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bweed

join:2010-12-09
Oakland, CA

[Line Problem] Too much waiting for web pages

My ATT DSL gives me the advertised speed [more or less], so that isn't a problem because I get what I'm paying for. What the problem I have is that much of the time, and especially for some web pages, the browser never loads the page - it displays "Waiting for xxxxx.xxx" and hangs there. Maybe never gets to the "Transfering..." stage. I can re-enter the address, or re-click the link, etc., sometimes many times, and eventually I'll get there. But that's a pain and really dumb. The web pages that are the worst are like Amazon, where there is so much going on that there are many chances to hang.
Thanks
Phil

ATT Basic
Modem lights are correct
Modem Model: Actiontec GT701D
Firmware Version: 3.0.4.1.4
Gateway MAC Address: 00:26:88:8E:89:75
WAN IP Address: 64.175.37.195
Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.255
Gateway IP Address: 64.175.39.245
DNS Address #1: 68.94.156.1
DNS Address #2: 68.94.157.1

Router is Netgear WNDR3400, wireless off
PPPoE login info (username & password) entered in the modem: YES

PPP Status
Status: CONNECTED
User Name:
LCP State: UP
IPCP State: UP
Authentication Failures: 0
Session Time: 185 HOURS 2MIN
Packets Sent: 38301
Packets Received: 53571

DSL Status
VPI: 0
VCI: 35
DSL Mode Setting: 1
DSL Negotiated Mode: G.DMT
Connection Status: Showtime
Speed (down/up): 768 / 384 Kbps
ATM QoS class: UBR
Near End CRC Errors : 0/0
Far End CRC Errors : 0/0
Near End CRC(Within last 30 mins) : 0/0
Far End CRC(Within last 30 mins) : 0/0
Near End RS FEC : 0/0
Far End RS FEC : 0/0
Near End FEC(Within last 30 mins) : 0/0
Far End FEC(Within last 30 mins) : 0/0
Discarded Packets(Within last 30 mins): 0
SNR Margin (Downstream/Upstream): 0/22
Attenuation (Downstream/Upstream): 14/21

All the above is not changed if I'm connected directly to the NIB.

davidhoffman
Premium
join:2009-11-19
Warner Robins, GA
kudos:3
Your computer might be choking on all the Flash and Java junk included on webpages. How many programs run in the background What is your computer make and model? What CPUs do you have? How much RAM? The other problem is delays caused by all the targeted advertising software like Google Analytics. The content is delayed while they seek out the highest bidder for your eyeballs. The Washington Post and New York Daily News for example. I might have to go to a quad core CPU and lots more RAM in a 10 pound laptop(BIG battery) just to read news articles since so many news sites are now loaded with that congesting, delaying, and battery draining junkware.

bweed

join:2010-12-09
Oakland, CA
Don't think it's choking. It's the same on all three of our computers, including a new laptop with a quad. I can also monitor the cpu and memory usage, and they aren't maxing out. Also, running Firefox with Adblock, and Java disabled. Finally, when one page is hanging, I can open another page just fine and deal with that until the other gets around to loading.

Seems to me it has to be some something else. Of course I keep wanting to put the blame on ATT, but truefully, I don't even know what to call my problem.

davidhoffman
Premium
join:2009-11-19
Warner Robins, GA
kudos:3
If you can download other webpages in a reasonable time, then it probably is not an AT&T DSL issue. It may be that those sites are accessed through a winding tortuous path with bad hosting arrangements. The Washington Post(WaPo) was called out, by those geographically close to the DC area, for having slower loading times than some similar overseas or distant USA news sites. The WaPo did make some hosting and site changes that reduced the problem measurably but not significantly. Contact the site administrators, the corporate owners, and executives about the slowness issues.. if enough people do this, things may get fixed.

bweed

join:2010-12-09
Oakland, CA
I'm sorry, but your answer would seem to imply that everyone has a problem with loading pages like Amazon, which we both know is not the case. Yes, Amazon may have a torturous path or whatever, and that is probably why that particular site gives me problems. But that just means that a site like Amazon causes my symptoms to be displayed, not that Amazon is the cause of the my symptoms.

