Network Problem

Network Problems

Am I connected?  How to know if you are connected to internet!

You have just arrived at your new dorm and you have an internet jack on the wall. You were told that as long as you connect the cable to your laptop RJ-45 you should get internet. You try that but you fail. You try it again and you fail again. Your room-mate tells you he has just connected his or her laptop and it worked fine. Well, what is the problem? Following are some point and pictorial presentations to help you diagnose your issue:

  • Make sure your internet wall jack is not broken or damaged. If there are more than one jack on the wall and if they are colour coded or labelled make sure you plug into DATA, LAN, INTERNET or whatever your provider told you to connect to.

RJ-45 internet or data jack

  • Make sure that the cable you use is not bent or broken either along it’s body length or at either end of the termination. Sometimes the copper inside a cable is cut if it’s bent too much or if it’s a cheap cable. Likewise, the tip for a lot of Cat5e Cat6 cables can go bad due to misuse or bad quality. Test your cable with another computer if possible.

RJ-45 cable and RJ-45 tip

  •  Find the RJ-45 on your PC or Laptop and plug in the other end of the cable to that. RJ-45 port is slight wider and bulkier in size than an RJ-11 port (which is the telephony port)

RJ-45 jack

PC RJ-45 jack


  • If the jack is working fine and if your cable is good then it all comes down to your Laptop or PC. A moment after you plugin the cable to your computer you should see this icon right beside your clock in taskbar (presentation is from Windows 7 – this is similar for all other Windows versions). The blue circle shows that there was an internet connected. The Orange circle shows there is no internet connection.
How to know if you are connected or not?

Connected to Internet or NOT? blue shows connected. Orange is not connected.

  • What if after all the cable and jack checks and changing cables you still still getting an orange circle? Well, this could mean many things.
    1. Probably your university or provider didn’t turn ON the port for you yet or your account is not setup. So, call them up to make sure you are connected.
    2. Maybe there is something wrong with your NIC card or software settings. Since we can’t fix your NIC card, I will only detail how to check software settings in Windows 7.
  • In order for you to connect to internet your internet provider should provide you with an IP address (either static or via DHCP). If their instructions are to insert a static IP then you have to read the instructions and follow their orders. In most cases an IP is automatically assigned to your computer the moment you connect. In order to check for this, click on Start Menu and type CMD and press ENTER. Once you in DOS shell, type IPCONFIG and this will detail your ip configuration and settings. You will be looking for something similar to picture below for an IP address assigned to your Ether Adapter (click on the picture to get a bigger version):

DHCP IP Assigned

  • If for some reason you do not have similar readings you can try the command phrase IPCONFIG /RENEW and then IPCONFIG again to see if you are connected or not. If that doesn’t solve your problem then the best thing to do is to try all the steps mentioned above with another computer to pinpoint the problem to the computer or the provider.
If all fails, don’t hesitate to give us a call for free estimate of the jack or cabling fix. Our certified IT personnel will be happy to help out.


Why do I need a Gigabit network?

Have you heard of 10mbps, or 100mbps switches and networks? If you ever purchased a dumb switch for your network you may have seen these metrics on boxes. Today, you can also see switches that support 1000mbps (also known as Gigabit enabled devices) on shelves of every electronic store. Gigabit networks are not a new technology. In fact currently there are multiple gigabit devices or even 10Gig devices that can be obtained at reasonably convenient prices. But these devices are not on the shelves of retail stores. They are mostly used in data centres or for business operations that require media handling or has a great deal of requests to web server or other business related operations.

Gigabit networks may sound like a technology that is an overkill or very speedy but they are not really speedy and are already common place in many businesses and homes. If your business doesn’t have a Gigabit enabled cabling infrastructure or networking devices then your network is surely under performing. A 1000mbps switch supports  125 Mega Bytes Per second per port. A Mega Byte is a metric that most users associate with. For example a CD holds 750 Mega Bytes of data and a DVD holds 4.7 Giga Bytes which is 1024 * 4.7 = ~4812 Mega Bytes. So, let’s say you wanted to transfer a DVD worth of data within your own office and share it with one of your co-worker in a 50 foot distance. You will have to wait ~40 seconds for the data to transfer. This doesn’t take into effect the time your DVD reader has to read the data and the time the other computer stores the data into it’s own memory. So you are easily looking at a minute for transfer. Now, if you had a DVD-RW double layer that would be 9.4 GB and will take at least 2 minutes to transfer. What happens if it is a Blue Ray media that you want to share? an XL 4 layer Blue Ray media can store upto 128 GB of data. That will take over 17 minutes to transfer a movie or a film that your marketing department prepared. So, do you still think a Gigabit network is fast? Probably not. Yes, it is fast but if your network doesn’t support at least a Giga Bit today then your network is well behind in technology.

