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Wireless Router Internet Connection Problems

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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September 10, 2004 12:59:44 AM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

Hi,

(apologies for the long message - trying to cover all details -
summary: wireless router often drops internet connection)

I recently bought an RG54G2 Wireless Router a CB54G2 PCMCIA Wireless
card and a D-Link GWL-630 PCMCIA Wireless card. In addition to two
laptops connected to the wireless router WLAN, I have two PCs (one Win
WP Pro SP 1 and one Win98SE) connected to the router via wired LAN. I
also have a SurfBoard SB3100 Cable Modem connected to the WAN port
(this connects to my ISP Optusnet (Australia) via DHCP).

The problem I have is that the internet connection is disconnected
many times a day (often every few minutes, sometimes an hour or so).
I am able to reconnect by resetting the wireless router via the
wireless router configuration page. When the internet is disconnected
I am still able to access the computers on the LAN/WLAN (via Windows
Explorer and Ping), I am also able to ping the router and the Cable
Modem, but nothing outside of the cable modem.

Also, when the internet is disconnected the System Status page
indicates that the router is still connected to the internet, and the
Diagnostics page passes the Test Connection test, though no external
pings work.

I did not have this problem when the cable modem was connected
directly to the Win98SE PC (and other PCs via ICS and a four port
hub).

I have disabled the WLAN and the problem still exists with only the
wired LAN.

I have changed numerous settings in the wireless router config page
with no success (eg disabling DHCP and setting each IP address,
minimising LAN and WLAN speeds to 10 and 11MBps plus others).

I have upgraded the wireless router firmware to R1.0.6.0 (no change to
the problem).

Searching on Google I have found several other cases of routers with
unstable internet connections (none refering to the MSI routers), but
none had solutions that helped my situation (most replies suggested
updating the firmware).

Any suggestions of how to make the router internet connection stable?

Thanks,

Mike
Anonymous
September 10, 2004 12:59:45 AM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

"Mike" <optusnospam@optusnet.com.au> wrote in message
news:urd0k0h1n6plulnu7e7qe406f2bj1olo66@4ax.com...
> Hi,
>
> (apologies for the long message - trying to cover all details -
> summary: wireless router often drops internet connection)
>
> I recently bought an RG54G2 Wireless Router a CB54G2 PCMCIA Wireless
> card and a D-Link GWL-630 PCMCIA Wireless card. In addition to two
> laptops connected to the wireless router WLAN, I have two PCs (one Win
> WP Pro SP 1 and one Win98SE) connected to the router via wired LAN. I
> also have a SurfBoard SB3100 Cable Modem connected to the WAN port
> (this connects to my ISP Optusnet (Australia) via DHCP).
>
> The problem I have is that the internet connection is disconnected
> many times a day (often every few minutes, sometimes an hour or so).
> I am able to reconnect by resetting the wireless router via the
> wireless router configuration page. When the internet is disconnected
> I am still able to access the computers on the LAN/WLAN (via Windows
> Explorer and Ping), I am also able to ping the router and the Cable
> Modem, but nothing outside of the cable modem.
>
> Also, when the internet is disconnected the System Status page
> indicates that the router is still connected to the internet, and the
> Diagnostics page passes the Test Connection test, though no external
> pings work.
>
> I did not have this problem when the cable modem was connected
> directly to the Win98SE PC (and other PCs via ICS and a four port
> hub).
>
> I have disabled the WLAN and the problem still exists with only the
> wired LAN.
>
> I have changed numerous settings in the wireless router config page
> with no success (eg disabling DHCP and setting each IP address,
> minimising LAN and WLAN speeds to 10 and 11MBps plus others).
>
> I have upgraded the wireless router firmware to R1.0.6.0 (no change to
> the problem).
>
> Searching on Google I have found several other cases of routers with
> unstable internet connections (none refering to the MSI routers), but
> none had solutions that helped my situation (most replies suggested
> updating the firmware).
>
> Any suggestions of how to make the router internet connection stable?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Mike

The router sounds like the culprit for two reasons: the obvious reason is
that you didn't have the problem without the router; the other reason is
that the router believes it's still connected to the Internet when it's not.

A small improvement over rebooting the router might be to just tell the
router to renew its DHCP lease from the cable modem.

If the router manufacturer can't help you with this problem, it's probably
time for a new router.

Ron Bandes
CCNP, CTT+, etc.
Anonymous
September 10, 2004 1:28:01 PM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

On Thu, 09 Sep 2004 20:59:44 +1000, Mike <optusnospam@optusnet.com.au>
wrote:

>(apologies for the long message - trying to cover all details -
>summary: wireless router often drops internet connection)

This is good.

