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strange WiFi/router/modem problem

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strange WiFi/router/modem problem

Old 15th May 2021, 20:42
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Berkshire, UK
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strange WiFi/router/modem problem

We have just had our new broadband connected at our new property. We rushed in on Thursday evening after 5 hours in the car getting here about a quarter of an hour before a webinar we wanted to watch was due to happen. We had the new modem router with us, it had been sent to our old address but we had been informed that the connection at our new address had gone live a week earlier. So, we dashed in and I plugged the modem in, powered up my laptop and went to put the kettle on while the modem took five mins to connect and set itself up. On return, with cuppa in hand I entered the passcode to connect the laptop to the router and launched the webinar, all looked good.

About 2 hours later I found access to the internet had stopped. My laptop still thought it was connected to the router but no websites could be found. I reset my network connections and restarted my browser, to no avail. I restarted the laptop and launched the browser again. It still reported a solid link to the router but no webpages could be fetched. The modem/router was still showing a happy blue light and no error lights. As a last resort I reset the modem, waited the 5 mins and found functionality restored. The same thing happened last evening, connectivity between the router and the laptop was apparently OK but no webpages could be fetched. My phone reported the same issue as did another laptop we have with us. WiFi 90% solid but no www. Again a modem/router hard reset restored www access.

When it all stopped again this afternoon I called the techy helpline at our ISP. They wanted me to log in to the router and to check all of the stuff that should be setup when the modem logs onto the ISP systems but, despite the status light showing a good WiFi link the modem could not be accessed. Eventually I was instructed to poke a pin in the hole to force the modem/router to do a factory reset, after the usual 5 mins the system came back up and access to the router settings was enabled. During all of this my laptop was left running suggesting that there is no issue with my laptop. The ISP think that the issues are caused by my laptop because it is running Linux Mint and not Windoze and Firefox instead of Chrome but then that doesn't explain why a Win10 machine and an Android phone showed the same strong Wi|Fi connection but no web access at the same times. They could see our modem and they say it is working normally, even when I can't access either the device settings or the WWW. At their suggestion I logged into the router and changed it from the default channel 6 to channel one with the added suggestion that if that doesn't sort it then to try channel 11. I don't think that this has any merit, I have seen network channel clashing issues before and this doesn't feel like that did. As an aside, my wireless connect page shows very few local links available, compared to our old house location, and all of them much weaker signals......

What should I try next? Might there be something in my connection security settings causing some sort of lockout?

I have yet to find out if the issue still occurs when the laptop is connected to the router by ethernet, I have a short cable but it is not convenient as the laptop is in one room and the router in another. One more complication is that I use a Vonage VOIP phone with answerphone, if it all locks up when I am 5 hours drive away next week I will not be impressed.

Rans6.........

rans6andrew is offline  
Old 15th May 2021, 23:04
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Here
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Any chance you have an IP address conflict? Maybe something you have has a static address that was OK in the old setup, but that conflicts with the new router's DHCP scheme or even the routers address?

Definately check with a wire to eliminate radio issues.

Try setting the DNS server to one of the public ones. Easy in windows, no idea about linux.

8.8.8.8 - google
9.9.9.9 - someone else
OpenDNS

Did you bring your old router too? More than one DHCP server would be bad news.
jimjim1 is offline  
Old 16th May 2021, 12:03
  #3 (permalink)  
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You need to work out where the problem lies - so you need to establish exactly what you still have access to when the WWW stops:

Check network settings - IPconfig /all in windows, whatever the equivalent is in your flavour of linux: check the IP address, gateway & DNS servers are valid.
Check the DHCP pool, number of assigned addresses, lease time and scope options (i.e. DNS server, gateway, etc.)
Check for internet access restrictions on the router.
Ping gateway IP address
Ping another device on your network
Ping DNS server(s) given by ipconfig
Ping internet IP address - e.g. 8.8.8.8
run tracert (or linux equivalent) to the external addresses
Ping internet host name - what error do you get? does it resolve to an IP address?

You should be able to narrow it down to an internal error or an upstream problem.

If you can use a wired connection with a static IP address and fixed DNS server that will eliminate some of the potential problems. Note that you would need to ensure that the static IP is outside the DHCP pool.

Your ISP tech support is pathetic, BTW - "the problem is linux mint" - what bollox.

If you have done a factory reset, you should change the admin password from the default, if not already done, and set your own wifi PSK (password).
Saab Dastard is offline  
Old 16th May 2021, 21:48
  #4 (permalink)  
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Further - it went wrong again this evening so it was time to experiment. I plugged in the ethernet cable on the Mint laptop and gave it a few seconds to connect and then the internet access was restored. It still showed the wireless link to be working in the network manager but only the wired connection gave any WWW access. Also I noted that a Win10 laptop carried on working wirelessly throughout the testing with the cable etc.