HD TV bandwidth needs

HD TV requires high bandwidth

Any TV that that is produced today comes with HD video encoding and lots of the TVs allow for data networks to plug into TVs for media sharing. A network that support high bandwidth will allow for all devices to connect seamlessly without compromise of network integrity or speed. You do not have to steal bandwidth from one device or one computer to give to a TV if you have Cat5e or better Cat6 cabling infrastructure in place.

HD TVs are just the beginning of a connected bandwidth hungry world that we are heading into. Many appliances such fridges, stoves, microwaves, etc…can be plugged into a smart network today. Thermostats  temperature control, shades controls, and many more devices can appreciate a cable that connects them to the network backbone in your office or home. Keeping up with technology requires a uniformed network that is capable of handling new technology. There is no debate that technology is the fastest industry. When we fall behind in technology our competitors win market share. So, why loose market share and why be happy with less bandwidth speed when the technology is available to use? Return on investment for a solid network is one of the easiest rational you can bring to your budgeting officer.



Why Quality Cabling Infrastructure Matter?

What constitute an organized cabling infrastructure? That may be a question every small and medium business owner ask themselves when renovating, relocating, or simply expanding or repairing services. “Yes”, having an office that looks great is important and it motivates everyone to work more effeciently but that’s not the only reason why you shouldn’t have wires dangling in every corner or on the floor.

Cabling mess desmotivates

cabling mess

cabling mess

A cabling mess can lead to employees tripping over wires that is for power or data cabling. This is a more serious matter that needs the attention of any business owner and business operation manager. Safety aside, a messy cabling infrastructure leads to lost time. That is because if you don’t have your jacks labelled and cables in order then you will have a hard time finding where exactly each wire is terminated leading to waste time finding whether the issue is with your provider or your inside cabling.

tripping over wires

mess cable tripping

If you see  a sharp rise in number of complaints related to your connectivity whether it’s for voice (telecommunications, paging, intercom, security) or data (internet, media connections, Lan network) then it is most likely due to bad cabling. Knowing your cabling infrastructure or having a blueprint of your data network always helps. A good technician provides you with a map of your cables and tells you to run a few extra cables for a rainy day. If you had to drop a jack for each and every new employee you hired you will be spending an awful amount of your operations budgets trying to keep up with technology costs if you are a fast-paced growing company.

But why would cables go bad? Cables and wiring inside walls or outside can be rendered useless like any other item over time. Corrosion, cable cut or cable bent or some of the main reasons where cables are not good anymore. Sometimes data cables do not work at optimum condition due to interferences from other devices or lights. So, if you have recently installed some new electric wiring it could effect your data network. It’s very important to consult a cabling expert when you are making changes to your office wiring infrastructure. Loose cables at either ends or points of terminations are another reason why you might be out of internet in the middle of a busy business day. Mice or other rodents who have found pleasure in chewing cables also damage a lot of cables that are not protected in proper conduits.

Having a properly marked jack and communication room helps you in short and long term. Usually in a small or medium business there are no dedicated IT personnel. One or two of the employees also wear the IT hat and troubleshoot occasional problems. Well, what if you are not in for a day and you face some internet or cabling issue? You would have to yell in the phone and think how slow your employee is who can not find a modem, a router, or a jack to connect his/her computer. Well, problem is that not everyone is tech savvy despite all the advances in technology it is not easier today than it was 20 years ago when it comes to connecting to internet or sharing files. So, if all of your cables are labeled and marked properly it is much easier and less time consuming to tell your helper to test the network by plugging into such and such jack to find out where the problem is originating from.

As a business owner or operations manager you should focus on what you do best whether it is sales, managing your employees, or tackling customer issues and technology should be your slave to command. This can only happen when you keep a professionally installed network in place. A good network and cabling infrastructure allows for cost effective and quick expansion of office, and cubicles.

As a last note, and as one of the most important reasons why you should have a quality cabling infrastructure in place is security concerns. In this day and age, data is THE MOST important asset of any business. Simply look at the sheer amount of digital receipts, e-mails, digital phone calls, and communication between you and your customers to realize this. So, when your cabling is exposed to outside world or when it is easy for any outsider or neigh bore to plug into your cabling infrastructure you are really inviting disaster. Over the course of our work, we have see way too many loose cables around that can be used by anyone to eavesdrop on your network data. Studies have shown that only less than 20% of business use encryption when it comes to communications and that means you should have at least a sealed and secured cabling infrastructure in place which should in itself safeguard you against a great deal of eavesdropping attacks.