Also, Amazon is just an example. I used it as an example because I happens to go there often to research stuff, so I notice it there. I probably shouldn't have mentioned any particular site because it seems to have caused a distraction.

And let me repeat, the problem isn't slowness. Slowness I can fix if I choose to spend more money. This isn't slow, it's zero. It gets past "Connecting to xxx..." and hangs at "Waiting for xxxxxx.com" - that's what I see in the browser status bar.

So unless you are implying that many sites on the internet can no longer deal with ATT Basic speeds, maybe we can move on and someone can offer other suggestions?

davidhoffman
Premium
join:2009-11-19
Warner Robins, GA
kudos:3
Basic is 200kbps to 768 kbps downstream and up to 384kbps upstream. When I had that service level I got some hangs, but I do not remember Amazon being one of them. The site is probably more complex today than 3 years ago Going to 3.0 helped reduce the percentage of hangs, and 6.0 has been very free of hangs. I was told by a network technician at my workplace that part of the problem was the slowness of the upstream in sending certain packets to the server. While we waited on the server, the server was waiting for packets that did not arrive in time. A sort of stalemate occurred. I do not remember all the technical details he described in how packets are dealt with, but he told me to upgrade to the fastest DSL service that was fairly consistent in delivering dependable data transfer rates in the upstream. It appears to have worked for me for the most part.


Anchoret

join:2009-01-13
THIS IS AN ATT PROBLEM AND IT'S CHRONIC!!!

I have "Pro" and am experiencing EXACTLY the same problem.

It is NOT because he has "Basic."

It is NOT because the pages are too busy or too big.

Will switching to another DNS fix this? Where is ATT dropping the ball here?


Anchoret

join:2009-01-13
reply to davidhoffman
Switching to Google's DNS seems to have improved things greatly.

8.8.8.8 with 8.8.4.4 as an alternate.

Try it and see if it helps!

bbear2
Premium
join:2003-10-06
94045
kudos:5

1 edit
reply to bweed
Have you done speed tests? And are you getting consistent results?

If you suspect DNS, have you tried tuning with DNSBenchmark? If not, I highly recommend it. It certainly was eye opening to me.

Also, it looks like you have both your primary and secondary DNS servers going to AT&T. In general I don't like that as a strategy and will recommend that you have them from different providers.

FYI:
»www.grc.com/dns/benchmark.htm
and you don't have to install it to run.


d_l
Barsoom
Premium,MVM
join:2002-12-08
Reno, NV
kudos:7
reply to bweed

davidhoffman
Premium
join:2009-11-19
Warner Robins, GA
kudos:3
reply to bweed
Wow! I never knew about this side of alternate DNSs. I had only been told about them by people who did not want an ISP to have certain types of records about internet searches. Since I was not concerned about the potential record keeping, I did not explore further.

I apologize for giving out advice that was not as relevant to the subject as I thought it would be. I am always learning something new on this great website. Sometimes I learn that I have an erroneous idea of how things work.

bweed

join:2010-12-09
Oakland, CA

2 edits
reply to Anchoret
"Switching to Google's DNS seems to have improved things greatly.

8.8.8.8 with 8.8.4.4 as an alternate."

Yes! In the short amount of time I've tested this, and tried some other addresses too, I don't seem to ever just hang "waiting" like my system was doing previously. Hopefully this isn't just my wishful thinking.

bweed

join:2010-12-09
Oakland, CA

1 edit
reply to bbear2
bbear2
"FYI:
»www.grc.com/dns/benchmark.htm
and you don't have to install it to run. "

Thanks for the link to a fine tool.
I'm wondering if you, or anyone, can help me interpret the Conclusion. It includes
"It appears that only one local (router gateway) DNS nameserver, with the IP address of [192.168.1.1], is currently providing all DNS name resolution services to this system. This configuration is not recommended because most consumer-grade routers provide inefficient and under-powered DNS resolution services."
And
"Unless you have some specific reason not to, you should give serious thought to disabling your router's provisioning of DNS services (which it is providing for all computers on your local network). After this is done, a fresh reboot of your computers will likely reveal the multiple DNS nameservers provided by your ISP. ".

