Actionable facts to help you get help when your Internet service is not working well
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Outages.IO offers you a way of monitoring your Internet service problems from your perspective. While providers do a good job of monitoring overall services, they often can’t see the problem you are experiencing with their service. Getting help means having to convince the provider the problem exists and you need to have it fixed.
By installing an Outages.io monitoring agent at your location, reports will show exactly when, where and who is having an issue: in the building, with the provider or beyond the local provider, whether the outages have been reported or not. Reports show the last 50 events your connection has experienced. Enabling instant notifications can alert you when a problem is happening with your connection.
The Outages.io software runs on Windows 7/8/10, Centos7, Debian7, Ubuntu and others. Simply download install and monitor.
We also offer a hardware agent for those that do not want to keep a PC on 24/7 and/or don’t want to miss any events. Our hardware agents are a one time purchase. They are self updating, use only around 1 watt of power and run non-stop, logging every single potential issue. Simple to use, just plug it into your local router or modem, activate it using the information provided and it will immediately get to work monitoring.
Outages.io is all about giving you easy-to-use tools that allow monitoring Internet connections and online services and devices. Best of all,
Outages.io is free, easy to learn and use for non-technical consumers yet includes a lot of details for those interested in digging deeper.
Internet Monitoring: Tracking your Internet connection and provider
Outages.io can be used by anyone that wants to better understand how their Internet service is behaving. When suffering Internet connectivity issues, it inevitably comes down to having no facts, no way to get help, especially after the problems go away. Contacting your provider’s support line after a problem simply adds to frustrations when being told “everything looks fine” at their end. Often, the first tier of tech support is mainly checking signals and not routing issues.
Network operators pay top dollar to make sure you see their reported outages when you search for “outage” using your favorite search engine. This makes it much harder to find solutions like Outages.io which can help expose issues affecting the service in your own area.
Most outage sites get their information from the same sources: network providers posting about their own outages, or various points around the Internet reporting problems. This information is scraped together into basic outage reports that may or may not be helpful to you.
While large outages can affect you, most of your problems are probably in your own area. How often has your Internet misbehaved and you searched for outages online or contacted the provider, only to be told no outages have been reported in your area? You know your Internet connection is not solid, but there’s no proof. Are you the only one having issues? Probably not.
The endless tech support loop
By the time you’ve made your way through the phone tree to a real person, or have been told to reboot this and that, it starts working again. You hang up frustrated, knowing you’ve experienced problems but without any way to show this for more help.
If you’re lucky enough to have some proof, it is often dismissed as something on your end because they can’t see it on their own network, so it must be you. Same advice, reboot your modem or router and try again.
Ever wonder if neighbors are experiencing the same problems? Motivate a few neighbors to monitor as well so you can correlate your findings. This will help you be armed with accurate data to post on your provider’s tech forum or social media page to get help. When others are experiencing similar problems, it becomes hard to dismiss yours.
Clarity starts with Outages.io
Once you start monitoring your services, your reports will show you everything about your connection. You’ll begin to see what is really going on, even if your provider doesn’t know about the problems or is unwilling to admit to any.
Outages.io is non intrusive, monitoring only the connectivity and not what you visit or search. Outages.io is 100% anti profiling. We believe providing good services is how businesses should earn their customers, not by profiling everything customers do.
The main purpose behind Outages.io is to show you how things are going over time. It can also show you exactly where problems are as you experience them. For example, if you are working and your access to remote resources keep breaking or become very slow, your reports may show repeated problems, which seem to correlate with your experiences while working.
Most short outages may not even be noticed, but when they start to happen repeatedly, using your Internet service can be frustrating.
What causes Internet problems?
Marketing has changed bandwidth to ‘speed’. Bandwidth really means throughput, which is how much data your circuit (service) is allowed or able to move. Internet problems do not always mean cut lines but can be as simple as a bad cable, badly configured router(s), failing interface and quite often, overloaded hardware.
Many have seen they can run speed tests that show all is fine, yet the problems remain.
Speed testing saturates your connection to the maximum bandwidth that you are paying for and uses optimized locations as destinations. Speed testing may show that your speed is lower than should be but does not show the reasons behind the problems.
Most issues are related to packet loss and/or outages. Packet loss is a common problem with network providers.
While Outages.io shows any and all outages, its main function is to help you with your local network and Internet provider so you can provide the information they need to fix it. Problems shown beyond your provider are mostly informational, but you may be able to get your provider to get on the case of their providers if issues are continuing upstream.
Source and destination testing
The source is where you install the agent and the destination is there the agent tests to in order to find any problems in between. This method is used to discover trends. While the agent can be told to test to different destinations, the main point is to discover patterns in a more random method. It’s not possible to monitor every path inside of a network you do not own or operate. Outages.io work hard to test networks without being intrusive.
