Internet Problems After Storm

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Resident Expert
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Posts: 14,232

Re: Internet Problems After Storm

Interesting find with the CC terminals... i should have thought of doing that as well..

From time to time, you can have issues with a device, where the port fails, software related, etc.. and it can go wacko, and pretty much cause a denial of service or similar type of things, on the wired network...it could prevent something else from working correctly.

I have had it with 2-3 PCs in my lifetime.  as soon as you unplug them.. everything else seems to work.



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I Plan to Stick Around
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Re: Internet Problems After Storm

Good Morning Datalink,

 

Yes, what a day indeed. I am so glad that at the end of it, there was at least a resolution! I still don't feel like it was an AHA moment where I knew that clicking this thing or changing that setting was the answer, but I'll take it.

 

#1, Never would I have attributed it to the credit card terminals, and #2, It also never dawned on me, or the dozen Rogers employees I spoke to, to trouble shoot the connections one cable at a time. They say hindsight is 20/20, and I agree. It is really such a simple thing that no one thought of. I guess that is where we trip ourselves up sometimes; we try to get too complicated and look deeper than we should when the answer may literally be right in front of us! Honestly, I am embarrassed to say that this whole time I thought my ethernet cable to the computer was what governed all the rest of the equipment! I was not considering that the ethernet cables to each of the credit card machines was their own internet connection from modem to terminal. I was thinking that the cc machines had no internet because the computer did not. Duh! I think the Rogers tech confused me more by saying that when one was plugged in, the other lost connection. I now realize that the cc machines being messed up by the power outage can sometimes have an effect on other equipment as well. Basically, I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that the hang up was occuring because the credit card terminals were not able to accept an ip address given by the router and were preventing other machines from also getting a valid ip address. We were always assuming it was the router that was the problem not giving out an ip address. I guess after changing out 3 routers, it's pretty apparent that the router was ok. Well, if this ever happens again, the first thing I will check out will be the cc machines. lol It seems they are quite finicky and in fact several months back I was having another kind of problem and they suggested downloading a patch to fix it. The guy at the time said it was a good idea to refresh the software every few months because they get updates etc. and sometimes it may not update properly so it is a good idea to do a manual update.  Anyways, for now, I am ok - still have a connection. I think I will end this here, and address the things you suggested in another post so as to avoid this one resembling a novel.

 

Back in a few...

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Re: Internet Problems After Storm

Ok Datalink, let's start fresh here with your suggestions!

 

UPS:

 

Thank You so much for the idea of using a UPS. I neither knew of it, nor would have obviously thought of this! The credit card machines are something that need to stay on at all times. Even after I do a settlement for the night, a message always appears saying not to turn the machines off as important updates could be downloaded at any time. That said it would be wise to have an uninterruptable power supply attached to it in the even of an outage. Obviously, this outage had a negative effect on the machines. As I mentioned somewhere along the way, I do have everything on a surge protector, which is plugged directly into the wall. The modem is also plugged into the wall as the plug for the CGN3 is long and didn't fit on the surge protector properly. Now, I see that the UPS units come as just that or coupled with surge protectors. Does that mean, that I can buy one and plug my existing surge protector onto the UPS or do I have to plug each item I want uninterrupted onto the UPS unti? The surge protector I currently have is this one: http://www.staples.ca/en/Staples-12-Outlet-4350-Joule-EcoEasy-Surge-Protector-with-Dataline-Protecti... The one I have is one model older than this I guess as it doesn't have green colouring. It was also about $79, not sure if it has dataline protection as the paper that came with it doesn't say so. Mine is model no. 16951. So, would you suggest buying a stand alone UPS? Is it even possible for the surge protector to be plugged into it? Also what price range is good enough? Pretty much it would be the computer, credit card machines, modem and phone that would be plugged into it? Also, because we have digital phone lines, we lose our phone in power outages too. Would plugging the phone into that prevent that from happening? We generally don't have a problem with power outages but I guess even one is enough to wreak havoc.

 

Updates/Network Type:

 

So, yes, I have my updates set to automatic, and I realize there are some that have to be done manually. I guess the less important ones. I will check on them later.

