intermittent service with linksys router

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johnsigwald

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I am the librarian of the public library in Plainview, Texas. We were recently forced to change from DSL service to cable because the DSL broadband provider went bankrupt. We purchased a Linksys cable/dsl router (model BEFSR41, ver. 2) and after our third router, this last directly from Linksys, we are still experiencing intermittent Internet connection. I have spent many hours on the phone with Linksys but still no workable solutions. We use a fixed IP and the cable company swears it's not their problem and I believe them because when Internet service goes down, I am unable to ping the router. The router will come back up on its own in a few minutes (or faster if I unplug it for a few seconds) but it may operate for a couple of hours or only a few minutes before crashing. We have a 25-computer LAN but seldom are more than a dozen people online at any one time and crashes have occurred with a single user online after hours. Any suggestions. Right now I've lowered the MTUs to 1000 but I'm grasping at straws.
 
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How is the router connected to the rest of your network? Is it used through a proxy server or shared directly through a switch/hub?
 

johnsigwald

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The setup is cable modem (Motorola Surfboard 3100) -> linksys router -> 16 port switch which in turn farms out 1) directly to some computers, 2) to another 16-port switch for others and 3) to 4-port hubs for others; and, finally, 4) to a wireless relay for a few others. By the way, intermittent service is not a problem with an Ipaq CP-2E router, only with the Linksys, but with that router internal computers (i.e., the local LAN) cannot access our webserver pages even though everyone outside the LAN can use the Internet to gain access to the library's catalog. If I can get the Ipaq to resolve our local dns or the linksys to have steady service, I would go with one or the other.
 
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This won't be a popular suggestion, and maybe you've already tried it, but have you plugged the Cable Modem directly into a PC and verified its stability?
 

JohnWill

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FWIW, your topology sounds pretty screwed up! It's pretty hard to believe that multiple Linksys routers have failed in the manner you suggest. Since alternative brands of broadband routers are only $40-50, have you considered just trying another brand? I'm partial to SMC, but there are plenty of brands to choose from.

I'm thinking that you have some other network issue that is causing the problem, perhaps one of the many hubs/switches is failing and streaming, causing the network to fail?
 

johnsigwald

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Feb 7, 2003
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To: calabash
Yes, I have plugged a workstation directly into the cable modem and have verified that Cox's claim of uninterrupted service is valid.

To: johnwill
I would probably agree on the topology issue but the Ipac router doesn't have the intermittent service problem (but it's a pain because in-house computers can't access the webserver although everyone outside the LAN can and tech support doesn't help).

I'm admittedly an amateur but, for better or worse, serves as the sysop for this publici library network. I'm not clear on how a defective switch or hub can bleed off service (and this was never an issue with out DSL service on a Cisco router, in use for a couple of years prior to last week) but I'm certainly open for network layout suggestions.

Here's what I've got (please don't have a heart attack!):

cable modem -> router -> switch with 7 connections as follows:

1) switch with 10 connections to pcs
2) hub with 4 connections
3) hub with 4 connections
4) hub with 3 connections
5) hub with 2 connections -> 1 connection to wireless hub for 3 pcs
6) wireless hub for 3 computers
7) direct to pc

I realize this is somewhat of a patchwork quilt but I'm not sure how to fix it up. Also, I have tried hooking the 10-connection switch directly to the router but it didn't have any effect on the intermittent service.

P.S. For what it's worth, I have an SMC router already on the way.
 

johnsigwald

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Feb 7, 2003
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A couple of days ago I purchased an SMC router (SMC7004VBR) "Barricade" and it seems to have solved our problems. Unlike the LinkSys router, we have not had intermittent connection to the Internet; unlike the Ipac router, we can access the webserver internally (likely a router firewall problem that apparently cannot be disabled on the Ipac).

Therefore, I am closing this thread. Thank you to my respondents for their suggestions!
 

JohnWill

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Now you see why I recommend the SMC. :D:D

On the serious side, if you ever get a chance to run some of those cables back to the main computer site, home runs for all workstations are far easier to diagnose than multiple hops through equipment scattered all over your building. Something to keep in the back of you mind... :)
 
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