>I recently bought an RG54G2 Wireless Router

http://www.msi.com.tw/program/products/communication/cm...

>The problem I have is that the internet connection is disconnected
>many times a day (often every few minutes, sometimes an hour or so).

Are there any changes in the status lites on the Surfboard modem when
the connection drops? If you have marginal signal levels at the
modem, the Surfboard will show an "online" light even though it is
incapeable of sending or receiving data. What are the SB3100 lights
doing when it's down?

>Also, when the internet is disconnected the System Status page
>indicates that the router is still connected to the internet, and the
>Diagnostics page passes the Test Connection test, though no external
>pings work.

Yeah, I've seen this type of nonsense. The status page simply
displays whether the last login negotiation was successful. On many
routers, you can literally unplug the coax plug from the cable modem,
and the status page will continue to happily display that everything
is just fine. It's really bad for a static IP address, where the
connection is presumed to be always connected. My BEFW11S4 doesn't
even show a connect/disconnect button with a static IP address.

By successfully pinging the cable modem when it's down, you have
fairly well proven that it's not a router or cable modem problem.
Nowever "no external pings work" is a bit broad. Try to ping the
ISP's CMTS router gateway IP address. You can extract this IP address
from the router status page. If pinging the gateway works, but
nothing else pings on the internet (by IP address), you may have a DNS
problem on your computah. The ISP may also have a problem at the CMTS
but this is rather unlikely.

Another possibility is that some ISP's IDS systems look for specific
virus/worm/DDoS type of traffic patterns and pull the plug on a
customer until they fix it. A clue is usually that you can ping the
gateway IP, but nothing else.

>I did not have this problem when the cable modem was connected
>directly to the Win98SE PC (and other PCs via ICS and a four port
>hub).

How long ago was that? I once troubleshot a similar issue, where it
only failed when the router was plugged in. Turns out that the
ethernet cable to the router, which was only used when the router was
plugged in, was intermittant. Check your assumptions here. Was the
router the only thing that changed? Or were the Win98SE machine
settings seriously tweaked.

>I have disabled the WLAN and the problem still exists with only the
>wired LAN.

Ummmm.... and you ask this question in a wireless internet newsgroup?
Well, ok, I guess...

>I have changed numerous settings in the wireless router config page
>with no success (eg disabling DHCP and setting each IP address,
>minimising LAN and WLAN speeds to 10 and 11MBps plus others).

Take the wireless part of the puzzle out of the picture. If you can
truely browse the other machines when the internet connection is down,
and the problem is still there with a wired LAN, it's not the
wireless.

>I have upgraded the wireless router firmware to R1.0.6.0 (no change to
>the problem).

Yep, that's the latest. Did you remember to reset everything to
defaults?

>Searching on Google I have found several other cases of routers with
>unstable internet connections (none refering to the MSI routers), but
>none had solutions that helped my situation (most replies suggested
>updating the firmware).
>
>Any suggestions of how to make the router internet connection stable?

Yeah. Normally, I would suggest you do some monitoring to see if
there's a pattern. For example, does it die after xxx minutes of no
traffic? Does it have a periodic pattern such as dead every xxx
minutes? What does it take to recover the connection? Can you power
cycle the Surfboard modem to recover?

However, there's an easier way. Beg, buy, borrow, or steal another
router. It doesn't have to be wireless as this is just for testing
the connection. Replace your RG54G2 router and see if things
magically fix themselves. If yes, then you have a problem with the
RG54G2. My guess(tm) is that it has something to do with the DHCP
lease time or that it's "logging out" for no obvious good reason. If
the SB3100 fails a DHCP request, the power light will flash. However,
if both routers still result in intermittant disconnects, then you
have an issue with your cable ISP.


--
Jeff Liebermann jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 AE6KS 831-336-2558
September 14, 2004 2:07:38 PM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for the reply.

On Fri, 10 Sep 2004 09:28:01 -0700, Jeff Liebermann
<jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us> wrote:

<snip>
>
>Are there any changes in the status lites on the Surfboard modem when
>the connection drops? If you have marginal signal levels at the
>modem, the Surfboard will show an "online" light even though it is
>incapeable of sending or receiving data. What are the SB3100 lights
>doing when it's down?

All lights on solid, except the activity light that is flashing
rapidly (about 10Hz - though not consistantly).

