Do you ever experience connection problems when streaming a film?

CiaranCiaran Administrator Posts: 820
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Do you ever experience connection problems when streaming a film?
I live in Ireland and my ISP provider is Virgin Media. Like most people around the globe, we are on lockdown, hence Netflix is getting a lot more usage than normal. Two days ago whilst streaming the latest series of 'After Life' (in my opinion, not as good as the 1st series, but I will leave that for you to make up your own mind :) ) Netflix started pausing once every hour.  Very frustrating.

I would not consider myself the most 'techie' person in the world.  Day to day tech usage and basic, practical troubleshooting - I am fine with - but once it goes to real troubleshooting & diagnostics, I am out. So when Netflix froze, my immediate questions were:  'Is it Netflix?, Is it my TV/device?, is the ISP provider? Is it just my Wifi or is this affecting more people?'....all of these questions swarmed at once. 

Whilst also 'wrestling' with a new born baby (not literally, but lets just say I had my hands full), I didnt know where to start & didnt have the luxury of spending a lot of time (or hands) looking into it and trying to troubleshoot the problem to find these answers. Then I thought 'Ah....Fing Desktop'. I flipped open the laptop, opened Fing Desktop and checked 'Notifications'. It gave clear indication that the internet is down and good explanations to understand the issue and steps to take to investigate/try resolve (by clicking on the 'Question Mark' icon beside the individual notification). 


Sure enough it was the ISP provider (Virgin) that was down. The internet came back within 15 mins. I checked the ISP Outage tab and clicked through to get details on Virgin Media outages in Ireland. And it confirmed that there was an outage for all Virgin users in Ireland. This continued once an hour for the rest of the day. Later, I start seeing Whatsapp messages coming through from friends querying about Virgin Media and indeed news reports advising the same. It was reassuring to know that there was an issue in general and not just something related to my network. For me, the real benefit was that quick, one stop place to answer all of the above questions and understand what was going on (in simple terms), rather than wasting time & effort trying to manually understand and resolve something that ultimately I couldnt, as it was a far bigger issue than just the confines of my house. I could have contacted Virgin Media from the ISP Outage page, however, my main objective was to understand what was going on and if there was any point 'turning on and off', plugging & unplugging devices etc. (I told you my troubleshooting & tech ability is limited). There wasnt, so I moved on until I received notification from Fing Desktop that the issue was resolved.....my Netflix binge could then continue (until the next hour at least :):smile:

Learn about some common WiFi related issues along with how to improve your Internet experience with the help of Fing desktop (see article below by Carlo Medas).

https://bit.ly/2KEjrw3


See below my ISP information (from 2 days ago) from the ISP Outage tab on Fing.com , showing the outages, times & locations:  (https://app.fing.com/internet?_ga=2.52695976.1471174502.1587975113-359774856.1543316693)


Ciaran (Admin at Fing)
Getting Started? Please refer to Community guidelines & Community User Guides("Helping Hand"). HAPPY POSTING!!!
CiaranMayaRobinMarc

Comments

  • MarcMarc Moderator, Beta Tester Posts: 1,277
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    @Ciaran , Netflix sponsors a connectivity URL, fast.com, that specific to loads to and from Netflix servers that you can reference to verify what you're getting to the site.  That and Fing can make contribute to a potent troubleshooting arsenal.  
    Thats Daphnee, she's a good dog...
    CiaranMessy
  • PixelpopperPixelpopper Moderator Posts: 120
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     @Ciaran I can’t comment on the specific issues with Virgin ISP but there are a number of very short duration outages ( < 1minute) on the main “data spines” affecting all service providers in the U.K. These occurrences are quite obvious, streaming services are interrupted and websites become temporarily inaccessible fortunately the outages are brief and a minor inconvenience. Fing is good at identifying this type of issue as Fingbox (& App) data can be aggregated to confirm an outage and the approximate geographic area affected.
    Incidentally, what is far more difficult to identify is when Wi-fi behaves erratically but by careful tailoring of event monitoring, in Fingbox settings, problem devices can be readily identified if they go offline. However, very short duration LAN connection loss (a few milli-seconds) can be extremely frustrating for the user and harder to find without an analysis tool such as wireshark. This may be an area for further development in Fing.
    MarcCiaranwengker9
  • MessyMessy Member, Beta Tester Posts: 23
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    The main problem with Virgin cable is that everyone has large bandwidth (100 - 300Mb) into their local virgin franchise. Mine is based on the outskirts of London whereas I am 15 miles away in the rural area.

    The franchise provides access to Virgin services and a gateway (pair) out to the real Internet. Frequently requested data is cached within the franchise.

    The main issue is that everyone has to compete with other people for some of the gateway bandwidth. I have seen my speed test results fall from close to 200Mb to just 5Mb at school tipping out times.

    This contention commonly expresses itself as failed DNS requests through the gateway or even the cable modem failing to get a DHCP address. Note that the cable link remains up, so you cannot say your broadband is down.

    I have further noticed that services such as Amazon prime, Netflix, Sony network and the like seem to be throttled. When Amazon (Love Film) used to display the bandwidth it was able to use, bandwidth would collapse at the end of school day but a speed test would show high bandwidth available .

    This is most apparent if you have Netflix on the virgin box playing alongside Netflix playing over your broadband.

    Each virgin franchise is responsible for the hardware and software within its area and obviously bears the cost of supporting and upgrading. My local franchise seems to be very slow in upgrading infrastructure.

    I have a backup ADSL feed and a load balancer. The logs show that the ADSL is the live feed several times a day because the cable feed has failed. So often that I am considering an alternative to the virgin cable broadband.

    I hope this helps understand the issue of using virgin cable.

    CiaranMarc
  • CiaranCiaran Administrator Posts: 820
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    admin
    Thank you @Messy. I did not know that. We are reviewing our ISP provider currently so this is really useful to know.
    Ciaran (Admin at Fing)
    Getting Started? Please refer to Community guidelines & Community User Guides("Helping Hand"). HAPPY POSTING!!!
    Messy
  • misswit95misswit95 Member Posts: 1
    First Comment
    Netflix "downtimes" do happen, I fact, I was told that in the Philippines, Netflix itself is asking users to slightly limit their usage. 
  • MarcMarc Moderator, Beta Tester Posts: 1,277
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    Some good news, Netflix is opening bandwidth back up...  https://www.neowin.net/news/netflix-starts-restoring-streaming-quality-in-parts-of-europe
    Thats Daphnee, she's a good dog...
    Ciaran
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