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msn messenger

By david.colligan ·
I have a Q-Tec router and i have 3 pc's and a laptop connected to it, I have updated to msn 7 and it takes forever to log in. running xp pro on all computers, does anyone know why and how to fix it.

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Diagnose the problem by watching network dialogs

by stress junkie In reply to msn messenger

Try running a network packet sniffer. You'd be surprised how much you can see. I run a packet sniffer all the time. The network dialog can be pretty interesting and you can learn a lot. For instance I learned that my ISP just recently enabled encryption for email authentication. Up to a few days ago they only allowed clear text authentication. I was always upset to see my user name and password show up in my packet sniffing window in the clear. Then a few days ago I noticed that the authentication dialog attempted to start an encryption dialog. I changed my email client to use that authentication type and it worked. My ISP still hasn't notified me to change my email authentication and it seems likely that they never will. If I hadn't been watching packets I would never have known that they implemented this on their email server.

I can also see when my ISP's equipment isn't working properly. When my network response slows down I can look at the network sniffer to see if packets are being dropped. If I see a lot of retransmissions, duplicate acks, and out-of-order packets then I know that my ISP is causing my network response problems. If I don't see these things then I know that the server that I'm trying to communicate with is probably at fault.

Watching packets I can also see that there are a bunch of bad-guy computers that try to communicate with my machine. Some send me MS Messenger messages saying that I need to upgrade Windows by connecting to an unusual URL and installing a patch at that site. Since I run Linux I wouldn't have seen these MS Messenger messages unless I sniffed the network. I can also see when bad-guy computers are trying to connect to various ports on my machine such as MS SQL server port. Although these port scans don't affect my home computer it is still useful for me to see the level of attacks that are being perpetrated against my machine.

I would recommend that anyone interested in computer networks should have a packet sniffer window open at all times and occassionally have a look to see what is going on behind the scenes.

In Linux I use tethereal. This is a console version of Ethereal. I use a simple command line to invoke the software that only looks at network traffic to and from my machine. This filters out a lot of ARP traffic that I don't need to see. Ethereal runs on Windows as well as various Unixes and Linux. You can find it here.

The command line that I use to invoke tethereal in a console window is:

tethereal -n host <my-ip-address>

Give packet sniffing a try. It's fun. It's interesting. It's educational.

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by david.colligan In reply to Diagnose the problem by w ...

I will give it a go, but i nothing about networking.

Thanks again Dave

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