So, in summary, the Mint laptop loses the wireless - router/modem - WWW connection but the Win10 laptop and an android phone may carry on accessing the WWW or may not. Getting the Mint laptop back on line wirelessly requires a reset of the router/modem. Rebooting the Mint machine, resetting the network manager or just relaunching the browser does not stop "Server not found" timeouts on all websites. The admin logging doesn't work. If I plug in a cable to the router WWW access is fixed but when unplugged the wireless access is still broken.

The new router does not have a 0000 default admin password, it has a 8 character alpha numeric with upper case and lower case. It looks as though it fetches this password when it logs onto the ISP or it might be "hard wired". I have not found anywhere in the admin login menus that suggests a password change. This password is proper printed on the pull out plastic card in the slot on the back of the router and is still valid after a factory "pin in the hole" reset. Ping 8.8.8.8 only works while the cable is plugged in if the wireless to WWW is broken.
rans6andrew is offline  
Old 17th May 2021, 09:16
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by rans6andrew View Post
We have just had our new broadband connected at our new property. We rushed in on Thursday evening after 5 hours in the car getting here about a quarter of an hour before a webinar we wanted to watch was due to happen. We had the new modem router with us, it had been sent to our old address but we had been informed that the connection at our new address had gone live a week earlier. So, we dashed in and I plugged the modem in, powered up my laptop and went to put the kettle on while the modem took five mins to connect and set itself up. On return, with cuppa in hand I entered the passcode to connect the laptop to the router and launched the webinar, all looked good.

About 2 hours later I found access to the internet had stopped. My laptop still thought it was connected to the router but no websites could be found. I reset my network connections and restarted my browser, to no avail. I restarted the laptop and launched the browser again. It still reported a solid link to the router but no webpages could be fetched. The modem/router was still showing a happy blue light and no error lights. As a last resort I reset the modem, waited the 5 mins and found functionality restored. The same thing happened last evening, connectivity between the router and the laptop was apparently OK but no webpages could be fetched. My phone reported the same issue as did another laptop we have with us. WiFi 90% solid but no www. Again a modem/router hard reset restored www access.

When it all stopped again this afternoon I called the techy helpline at our ISP. They wanted me to log in to the router and to check all of the stuff that should be setup when the modem logs onto the ISP systems but, despite the status light showing a good WiFi link the modem could not be accessed. Eventually I was instructed to poke a pin in the hole to force the modem/router to do a factory reset, after the usual 5 mins the system came back up and access to the router settings was enabled. During all of this my laptop was left running suggesting that there is no issue with my laptop. The ISP think that the issues are caused by my laptop because it is running Linux Mint and not Windoze and Firefox instead of Chrome but then that doesn't explain why a Win10 machine and an Android phone showed the same strong Wi|Fi connection but no web access at the same times. They could see our modem and they say it is working normally, even when I can't access either the device settings or the WWW. At their suggestion I logged into the router and changed it from the default channel 6 to channel one with the added suggestion that if that doesn't sort it then to try channel 11. I don't think that this has any merit, I have seen network channel clashing issues before and this doesn't feel like that did. As an aside, my wireless connect page shows very few local links available, compared to our old house location, and all of them much weaker signals......

What should I try next? Might there be something in my connection security settings causing some sort of lockout?

I have yet to find out if the issue still occurs when the laptop is connected to the router by ethernet, I have a short cable but it is not convenient as the laptop is in one room and the router in another. One more complication is that I use a Vonage VOIP phone with answerphone, if it all locks up when I am 5 hours drive away next week I will not be impressed.

Rans6.........
One simple test to run on your laptop with WiFi but no WWW access is a 'ping' test.

Open a command shell and type:

ping www.bmw.com

(or another website of your choosing but beware that not all sites will reply to a ping - bmw does seem to work)

If you get 'could not find host' or some such then you have a DNS problem
if you get 'pinging <some host and IP address> ...but no reply, then you have a routing problem.



netstruggler is offline  
Old 17th May 2021, 20:46
  #6 (permalink)  
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a bit further again - after failing to regain WWW access via WiF|i I switched off the Mint laptop and went to bed, leaving the router/modem to look after itself. When I switched the laptop back on this morning everything was working properly. I don't know if the router does some sort of periodic reset or reconnect in the night but something caused the equivalent of hard reset to the router. I have previously shown that nothing I can do with the Mint laptop re-establishes the WWW access when it drops out. Ping 8.8.8.8 does not work when the WiFi has dropped the access unless a wired connection is made.

