Looking for recommendation for simple internet connection monitoring for elderly parents

simonmason

New Member
My in-laws have a lot of issues with their devices - usually operator error. However, I have noticed that their cable modem does not seem to be terribly reliable. Having replaced the modem and wi-fi router more than once it is starting to look more like reliability of the service. I was wondering if someone has a recommendation for a simple monitoring solution I can install on the Windows 10 computer they have to keep me alerted to connection issues? Thanks.
 

Neemobeer

Windows Forum Team
Staff member
It would have to be something off their network. If it was on their computer and there was a network problem you wouldn't be able to receive alerts
 

simonmason

New Member
I was thinking a heartbeat situation - if heartbeat stops I know something is going on. Wouldn’t need to be off the computer then. Not mission critical of course.
 

Neemobeer

Windows Forum Team
Staff member
It would still need to be off the computer as there would be no way for it to alert you.
 

riserbo

Member
It would have to be something off their network. If it was on their computer and there was a network problem you wouldn't be able to receive alerts
Not necessarily. If a certain port on their router was forwarded to a server program on their computer that was constantly running, wouldn't simonmason be able to check their network functionality by connecting to it with netcat or a similar client program? If the network was down, he wouldn't be able to connect, and he'd know they were having issues. The server program could even be tweaked to measure network response times and report them back to him whenever he got a successful connection.
 

Neemobeer

Windows Forum Team
Staff member
If you want them to be alerted then a local program would be fine. If you want to be alerted and not on the same network you'd want the monitoring off net. Monitoring on a loopback to the routers external address wouldn't be practical since you're not guaranteed the same address, nor is it wise to open unnecessary ports to the internet. You can do some simple connection tests with powershell or even just ping,tracert and DNS lookups to test.
 

riserbo

Member
If you want them to be alerted then a local program would be fine. If you want to be alerted and not on the same network you'd want the monitoring off net. Monitoring on a loopback to the routers external address wouldn't be practical since you're not guaranteed the same address, nor is it wise to open unnecessary ports to the internet. You can do some simple connection tests with powershell or even just ping,tracert and DNS lookups to test.
You actually can guarantee the same address by setting a static on the computer in question. Opening unnecessary ports isn't typically recommended, but as long as they aren't open to vulnerable services you will find them to be quite safe. Besides the server wouldn't have to be open 24/7, only when the in-laws are using the computer.

However, there are a couple problems with doing a connection test via powershell, ping, tracert, or any other off-net tools:

1. Simonmason will have to use these tools repeatedly throughout the day, which may be a waste of time. On the other hand, a client/server relationship can be tweaked to notify him of connectivity problems in real-time.

2. "Off-net" tools will only be able to read the connectivity of the network itself, not the computer's connection status to the network. (There may be issues internally - the computer can't connect at all, the computer connects to the network but not to the internet, IP configuration issues, etc)

Although simple off-net connection tests may suit simonmason if real-time or scheduled updates aren't necessary, a client/server relationship is indeed more practical.
 
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