Network problems, no matter the cause, greatly affect the smooth running of a business and cause irritations to clients and inhouse staff in equal measure.  Fortunately, common issues such as network jitter during VoIP calls, incorrect IP addresses and latency can be limited by ongoing and accurate monitoring of networks.

Automatic trouble-shooting greatly limits interruptions to the client interactions, processing of accounts and payments, for example. Effective proactive and preventative trouble-shooting of network problems serves to boost productivity, reduce downtime and enhance both employee and customer satisfaction.

Troubleshooting Network Problems
Image Source: IEEE Spectrum

Common Network Problems that we need to Fix

Network Jitter

Network jitter occurs when packages are prevented from reaching their destination in the order they are sent. Jitter can be caused by latency, packet loss or reduced bandwidth capacity and affects the quality of VoIP and video calls.  A network jitter monitoring application is a specific tool that can assist in reducing this effect.

Latency

Latency can also result in network disruption and is often caused by over utilization of a link or lack of prioritisation of traffic. Other external aggravators that can result in latency include – cables being dug up out in the desert, radiation from salt lakes or solar flares.

A manual PING test can establish whether latency is high, or a network monitoring tool can be installed to override the need for manual investigations.

Other common network problems

Incorrect port configuration

This common problem occurs on a switch, router or local subnet.  Difficulties often arise from devices receiving or connecting to the router interface, interrupting traffic to networks.

Network loop

If a network has more than one active path transporting data to the same destination from the same source a network loop can result.

The information is amplified as it loops, and continues down the extra path rather than stopping at its destination.  This can cause network failure or the pain of an irregular, slow internet connection.

DNS configuration

Every device has an IP address which is translated into the easier to read DNS name. Often an IP address changes but the DNS name stays the same.

Alternately a website that is trying to be reached may be down. When the DNS service cannot find the IP address it needs to connect to, the user is prevented from connecting to the websites.

Port configuration

This is a typical administrator error that usually occurs in the configuration stage.  It can occur while addressing the local subnet, on the router or the switch, and disrupts the network pathways.

VPN error

The VPN error occurs when the client cannot reach the server.  There are several VPN error codes that can pop up from 721 which means the remote computer did not respond, to 766 which means an authentication certificate could not be found. [See how to setup vpn network]

Network monitoring software can help you easily detect any network connectivity problems affecting your network and quickly solve them.

In some cases it can even enable you to stop issues from occurring in the first place. This has many advantages including limiting downtime during production hours and enabling a consistent and smoothly operating network that facilitates increased productivity and satisfaction.

Any business can suffer from interruptions to its function, regardless of company size or industry and as a result – smooth, consistent, reliable network function is essential.