For over a month, my Comcast Internet service has been giving me problems. Its become a one armed bandit - a slot machine. I pull (request a website) and hope. Unfortunately, on most pulls I get this:
As well, the speed of my network is very slow. It used to be very fast. SpeedTest would yield at least 25 Mbps down and 5 Mbps up. Now, SpeedTest shows less than 6 Mbps down and less than 1 Mbps up. But that's not really accurate as the Internet connection seems to pulse - it stalls and sputters. This is a typical results since this problem began:
So, I called Comcast support to see what’s going on. They sent out a tech who never showed up. I called the next morning and was told that the tech said that no one was home. I knew differently as my wife, daughter, and dog were home all day. Comcast always tells me that I'm one of its most important customers. They also have this new guaranty that they will give you a $20 credit if a tech is late for a support call.
Customer service didn't believe me. They said the tech was at the front door and no one answered. I asked to speak with a supervisor who held firm until she read the tech's call note out loud. The tech rang the door bell on a red brick 3 story building. I live in a tan townhouse condo and now have a $20 credit. There goes another 40 minutes of my life to Comcast. I really feel the love. It sent a tech the following morning. He showed up late and replaced my EMTA (cable modem with phone service) with one of it new combination EMTs with wireless by Arris. He said that it probably wouldn't matter as our service tested fine. I now have regrets about not being home for the service call. But I did get another $20.
I thought it may be a cool device until I programmed it. It exposes very few options including DNS and holds onto inaccurate client settings for way too long. Further, its signal was weaker than my wireless router and my connections problems were no better than before.
The more that I played with this unsolved mystery, the more I become convinced that the problem had to be related to DNS – Domain Naming Service – the system that the Internet uses to translate names (like www.google.com) to IP addresses. Without DNS, we’d have to remember strings of numbers to find websites rather than friendly names.
The new Arris EMTA reported that everything was just fine with my network. But it wasn’t fine at all:
Since I couldn’t set static DNS into the Arris device, I plugged my Linksys E4200 into one of the ports on the Arris and manually configured DNS. I tried the following settings which I have been using on several Comcast Business accounts that I manage:
I wasn’t too happy with the results. It was perhaps a slight bit more reliable, but my problem was still present.
So, I went to Google and started to search for a clue or an answer. I came across an article discussing that Comcast is in the process of rolling out a major network update that included a major change to its DNS. Rather than having different DNS servers for different parts of the country, the article said that Comcast is rolling out a new country-wide DNS. Whether or not this is true, the article offered up new DNS settings:
Since I couldn’t program DNS into the Arris EMTA and the device told me that my network was just fine, I called Comcast and asked them to replace it with a DOCSIS 3 EMTA without built-in wireless.
When the tech arrived on time, I sat him down on the couch and showed him my findings on my Internet connect HDTV. I first showed him the Arris EMTA reporting that the Comcast network is just fine. Then I showed him that I couldn’t even render www.google.com. I then showed him the settings page on my E4200, added in the newest DNS settings, and showed him www.google.com in a flash. I then removed the DNS settings and showed him a broken network again. Next, I ran SpeedTest. After 4 tries, I got the page to render and the test plotted along on a half-rendered page. The results were very poor. I then put the DNS settings back in and ran SpeedTest. The results were as they should be. I suspected that this was a bit over his head, but I asked politely that he look into this for me.
We switched out the EMTA and I connected my E4200 to it. All was better with the right static DNS. As an Xfinity insider, one of Comcast's most important customers, I now have a working broken network, $40, and less confidence in Comcast than I had before. Go figure.
If this post was helpful to you, please click on Comments below and leave one.
Contact Info: email@example.com