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james1979
Premium
join:2012-10-09
Quinault, WA

My HughesNet Gen4 system is broken

My Gen4 system was installed on Oct. 12, 2012. The system has been broken since day 1. I've held off saying anything since it rained heavily the first 4 days after the installation, and my system was experiencing weather related problems. There was no rain today, and no errors have been reported in my event log since it stopped raining. The System Status is "Fully Operational". My receive signal strength is 121.

The problem is intermittent "web outages" during which browsers cannot connect to servers. The problem is much more disabling than the DNS lookup errors which I experienced with my HNS7000s. Rather than trying to explain the problem in more detail, I made screen capture videos and uploaded them to youtube. I uploaded the videos in full resolution (1920x1200). If you can't stream high definition, with full screen, 360 pixels will still give you a good sense of the problem.

This is what a typical "web outage" looks like:

»youtu.be/rBHZ1WcCJIc


If you pause the video near the beginning, you can see that the page didn't load completely. You need to be in HD to see this, but the text "Tyler Durden's Picture" appears instead of the actual image.

Here is a video of me trying to connect to customercare.myhughesnet.com:

»youtu.be/WvImO6feXX8


A typical "web outage" is usually at least 30 seconds, and here's 30 seconds of me trying to connect to Apple's web site:

»youtu.be/mfmkAJ8zn0E


There is one web site which I can always connect to - dslreports.com. However, during a "web outage" the pages don't load correctly on dslreports as demonstrated by this short video:

»youtu.be/uzi0sdpYwEk


I have spent considerable time troubleshooting this problem on my own, but now I need help. I have ruled out my router being a source of the problem. The problem still occurs with an Ethernet cable connected to my HT1000. I have duplicated the problem with four different browsers (Opera, Safari, Firefox, and IE8) on two different operating systems (Mac OS X 10.6.8 and Windows XP SP3). The only protocol being affected seems to be HTTP. I can mantain an SSH session during a web outage. My trading software continues to work during a web outage (I think the price quotes are being sent with UDP). The only thing that I haven't tried is "Disable Web Acceleration". (I'm not altering the system unless I am instructed to by Hughes.) I'm guessing that disabling web acceleration will fix the problem, but that's not an acceptable final solution to the problem. (The oddest thing about my Gen 4 problem is that I am the only one experiencing this problem. My neighbors Gen 4 was installed the same day as mine. They've had no problems and like their Gen 4 system.)

Unless someone can think of something else to try, it seems that I doomed to dealing with Hughes' customer support. "Hi, I uploaded some videos on youtube that I would like your engineers to look at."

If I seem less angry than I should be, it's because I was aware that Gen 4 was just out of beta testing, so I had Excede 12 installed a month ago as a backup system.
--
HT1000/Time Capsule, Exede 12/Airport Express

silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

During one of the outages, are you able to go to a website by using the IP address instead of the domain name? Such as 74.125.225.100 for google?



james1979
Premium
join:2012-10-09
Quinault, WA

1 edit

said by silbaco:

During one of the outages, are you able to go to a website by using the IP address instead of the domain name? Such as 74.125.225.100 for google?

I haven't tried Google specifically, but using IP addresses doesn't work during an outage.

Edit: I tried Google with the IP address you supplied, and that also failed to load during an outage.
--
HT1000/Time Capsule, Exede 12/Airport Express

C0RR0SIVE

join:2012-06-19
Salvisa, KY
reply to james1979

When this happens, quickly check www.systemcontrolcenter.com, and look at system status, do any system state codes come up? Any red marks?

Have you tried a power cycle to see if its a bug?



james1979
Premium
join:2012-10-09
Quinault, WA

1 edit

No problems are being reported on the System Control Center during a web outage.

said by C0RR0SIVE:

Have you tried a power cycle to see if its a bug?

Oops, no I didn't try power cycling. Power cycling did result in a software update. (I didn't know that the modems needed to be power cycled to receive software updates.) However, the problem persists - I just failed to connect to news.yahoo.com.

It certainly seems to be a web acceleration bug since I can maintain an SSH session, and since I'm not having any problems with mail. (Macmail reports any problems with servers promptly.) I continue to be perplexed with why I'm only one reporting this problem.

Thanks for the responses so far.

By the way, I will take down those youtube videos once this matter is resolved. I uploaded them solely to demonstrate the problem.

Edit: The Application Software for my modem is now v. 2.1.1.34 with 2.1.1.24 as Fallback Software.

--
HT1000/Time Capsule, Exede 12/Airport Express

BigVe

join:2005-07-15
Gulliver, MI

Cancel this Hughesnet junk while you still have a small chance to get some money back



james1979
Premium
join:2012-10-09
Quinault, WA

said by BigVe:

Cancel this Hughesnet junk while you still have a small chance to get some money back

Amusingly, I was reading the "Early Termination" clause of HughesNet's Service Terms when I received an email informing me of your response. If I terminate service within 30 days of the installation, then there is no termination fee - I just have to return their equipment to them.