 

Regarding the Netork Type, you would think there would be an easier way to change those settings as there was in Wondows 7. You literally have to dig in miniscule places to find a way to do it. After two days of looking, I found a way that involved editing the registry.  At first, I assumed it was better to set it to Private, meaning that it was a private network that others couldn't access, but from the reading I did, I found that in fact Public is the way to go as it protects you more as if you were in a public place where many people could get at your stuff. Thanks for confirming that. I don't have a need to share computers with anyone, so I don't need the Homegroup sharing options. What I do need is to be as safe as possible from hackers due to the customer information that comes through my computer. My shopping cart is of course encrypted to protect the privacy of peoples' information, but I don't have things on a separate hard drive. Again, a great idea in the even something happens to the original computer. I will look into this for sure. The only thing is that how can you not have information on a computer that is connected to the internet? The website itself where people log on and input their payment information is obviously connected to the internet. I can't access it without internet. I am sure all online businesses have the same setup.

 

Oh, I have one more issue on the Network Type setup. I checked out the link you provided, and am aware that is the way it needs to be done. Problem is, I don't have that option available to me when I try to right click on the connection I want to change. Right clicking on the ethernet connection doesn't even bring up any menu. Also, when I go through Change PC Settings, and get to the specific connection's properties page, I am missing the page that has that toggle switch named "Find Devices and Content". I don't know why it is missing. Some people say it is something that has become corrupted somewhere along the way, but I am not about to uninstall and reinstall windows just for that and risk messing other stuff up. Still, it's irritating not to have something that is supposed to be there for everyone! At least for now, I was able to change to Public again even if in a roundabout way!

 

By the way, I am definitely going to kudo your reply as you have given me a lot of valuable information over the last few days! Thank you so much once again!!!

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Re: Internet Problems After Storm

Hi Gdkitty,

 

It definitely was an interesting find regarding the cc terminals! It was the last thing I ever would have expected, and in fact the frontline tech support at merchant services almost sent me on my way too as she didn't think my issues could possibly have anything to do with those machines. She said that the only relation the cc machines have to my network is that they take an ip address from my modem, and not the other way around so if there was a problem, it would be with the modem. It's a good thing I insisted that the modem had been checked out and replaced to the maximum degree already. At least it prompted her to ask a second level tech person for additional input. It ultimately saved the day! Hopefully this might help some other people who are at their wits end trying to figure out where the problem with their connection could be. I know I was thisclose to pulling my hair out!

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Re: Internet Problems After Storm

Hi,

 

UPS: What you would do is disconnect everything from your current surge protector and plug them into the battery backup plugs on the UPS. Anything else that doesn’t need to stay running can be plugged into the surge protected outlets on the UPS. That could be something like extra monitors, if you were running a multi-monitor setup, or battery chargers, etc. Something that is worth protecting from power line surges but doesn’t need constant power. You can then take the surge protector that you have and use it elsewhere in the house if you have other equipment that you would like to protect. It is generally not a good idea to plug surge protectors into other surge protectors from what I’ve read a long time ago.

 

Price range? I think you will probably end up looking at the number of battery backup plugs that you need, which will then determine how big you need to go in size, and therefore cost.   You can go with two smaller units if you have a need for more battery backup plugins but don’t need to run them for a great length of time. Anything else, like your digital phone, TV, cable or satellite receivers, emergency light, etc can be plugged into the battery backup plugs to keep them running in the event of an outage. We have an older big screen tv that has a cooling fan built in to keep the projection lamp cool. That runs on battery backup so that the lamp doesn’t fail due to overheating if the power fails. The lamp runs well over $100 to replace, which is the cost of the UPS that powers it.

 

Now that the network is set for public, leave it where it is.

 

Regarding the online data I wasn’t sure if your business would for example have customer data which is basically for your reference only, and would never see the light of day otherwise. If it was sensitive in any regard, I would be running it on a computer that is stand alone, possibly with a removable hard drive. The customer data would be on a removable hard drive, and if I ever had to connect to the internet, say for software updates, I’d remove the drive, connect to the internet to run the updates and when complete, disconnect from the internet and then reinstall the drive. Sounds like a bit of a pain, but that way, customer data is never exposed to the internet. A computer doesn’t necessarily have to be connected. It just depends on what you need it to do. If you are part of a larger national distribution channel, that connects to a larger company, then, yep, you need to be online and protect the customer data at the same time.