If just one destination shows a number of problems, it is a good bet that many other outages exist but aren’t being shown. This is exactly what we are after, to show trends and problems with one or more specific points that keep showing up.
This article explains in a basic way what happens when you try to reach services on the Internet.
Pings are not optimized for any specific point, they are only using one of our targets as a destination. This is so that the algorithm can recognize when something unusual occurs. In a future update, the algorithm will automatically decide the best point to test against based on the information it gathers.
The Internet has become one of our most important resources, but not everyone has a reliable connection. Plus, getting help with issues can be difficult, even overwhelming, when your Internet is down, especially if you need your service for work or business.
If you post your Internet issues on your provider’s social pages, often, they’ll ask you to privately message them and seem to work harder on taking care of the problems. However, those suffering ongoing intermittent problems can find themselves feeling alone and unable to get help as the problems show up and disappear between tech support calls.
It’s frustrating when customer service reps act as if you don’t know what you are talking about. Jumping through the tech support hoops can get tiring and often the issues get resolved without the provider ever admitting there was something wrong. We’ve experienced this firsthand with our own customers as we’ve tried to get to the bottom of their technical issues.
You’ve got issues and you can prove it!
Outages.io helps by providing hard facts about problems related directly to your own Internet service but it also gives you the opportunity to correlate information with others in your area.
There is power in numbers. One person can easily be dismissed, but when many are seeing the same things, it can help the provider take the issues seriously, do necessary upgrades and/or repairs.
By motivating others in your area to monitor you can then compare your reports and see trends in your Internet connectivity. We’ve experienced it ourselves, being told “you don’t understand how our services work” or “how do you know that second hop is down?” and yet our data helped get the problems fixed. Having proof makes a big difference in how seriously your provider takes your concerns.
DNS server built in
No cost. Automatically enabled on select agents. Privacy is a huge topic these days and with net neutrality in a somewhat unknown state, people are becoming more interested in protecting their online activities.
The first step toward privacy, especially in light of net neutrality, is finding DNS services which are not your providers. Hardware agents ordered from our site come with a DNS server built in.
You simply change the DNS server settings in your networking to point to your agent and you’ll now be using internal DNS services.
If you do not know the LAN IP of your agent, simply log into your dashboard and you can find that IP in the Details section or the At a glance section if you have your dashboard set to Full mode.
Remember that if your agent gets powered off, so does its DNS server, so make sure to always keep it on using a standby power supply or UPS.
Connect a USB camera
No cost. Enable/disable at will. Supply your own camera. Some of our agents allow you to connect a compatible (UVC) webcam to the USB connector on the device. The most obvious use is as an extra security camera, but possible uses include remote, unmanned locations where you could use a quick view before sending personnel or equipment out on a repair job.
Is Outages.io really free?
Yes, there are no contracts, no obligations, you can use it any time at no cost. We may introduce premium features down the road if members are demanding them but the main service to help people find ongoing problems will remain free to use.
Being Internet consumers ourselves, we know how difficult it is to get help especially if you do not have any hard data. We also understand that consumers can find it difficult to pay for a service to monitor a service they are already paying for. While it is great to see high speed plans being offered, the problem is that speeds keep going while reliability may be overlooked.
Many count on their services for work, security and many other reasons and Outages.io exists to give technical and non technical Internet consumers a way of helping their providers help them gain highly reliable services.
Oh there’s a catch right? There’s always a catch
No catch. Outages.io is a free version of a solution that we offer to businesses and organizations.
Our business version allows managing very large numbers of agents, shows live map overviews of overall conditions, sends instant alers and more. We sometimes use Outages.io as a test base to try new features and ideas before adding them into our paid version.
There is power in numbers
The more people that use Outages.io, the more outage data we can collect in order to make your reports more and more accurate as we continue to develop our services. If you’d like to see how your neighborhood is doing, motivate others around you to install agents at their locations and you will begin to see the power of Outages.io.
You should know that we will always stake our reputation on the following paragraphs:
Outages.io is absolutely anti profiling. We believe that companies should get back to earning their keep by offering great services and not by selling off everything about their members.
Outages.io does not share any personal information whatsoever. As a free service, no financial information is asked for or saved. Hardware or other purchases are sent directly to PayPal.
What data do we keep
When you add an agent, you are asked to enter its location via a map application. This is to ensure consistent location data for all agents installed.
Street addresses, GEO location and ZIP/Postal code are used to help correlate problems in your region though are never shown publicly. Agent locations could be shown on one of our maps but show only multiple agent locations without any personal information.
Only the above information is kept long term. If we or you remove your account, the performance data is kept but even the limited personal information that we have is removed as no longer needed.