>
<snip>
>
>By successfully pinging the cable modem when it's down, you have
>fairly well proven that it's not a router or cable modem problem.
>Nowever "no external pings work" is a bit broad. Try to ping the
>ISP's CMTS router gateway IP address. You can extract this IP address
>from the router status page. If pinging the gateway works, but
>nothing else pings on the internet (by IP address), you may have a DNS
>problem on your computah. The ISP may also have a problem at the CMTS
>but this is rather unlikely.
>
Things I can't ping after the dropout:
192.168.100.1 (SB3100s local IP)
210.49.146.1 (ISPs local gateway)
203.2.75.132 (ISPs primary DNS)
198.142.0.51 (ISPs secondary DNS)

Things I can ping after the dropout:
192.168.1.1 (self computer)
192.168.1.254 (router)
192.168.1.2 (other PC on LAN port)
192.168.1.15 (laptop via wireless LAN)
210.49.146.7 (IP assigned to cable modem by ISP DHCP)

>Another possibility is that some ISP's IDS systems look for specific
>virus/worm/DDoS type of traffic patterns and pull the plug on a
>customer until they fix it. A clue is usually that you can ping the
>gateway IP, but nothing else.
>
>>I did not have this problem when the cable modem was connected
>>directly to the Win98SE PC (and other PCs via ICS and a four port
>>hub).
>
>How long ago was that? I once troubleshot a similar issue, where it
>only failed when the router was plugged in. Turns out that the
>ethernet cable to the router, which was only used when the router was
>plugged in, was intermittant. Check your assumptions here. Was the
>router the only thing that changed? Or were the Win98SE machine
>settings seriously tweaked.
>
The cable modem was last connected directly to a PC about two weeks
ago (directly before connecting the router). The Win98SE machine
hasn't change since the introduction of the router. Also, I tried a
second ethernet cable between the router and modem (no change to
dropout rate).

>>I have disabled the WLAN and the problem still exists with only the
>>wired LAN.
>
>Ummmm.... and you ask this question in a wireless internet newsgroup?
>Well, ok, I guess...
>
Yes I know, a slightly long bow to draw, it is a wireless router!
;-)) - but so far this group has been the only one with a reply (and
no reply from MSI yet either!).

>>I have changed numerous settings in the wireless router config page
>>with no success (eg disabling DHCP and setting each IP address,
>>minimising LAN and WLAN speeds to 10 and 11MBps plus others).
>
>Take the wireless part of the puzzle out of the picture. If you can
>truely browse the other machines when the internet connection is down,
>and the problem is still there with a wired LAN, it's not the
>wireless.
>
>>I have upgraded the wireless router firmware to R1.0.6.0 (no change to
>>the problem).
>
>Yep, that's the latest. Did you remember to reset everything to
>defaults?
>
Yes, no change.

<snip>
>>
>>Any suggestions of how to make the router internet connection stable?
>
>Yeah. Normally, I would suggest you do some monitoring to see if
>there's a pattern. For example, does it die after xxx minutes of no
>traffic? Does it have a periodic pattern such as dead every xxx
>minutes? What does it take to recover the connection? Can you power
>cycle the Surfboard modem to recover?
>
It has never died while inactive. Only when we are using it.
The timing is variable. Sometimes it will die a few minutes after
being reset (a couple of days ago it was dying less than a minute
after being reset), sometimes it will go hours without dying (eg a
couple of nights ago I used it from 6pm to midnight without any
problems, this morning about 1/2 hour after using it it died).

Recovery works by:
a. reseting the router via the status page.
b. reseting the router by cycling its power.

Recovery doesn't work by:
a. cycling power to the Surfboard modem
b. renewing the IP from the ISPs DHCP server (after cycling the modem
power the router status page indicates disconnected to the ISP, and
doesn't reconnect until the router is reset).

>However, there's an easier way. Beg, buy, borrow, or steal another
>router. It doesn't have to be wireless as this is just for testing
>the connection. Replace your RG54G2 router and see if things
>magically fix themselves. If yes, then you have a problem with the
>RG54G2. My guess(tm) is that it has something to do with the DHCP
>lease time or that it's "logging out" for no obvious good reason. If
>the SB3100 fails a DHCP request, the power light will flash. However,
>if both routers still result in intermittant disconnects, then you
>have an issue with your cable ISP.

I haven't tried contacting the ISP yet, as I suspect their first
response will be that it is the router, hence, I'll try and explor all
avenues on the router side first.

I will try and get another router as you suggest. In the mean time,
does any of the additional info I've provided give any clues to what
could be wrong?

Many thanks for your help.

Mike
!