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1) Dates and times your service was 'down' or 'very slow' and related information such as the weather and outside temperature, if the problem seems to coincide with heavy wind, rain, heat or any other weather condition. If your cable service comes through underground lines, it can also be useful to know if there have been any changes in your neighborhood with landscaping, other utilities, road work, new development, etc.
2) Some questions that are useful to know the answers to are:
3.B) To run a ping test, first determine the IP address of your default gateway. On windows PCs, this is done by typing 'winipcfg' or 'ipconfig' at a command prompt. Then follow it with the command:
ping #.#.#.# -n 250
(where the series of #.#.#.# is a representation of the numbers of your default gateway). If your average ping time after running 250 pings is less than 30ms, you don't have a problem in this regard. If your average ping time is higher than 30ms or your packet loss is greater than 2%, be sure to note the information in section 1) above.
3.C) To run a trace route on Windows PCs, open a command prompt and type:
(where the www.sitename.com part is a representation of any internet site). If you notice timeouts or very high ping times (see above for indications of high ping times) en route to the web site, contact your service provider to find out if they have jurisdiction over the suspect server. If they do, your information could be used to aid technicians in diagnosing a problem. If it isn't one of your service provider's servers, there is nothing that they can do for you. If you get a message something like "Unable to resolve..." then either: the site simply doesn't exist/is currently down, or your TCP/IP configuration, NIC, and/or operating system may have some configuration problems.
*This FAQ is based on user knowledge from a volunteer core of BroadbandReports' members. This FAQ in no way constitutes official information from Comcast or any of its affiliates.