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About: Internet outages, alerts and agent statuses
Please do not enable inactive notifications before reading and understanding this page.
Troubleshooting and monitoring Internet services and providers is automated when using OutagesIO though it is important to understand that in some cases, human intervention is required to understand reports and their meanings.
While the dashboard may seem a bit intimidating for some, once the basics are understood, OutagesIO becomes easier to use without needing to be technically inclined. These forums exist to help members along the way so please feel free to use the search button on top or post questions if help cannot be found.
Like any other tool, understanding the basics will help you to succeed in your goal. Without at least some understanding of how OutagesIO works, much of the reports being generated may be of little use.
Some of the reasons for monitoring may include needing to know quickly about Internet/communications disruptions at one or more locations or wanting to automate the process of logging problems and for accountability.
OutagesIO can notify members in several different ways using email, SMS and map/dashboard alerts.
For more information on notifications, please visit this link.
Notifications menu (emails, alerts, SMS)
Probably the most important status to understand is the inactive and we will go over each of them in detail.
Why do I have Internet access but my agent shows Inactive or Disconnected in my dashboard?
In the majority of cases, it is because the agent service has stopped running or has been blocked by security software on the PC, firewall or something else on the network.
If you see such conditions, it is always possible that there is a conflict between the agent software and something else that is installed on the PC. This is not something we can support but you could try using the re-install feature in the Manage menu of your agent dashboard.
Statuses and their meanings
ACTIVE = up to 19 sec (from last trace)
An agent is considered active so long as it is communicating with the OutagesIO network. The heartbeat shows green as long as the agent is either sending updates, looking for updates and/or OutagesIO knows that it is regularly communicating.
Communications include http, https and ICMP tests which are run between every 10 to 20 seconds. This timing can be changed to accommodate very low bandwidth or non critical links for organizations.
Communications include the agent sending consolidated pings (every minute is averaged), running a small/short speed test if you have speed testing enabled, checking for parameter updates for its built in algorithm and other similar functions.
As long as the agent has communicated in some way or another it will be considered active. This is usually around 19 seconds.
INACTIVE = from 20 sec to 29 min 59 sec (from last trace)
An agent is considered inactive if it has not communicated with the OutagesIO network for about the 20 seconds.
IMPORTANT - There are many reasons that an agent could become inactive and most are unrelated to actual IP problems.
A cable modem or the provider equipment may be experiencing signal problems. Signal problems do not generate IP outage information because there are none to report. If the provider suffers IP problems, the agent will always log and report such problems. If you suffer a lot of intermittent disconnections but do not see outages in your reports, it could mean a hardware/signal problem somewhere.
An inactive status could mean anything from a power loss, disconnected/broken cable and countless other things. However, if you see outage reports in your dashboard, you'll know that the problem was in fact network/Internet related and therefore, the agent was able to track and log the issue.
DISCONNECTED = from 30 min to 29 days 23 hours 59 min 59 sec (from last trace)
Inactive to Disconnected is cumulative. If an agent remains inactive for up to 30 minutes, including the first inactive period, it is considered disconnected. If there is a prolonged outage occurring, the agent will track and log the issue and it will be shown in your dashboard.
Keep in mind that if you reboot a PC, restart the agent service, disconnect the hardware agent or power cycle it, the outage that it may be tracking will be lost. Never turn off an agent during an Internet interruption because it will send all of the details to your dashboard once it can reach the Internet again.
As with inactive periods, if no outage report comes in once the agent is considered back online, it means something happened that is not IP related. These appear kinds of problems seem to be a large part of down time or what we often call mystery disconnections because there is no clear way of knowing what caused it.
These kinds of issues take a lot more digging, investigating to determine their causes and for most people, they are never found.
ABANDONED = from 30 days on (from last trace)
An agent is considered abandoned after 30 days.
Abandoned agents used to be left in the system in case the owner ever came back. However, we have since put a method in place that emails the owner some time before the agent is removed from the site. This will allow the owner to return to the site and continue using their agent or act as a reminder to perhaps remove the software from their PC if they do not intend to use it again.