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194 posts

Master Geek
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# 17666 6-Dec-2007 12:46
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I'm new to this forum, and while not even nearly a geek, I have gained a limited amount of knowledge through trial and error, so please be patient with me.

Our problem:

Telstra cable modem wired into our main home/office computer , then split to three other computers via a d-link router. We keep getting dropouts all the time for the last month or so. All green lights are flashing on the modem indicating all go, and appropriate lights on the router working. But no connection to the internet.
Note: this system worked flawlessly for 18 months.

My solution:

Unplug and reboot modem, router and main computer. Main computer cannot access the internet at all (this is the only one hard wired to the modem), but the secondary computer recieves intermittent internet connections.
I pull my hair out and ring the help desk at Telstra.
After waiting the obligatory 15 minutes on speakerphone, I do receive some help. The help desk informs me there has a network upgrade and also a known conflict between cable modem and router. He promises a software upgrade in the next month or two. I can't wait that long.

Then I call the freelance IT guy who set up our system. He comes around and changes the router over to a Netgear product (from d-link). Problem solved for about two weeks, then it starts over again. Intermitent connection problems.

Call freelance IT guy again who swears he has many clients with comflicts between Telstra cable modems and routers. His suggestion is to ditch the cable modem and try an ADSL line instead to minimise conflicts.

So, I call Telstra and ask about quotes for an ADSL connection, and they are unequivocal- "why do that, when you have the fastest connection available, adsl is a backward step"


My questions are:

  • Is there anything I haven't tried yet to make the connection work, without changing hardware again?
  • Is ADSL any more reliable the cable modem Telstra? Are there any other advantages to adsl?
  • Should I change to a different ISP provider? (Most other ISP seem to run on Telecom wires, and from what I have read that is not  a step in the right direction.)
  • Is there another ISP that can use Telstra cabling.

By the way, we are unhappy with our customer service from Telstra, more to do with the unproductivity associated with the amount of time calling the helpdesk. Not just on this issue, also phone problems.
Thanks in advance for any replies, I love the way the web can work like this.


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  # 98538 6-Dec-2007 13:25
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Does simply pulling the power out to the router and plugging it back in solve the issue?

What you're describing is a fairly typical issue that seems to be affecting a lot of users. The root cause is that some level entry routers are incapable of handing the amount of ARP traffic that exists on the cable network and tend to lock up frequently and the only way to solve this is a power cycle. Belkin & D-Link products are particularly bad.

I've experienced this problem myself with a few friends who have all moved to Linksys WRT54GL's running 3rd party firmware such as DD-WRT or Sveasoft Talisman. These are proven to be rock solid with no issues to speak of and also have many features in the firmware that you won't get on the stock standard firmware.

I'm sure you'll find people argue over whether cable or ADSL is better but as you know you have to move back to Telecom to get an ADSL service. I would personally never move away from TCL cable as it's a far superior product IMHO.

As for other ISP's reselling cable services there are a few but they're primarily targeting business users and switching won't solve this issue as if it is what I've described above it's a simple hardware issue and unrelated to the ISP.

BDFL - Memuneh
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# 98546 6-Dec-2007 13:57
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I can't point exactly anything because of lack of information on versions, etc, but... Dump the DLink router and get a Netgear or Belkin.

I have a Belkin router here that's been up 24/7 for the last three years, and before that another Belkin - only replacved because I wanted wi-fi. The previous Belkin worked for almost five years 24/7.

I tried two DLink routers before buying the second Belkin. Both would simply freeze or stop working after 20 minutes, so I simply sent them back...




 
 
 
 


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Master Geek
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  # 98549 6-Dec-2007 14:02
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>Telstra cable modem wired into our main home/office computer , then split to three other computers via a d-link router.

Can you be more specific? Do you have a pair of NICs in the man computer and are using it as a gateway/router. Or does the CM plug into the router, and then the router distribute to all PCs.



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Master Geek
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  # 98574 6-Dec-2007 15:50
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Thanks very much for your quick replies




Does simply pulling the power out to the router and plugging it back in solve the issue?

No, I've tried this many times, seems to make a difference sometimes, but not often now.


As for other ISP's reselling cable services there are a few but they're primarily targeting business users and switching won't solve this issue as if it is what I've described above it's a simple hardware issue and unrelated to the ISP.

Thanks, I thought as much


Dump the DLink router and get a Netgear or Belkin.

Have done thanks, changed to netgear a few weeks ago, but still problematic


Can you be more specific? Do you have a pair of NICs in the man computer and are using it as a gateway/router. Or does the CM plug into the router, and then the router distribute to all PCs.

OK, I'm not sure what NICs are, but yes, the cable modem does plug into the router and distribute to other PCs. The CM also plugs directly into the main computer. Netgear 54Mbps Wireless router model WGR614 v7.

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  # 98578 6-Dec-2007 15:57
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bluedisk:


OK, I'm not sure what NICs are, but yes, the cable modem does plug into the router and distribute to other PCs. The CM also plugs directly into the main computer. Netgear 54Mbps Wireless router model WGR614 v7.


