How to check the cause of web site access problems

If you are having intermittent problems accessing your site, please read the following:

1. The following web site tracks the performance of the major backbone providers.  Internetweather.com updates their page at 5 minute intervals.  http://www.internetweather.com

2. To help trace problems with Internet traffic, try the following: 
a. Connect to the internet
b.) If you are running Windows 95, go to a DOS prompt. To get to the dos prompt you can normally click the "Start" button, then "Programs" then select "MS-DOS prompt".
c.) At the DOS command line, type 'TRACERT yourdomain.com'    (minus the quotes, replace 'yourdomain.com' with your domain name) 
d.) Your screen may output information that looks like: 

Tracing route to example.com []  over a maximum of 30 hops: 

1   123 ms - 123 ms -123 ms - 
2   147 ms - 145 ms -182 ms - nc.pop.psi.net [] 
3   120 ms - 134 ms -134 ms - 
4    160 ms   242 ms   158 ms  sl-gw5-sj-1-1-0-T3.sprintlink.net [
5    180 ms   262 ms   228 ms  sl-gw5-1-0-T3.sprintlink.net []
6    198 ms   252 ms   288 ms  sl10-sj-155M.sprintlink.net []
7    327 ms   227 ms   301 ms  sl-bb10-rly-6-0.sprintlink.net []
8    343 ms   335 ms   298 ms  sl-gw1-rly-0-0-0.sprintlink.net []
9    394 ms  336 ms   339 ms  sl-smat-4-0-0.sprintlink.net []
10   313 ms   282 ms    282 ms   fvl1-S4-0.sprintsvc.net []
11   300 ms   370 ms   294 ms  fvl1-t-s4-0.sprintsvc.net []
12   297 ms   311 ms   343 ms  example.com []

This is called a traceroute, which traces, hop for hop, all the jumps you take from your internet connection to the destination. The first few hops are usually through your service provider's network. The hops from there are usually through the backbone/upstream provider your service provider uses to route internet traffic. The last few hops will be with our upstream/backbone provider through our network and to your server. Each hop shows timing information (designated by 3 sets of 'ms' ratings). Timing below 300 ms is good timing. Anything above that up to 1000 ms indicates some delays which will ultimately affect your overall connection performance. Any 'ms' timings represented by an asterisk (*)  indicate a time-out (bad connection). Whatever hops shows asterisks or timings above 500 will, more than likely, be where your connection is having problems. Check with the appropriate people regarding any performance problems. If the problems occur, in the first few hops, it is your service provider. If the problems occur within the midway hops, it is your service provider's upstream/backbone connection. If the problem occurs within the last few hops to your site, then it is a problem on our end. Please note, if the problem occurs in the first few hops, it will affect most of the hops thereafter.