I'm am certainly not complaining about a free service. But the symptoms I am experiencing are no doubt abnormal. I'm just trying to ascertain if I can alleviate these symptoms. Are there maybe methods/utilities to obtain more information? Perhaps Google Talk uses a certain port every time it connects to the outside world, and I could somehow monitor the opening and closing of that port? Or maybe Google Talk performs some kind of connection speed test, and if my connection is slow enough, it thinks I'm not connected to the internet? This problem only arises when I am in Afghanistan on my 512 kb/s ISP.