Do routers go bad?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Brian Perry, Jun 4, 2004.

  1. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    Last night my internet went down (comcast cable modem) and after speaking with tech support, we got it going by bypassing my Dell router (which feeds my desktop, wireless laptop card and another broadband device) and connecting the modem right to the computer.

    Is it possible the router is broken? I checked all the connections and they seem to be fine, and I didn't make any software changes recently. Is there a way to check the router itself?

    Thanks
     
  2. Arthur Legardo

    Arthur Legardo Second Unit

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    Sometimes they do, but it is rare. You have to remember that they are on all of the time.

    Have you tried resetting the router (along with the cable modem and your computers)?
     
  3. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Did you try to reset the router? If not, trying plugging it all back up and then using the reset button OR most routers have a web interface where you can log-in and make adjustments. Often these offer a software reset button as well. Either one of these options usually fixes any problems I have with my router. While in the process you might check for firmware upgrades for your router.

    EDIT: Arthur beat me to it
     
  4. Chris Hovanic

    Chris Hovanic Supporting Actor

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    A friend of mine has gone through two... a linksys and a netgear. My bro-in-law has had a linksys go belly up on him as well.

    As said above.... flash the unit with the latest firmware. If that does not work try a friends router (if available) or buy another at a place that will take returns (incase it is not the router)

    Im kinda suprised the tech support would even help you knowing you had a router.

    hope that helps and good luck.
     
  5. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    I had a netgear that I used 24-7 for two years, and then finally it started acting flaky. I replaced it with another netgear, and it's been rock solid.

    For $99 or so, I don't mind upgrading every two years for something that is on and working 24-7.
     
  6. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Just to re-iterate what I said earlier:

    My ISP really, really sucks. Almost daily I have to go into my command prompt and do "ipconfig /renew." This is not a problem on my end as everyone I know with this ISP has the same problem. I stuck a router in the mix to hook up my wireless stuff. Now, almost daily, I have to go in to the web interface and do a reset (to basically perform the same function as "ipconfig /renew"). This didn't happen very often when I had cable modem, but did happen on occasion. I think this is probably the only problem you're having.



    Two years from now you should check out Ebay. I recently bought a 4-port Belkin for $30 and a 4-port+wireless Linksys for $45 both brand new.
     
  7. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    Well, here's an update: good news and bad news.

    The good news is that the router is perfectly fine.

    The bad news is that the a-holes at Comcast apparently have decided to wage war with owners of Dell routers and maybe all routers eventually.


    This is kind of what is happening.

    After checking out the Dell forums, I found out that on May 25 (right around when my problem started) Comcast began limiting IP addresses to one per customer. If you hook your cable modem directly to the PC, everything is fine -- it recognizes your one IP address. But if you attempt to use a Dell router, which has a different IP address, it doesn't allow Internet access. The temporary fix, which is a pain in the butt, is to go into http://my.router and change the router's IP address to the one found on your computer (via DOS ipconfig /all) to trick the modem into thinking it's connected to the PC.

    The problem is that Comcast periodically changes the IP address. If I only had to change the IP address on the router every few weeks, I could probably live with it. But today they changed it twice in one day! It looks as though I will be switching to a different brand of router such as Linksys or Belkin. The bigger question is this: today it's Dell routers -- tomorrow will it be other brands? Is Comcast doing this to make us pay additional fees? It's bad enough I'm paying $65 a month for Comcast, where my typical speed is slower than DSL (which I can't get in my area).

    This really sucks.
     
  8. Kyle McKnight

    Kyle McKnight Cinematographer

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    Brian, I had two "linksys 4-port switches" LinkSys Etherfast EZXS55W hooked into my Comcast cable modem. Worked fine for a year up until a few weeks ago. Always had 2-3 PCs, my Xbox, and my ReplayTV connected at once. Then it all stopped working out of the blue. When I called Comcast tech support, they told me that they now require each computer hooked up to the modem to have it's own IP which would be $5/month per item. I told them I didn't feel like paying that. Later that day I went and bought a D-Link router which from what I know takes the auto-ip from my cable modem, then distributes each other item its own "internal" IP. Haven' had a problem since.
     
  9. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Brian:

    Are they screwing you using IP addresses or MAC Addresses? Lots of ISP's will bind their service to a MAC address and will not allow any other MAC address to use that port. Then they will find the common MAC addresses for popular routers and not allow customers to use those addresses (so people can't share). There's an easy fix to this: most companies now make routers which offer MAC Address Cloning. This copies your computer's MAC address to the router so that Comcast no longer knows it's a router. I've got a setup similar to this and it works like a charm.
     
  10. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    I guess the problem is that my Dell 1184 router doesn't offer MAC address cloning. Looks like I'll probably have to find one that does.

    Thanks to everyone for their help.
     
  11. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Don't fret too much Brian. I actually just bought a wireless D-Link DI-524 for $49 net (after rebates) and it does cloning, passes all the stealth tests on Shields Up, has four port hub built in, AND does 802.11g wireless at that price. Times have changed and prices have gone down since the last time you were probably in the market for one (I paid over $100 for my original Netgear router 4 years ago and had to buy a separate 4 port hub).
     
  12. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I've got a Belkin 4-port that does cloning (~$30 on Ebay) and a Linksys wireless 4-port that does cloning (~$45 on Ebay) so it's not too bad.
     
  13. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    If I go with the D-Link wireless router (DI-524 or DI-624), which supports 802.11g, will I still be able to use my Dell wireless laptop card (which is only 802.11b)?
     
  14. Arthur Legardo

    Arthur Legardo Second Unit

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    Yes, "g" is backwards compatible with "b".
     
  15. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    Thanks -- looks like a DI-524 is in my future!
     

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