Fios & Zoom troubleshooting

I have Fios + MacbookPro + ethernet (I rarely use wifi) + zoom calls all day. A couple of times per week, Zoom gives me a message that my internet is unstable. Or, my zoom video will freeze. It does nto happen often. I started to reboot my Fios router 1x per week. Question => Does anyone have a recommendation for a user friendly mac application I can run on a spare laptop that can help me capture what the issue is so I can have a productive conversation with Fios Technical support as an informed consumer?

Perhaps a would help you. It will constantly monitor the network, and produce data (and graphs) that may be helpful. (Although I doubt you’ll get much help from an ISP unless you REALLY kick up a stink… they’re just going to tell you it all looks good from their end.)

Here’s an Ars Technica review of the monitor-io

EDIT: Ooops, before I had the link to the login page for owners, and not the actual product page, sorry bout that.

Thank you…I just purchased this to give it a try

Rookie follow up question…does anyone have any good ideas on a home device that will switch between fios and comcast if one of them runs into trouble…and perhaps pick the best path so I can seamlessly failover from using Fios to comcast if my home office fios burps? The goal is to minimize any zoom freeze or hang issues

You want a router with support for this. Presumably you currently have a combined WiFi and router? You would put your WiFi into “AP Mode” (doing only WiFi and not being a router) and then install a router between it and the Internet modem(s). If you’re extra tech savvy, you could do this with a firewall, such as pfSense. If you need it to be as friendly as possible, you’d need to find a router with the feature. This one is around $70 on Amazon and seems like it would fit the bill, but I have no actual experience with it.

Here’s an article that may be helpful (this was a Google search result, I am unaware of the credentials of the source, so you may want to do some addition research of your own.)

A WAN failover scenario with standard SOHO equipment will very likely cause a Zoom session to hang for a short period of time. If your FiOS connection is completely dropping for an extended period of time, then such a device might be a good choice. But if your Zoom session just freezes up for a few seconds and reconnects then failing over internet providers won’t mitigate that short interruption.

@knewman thank you…I wonder, do they sell “wan accelerators” for the home? I know RvierBed and SilverPeak sell them for companies, but I wonder if anyone is selling something like that for the home that does compression and optimization to key saas applications?

hmm not that I’m aware of. The only ones I’ve seen are rackmount physical appliances or virtual appliances intended for a virtual infrastructure. I suppose you could use either in a home network scenario, but they sure aren’t cheap.

I’ve PoC’d a few SD-WAN type solutions and found them to be mostly snake oil relative to the way they’re marketed tbh. There can be benefits in very specific scenarios, but at the end of the day if you have an unstable connection… then you have an unstable connection.

@knewman Thanks for sharing your context

Very few home users are going to have multiple ISPs at home, unless they are running a small business. There’s no market for SD-WAN for residential.

With regards to the OP’s issue: It’s probably nothing to do with your connection. It could be an upstream issue. Remember, there are a ton more people working at home then there were months ago. Much more video conferencing going on, which requires upstream bandwidth. Most residential usage is streaming, where downstream is more important. A lot of residential infrastructure just wasn’t designed for this. There are bound to be hiccups. And yes, I’m aware that FIOS is a synchronous connection as I’m a FIOS 100/100 subscriber.

If these issues are only happening once a week, I’d just go with the flow. You’ll end up spending more time troubleshooting than its worth.