What is a loopback? IT Support Episode 29

This is a question that a big fat ZERO number of you have ever thought to ask! We wouldn’t blame you to be honest, why would you?  Most people have probably never even heard of the term.

However something strange happened on a client site recently, that took some diagnosing to resolve. Not aided by the fact that this client site was empty for a few days with everyone working from home, including the managing director. But following a call to Captain Christian from the client who wanted to work over the weekend, but access to his NAS in the office wasn’t working.

He could connect to his VPN, but then nothing… He said it looks like the network is down.  So we got to work, and diagnosed that there was a loopback. So watch this episode to learn in simple terms what one is, and how this happened on them on this occasion.

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Harvey with phone headset

“What is a loopback?” – IT Support Episode 29

Hi, I’m Christian from “Northstar IT” and this week, what’s a loopback?

This week I’ve got a tale from our help desk and this one is a completely new one, I’ve worked in the IT industry for over two decades and I’ve never ever seen this problem occur before, I’m sure it does happen out there because trust me I always turn around and say computers work perfectly until you lot start doing this on the keyboard.

However this one is a new one. The user in question was finishing work at the end of a Friday afternoon and heading home, but this time he was going to be working from home for a couple of days so he unplugged his laptop from the network, and in this case he had one of these attached to it, a network cable, he wasn’t working wirelessly for whatever reason and so his laptop was hardwired into the network but he decided to do something that he thought was being sensible he wanted to make sure he left the cable neat and tidy, his words not mine.

So what did he do?

He took that end of the network cable, and plugged it into the other wall socket. Now for whatever reason that other socket was already connected to the network switch that then meant the network started going wrong. If you think of a loopback as being a bit like a roundabout and the data packets that are running around the network are a bit like little cars and you imagine now that traffic has got onto the roundabout and is going round, and round, and round and it can’t reach its destination. It’s a bit of a crude example but you get the general idea.

So when you’re packing your laptop or desktop away or whatever you’re doing in relation to the network cabling, just make sure you don’t do this. It’s called a LOOPBACK and it really doesn’t help and in this case caused the business owner no end of problems while he was trying to work remotely over the weekend.

So until next time.

(Error causing finger snap.)

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