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I’m having an issue with my iMac network connection. It’s a wired Ethernet connection through a switch and then an Asus router. WiFi clients aren’t seeing the same painfully slow episodes that the iMac is. Googling gets advice along the lines of “log in under Safe Mode”, or “try x” or “try y”. It all seems pretty much guesswork. My question is, how would a network engineer approach the problem? What would a troubleshooting strategy be and what tools would one use? I’m not afraid of using Terminal and have a decent amateur understanding of networking concepts. Just no experience. Thanks for your help!

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Apple has great triage tools to get you to isolate what is failing:

One valid item is to use tethering and WiFi as listed in HT202663 - that makes sure your Mac is working with other network connections. That will help guide you in making use of the main Network Utility (the second link)

You’ll just need to make sure DNS works and then see how far your traffic goes from the mac.

  1. Can it ping the router.
  2. Does the router see your Mac?
  3. Does your traffic get past the router to the internet?

In fact, why not start with if you have a green dot in network settings. See the screen shot below and you can click the circle with the ? In it to be guided in help on how to set up your Ethernet.

System Preferences showing network status and help I would start with that and then post a follow on question showing how far you got and what one step you can’t move forward until you learn something. You don’t need to go through all the networking theory and terms - just enough to get you past one item once you have narrowed down what is failing you.

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  • Thanks. I had forgotten about Network Utility. I had occasion to restart my computer before getting to this and now the symptoms have cleared up. So maybe it's fixed. If not, I will try these ideas when symptoms return. – Mike Nov 27 '19 at 18:21

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