There are a number of possible causes. Read the full explanation here: “NUM says my connection is down”.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, sorry, NUM is only available for Windows.
NUM is compatible with Windows version 7 or newer.
A NUM license allows registering the program on one computer at a time. Registering the program removes the trial time limit. You can reuse that license on a different computer at any time.
You can purchase multiple licenses to register any number of computers at lower prices, as shown on our Purchase page.
If several computers share the same internet connection, you only need NUM on one of those computers to monitor connection failures. If you want to test connections in different locations, such as home and office, you need at least one license for each.
To move your registration to a new computer, just download the current version of the program and install it on the new computer. Register your license in that new installation using the same key. You can uninstall NUM from the original computer or leave it installed; that installation will revert to trial mode.
That’s the default setup when you install NUM, but you can turn it off and on in the Settings.
Does NUM send or receive a lot of data? I have data caps on my connection and I don’t want to hit the limit!
NUM generates a very small amount of data traffic. If you run NUM 8 hours a day with the default settings, you will download about 250 megabytes of data in 30 days. Upload is much less – under 10 megabytes in 30 days.
No. NUM consumes very little resources: Task Manager reports the process uses 0% of CPU time and less than 100 megabytes of memory. On a computer with 8 gigabytes of memory, that’s about one percent of the memory.
No. That’s a very different kind of test. To test speed, you have to have a server available that will send you a data file of a good size and at the highest speed your connection might possibly handle. That server also has to be fairly close by to prevent slow down from sending the data across many connections. Net Uptime Monitor has users around the world, so that would mean servers everywhere!
SpeedTest.net is a free service that maintains just such a worldwide network of servers to perform that kind of speed test. Visit the SpeedTest.net web site to test your connection speed.
Yes. Some connections, particularly satellite or dial up, can take longer than the default limit of 200 milliseconds (2/10th of a second) to respond, causing NUM to report a failure. A NUM user in Afghanistan reported that the normal response time for Google is a full second!
If your connection is very slow to respond, just click the “Change Settings” button and increase the setting for “Wait for Ping Response”. A good way to determine the best setting is to put it at the maximum of 2000 (2 seconds) and then watch NUM for a while and note the range of typical response times for each server. Change the Ping Response time setting to about 1.5 times the highest normal response and NUM should give you reliable reports of actual failures.
I sometimes see one of the test target lights turn red and stay red until testing cycles around again.
That’s normal and it’s not a connection failure. The test just takes an instant and there is only one test every five seconds. If a test fails, the light turns red and NUM goes on to the next test immediately. The red light stays on, but that just means that one server didn’t respond to that one request. Ten seconds go by before NUM tries that one again and the light turns green.
NUM says my connection is working but I can’t browse to any websites! Everything says “not found”. Why doesn’t NUM show a failure in my connection?
Your connection actually is working. What’s probably not working is your Domain Name Service, or DNS.
Computers on the internet, whether it’s a server at Google or your PC at home, are actually identified by a number – like 220.127.116.11 for Google. That’s called an IP (Internet Protocol) address. The DNS is the phone book of the internet. Your browser needs the IP address of the server you want to get that web page from, but you just have to type in the name – Google.com. Your browser sends that web site name to the DNS server and DNS sends back the IP address you need. That has to happen before your browser can ask the web site’s server for the actual page.
In most cases, your computer is set to use a DNS service provided by your Internet Service Provider. These ISP DNS services can be slow or occasionally even unavailable.
Using a different DNS service could be more reliable and also faster – reducing the delay you see before a requested web page begins to load. There are free public DNS services you can use including Google’s DNS or OpenDNS. The specifics of how to change your DNS can be found on the OpenDNS web site at http://use.opendns.com/ To use Google’s DNS, follow the same directions but use the IP addresses 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124.
Even when your DNS is down, Net Uptime Monitor keeps reporting that it’s connecting because NUM does not use names to specify server addresses; it uses the numerical IP address directly. This means it doesn’t need or use the DNS. That’s a key feature of NUM’s design – it tests the connection, not your DNS service.
Can I change the server addresses that NUM is communicating with when it tests my internet connection?
Yes, just click the “Change Settings” button, then the “Change Target Servers” button. Detailed instructions are in the Help file.
The three default servers are extremely high reliability, public, and free. Cloudflare is one of the world’s largest networks, serving 25 million HTTP requests per second on average. Level 3 is one of only six main providers (Tier 1 networks) of the internet backbone in the United States and around the world. And Google is – well, it’s Google.
The purpose of NUM is to test whether your internet provider is connecting you to the whole of the internet and using these servers tells you if they are doing that job!
There’s no need to do that. NUM automatically tests your router with a separate Ping when the internet connection fails. The status of your local network is displayed and is recorded in the log file with any outage.
Generally, one of the first things your ISP will tell you to do is to connect your computer directly to their modem and not through a router or WiFi – this eliminates the local network as a possible source of the problem. The router response time in the NUM log will prove to your ISP that your router or WiFi is not the issue.
No, that requires different programming, and we don’t offer that capability at this time
Will NUM continue to monitor my connection when my computer “goes to sleep”, i.e. enters a power saving state?
No. All programs are “suspended” when your computer is in a power saving state. NUM will be running when the computer wakes up, but network failures while the computer is sleeping will not be detected or logged.
If you want NUM to test around the clock, change your “power and sleep” settings to prevent your computer from sleeping.