Happy with your ISP?


#1

Just wondering what people’s experiences have been with their ISP’s here in Taiwan.

I’ve been using SeedNet’s ADSL for the past year.

Recently I’ve had 2 outages. Both times I called them and both times I got an very good English speaking person on the line that knew what they were talking about.

In the first incident my problem was resolved within 30 minutes. The second incident took 3 hours to resolve. However, the second incident was much more tricky since the failure was no in SeedNet’s network but actually in the US in the AT&T network.

So, SeedNet would get my vote for ISP of the year. Just wondering if this is typical of the service for SeedNet of if I’ve just been lucky?


#2

I guess outages a a big problem - something that is thankfully infrequent for me (HiBuilding ISDN).

But I stumbled across an answer to another problem that seems more common lately.

Why do you get “site does not exist” (or words to that effect) and then, when clicking “refresh”, it pops up.

One possibility is that the DNS (domain name server) is too busy - another service you normally get from your ISP. They tell you what IP to put in DNS in your set up or deliver it automatically.

The DNS converts the domain name (www.xxxxxx.xxx.xx format) to an IP address (111.111.111.111 format - the only way to find a site if you do not have a DNS) - sort of like an automatic zip-code lookup.

I was reading about how some people in Shanghai have a list of alternative DNS to get around the problem.

You can make a DNS on your own computer - but this approach fails when the IP (111.111.111.111) of the web address (www.xxxx.xxx.xxx) changes. That is what your ISP’s DNS is supposed to deal with.


#3

Hi folks:

Can you imagine how Hinet and Seednet handle
it’s more than 3 Millions and 600,000 subscribers
respectively?

Even they have a “Cray” Super Computer to play as DNS, it still can’t handle it, so in addition they also have Proxy servers, that’s why you need to refresh/reload the page everything you get that message

That’s why I always suggest to evaluate new players on the ISP market like Sparq, which has plenty of bandwidth and just a few users, well… at least at this moment…

Cheers,


#4

You can use whatever DNS you like if it accepts your requests, and there are plenty out there. Most ISPs will give you the DNS of the backbone they are on as it should be quickest. They normally have more than one, a secondary DNS should be less busy.

Another cause of “DNS” or other errors can be that your ISP is using a poorly updated or overworked proxy server, such as a certain large telecom company in the UK uses. If you do get a page, it can often be hours out of date. If the proxy server has to go and fetch it, your connection to the ISP can time out. You can often bypass an ISP’s proxy web server, I used to do it with my old ISP, but I have forgotten how. The address should be in IP format. I have heard of proxy server’s addresses having to be resolved, which means at least two trips to the DNS.

Hexuan


#5

So can we have the IP for a great DNS in Taiwan?


#6

Actually, you don’t need any sort of super computer to handle DNS requests. As a matter of fact, the Internet Software Consortium runs one of the root nameservers (the F.root-server) and it answers in the area of 270 million queries a day. They use 2 Compaq Alpha servers with 4 500MHz CPUs and 8GB of disk space.

Remember, DNS is a distributed database. Recursive queries are made which are affected by network delays. If your application times out on the DNS request before the response comes back from the distant query you will get the “unknown site” error. However, by the time you hit refresh the response would have come back from the distant server and subsequently cached in the local server.

You should also know that the primary nameservers for a particular domain set the rules as far as TTL (Time To Live) as well as the cache time. If these values are set too low for a particular domain that is “far away” you could see more than average problems.


#7
quote:
Originally posted by hexuan:

Another cause of “DNS” or other errors can be that your ISP is using a poorly updated or overworked proxy server, such as a certain large telecom company in the UK uses. If you do get a page, it can often be hours out of date. If the proxy server has to go and fetch it, your connection to the ISP can time out. You can often bypass an ISP’s proxy web server, I used to do it with my old ISP, but I have forgotten how. The address should be in IP format. I have heard of proxy server’s addresses having to be resolved, which means at least two trips to the DNS.

Hexuan


When it comes to proxy servers you will notice that most ISPs don’t have you set the Proxy’s IP address your browser settings. That is because they use a router in their network to perform a redirect. Any requests to a destination on port 80 (the HTTP port) will be automagically redirected to the proxy server. You can get around this proxy server normally by setting your browser to piont to a specific proxy as long as it isn’t on port 80.

Most times it isn’t very effective, especially if you point to a proxy server outside of Taiwan. When you do that you encounter network delays as the client/server protocol has to traverse a greater distance.

One work around for stale pages is to set an option in your browser. Basically, the option selections are to check for a new version of the page “Everytime the page is visited”, “Automatically”, “Once per session”, or “Never”.

If you choose “everytime” your browser will send the appropriate parameters to the server (in this case the proxy) to check for a version which is newer than what it has in the cache.

This will help prevent stale pages, but it may reduce the performance as the proxy has to contact the site to ensure that the cache copy is the most recent copy.


#8

I am curious about timeouts in getting responses, say, when reading
oriented.org, which apparently is physically located in the USA.
This apparently is a problem in the routers in the USA and affects
many sites on and off [not just oriented]… see my [jidanni] posts in
news:comp.protocols.ppp viewable thru say groups.google.com.
I thought it was my ppp settings here in GNU/Linux.

By the way, for us modem users, what would be a good backup plan if
one day hinet were uncallable? A, oh, “use once a year” backup.
Note: I cannot just go to a 7-11 at a whim’s notice and buy a
‘shang4wang3bao1’ because I’m remote in the mountains.


#9

In answer to Dan:

The oriented.org site seems to be hosted by hostexpress.com out of NJ…my home state of all places.

Timeouts? Yes, quite common all over the Internet. As a matter of fact, the 3 hour outage in my original post was due to a router in NJ…of all places…which had a corrupted routing table.
Hummm, no wonder NJ is a great place to be “from”.

However, many times the timeouts are due to links being simply overloaded as well as circuit outages which cause traffic to be rerouted over less than optimal circuits. Since you say you run Linux then you may be familar with “traceroute”. That’ll help in tracking down network related issues. However, you have to be aware that packets going to a site may actually travel a different route than packets coming from a site.

As for a dial-up backup plan…it all depends on your budget and how critical your needs are. Some people may have a second ISP account that they only use in an emergency and pay the basic monthly charge as insurance. Others will have acquire on of those AOL 1000 hours free CDs and make a long distance call when they need access…not sure if AOL has a POP in Taiwan or Asia for that matter.

Ed