Next time it drops access I will try pinging the router,

Rans6..........................
rans6andrew is offline  
Old 18th May 2021, 19:56
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We were out for a while this afternoon and the Mint laptop was left switched on. Obviously a few mins after we left it went into hibernation. On our return I woke the laptop to find no internet access. We then powered up the win10 laptop and that failed to connect to the WWW. When I tried to ping the router or the DNS addresses both failed. The network manager of the Mint machine thought that the wireless link was good, the signal strength reported being higher than I ever see when the wireless connection is working, very strange.

I reset the router by pressing its reset button and everything was restored after a few mins. Surely this all points to a router issue?

Time to call the ISP again.

Rans6..........
rans6andrew is offline  
Old 19th May 2021, 07:45
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: LONDON
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Originally Posted by rans6andrew View Post
We were out for a while this afternoon and the Mint laptop was left switched on. Obviously a few mins after we left it went into hibernation. On our return I woke the laptop to find no internet access. We then powered up the win10 laptop and that failed to connect to the WWW. When I tried to ping the router or the DNS addresses both failed. The network manager of the Mint machine thought that the wireless link was good, the signal strength reported being higher than I ever see when the wireless connection is working, very strange.

I reset the router by pressing its reset button and everything was restored after a few mins. Surely this all points to a router issue?

Time to call the ISP again.

Rans6..........
Good luck with the ISP.

Seeing as you don't actually have a working WiFi link to your router then it's worth running ifconfig on your mint machine from a command window.

You'd be looking to see that the WiFi interface on the Mint laptop is 'Up' and has been allocated a sensible IP address. You could compare the results of the 'working' and 'not-working' states.

Note that the equivalent command on a Windows machine is ipconfig, possibly with /all after it.

netstruggler is offline  
Old 21st May 2021, 21:00
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I called the ISP, again, and was instructed to plug a laptop in by ethernet cable and to log into the router settings and uncheck a box for synchronising 5GHz with 2.4GHz. Then rename the 5GHz so we can identify it and then we were to log all of our devices onto the 5GHz channels. That didn't work as none of our devices would log into 5GHz. We were then advised to give it 3 hours and try to log in again. No joy. I don't know what this change is supposed to do but 24 hours later we still can't connect on the 5GHz band but connections on 2.4GHz seem to be staying up for longer than before.

So, what was the change supposed to do?

Why would it take 3 hours or longer to happen?

Non the wiser but feeling that a bit of progress has been made......

Rans6..............
rans6andrew is offline  
Old 22nd May 2021, 13:05
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Cheltenham, UK
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Originally Posted by rans6andrew View Post
I called the ISP, again, and was instructed to plug a laptop in by ethernet cable and to log into the router settings and uncheck a box for synchronising 5GHz with 2.4GHz. Then rename the 5GHz so we can identify it and then we were to log all of our devices onto the 5GHz channels. That didn't work as none of our devices would log into 5GHz. We were then advised to give it 3 hours and try to log in again. No joy. I don't know what this change is supposed to do but 24 hours later we still can't connect on the 5GHz band but connections on 2.4GHz seem to be staying up for longer than before.

So, what was the change supposed to do?

Why would it take 3 hours or longer to happen?

Non the wiser but feeling that a bit of progress has been made......

Rans6..............

ISP clutching at straws me thinks. I cannot see the separation of the frequencies would solve this.

Do you know how to change your network adapter settings? If so, try adding static IP address and DNS servers to both ethernet and wireless adapters. To make sure your IP doesn't clash, open command prompt and type ipconfig /all and hit enter. Use the current IP address as your new static one. Then for DNS use Primary: 8.8.8.8 and secondary: 8.8.4.4

Save/OK and come out and then in command prompt run ipconfig /all again and check both adapters have changed to what you've set. The wireless adapter might not show anything if it's not connected.

Let me know how that goes. I'm UK based and happy to do a remote session FOC if it helps you, it's my day job
BirdmanBerry is offline  
Old 22nd May 2021, 19:19
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Thanks for the offer, BirdManBerry, I will try your suggestions next time I am at the house. We are only there part time as it is a holiday home which needs a certain amount of work doing on it, as does our main home so while we still have commitments at our old house we will be back and forth............

Your suggestions make sense to me although I don't fully understand what effect the config settings should have. Still having a different ISP at our old house, where we almost never have to reset the router, gives me the option of checking the config settings that work for us.

Thanks,

Rans6......................

rans6andrew is offline  

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