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Odd Web Browsing

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December 26, 2006 4:58:18 AM

I was just wondering if anyone knows whats going on with my internet... I have SBC DSL (Not that many would know what that is :p  ) after transfering from AOL Broadband a while ago. A few weeks ago they upgraded it to a package higher than before (to my understanding) and since then its been screwy.

I cannot access half the internet basically, even major sites such as Microsoft.com, and I'm not sure why. It keeps taking forever to load and giving messages such as not responding.

This is all in Mozilla Firefox though, it works just fine in AOL. Personally, I hate AOL, and I don't want to use it...

We have 3 computers in our house at the moment: 2 Desktops and 1 Laptop. The 2 desktops (that connect wirelessly to our Linksys router) have this issue. The laptop who also connects wirelessly to the same router doesn't have that problem in Firefox or anything.

Its an odd situation and I don't have the slightest clue what could be wrong with it, any ideas?

More about : odd web browsing

December 26, 2006 12:49:18 PM

Quote:
...I have SBC DSL (Not that many would know what that is :p  ) after transfering from AOL Broadband a while ago....This is all in Mozilla Firefox though, it works just fine in AOL. Personally, I hate AOL, and I don't want to use it...
Hmmm.... you hate AOL, but it works; you like your other service, but it doesn't...

Oh, well, irrational preferences aside, if I am reading you right, you discontinued AOL broadband service and switched to SBC DSL, which worked fine until they "upgraded" the service. Now, it will not work reliably using FF, but wil will work reliably using the AOL app/browser?

Have you called SBC tech support?

Have you tried the other evil empire's software (IE)?

If your connection works from inside the AOL app but not directly with FF, have you tried starting the AOL app, having it connect, and then running your FF browser outside of AOL? (You are aware you can use AOL as merely an ISP and use your own favorite browser, aren't you?)
December 26, 2006 10:42:00 PM

If you need your email, you need to forward all that you want or get a utility to transfer your email.

If you had AOL it has remapped all internet services through it. It's a virus of the worst kind. Un-install any and all applications related with AOL. Then do a search and delete the 200 it left behind. Then do the same with the register or use a cleaner. I have had to do this several times for friends that had AOL. Believe me it is going to be hard to remove and straighten up. You may want or need to reset the TCP stack.
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December 27, 2006 12:22:58 AM

The computer I'm on ATM has never had AOL on it, always used and been happy with FF - and so although I completely agree that AOL is a like virus of the worst kind, I don't think that it is directly causing the problem.

AOL had given up on providing DSL for us a while ago and really were only an SBC customer, AOL is just still installed on one of our computers for my wife to check her email. I think that it might be a problem with our router, but I have no idea what.

The thing is, with the problems I mentioned, you have about a 50/50 shot that they occur. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't. I have found that sometimes when I restart the router and modem it goes away. Sorry for not mentioning this earlier, for some reason I didn't think of it ><

This leads me to believe that AOL might do something FF doesn't with the router or modem to allow full access? Could it possibly be the modem, it hasn't been replaced for a long time and I think, I may be wrong but, it was provided by AOL for us. Thanks for the responses, looking at the situation there are a lot of things that don't add up but thats the way it is :( 

P.S. Haven't contacted SBC support yet, from experience people on these forums are much more intelligent than them.
December 27, 2006 12:44:15 AM

How do you connect to the ISP, PPPoE?

Is your login info in the router to make the connection to your ISP?

May try reseting the router back to factory then reset up your connection to your isp.

On your modem when it hangs up are all of the led's normal. In particular the dsl line. I have seen weak signals to the dsl line cause problems. May try resetting the modem.
December 27, 2006 1:24:36 PM

Quote:
If you had AOL it has remapped all internet services through it. It's a virus of the worst kind. Un-install any and all applications related with AOL. Then do a search and delete the 200 it left behind. Then do the same with the register or use a cleaner. I have had to do this several times for friends that had AOL. Believe me it is going to be hard to remove and straighten up. You may want or need to reset the TCP stack.
All due respect, but this is a bunch of BS. I can't speak for old versions of AOL's application, but since version 8, it has worked and played well with others, at least according to the dozen or so computers I've dealt with various LAN issues that have had AOL installed. Sure, it is possible to install AOL where it is the mastermind of your internet access, but it is easy to turn that off, too. Maybe you are letting your opinion cloud your understanding of how the app works.