A NIC = network card

How exactly is your network configured? Generally you could have one cable from the cable modem to the rouuter and then cables (or wireless) from the router to the connected PC's. How do you have the cable modem plugged into your PC as well as the router?

 



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Master Geek
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  # 98581 6-Dec-2007 16:09
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sbiddle:

How exactly is your network configured? Generally you could have one cable from the cable modem to the rouuter and then cables (or wireless) from the router to the connected PC's. How do you have the cable modem plugged into your PC as well as the router?

Here is the cabling as I see it.

Cable from modem to router.

Cable from router to main computer (which is in close proximity)

Wireless to 3 other computers around the house.



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Master Geek
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  # 98582 6-Dec-2007 16:14
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michaeln:

Do you have a pair of NICs in the man computer
 

No network card in the main computer but network cards in the 3 other computers

 
 
 
 


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Ultimate Geek
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  # 98584 6-Dec-2007 16:32
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Does the cable to the main computer have a clip (ethernet cable) or can it just be pulled straight out (usb cable)?

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Master Geek
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  # 98586 6-Dec-2007 16:38
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So you seem to have a more serious problem with the computer connected via Netwrok Cable, than you do with your Wireless computers?

But overall you have problems with all computers?

Have you tried changing the network cable that plugs from the Router to your Main Computer?


We also have a similar problem, using a D-Link, was just about to order a Linksys, definatley will thanks to Sbiddles info.




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Master Geek
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  # 98594 6-Dec-2007 17:13
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wongtop:

Does the cable to the main computer have a clip (ethernet cable) or can it just be pulled straight out (usb cable)?

Its an ethernet cable.


kinsten:

So you seem to have a more serious problem with the computer connected via Netwrok Cable, than you do with your Wireless computers?

Not always, just recently its all turned to custard though.


But overall you have problems with all computers?

Yes, unfortunately.

Have you tried changing the network cable that plugs from the Router to your Main Computer?

Not yet, but will try thanks for that



By the way, I just got a call in from Telstras Helpdesk suggesting that I check the ARPS traffic, as he believes its a router communication issue. He didn't elaborate on how I could check this though. When it comes to acronym jargon I get a bit lost sometimes. At least he called back.



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Master Geek
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# 98620 6-Dec-2007 19:35
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Note: Thank you to all posters on this topic. I am offline for four days from Friday so cannot respond during that time. Thanks again for your input.Cool

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Master Geek
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  # 98677 6-Dec-2007 23:47
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Ah, thanks. Details can be crucial.

So, the cable modem connects to the router, which in turn distributes to the main computer via Ethernet, and to other computers via wireless.

When things fail, the cable modem seems OK (the lights are all flashing) but the router has problems. Restarting the router fixes the problem (for a while), but restarting the cable modem doesn't.

Is that a fair statement of the situation?

If you look at the PC/ACTIVITY light on the cable modem you'll see it is always flickering. A lot of that activity is caused by ARP (Address Resolution Protocol) traffic. This is a fairly normal part of cable modem networks. It is currently at a high rate, of several kbps---constantly. (You don't get charged for the ARP traffic by the way).

In the near future TelstraClear will be making some changes that will reduce this traffic somewhat. Early next year some more changes are due which should reduce the ARP traffic considerably. Meanwhile, there is the problem that a number of routers fail to cope with the load. Posters here have indicated brands and models that cope quite happily.



194 posts

Master Geek
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# 98709 7-Dec-2007 10:00
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Michaeln:

So, the cable modem connects to the router, which in turn distributes to the main computer via Ethernet, and to other computers via wireless.

When things fail, the cable modem seems OK (the lights are all flashing) but the router has problems. Restarting the router fixes the problem (for a while), but restarting the cable modem doesn't.

Is that a fair statement of the situation?

Yes, thats it.


If you look at the PC/ACTIVITY light on the cable modem you'll see it is always flickering. A lot of that activity is caused by ARP (Address Resolution Protocol) traffic. This is a fairly normal part of cable modem networks. It is currently at a high rate, of several kbps---constantly. (You don't get charged for the ARP traffic by the way).

In the near future TelstraClear will be making some changes that will reduce this traffic somewhat. Early next year some more changes are due which should reduce the ARP traffic considerably. Meanwhile, there is the problem that a number of routers fail to cope with the load. Posters here have indicated brands and models that cope quite happily.

Thank you michealn, you are the first person to explain this to me. It makes perfect sense now. If we have more problems I will switch to a better suited router.

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  # 98717 7-Dec-2007 10:41
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I can recommend a Linksys WRT54GS router.  Have had no issues and it's been running constantly for around 3 years.

Cheers




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194 posts

Master Geek
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# 99153 9-Dec-2007 23:24
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zollymonsta:

I can recommend a Linksys WRT54GS router.  Have had no issues and it's been running constantly for around 3 years.



Cool thanks for the suggestions, I appreciate all replies!

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