Back to the problem with my Gen 4 system, I think that I have generally determined the problem. Apparently, my preferred browser, Opera, is somehow exposing a bug in the modem's software. Power cycling the modem and updating the software actually made the problem worse. I ended up not even being able to connect to the System Control Center (cannot connect to the server 192.168.0.1). That's when I realized that I was probably the first person to test Gen4 using Opera. So I closed Opera last night, and used only Safari and Firefox today. With Opera out of the equation, I experienced no problems with Gen4 today. I will try to explain the problem to HughesNet and see if they interested in investigating.

Thanks for the responses. They were all helpful!

silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

Opera... Hmm. I would not have guessed that would be the problem. Perhaps it is a problem with the Hughes web acceleration and Opera. Opera is designed to use its own web acceleration, Opera Turbo. Is Opera Turbo disabled or is it on automatic? It does not look like it is operating in the videos, but I am not sure how accurate the little symbol is. If I had to bet I would say either Opera Turbo is trying to run due to a slow network being detected (due to the latency) or Opera is not compatible with Hughes Gen4 web acceleration for one reason or another. Of course you also said you could not access 192.168.0.1. That could make it a completely different problem or simply another problem. Either way, good to hear the problem is exclusive to Opera. Although that is also a bit unfortunate because Opera is awesome.



james1979
Premium
join:2012-10-09
Quinault, WA

said by silbaco:

Opera... Hmm. I would not have guessed that would be the problem.

I've ruled out everything that I could think of except a haunted modem.

No, Opera Turbo was not enabled. As I understand it, Opera Turbo uses a proxy server to compress data. That would duplicate the web acceleration used by Hughes and Excede, so there's nothing to be gained by using Opera Turbo with either ISP. (Opera Turbo would be useful for dial-up.)

Certainly if someone with Gen4 can browse with Opera 12.02 for 15-30 minutes, that would tend to disprove my theory. (reuters.com was particularly troublesome.) We are dealing with one piece of software communicating with another, and Opera seems to have broken my HT1000's software pretty quickly.


james1979
Premium
join:2012-10-09
Quinault, WA
reply to silbaco

Here's some more background on how I made those videos. I normally browse with Opera. I reserve Safari for financial accounts, billing sites, etc. that typically use HTTPS, aren't littered with ads, etc. I downloaded Firefox just to see how it behaved with HughesNet Gen4.

Within 5 minutes of browsing with Opera, those "cannot connect to server" errors were reported by Opera. I then switched over to Safari to see if it could connect, but it also couldn't. Then after triggering a web outage with Opera, I tried connecting with Firefox, but it couldn't connect to a server either as I eventually triggered the problem.

I did have Opera's content (ad) blocking enabled, and I was running Ghostery on all of my browsers when I made those screen captures. However, I later uninstalled Ghostery and turned off content blocking on Opera, but the problem persisted.

Today, I remembered Opera's Preferences->Advanced:

Max connections to a server
Max total connections

The default settings are 16 and 64. Mine were set at 20 and 64. I first tried changing the settings to 128 and 128 to see if that would quickly trigger the problem. It still took several minutes of reloading news.yahoo.com, netflix.com, zerohedge.com, cnn.com to trigger the problem. Then I lowered the server connections to 8 and 8. Other than the pages loading noticeably slower, that didn't seem to make much difference as I eventually triggered the problem.

The only way to confirm my theory that Opera 12.02 triggers a bug in an HT1000 running v. 2.1.1.34 software is to duplicate the results with different hardware. However, I'm hesitant to take my Macbook Pro over to my neighbor's house and ask if they mind if I disable their modem temporarily to confirm a theory.

By the way, my browsers report a "network error" if the modem is down due to rain or for cabling or routing problems.
--
HT1000/Time Capsule, Exede 12/Airport Express


Hughes Net

join:2008-04-22
Gaithersburg, MD
kudos:2

James - Thanks for the detailed debugging. There is an issue currently with the HT1000 software not behaving properly when Opera's Pipelining is enabled (which is the default). In about:config, you can disable Pipelining to avoid the interruptions you've been observing. We have a fix for this in our next software update for the HT1000 so that pipelining won't cause hiccups. Even so, in our testing Opera and our own internal acceleration don't necessarily complement each other, so you might not get the same browsing performance with Opera compared to, say, Firefox or Chrome.



james1979
Premium
join:2012-10-09
Quinault, WA

Thanks for investigating my problem and providing a solution.

Now my HughesNet Gen4 system is not broken!
--
HT1000/Time Capsule, Exede 12/Airport Express