I'm just not sure what it means to "disable my router's provisioning". My router [Netgear WNDRR3400] in its Basic Settings gives me a choice of "Get Automatically from ISP" or "Use these DNS Servers" with the latter giving me the ability specify a couple of addresses. Is that what the DNSBenchmark is talking about? or something else I'm not seeing?


alchav

join:2002-05-17
Saint George, UT
Reviews:
·ooma
reply to bweed
said by bweed:

My ATT DSL gives me the advertised speed [more or less], so that isn't a problem because I get what I'm paying for. What the problem I have is that much of the time, and especially for some web pages, the browser never loads the page - it displays "Waiting for xxxxx.xxx" and hangs there. Maybe never gets to the "Transfering..." stage. I can re-enter the address, or re-click the link, etc., sometimes many times, and eventually I'll get there. But that's a pain and really dumb. The web pages that are the worst are like Amazon, where there is so much going on that there are many chances to hang.
Thanks
Phil

DSL Status
VPI: 0
VCI: 35
DSL Mode Setting: 1
DSL Negotiated Mode: G.DMT
Connection Status: Showtime
Speed (down/up): 768 / 384 Kbps

Your Download Speed is less than 1Mbs, so it is going to be slow on loading Web Pages, especially these days when they have so much content. With DSL you should be able to order a faster speed like 3Mbs, that should make a big difference.

bweed

join:2010-12-09
Oakland, CA
Alchav,
Again, to be clear, the problem I and others have complained about is not "slow speeds", it is zero speeds. One enters a web address, or clicks, etc., and watch the progress in the status bar. You see "Connecting.....", you see "Waiting...", you SHOULD see Transferring, but you don't. It just sits at Waiting - for minutes if you have the patience [re-clicking will usually start over and get past the hanging.] Sometimes multiple re-starts are required. This is a lot different than a slow loading page.

As I mentioned, I think maybe setting public DNS addresses in my router has [hopefully] fixed this for me. So-far-so-good.

I should probably start a new thread about "disabling your router's provisioning of DNS services" when I get a minute.

bbear2
Premium
join:2003-10-06
94045
kudos:5
reply to bweed
said by bweed:

bbear2
"FYI:
»www.grc.com/dns/benchmark.htm
and you don't have to install it to run. "

Thanks for the link to a fine tool.
I'm wondering if you, or anyone, can help me interpret the Conclusion. It includes
"It appears that only one local (router gateway) DNS nameserver, with the IP address of [192.168.1.1], is currently providing all DNS name resolution services to this system. This configuration is not recommended because most consumer-grade routers provide inefficient and under-powered DNS resolution services."
And
"Unless you have some specific reason not to, you should give serious thought to disabling your router's provisioning of DNS services (which it is providing for all computers on your local network). After this is done, a fresh reboot of your computers will likely reveal the multiple DNS nameservers provided by your ISP. ".

I'm just not sure what it means to "disable my router's provisioning". My router [Netgear WNDRR3400] in its Basic Settings gives me a choice of "Get Automatically from ISP" or "Use these DNS Servers" with the latter giving me the ability specify a couple of addresses. Is that what the DNSBenchmark is talking about? or something else I'm not seeing?

Yes. that is how I would interpret the message. Use your manual DNS configuration in your router. I usually select the first on my ISP offers and put that as #1, and then for #2 use one of the top open ones listed in the output.
Note, things can vary from run to run and a few milliseconds here and there won't matter, although the barcharts sometimes make it look more dramatic than it is.
If you still want help interpreting the chart, post here.


d_l
Barsoom
Premium,MVM
join:2002-12-08
Reno, NV
kudos:7
reply to bweed
I too wondered why webpages had become increasingly sluggish to load recently.

Using ns_bench, I've discovered that both of AT&T's DNS servers: »SBC DSL FAQ »What AT&T DNS IPs should I use? have slowed to 3X to 4X their previous look up speeds. Most of the delay seems to be attributable to a cross-country latency from TX. I'm sure that this travel latency did not exist previously.

I changed to an alternate set to speed up the web page response.
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