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Internet Connectivity Evaluation Tool

Internet Connectivity Evaluation Tool

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Published by: mlmcbride33 on Nov 06, 2009
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Internet Connectivity Evaluation Tool - Technical Information
This tool is intended to be run from a home network. Running this tool from inside a corporate firewall won't return accurateresults.During testing, the tool contacts a Microsoft server and sends information about your computer ("standard computerinformation"). This information is only needed as part of the standard Internet protocol and generally is not personallyidentifiable. Standard computer information typically includes information such as your Internet Protocol (IP) address;operating system version; browser version; your hardware ID, which indicates the device manufacturer, device name, andversion; and your regional and language settings. This information is stored in Web server logs temporarily as a securitymeasure (for example, to help prevent Denial-of-Service attacks).Although it is unlikely, testing might interrupt your Internet connectivity or cause your router to stop responding. In thatevent, the test will notify you. To restore your Internet connectivity, you can unplug the power cable from the router andthen plug it back in.The following tests evaluate several technical aspects and capabilities of your router. The results report you receive at theend of the test will describe how your router's capabilities will support specific Windows Vista features.
Basic Internet Connectivity Test
This test is intended to ensure that your computer has basic Internet connectivity, which is needed for the rest of the tests.This test may take up to 60 seconds to run.A result of "Supported" indicates that your computer has basic Internet connectivity.Your computer already has or had basic Internet connectivity in order to reach this Web page. Therefore, a "Not supported"result in this test could mean that you lost connectivity recently, possibly due to a router or Internet connection that stoppedworking or that provides connectivity only intermittently. If you ran the test over a wireless network, you might want to tryagain using a wired connection to eliminate the possibility of wireless interference causing failures. Also, other software or anetwork device (such as a firewall or proxy) might be preventing the test tool from connecting to the Internet, in which casethe test results won't be accurate.
Network Address Translator Type
One primary function of most home Internet routers is Network Address Translation (NAT). Routers providing NAT supportassign private IP addresses on the local network. NAT maps these private addresses on the inside network to a public IPaddress on the outside network so that computers behind the Internet router can communicate with the rest of the Internet.Since Network Address Translators can work in different ways, this test uses Microsoft servers to identify your router's NATtype. Some protocols work better through routers that act as cone-type NATs than routers that act as symmetric-type NATs.This test may take up to 60 seconds to run.Success of this test means that your Internet router or firewall acts similar to a cone NAT. This means that it helpsapplications which use Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) to connect, regardless of your ISP's IPv6 support. For example, inWindows Vista you can collaborate with others across the Internet using Windows Meeting Space.A result of "Not supported" in this test does not impact your basic Internet connectivity. One possible reason for this resultmay be that your computer is connecting through an Internet router that acts as a symmetric NAT (view the detailed reportto determine if this is the case). Microsoft has determined that symmetric NATs can block the traffic of programs that useIPv6 tunneling over IPv4 (see Teredo Overviewfor details of how this works). Failure to connect using IPv6 may cause these programs to not run or to have a degraded experience. It is also possible that the servers used to determine the NAT typeare temporarily unreachable, in which case running the test again later will give a more accurate result.
Traffic Congestion Test
Internet routers sometimes lose information that is being transferred across the Internet when they experience congestion(full router queues). This loss of information is known as packet loss. Internet protocols like the Transport Control Protocol(TCP) can use packet loss as a congestion indicator. Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN) is a mechanism that provides

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