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Why is my Internet traffic slow?

My question is general, but what are the possible reasons for very slow Internet connection at the network? We do not have so many servers -- a firewall, mailserver (Exchange 5), Websense and Esafe at the DMZ and DNS-WINS-DHCP, and proxy server at the Net. I cannot see anything wrong in the configuration; what can be the possible problems? Also, our bandwidth is more than enough for our user number.
As you said, your question is very general. I think that the best general solution would be to get your hands on a Packeteer PacketShaper. These devices are just amazing. Put it in between the Ethernet port on your router and the rest of your network.

The Packeteer will monitor every piece of traffic and then proceed to provide a very comprehensive set of reports. These reports are available in a Web browser or by exporting to CSV file for use in MS Excel. The PacketShaper will show you not only the volume of traffic but also response time. So you can see how much e-mail traffic you have, and the average response time for packets.

An alternative would be to enable IP accounting, a feature on Cisco routers. This will tell you how many packets and bytes are being transmitted between IP address pairs. You will be able to determine if someone is using too much traffic.

The only other way would be to use a packet sniffer, capture some packets and work out what the traffic is doing. You will probably end up with too much information and not be able to work out the problem with this method, but it is worth a try.
This was last published in June 2001

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