As to the OP, his connection was working fine, according to his post, until his service provider upgraded.

Quote:
This leads me to believe that AOL might do something FF doesn't with the router or modem to allow full access?
Chances are very good this is true, at least in the general sense. I doubt the AOL app is changing the configuration of the router, but the AOL application, among other things, is very good at getting the connection up and working with clueless users. Maybe that is why users of this forum react so irrationally to it - it does not allow them to demonstrate their skill and tweak all the bits.

If AOL provided the router, did they at least give you full documentation and admin access to it? Have you ever logged into the admin screens on the router? What is the make and model number of the router?
December 27, 2006 3:06:02 PM

AOL provided the modem - but in respect to the router, I have been to the config pages many times to setup port forwarding for P2P pages and such. It's a Linksys G-Broadband Router - WRT54G.
December 27, 2006 4:33:54 PM

Sorry; my sloppy reading.

OK, this will be kind of 20 questions-ish...

Did I read you right that all of your computers are connected wirelessly?

If yes, where are the ones, physically, that are having issues compared with the laptop that works fine?

Have you tried using FF to access the internet from the laptop? (Just to take AOL out of the equation.)

Are there differences in software firewall setting among the 3 machines?

What happens if you connect one of your problem desktops to the router with an ethernet cable?

What are you using for a wireless adapter in your two desktops?

Are you using the vendor's utility to attach to the wireless network, or are you using Windows?

Speaking of Windows, which versions are on each machine?

Do you have wireless encryption enabled? If so, WEP or WPA?

If you are using encryption, have you tried turning it off?
December 27, 2006 4:36:29 PM

You are probably using a version 5 of that router, which is arguably the worst router ever made. Make sure you get the latest upgrade; it actually does have a fix for this type problem.
December 27, 2006 4:51:53 PM

Iceblue, Ever pc I have worked on with AOL has had major problems. The Default install is FULL CONTROL. It's possiable your users watched the install options and changed them. I have know of several current uses of AOL that can not run FF on the computer due to AOL. And some even have a problem running IE, AOL wants to launch it's version every time. If you do some searching you should have know this. There have also been many law suites against them (AOL) for installing software without user consent. I have a user right now that his wife has been with AOL since the early days. He can not launch anything but AOL to gain access to the web. He can how ever minimize it then launch another browser and get out. As you can tell I am Negative toward AOL, don't know why, I have made a living at repairing the pc's they mess up.

Now back to his problem.

Since the wireless does not have the problem, makes it only on your lan side. Open up internet option in the control panel. I would check to see if you are still going through AOL's proxy server. This should be under connection settings, lan options.

When it hangs up can you ping your router and sites outside your network?
December 27, 2006 5:39:22 PM

Quote:
The Default install is FULL CONTROL. It's possiable your users watched the install options and changed them.
True, that is the default. But, as with other easy-install defaults, easily changed by someone who understands the application. The default for many apps is total control of their little world - e.g. Quicktime, etc. It is easy to forget that AOL was around long before the www, and their market was to allow ordinary people to go "online". Their major competition was Compuserve (remember them?), not the plethora of ISPs and browsers available now. I've "fixed" AOL installations to work properly in everything from home networks to small business networks, to corporate LANs based on a domain server behind a proxy server. There ARE users who have valid (for them) reasons for having AOL on their machines. A slash-and-burn extermination approach may satisfy your emotional reaction, but is entirely unnecessary tehcnically.
Quote:
I have know of several current uses of AOL that can not run FF on the computer due to
improperly configured
Quote:
AOL. And some even have a problem running IE, AOL wants to launch it's version every time.
Unless you shut it off - easy to do. You just have to know how.
Quote:
If you do some searching you should have know this.
Nice. Who should do their research??
Quote:
There have also been many law suites against them (AOL) for installing software without user consent.
Good strawman, but a completely different issue. Should we slash and burn Windows because Microsoft has been sued for exactly the same reason?
Quote:
I have a user right now that his wife has been with AOL since the early days. He can not launch anything but AOL to gain access to the web. He can how ever minimize it then launch another browser and get out. As you can tell I am Negative toward AOL, don't know why, I have made a living at repairing the pc's they mess up.
Well, I could solve your user's problem in about 5 minutes. It is really very easy, once you know how.
Quote:

