Echo Networks eliminates hours of frustrating calls to providers support line, gives consumers and IT support proof of what is happening with services during and after problems.
PRESCOTT, AZ – How many times can you reboot a router before you give up in frustration? That’s the question Mike Paradis, Echo Network’s creator, asked himself a few years ago. Despite paying for an expensive business package for his home with a local cable Internet provider, he found himself spending hours on the phone with technical support, trying to figure out if the problems were with his equipment or if the cable provider was having network issues. Each call started the same way. The support person would tell him he couldn’t see any network issues and then lead Paradis through basic reboot procedures, with the same result. The Internet was still down.
“I have been incredibly frustrated with cable providers,” Paradis admits. “I’ve been a network administrator for almost 30 years. We ran our own mid-sized ISP in the late 1990’s and currently host a small data center, so I know how to troubleshoot a connection. We would regularly call tech support, run through all the troubleshooting, only to be told the problem was at our end, or worse, they didn’t see anything going on at all. I could see that the issues were not with my equipment, but if I didn’t do exactly what they said and follow their basic steps during the phone call, they would not escalate me to the next tier of tech support.”
“After multiple calls and trouble tickets, they would eventually discover something was going on with their infrastructure and dispatch a technician to fix it,” he added, “but not until I had spent hours on calls with them. Worst of all, bad Internet made our voice-over-IP system practically unusable and our remotely managed customers were suffering and blaming us because we could not reach their networks at times.”
Paradis created Echo Networks to put an end to the finger pointing he finds is all too common between Internet providers and their customers. “Whether you are a home user, a small business or a large company, you deserve to get the Internet you’re paying for,” he said. “Echo Networks gives you the tools to show your Internet provider what is happening to your connection, erasing any questions about outages and downtime caused by their network or their upstream providers.”
Echo Networks software can monitor and track how your Internet is performing, with web-based reports that let you drill down into the details or just get the big picture. The software, which runs on Windows 7/8/10, Linux 7.x and some embedded devices, is free to download, install and use for monitoring. The application is web based so you can get to your reports from anywhere, any time. More detailed graphs are available for a low monthly subscription. An optional customized mini router offers a hardware solution to customers who want to make sure they have 24/7 monitoring without leaving their computer turned on all the time.
Reports are from your own services perspective and show if problems are local, with the provider or beyond. This is important information because in many cases, providers are not able to see problems after the fact. Echo Networks logs everything, past and present. Even if the provider is not aware of a problem or is not admitting to any, members can always see what’s going on. Members can even configure an email notification to let them know if the Internet connection being monitored is unavailable. This is especially important in an area such as Prescott where many seniors might have VoIP or some other Internet-based life alert system.
Echo networks is especially useful for IT and Tech Support companies, saving time and money by quickly determining if problems are within their network or Internet related. “The idea originally came to life to help prevent customers pointing the finger at our supported services when problems were in fact their Internet connectivity”.
Paradis hopes everyone will give Echo Networks a try, whether they use the free subscription or optionally pay for the more detailed graphs. “It helps us paint a picture of how the Internet is working. The more people we have running it, the clearer and more detailed the picture will become of what’s going on, not only with local providers, but the national Tier 1 network providers too.”
He believes users could positively impact the industry by exposing connectivity problems providers are having. “Imagine as a customer, calling your local Internet company and informing them you can see Level3 or CenturyLink is having a problem in your service area and what are they going to do to fix it? Or asking for a credit because you can prove you have been having daily outages on your connection and can also send them a report showing which of their upstream providers were having problems during the outages.” Paradis thinks well-informed customers could change the way providers support and respond to outages. “It’s empowering to have data and details to back it up. Imagine never having to waste your time rebooting your router just to prove your Internet is really down.”
Echo Networks, offers comprehensive solutions to monitor internet services for connectivity and performance. Outage reports show details such frequency, length, average times, latency and low bandwidth with rolling historical data plus speed testing and an ever expanding list of features.