave the modem on depending on how you have the modem (which is really a router) configured. Generally, if you have a private IP address for the computer the modem is doing some sort of NAT. Your router must be "pingable" for the service to work, so don't attempt to fully stealth it. That is useless for real security and just causes problems you don't need.
2) A DSLR Line Monitoring account. The service is free if you participate in the public status pages, and you do not need to purchase tool points.
A very important factor is the way you setup the account. Even if you have a static IP, you must create the account as a dynamic IP. This site uses a cookie feature so that if you are logged in, only you can see your graph. But for those that are not logged in, the graph is not visible, it will appear broken. So setting the graph to a dynamic IP will allow everyone to see the graph via the monitoring account number, and the IP address will remain hidden. If you have a static IP you do not need to run a DDNS client. Just set the monitor for "dynamic" and then type in your IP address in the "monitor this static address" box.
You need to check the "dynamic" box to get the "Unique number for DDNS client" which is your monitor number as well, and you have to enter your static IP address in the address box. Then hit "update monitor". Dynamic IP accounts will automatically fill in the IP address via the DDNS process, but you can kick start it by filling in your current address. Static IP accounts will never have to touch this part again unless your IP address is changed.
3) The next step is to sign up. Go to the Sign me up! FAQ entry and send the info to me using those instructions, and you will be added to the state you are in. Your graph, location, and POP information will be on there so we can hopefully pinpoint problems. I try to get you added immediately but depending on what is going on in The Real World work-wise there may be a couple day delay. Please be patient.
After all this you are set!
When you are done the "control" screen should look something like this:
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