And Comcast customer service was no help at all. I started asking them for credit for the outages. They would give me a day of service credit for each instance. I would call them up and ask them to put a note in my account. Then once a week I'd call them and ask for a credit.
This got to be a record keeping problem. And I wanted to know whether the problem was outside of my neighborhood, on my Comcast "LAN", just my modem or just my router.
I found EMCO Ping Monitor Free. As its name suggests it's free and monitors via pings.
The free edition allows performing ping monitoring of up to five hosts. I run it on an Ethernet connected system and configure it to monitor:
- my router
- my Comcast modem
- Google DNS (188.8.131.52)
You configure how often it attempts a ping and how many failed pings should be counted as a network failure.
It will send e-mail notifications of events, failures or return to service.
Nice program. Easily paid for itself.