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10.3: Check network speed to resolve connection issues
Authored by: bmortim2 on Aug 28, '04 04:57:50PM

This can a useful hint, but only when you know a little more background about networking. So here is that background:

All ethernet cables have 4 pairs of copper wire, 8 wires total. 10 and 100Mbps ethernet uses 2 of those 4 pairs to transmit and recieve information. 1000Mbps (GigE) uses all 4 pairs.

Most computers (Mac or PC, any OS) figure out how fast the ethernet connection is automatically.

If you connected at 1000Mbps your computer will try to send and recieve data on all 4 pairs of wires. If you have a bad network cable or jack (a common problem) and are connected at 1000Mbps the connection will fail. When you set your network connection manually to 10 or 100Mbps your computer will only try to send and recieve data over 2 pair of wires. If those pairs work, everything will work fine at the slower speed.

Thus, setting your network connection manually to a slower speed is a temporary solution until you can fix the physical problem--usually in the patch cable from network jack to computer. You are, however, cutting your performance by a factor of 10.

To see your network connection speed, open the terminal and enter the line: ifconfig en0

To change your speed manually, do as "rgovostes " said, or do it via command line. Check the ifconfig man page for how to do that.

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-Mort



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