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Mac Tips Daily! #199 - Basics of Network Troubleshooting Part 1

Many ISPs still don't support the Mac. They will WORK with a Mac, but their technical support departments don't have any Mac experience, due to lack of training. Many times I have spoken with ISPs and they tell me to click the 'Start' button and type 'Run'. So, if you run into one of these 'experts', this info will help you get at the basic info that they are looking for. This isn't designed to solve your problems, but rather, help you navigate to where an expert can help get to the root of your network issues. Let's get to it: From the Finder, choose 'GO-> Utilities' and open 'Network Utility'. network utility Now, click on the Info tab. Choose your correct Network Interface. interface then check the Interface Information. Especially for a novice, knowing which one you are using for the Internet can be confusing. Your ISP should be able to help, if you can navigate this area. On many Macs, en0 is the wired ethernet port & en1 is your Airport card. This can vary, so you need to look at a few important areas. You can usually tell on Macs, by looking at the 'Link Speed'. Wired ethernet usually has 10 Mb, 100 Mb, or 1000 Mb, depending on the hardware it is connected to. If it isn't connected...the Link speed will say 0. Airport and wireless cards usually will have 10Mb or 54Mb, and generally, they say 'Wireless Network Adapter' under the model. Also important, is the Link Status. You are looking to see whether it is Active or Inactive. IP Address - They will almost certainly ask for this, and need to determine if it is public or private. If you are behind a firewall or router, it will be a non-routeable Private IP address. If your IP falls into the range of 10.0.0.0 - 10.255.255.255, 172.160.0.0 - 172.31.255.255, or 192.168.0.0 - 192.168.255.255 (most common range), then you are behind some type of router, and it could be the ISPs. They can help you determine that. You can determine your public IP address by going to www.showmyip.com, if you have network connectivity. The Sent / Recv packets are also helpful in determining if the interface is working. It's not a total solution, but it does give you an idea if your interface is sending and receiving traffic. main info Ping - They will generally ask you to Ping an address so that they can test network connectivity. They may provide you with an IP address to type in, or maybe tell you to type in an arbitrary address. I usually use APPLE.COM because they respond to PINGS. Some networks have this shut off, so if your don't get a response, it's good to try several different domains. You are looking for a response time in milliseconds. This shows the round trip time it took to get from your Mac to the server and back to your Mac. It is testing the Layer 3 Network connection, and is a great troubleshooting tool. ping If you get NO response, or some other error.. this isn't good. Try a different server or IP address. Your ISP can help you troubleshoot further. no response ping