Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Internet dial tone?

The other day I had problems with my ISP that meant my connection to the rest of the world was up and down like a yo-yo. I self diagnosed the problem (the ISP help desk was pretty useless) and in the course of that I realized something: where's the equivalent of the telephone dial tone for the internet? Well if you're like me it's either Google or BBC news. Over the years whenever I need to determine if there's a problem with my connection or some site I'm trying to use, I'll use one of these sites to double check my own connectivity. OK it's not exactly a science, but I assume if I can talk to one or other of them then the fault lies elsewhere.

3 comments:

Michael Neale said...

Since about 1996 I have always pinged www.apple.com - for some reason has been reliable for a long, long time.

Would be nice if there was a standard name you could ping that would reach our across your uplink, through the ISP to your ISPs "edge" - that way if you can't get to other bits on the internet, at least you know you have done all you can, and others will be having issues (like a blackout, chances are its already being worked on).

Mark said...

Hah, mine is ftp.uu.net which I've been using since 1988 IIRC. Though it's always been there when I've checked, the financial motivation behind keeping google.com live is certainly significantly higher, so maybe a change is due. Nah. 8-)

David Ward said...

Similar to Michael and apple.com, I always ping yahoo.com. The reason it's not google is because when I started doing it, google wasn't around yet. And now it's just habit...