 

A data backup can be as small as a USB drive, or as large as a hard drive or standalone backup device. You can run backups on a daily, weekly, monthly basis, etc. Just depends on your requirements. But, if you keep that backup near the computer, it might also disappear if the computer was ever stolen, which is why I say that any data that you need to run your business should be backed up, and that backup should be stored somewhere else, known only to you. It then becomes a matter of developing a routine to grab the backup device, run the backup and then store it once again. If you run something large enough, you can backup the whole drive, so that if you ever needed to, you could restore the whole drive in the event that some malware corrupted the entire drive.   Once again, you would be back in business fairly soon. A connected backup device can be set to run backups automatically whenever you want them to run, but you still have to think about the physical security issue.

 

Thanks for the kind words.   Sorry I couldn’t be more help tracking the problem down 🙂

 



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Re: Internet Problems After Storm

I agree on the UPS part.  I have 3 currently running in my house right now (though, really should have 1-2 more).
In the basement, i have 1 where the internet modem, the home phone modem, and 1-2 other small things are plugged into.
I have one connected at my main server PC.

And i have another on my TV upstairs in the living room, with my PVR, and my wireless access point plugged in.

If more than anything.. it allows you a CLEAN way to shut stuff down.. a proper start, shutdown for PCs etc... rather than a hard cut off.

 

(it pisses the heck out of my wife tho.. power will go out.. i will have a good 15 mins, of playing on my laptop battery, with the wifi and modem still going, even when lights are off :P)



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Re: Internet Problems After Storm

Ok, I pretty much get the UPS concept. The surge protector I currently have has 12 plugs, and all are full. Most of the items are smaller things like adding machine, pencil sharpener, Dymo lable printer, external speakers etc. plus the important things like computer, cc machines. It didn't look like the UPS units had that many plugs. The problem is also, that while some of that stuff doesn't really need to be on a surge protector, I don't have enough wall plugs in my office to accomodate everything so that is why I have everything on such a big external device.

 

My business is not a big franchise or anything. Just a small business. I have a website where people obviously visit and make their purchase, but then I also have Quick Books installed. Both locations have customer data  stored on them. I believe for both instances I would need an internet connection because I cannot retrieve my orders without logging into the back end of my shopping cart, and with QB, I need a connection to be able to email Purchase Orders or Sales Receipts. At the very least, my printer is wireless and needs a connection to be able to print anything. I wonder if there is some other type of protection I can put in place if I do have confidential items on a computer with internet.

 

Well, I will check out that UPS next time I go to Staples, and please don't be sorry for not helping more. You gave me a lot of valuable information that I can save for other situations. It's definitely a lot more than I knew before coming to this forum for help!

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Re: Internet Problems After Storm

Wow, Gdkitty, it seems like I am really out of the loop on a lot of things! Until Datalink told me about it, I hadn't even heard of these UPS things! By the way, I thought the point was that having a UPS would prevent the equipment plugged into it from losing power at all. When you mention an extra 15 minutes on the laptop with lights out, do you mean you only get that long of battery back up? Sorry, maybe I am just not understanding correctly.

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Re: Internet Problems After Storm

Well, it all depends on HOW BIG of a unit you get.. and what you have plugged into it.

A small ups, with 10 things into it.. its only got a small battery, and would die quickly.

A bigger unit, has a bigger battery, so would last longer.

So really depends on WHAT you get... on how long it would last.  Really they are GREAT For things like the power blips... off/on.. where it would NORMALLY reboot something.. and keep them from that. 
If the power goes out for longer.. you can guage it... its been 10 mins.. this aint comming back on any time soon.. and choose to shut things down properly.

 

My previous job, we had a UPS the size of refrigerator, which powered a whole server room, for about 3 hours 😄



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Re: Internet Problems After Storm

The thing to remember about residential type UPS units is that you should only load them up to a maximum of 50% of the wattage rating they publish.    They don't work well beyond that.   Example, if they are rated at 540 Watts, then divide that by 2 and stay below that figure.

 

A typical desktop PC when idle, consumes well < 100 Watts, but can push above this while in use.   Servers are much higher than this.    Secondary devices, with small wall wart type of power supplies consume typically < 10 watts each.     Even a typical router from Rogers or third party typically are < 10 watts usage.  

 

Other thing to remembrer with these units is that most come with  USB connection to your computer and need to load the management software for them to gracefully shut down your computer.   I have 3 of these in my house and I program them to shut down after 5 minutes of a power outage.   Batteries on these typically only last about 3-4 years, less if they get discharged often.