Now back to his problem.

Since the wireless does not have the problem, makes it only on your lan side. Open up internet option in the control panel. I would check to see if you are still going through AOL's proxy server. This should be under connection settings, lan options.

When it hangs up can you ping your router and sites outside your network?
Did I misread his description? I thought all of his computers were wireless.
December 27, 2006 6:01:00 PM

Quote:
Well, I could solve your user's problem in about 5 minutes. It is really very easy, once you know how.

I know but he is 300mi away and his wife want let hi touch here computer, So he uses his own.

I must admit if a yours know what is being presented most all problems would go away. But the majority of all uses accept defaults on most all applications they install. It seam to be only the IT time person that accepts advanced installs. I was on compuserve when they first started with dialup, now i'm dating my self. But back then we did not have any virus to deal with. And the most powerful pc was 8088 at 4-6 khz, and ram was 24-64k. Our wrists watch have more cpu power than that now.

And Yes to QT fighting with WMP. But it was a simple fix too. It seams most have learned to play some what with each other these days.

If he has a V5 WRT54g it does have some serious problems, but the latest firmware update has fixed most. But it performance is far behind v4. But that is expected when they cut the ram and flashram by 1/2.

I'm wondering if he is have a overheating problem, but he hasn't posted that he is doing some heavy downloads.

When it hangs up he need to find if it affects all of his pc's or just the 1 he's own.
December 29, 2006 7:17:52 AM

Good god, I've started and AOL war, even though its completely not relevant to the question at hand. The only reason AOL was brought up was because its the only piece of software that worked(Despite me not liking it)!

TO Review:
Router - WRT54G
- Highly doubt that its overheating, we've had it without error for many years now, no problems.

Comp1 - Desktop
- AOL (Working)
- FF (Not Working 50% of the time)
- Hardwired to router.

Comp2 - Laptop
- AOL (Working)
- FF (Working)
- Wireless

Comp3 - Desktop
- NO AOL WHATSOEVER AT ANY TIME
- FF (Working 50% of the time.)
- Wireless

That was just to clarify and make the situation easier to see on the eyes. I'm going to try updating Firmware for the router later today (3 AM here now). It might take a few days before I can say whether it's worked or not because, as I've tried to say, this doesn't *always* happen, 50% is an estimated statistic of how often this occurs when I sit down at my computer.

(Quik Editing: WOW! I hit submit on this post and in the time it took to type it, it started happening again, and I got the "not responding" error message. Thank god for cache...)
December 29, 2006 1:19:13 PM

No war; just an exchange of opinions.

It seems to me the only common thread to your problem children here is FF. And, the only thing that actually works is AOL.

Have you tried IE on any of the machines?

Have you verified your software firewall settings? I would recommend until you get this solved that you turn off any firewalls on all of your computers.

Just trying to get some clues here as to what may be happening.
December 29, 2006 2:04:08 PM

I'm going to agree with Iceblue on this one. Turn off the local firewalls and use only the hardware one in the router. What AV are you using?

I would like to know if all of the pc using the same OS ? XP?
Are all up to date on patches?
How much ram is installed?
What other programs are running, AV, TSR....

And when one locks up are the other pc effected ?
!